August 15, 2009

If It Looks Like Winter...

Somewhere along my travels, I came across the expression, "If it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, who cares if it used to be a chicken," (perhaps you've heard this saying too if you've ever travelled through SE Asia), and I guess that being in the cold and snowy Rockies right now is putting those words at the front of my thoughts. Technically it's summer, but when I go outside and see fresh snow on the peaks, it can be hard to believe. So in honor of a summer that's starting to look a lot like winter, here's a righteous trailer from Sweetgrass Productions.

August 14, 2009

Guiding in the Canadian Rockies

Guiding in the Canadian Rockies is a really mixed bag. From walking around on flat glaciers to climbing ladders, is there anything we don't have? Here we see Tom G demonstrating excellent Via Ferrata technique. Notice the 3 points of contact.

Guide Training. Repeat after me, "This is my rope. There are many like it but this one is mine. My rope is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my rope is useless. Without my rope I am useless. I must coil my rope true. I must coil it faster than my client, who is trying to kill me. I must rescue him before he kills us both. I will. Before God I swear this creed."

Descending from the summit of the The President in the Little Yoho Valley.

Descending the President Glacier

Hiking out along the Iceline Trail with Takkakaw Falls raging in the background.

Entering the crux pitch on Highlander. Of course, no guiding season in the Rockies is complete without atleast one unsettling ascent on Yam.


August 06, 2009


Germanic precision.

Turns out this is a hoax. Dammit! Am I gullible for believing in this guys ability to fly 150 feet through the air and land in a kiddie pool? Was I gullible to believe that Tomo Cesen soled Lhotse's South Face way back when? Or that Michael Reardon soloed Romantic Warrior? I like to think it has more to do with believing in the absurd and improbable but who knows.

August 04, 2009

Classic Canadian Rockies Ascents

Descending Mt. Athabasca on the Icefields Parkway.

A few photos from 4 days guiding between the Wapta Icefields and Mt. Athabasca. Conditions were generally excellent and the weather was fine. Unfortunately, the monsoon arrived immediately after the work ended, crushing all hopes of personal climbing. I guess that's how it goes in the Canadian Rockies where we are famous for having 10 months of winter and 2 months of bad skiing.

Approaching the Ramp Route on Mt. Athabasca.

Early in the AM on Athabasca.

Colonel Paddy J leading a rope team on Athabasca.

The guy sneaking out of a hole at the back of the rope has actually been living in a crevasse for a few years and occasionally crawls out of his nook to join passing rope teams en-route to the summit.

Shadowman on the summit of Athabasca.

Descending the Ramp Route on Mt. Athabasca.

Descending below the Silverhorn.

Heading down the lower glacier with the Icefields Parkway far below.

Our big group on the last day of a mini Wapta Traverse from Bow to Peyto.

Group meeting on the lower Peyto Glacier.