Sunday, April 28, 2013

Prime time for the Coliseum

Derek Galloway lost in a sea of rock and snow in the Coliseum
Without doubt, the Coliseum is the best and most impressive chunk of rock in the entire Echo Canyon.
So tell me why there is not much more traffic up there? 
I can tell you:
-the wall usually seeps heavily from mid May to Mid July (if not much longer)
-although south facing, you have to wait until 2 p.m. to see the sun (if there is any)
-it catches any sort of wind there might be and multiplies it (and there is always wind)
-a long approach and no easy routes... certainly not a girl friend cliff (unless you want to get rid of her)
-despite the bolted sport climbs, there is this "alpinish" flair up there-
hard to explain if you haven't been there yet. 
Maybe it is the lack of trees, the constant noises of rock fall, the snow covered ledges, 
airborne  icicles or the size 3 avalanches roaring over the top of climb in the spring.
And then there are this imaginary voices which you can hear now and then 
-and for some strange reason your partner doesn't- 
and they tell you to get the hell out of there.
Needless to say, all of the above factors keep the line ups at bay.
So don't miss out at the best chunk of rock in the Rockies, 
hope to see you up there before the seepage starts!
Greg Toss getting virgin rock on his new creation "Aquarius"
-a very nice five twelve addition
on an otherwise five thirteen overloaded main wall
"Fit Bird", a stout 5.13d,
drilled, cleaned and climbed last Summer by Matt Pieterson.
Derek Galloway pulling the roof on his first red point attempt on "Fit Bird"
let it bleed...
battle marks from a filed RP attempt
I love my belay glasses, especially on the long routes up there.
They make me a more attentive belayer and my neck is way less stiff after extended belay session.
they are certainly not the most attractive eye wear made
and definitely not very beneficial for picking up climbing chicks

The cedar sign I carved 3 years ago is slowly starting to age into a natural gray,
sorta like some of my hair.
all pictures by Derek Galloway except the 4 of mine on "Fit Bird" where he is actually busy climbing.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bella's first ski tour

Since Bella kept on asking me when it is her turn to get out, I finally took her to the same place as I did  almost exactly a year ago with Luka. With him and Kimby as a back up and cheerleaders, we ventured to Mt. Buller in K-Country, which offers easy, roadside access ski touring in stable spring conditions. You can go all the way to the top or turn around at any point and call it the day, or do multiple laps on the rather gentle lower slopes. 
Therefore there is neither pressure to perform nor reach a certain goal for a six year young girl.

gotta make sure those skins stick on well

that's my two girls!

and this is what happens if one skin slides,
you only get away with this in a young age
A Mars bar every half hour keeps the gurrls going.
You gotta eat it sloooowly, because when I'm finished with it I have to walk again for another half hour.
Might as well take my time here and explore the various layers and consistencies.

Although it wasn't a summit, a "high point kiss" was still in order.

Short roping exercise on the way up,
a ski pole was a decent substitute for the rope left in the car.

nobody ever gets hurt in the air

Bellas first self-motorized turns.
"It is way more fun to go down than to go up" was her first comment.
Didn't take her long to figure that one out.

A well deserved lunch break followed by a some leisure time in the woods before the second lap

Sunday, April 21, 2013

April ski touring

An unbelievable April so far, at least when you like skiing. I keep on running into people who would rather have it warmer and sunnier in order to go rock climbing and the only thing that keeps them sane is the newly opened Canmore climbing gym. I do love climbing too, but if the ski conditions are like this I have a hard time missing out on those magic days. After finishing my heli skiing season in the Cariboos first week of April, I was guiding and playing with skis entirely in the Rockies, and the Rockies certainly delivered.
and it's not quite over yet...
 on the way to work, sunrise on Mt. Cascade.
Lorne on the last stretch of Buller Mountain
with Spray Lakes 

Somewhere above Lake Louise

gotta wonder what Steve is listening too

way back in Kootenay Park

Below Mt. Fairview

steep chutes off Fairview with Lake Louise Ski Area behind

the last steps to Surprise Pass

Sheol Mountain appearing as the convective clouds start to lift

Powder in the sun mid April

Giller seems happy and content after another big day

Just below the Summit of Mt. Fairview

A group of the full ski exam on the way to White Pyramid

Steve getting first tracks down White Pyramid

A very wintery looking Howse Peak.

The NW ridge of White Pyramid, overlooking Howse River and Mt. Forbes

A beautiful rock formation along the way to White Pyramid.