May 19, 2016

Canadian Rockies Paragliding

The inaugural launch of the Canadian Rockies Annual. This is an awesome project spearheaded by Meghan Ward and Dee Medcalf. Check it out!

This is an article I wrote about paragliding in Jasper National Park. The park was closed to flight until May 2015 but is now open to paragliding.

The article opens with some history about para-alpinism, then goes on to talk about how it was re-introduced to Jasper National Park and finally about a flight from the summit of Mt. Athabasca.

Unfortunately, there were no photos used from the actual flight from Mt. Athabasca but there were some nice shots from mountain flying in France. Thanks to Dylan Taylor for this shot!

May 15, 2016

Behind The Scenes On A Jimmy Chin Film Shoot

Shooting above the Conrad Glacier, Purcell Mountains, BC. Keep an eye on that extendable fluffy mic!

Early this spring, I got a note from Jimmy C about doing safety on a film shoot in the Bugaboos. Having worked together on two previous projects, I knew that even though he said it would be mellow, in reality it would be anything but. In 2011, we worked together on a ski / base shoot in Baffin Island for Pirelli Tires. Two years later, in 2013, we worked on the Central Howser Tower in the Bugaboos on a project for Apple. Both these projects were involved and I had no reason to believe that this one would be any different. Despite my best efforts to not be available for this project, I eventually caved. Luckily, I managed to convince Gery U, aka the Wolverine, to join the team. I figured that with the Wolverine in tow, there'd be no shortage of smokes and jokes. One day after finishing a two week shift at CMH, Gery and I were back in Golden and ready for the maelstrom - " a situation or state of confused movement or violent turmoil." 


A photo from the Baffin Island Shoot in 2011 featuring Jesse Hall, Timy Dutton, and JT Holmes.

A photo from the 2013 shoot in the Bugaboos.

The Guardian B2 and the camera operator.

Flying in the Bugaboos tenure, hoping to touch down on Brenta Spire. The clouds and slightly inclement weather kept things interesting. We managed to put Jimmy and Mikey S on the tower but had to pull them off quickly as the weather looked to be closing in. If it weren't for the weather, shooting in the mountains would be easy!

More shooting above the Conrad. If you look close, you should be able to see Jim's extendable fluffy mic.

Other than the fluffy mic, this photo is notable because of the camera man on the near left. This is Josh Helling. Josh was also a part of the Baffin shoot and has spent more time on big, remote walls than just about anybody ever.

And of course, here is the Wolverine with his interminable stoke.

Fluffy mic in action.

After a few days of whirlwind activity, the weather closed in and we had a down day. Since we were based at the base of Kicking Horse, the crew pumped a lap up at the hill. Here's Gery and Jimmy and we are all about one mile behind Marcus W who was breaking trail and training for the Patrol de Glaciers.

Gery's stoke may seem high by Canadian standards but it is totally normal by Austrian standards.

Fluffy mic and a relaxed Gery on the last day of the shoot. These two really bonded. 

Jimmy climbing under the fluffy mic.

The boss is stoked! After a tough start to the week and lots of funky weather, we were able to get all the necessary shots on the final day. 

The day started off with Jimmy and Mikey S back on Brenta Spire in the Bugaboos and ended on the other side of the Purcells in the Bobbie Burns tenure. After six days of frenetic activity, I was looking forward to getting back to the mellow pace of production heli-skiing. Thanks to the whole crew for the good times!

January 28, 2016

Fall and Winter Climbing at the Red and Potrero Chico

Margot's highly evolved fingernails actually change color depending on her mood. Here she is en-route to demolishing an honest-to-god Mexican Burger. 

Over the past few months, Margot and I made a few short trips to some classic sport climbing destinations. Making use of some gaps in the schedule, we were able to pull off two two-week trips to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky and Potrero Chico in Mexico. We kept the trips as low-budget as possible while still maintaining a good sense of hygiene. In the Red, this meant avoiding the feral pit of Miguel's and spending an extra $3 / night to camp at the ever pastoral Lago Lindas. In Potrero Chico, it meant camping amongst the XMAS hordes at La Posada. Who says that alpine climbers are the only ones who suffer?

This is what suffering for $7 / night looks like in Potrero Chico... 

And this is what $5 / night will get you at Lago Lindas in Kentucky. 

Just because you're in Mexico doesn't mean you can't celebrate the spirit of the Lord!

My favorite climbing trips are ones where I can walk everywhere. In Potrero, the camping is only minutes away from the climbing and there are numerous places to rehydrate after a sweaty day at the crags. 

Classic fall day climbing at the Red River Gorge.

Tracy W just givner in fading light at Muir Valley.

Onsighting is a healthy mix of luck, intuition and staying power. Or so I'm told. This was my hardest flash of the trip, a soft 12C at the Red called Belly of the Beast. It was a real surprise after falling off all the 5.11 warm-ups. Thanks Christina B for the photo!

Climbing Wildfire at the Curbside crag. Thanks Christina B for the photo and Jeff for the beta.

Our mountain of gak in Mexico included: blankets, pillows, 2 tents (one for gear and one for us), tons of snacks and coffee, lavish ground pads and a newly purchased ARMAID

Red nails mean: "I'm working while you're taking photos."

Preparing for a solid rogering at the Surf Bowl, Potrero Chico.

Day 1 and already things are getting loose.

I managed to send Surfer Rosa on the last burn of 2015 and avoided taking this whipper for the umpteenth time.