Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Local tourists...

That's what Todd and I were today! We woke up to some serious RAIN in Canmore this morning, and even though the weather channel made it look like it was socked in all the way to Jasper, we decided to drive back to Red Deer via the Columbia Icefields anyhow. It was well worth the effort! The skies didn't completely clear off, but we did manage to outrun the precipitation. We stopped at a few viewpoints along the way, including the Icefields Interpretive Centre, and then we had a great visit in Rocky Mountain House with our (long lost!) friend Ken and his new bride Mercy.
It was the perfect day to be tourists in our 'own back yard'! Yeah Rockies!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rum, cheezies, and The Family Guy...

Ha ha!! Those are the exact words uttered by Todd this evening, beverage and snack bowl in hand, after a nice mellow day at Grassi Lakes. He and a couple of other friends had a great weekend of climbing (while I worked!! UGH!!), and today we took it easy - as the pictures clearly show! Excellent belay stance, Todd!! Yeah!!
Tomorrow we're heading to the Columbia Icefields, to enjoy a hike to Wilcox Pass. We may even scramble right to the top of Mt Wilcox itself - we'll see how our timeline is, since we have to be back in Red Deer tomorrow night.
Now, I'm off to enjoy nature's light show: a beautiful thunderstorm and some much needed rain has rolled in. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What did the fish say...

...when he swam into a cement wall?

Answer: "Dam!"

Hee hee!! My little buddy Erik told me that joke, and I thought it was too funny not to share! Erik and his family were in Canmore this past couple of days, and yesterday we made it out to Coral Crag for an outstanding day on limestone slab! What a gem that place is, I tell you! The routes are moderate to moderate-plus in difficulty (meaning mostly in the 10c to 11d range), and they are all very well bolted and were all extremely fun! We pedalled from the Upper Bankhead parking area at Lake Minnewanka, down to Cascade River - a ride on which 5-year-old Erik and his 9-year-old sister Haley did fantastic! Then we stashed our bikes and hiked into the crag, where we climbed, played in the creek, and had a super time!
Today I'm heading back to Red Deer for a few days, then I'll be in Canmore again for a few days, and so on and so on, for the next three weeks. I hope this amazing summer weather continues, because I have a number of things on my 'to do' list and they all involve the great outdoors!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Something old, something new...

Old: my bike!! New: Coral Crag!! The Mobergs and I are going to ride down the Cascade Fire road and check out a slabby little wall called Coral Crag tomorrow. You may remember this from a previous post... Sonja, Todd and I got about 30 feet from the parking lot last time, and Todd had a blowout (on his bike, that is!!)... so I haven't actually been there yet! Hopefully tomorrow we'll have better luck?
The weather has been totally co-operating - in the words of meteorologist-in-the-making-Erik: sun...sun...sun...sun...sun...sun across the whole page! Yeah!! It will be awesome to spend the day with super friends and try out a new climbing area!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Day in the Woods

What an amazingly great day yesterday was! Todd and I went up to Bourgeau Lake. Then on to Harvey Lake and Harvey Pass. And then low and behold if we didn't head right on up to the summit of Mt Bourgeau! What a hike! It wasn't a blue-sky day by any means, but it did not rain either, and the temps were absolutely perfect - since +14C is a much more pleasant temperature in which to exert one's self for over 8 hours, than say, +24C. As well, we left late enough (11am) that the heavy clouds had lifted by the time we arrived at the meadows which surround the lake, so we had very nice views.
The trail is long, but it is super easy... and the scenery above Bourgeau Lake is absolutely fantastic! So if you decide to go, definitely make a day of it and at the very least hit Harvey Pass. You won't be disappointed!

Time (car to car): 8-1/2 hrs
Distance: ~24km to summit and back
Elevation gain: ~1500m to summit

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hiking here, hiking there...

This past weekend was fabulous! What a way to end a stretch of days off, I tell ya. We didn't attempt either of the scrambles we had discussed, but on Friday, Todd and I did get out for a quick burn up to Stoney Squaw Summit at Mount Norquay - it is a really nice little trail, we did it in sandals even! Saturday was pretty casual; it included some sleeping in, followed by a serious ant infestation takedown, lunch at the Iron Goat, and then watching the movie Star Trek! Today, we drove out to Castle Junction and hiked into Rockbound Lake (not in sandals! it's almost 20K round trip) then zipped up to Silverton Falls on our way out. The weather held out and we had an excellent day.
**SIGH** And, the time has now come to head back to Red Deer for a few days of work. But that's okay... it makes me appreciate my time NOT spent at work, all that much more!! Yeah!!

Rockbound Lake & Silverton Falls
Time (car to car): 5 hrs
Distance: ~20km to Rockbound Lake, Silverton Falls and back
Elevation gain: 850m (including the falls)

Stoney Squaw Summit
Time (car to car): 1-1/4 hrs
Distance: ~5km
Elevation Gain: 185m

Friday, July 3, 2009

Time not spent at work...

Yesterday we had a great time at Cougar Creek! Brad and Sonja joined the Mobergs, Todd and me for an awesome day on the rock. We hung out mostly in the cool Cosmology Crag area. Ruby is climbing STRONG and she led some fantastic routes for Sonja and me to enjoy - thanks Ruby!! Brad and Dustin got on some harder stuff, and Todd's shoulder is bothering him so he didn't "climb" exactly... but he did bring his route-building gear and started on a new route across the creek from where the rest of us were playing. I got the... thrill???... of bashing my way up through the choss and moss for a 'first ascent' of the route... although it was mostly a dirt-fest, destruct-o, knock-down-the-loose-shite type of ascent... but fun none the less!! Some small, reachy edges get you up to a super neat corner, followed by lots of blocky goodness leading to a stretched out move which must be made over the tough lip to the chains... it starts out crazy, then it seems like you have it under control, but then it gets away on you again all of a sudden... so I named it Acetylene Reaction (if you know where I work, you'll get it).
Today I may meet up with my good friend Jody for an afternoon session at Grassi, then tonite we look forward to more visiting with fab peeps! The weekend will probably be nuts at the local crags, so Todd and I have talked about a few scrambles we are going to attempt - one of the Sisters and Grotto, perhaps. We'll see how it goes!