January 14, 2015

Climbing Cascade Kronenbourg

The view that never gets old at Winter Camp Bugaboos.

Canadian winters are long and cold and no amount of whining is going to change this. So instead of harping on the fact that there is no shirts-off rock climbing anywhere nearby, all a guy can do is head to the hills with sticks on his feet or tools in his hands. 
After spending the last two weeks working on my goggle tan at Camp Bugaboos, I hadn`t even gotten back to Canmore when co-worker and super Mom Lilla M texted to see about climbing during the week off. We made plans to check out Cascade Kronenbourg - an ephemeral ice and rock route by Field, BC. No crowds and relatively mild temps made for a most excellent outing and reminded me of the first time I climbed the route 10 years ago with now famous alpinist Ian Welsted (when is this guy gonna quit facebooking and start a blog!). Unfortunately, the great ice conditions also reminded me that good skiing and good climbing rarely co-exist in the Canadian Rockies.

Approaching the route.

Lilla following the first pitch.

Lilla exhibiting - in the words of Alpine Justice - exquisite `nique.

Scratching... scratching.

Awesome, steep hooking out the roof on the second pitch.

January 12, 2015

Gripped Canadian Climber Blogs 2015

Launching the North Face of the Aiguille de Midi, September 2014.

As winter tightens its icy grip and the warm, fly days of summer fade further into darkness, I thought I'd post a picture from last season in France. The photo was taken by another pilot at launch, and captures the final steps before hucking the abyss of the Midi North Face. It still baffles me that flight is possible (sometimes not) with little more then 2.5 kgs of fabric overhead.

On another note, Gripped just published a list of Canadian Climber Blogs to check out in 2015. If it wasn't for this list, I wouldn't have known that my good friend Paul McSorley even kept a blog. Alpine Justice. Justify your day and check it out!

January 05, 2015

Potrero Chico Climbing 2014

Surfer Rosa at the Surf Bowl, Potrero Chico, Mexico. Drew Smith photo

Just before the CMH Heli Ski season started, I took a trip to Potrero Chico, Mexico. I wanted a quick and inexpensive hit of sun and stone, and Potrero seemed like the place. I went solo and camped at La Posada, and found great partners right away. With cheap camping, cheaper beer, and an infinite amount of climbing within walking distance from the tent, Potrero Chico was a great place to fuel the soul before a long Canadian winter.

The park entrance.

Lucy and Steve fueling up with margaritas before a big day of climbing.

Lowering off at the Surf Bowl.

Post climb tacitos.

Savannah and Drew at the La Posada campground.

Evening beer run.

One of the local hounds.

One of the local arachnids.

Lucy climbing at the Outrage Wall.

The beast is strong but the man is smart.

This fall started feeling like Groundhog Day. Drew Smith photo.