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It's a been awhile since I've been out with my friend, Ben Nearingburg - great times on Mount King Edward - but he has just completed his incredible 5.5 record push to complete all the 11,000ers in the Canadian Rockies! This is an amazing feat and beats Nancy Hansen's previous record by 2 years. This would already be a helluva thing on its own but Ben made it much more difficult by refusing to use mechanical assistance (i.e. helicopter) for any of these peaks, including the most remote and his last one, Mount Tsar. He even managed to climb another very remote giant and one of only four Rockies peaks over 12,000 feet, twice - Mount Clemenceau. I really don't think most people can understand the level of commitment and pure drive an accomplishment like this takes. 6 or 7 years ago, Ben hadn't even worn crampons as far as I know! He practiced his climbing skills both indoors and out, including a ton of ice climbing last winter to prepare for climbs such as Robson and The Helmet. He made himself into an alpinist through sheer will and drive and practice.

 

All I can say is WOW. Congrats man, you've managed to do something that will be very hard to best, and in a world of very driven and competitive people you're one of the nicest mountain folks I know which makes your accomplishment even sweeter. You can read all about Ben's many incredible climbs and adventures at his website, BenThereClimbedThat.ca.

Jake Smith Peak (Rainy Traverse)

From the summit of Three Lakes Ridge we had a choice to make. Despite the gorgeous weather Phil and I were obviously enjoying, it was already past 14:00 hours and we were a long way from the parking lot. We knew we didn't have time, or possibly the conditions (too snowy) to do Scarpe Mountain and it is best off combined with JSP and RA rather than done on its own.

Three Lakes Ridge (Rainy Traverse)

After approaching the Middlepass Lakes and scrambling up Rainy Ridge it was time to traverse towards the creatively named, "Three Lakes Ridge" - the professional cartographers must have been on holidays when these peaks were monikered. devil Nugara mentions the traverse between Rainy and Three Lakes Ridge as doable but not highly recommended.

Rainy Ridge (Rainy Traverse)

A day after ascending close to 1800 vertical meters and biking / hiking and scrambling almost 30km up and down Mount Coulthard and McLaren in the Crowsnest Pass area, I was back at it with Phil Richards. We were planning a very full day of biking, hiking and peakbagging in the South Rockies within the newly formed Castle Wildland Provincial Park.

Coulthard, Mount

September 2018 was not the best ending to a hiking and scrambling season that I've ever had - not even close. To be blunt, it was pretty crappy and the worst end of season so far for me! frown September is usually my favorite time of year in the Rockies. The combination of clear blue skies (no more wildfires), snow-capped peaks and bright vegetation is usually what keeps me going for the next 5 months of winter. Not this year.

Beehive Mountain

Once our original plans fell through for the weekend of September 7-9 (thanks to forest fire smoke), Phil Richards, Wietse Bijlsma and I had to think fast on Thursday night to come up with an alternate trip that still satisfied on some level. I remember years ago, Wietse telling me about a few peaks in this area including Beehive Mountain, Mount Lyall and Mount Gass.

Mythic Tower, Little (Townsend Traverse)

The only "peak" remaining along the ridge after scrambling up Mount TownsendEpic Tower and Mythic Tower was about as unofficial as a peak can get - "Little Mythic Tower" - so dubbed by Bob Spirko back in July of 2008 while on his scouting trip to find and document the Mythic Towers mentioned by Gillean Daffern in her famous Rockies hiking guide.

Townsend, Mount (Traverse)

My first good look at Mount Townsend was from Cougar Peak earlier in 2018 upon reaching its summit after a fun, early season scramble in mid May with Wietse - and it looked pretty darn impressive! After getting home and doing some research I also became interested in two unofficial peaks next to Townsend along the ridge towards Mount Fable dubbed, "Epic" and "Mythic" towers.

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