May 29, 2009

South America 2009

The Condoriri Massif, Cordillera Real, Bolivia

In June, 2009, I will be heading back to South America for five weeks of guiding. The first stop will be a self-run trip to Bolivia's Cordillera Real. There is still room on this expedition so don't delay! For information on the Bolivia trip, please click here.

From Bolivia, I will travel to Peru where I will be running an Alpamayo Expedition for Adventure Consultants. The dates of this trip are July 7 - 24, 2009. There is still one spot available on this trip so don't hesitate to contact myself or AC for more info. For further information on Alpine Climbing in Peru, click here to read an article I wrote for Gripped Magazine.

Alpamayo, Peru.

May 28, 2009


Chris Brazeau demonstrates the necessary ingredients of warriorhood: colorful vegetables and a sharp knife.

Whereas this young man demonstrates something else entirely.

The following passage was written by Scott Semple and comes from a short piece entitled The Talent Myth. I really liked it. Maybe you will too.

My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.”

A friend and training mentor once told me, “The secret of the pros is that they train in secret.” For a while that made sense. It seemed that where performance is highly optimized — and where optimization is highly coveted — it would make sense that methodology would be closely guarded.

But secret methodology is the province of world-class athletes; not of participants; nor of enthusiasts. Most people — if sufficiently motivated, and if unemcumbered by lame excuses that they assign to genetics — want to know the secret that distinguishes the pros from themselves. The real “secret” of the fit, the fast and the “talented” is no secret at all; it’s a much harder pill (than genetics) to swallow. And no one will accept it because of what it demands: real commitment in the form of regular, consistent, indefinite practice. And real practice demands devotion.

To read the rest of this article, please click here.

May 27, 2009

Newman and Pema

Newman (left) and Pema (right) riding around town in the back of their ride. They have been dating for six months and plan on marrying sometime next fall.

May 16, 2009

Canadian Alpine Journal - Cassin Ridge and Anchorage to Valdez Ski Traverse, Alaska.

Cassin Ridge and Anchorage - Valdez Ski Traverse.

Off-Piste Mag - Neacola Traverse, Alaska

Gripped - Climbing in Peru's Cordillera Blanca

Climbing in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru.

Gripped - ACMG Guide Article

ACMG Guiding Article

Off-Piste Mag - Classic Canadian Couloirs

Classic Canadian Couloirs

Powder Mag - Tordrillo Ski Traverse Alaska 2008

Tordrillo Ski Traverse, Alaska 2008

High Line Magazine: Smuts and Chester

Skiing the K-Country Classics.

Dance Monkey Dance

My attempt at humor.

May 11, 2009


Camping at Banbury Green.

While the Bow Valley is still getting pummeled by winter's wrath, I've decided to do what I do so best - avoid responsibility - and go climbing. It seems that almost every other climber from Vancouver, Golden and Canmore has decided to do the same.

Nik, Carl and Tasha on another grueling approach.

The Skittler.


If this were Canmore, people would be skating.

Nik and Pablo heckle a lone female whose mate has yet to return from the crag.

May 03, 2009

Stoke Train

On the summit ridge of Bow Peak before 9am.

I am a lazy bastard. If it weren't for some good and motivated friends, I doubt I'd ever leave the house before noon. So when Ali told me a about a line he was stoked to ski, it's no surprise that the first thing I asked was what time he wanted to leave.

"Four a.m.," he said. "And Wexler," he added, "None of your late business. "

I held the phone in stunned silence for a moment as the words tore through me like a knife. My body was rejecting the idea like it would a kidney transplant from a monkey. But I stayed the course, telling myself that sometimes it's best to jump on the stoke train without thinking too much about it. Of course, when the alarm went off at 3 am the next morning, the first thing I did was curse Ali and his frikken stoke train.

Ali approaching Bow Peak. The Funnel of Death is the obvious line up and left from the skier. To read about a descent of the Funnel, click here. We skied the face to the right.

Ali perfecting the art of dragging my ass up cool lines.

Since he was doing such a great job, I let Ali break trail almost the entire day.

Ali burrowing through the summit cornice. Tight, narrow constrictions are his specialty.

Digging out the launch pad. Ali Haeri photo.

Looking down at 900 meters of Rockies cream. Ali Haeri photo.

Choo choo! Ali Haeri photo.

After the perfect day on Bow Peak, I was stoked! Doing the ACMG exams can sometimes take the fun out things, and it felt really good to be cruising around the mountains, getting a little scared (steep faces in the Rockies are always a bit scary), and having only ourselves to answer to.

We took a rest day and came up with a new mission. We were initially thinking about laying tracks down the K-Country classic Smuts, but eventually set our sights on what is possibly the most visible line in the Rockies - The NE Face of Mt. Victoria. For those who don't know, this is the face that overhangs Lake Louise and it is an undeniable fact that more Japanese tourists take photos of this line than any other.

A few months ago, while I was in the thick of slogging around in preparation for the ski exam, I wrote something about wanting to go out and get scared on a big face just to remind myself that I am a skier. Well, I asked for it and I got it.

Smuts Overview.

Ali and Frank The Tank at the Lake Louise parking lot at 5 am. Notice the two cans of Redbull in Ali's grasp. This, combined with an early morning helping of greasy eggs, made for a painfully fast approach.

Approaching Mt. Victoria.

Ali and The Tank below the NE Face of Mt. Victoria.

The Tank and myself during the 5 minutes where I broke trail. Ali Haeri photo.

Looking down the NE Face. Falling on this route would be a terrible thing (which is why, like a coward, I boot-packed most of the way down). Props to Ali and Frank who shredded! Note: we stopped about 150 feet shy of the true South Summit. The angle eased off at this point but the conditions were icy and we were ill-equipped. Perhaps I'll get another chance to redeem myself. Ali Haeri photo.