With the recent death of Ueli Steck on Nuptse in Nepal, internet forums and Facebook posts are ripe with the old platitudes about "living your dreams" and "no regrets". I agree 100% that Ueli obviously lived his dream and now that he's gone, he obviously has no regrets (that's true for every dead person). Two excellent articles that I came across on the topic of "no regrets" in pursuit of your own dreams, include this one by Andy Kirkpatrick and this one by Will Gadd.
I've been asked many times for a list of my top 10 hikes, backpacking trips, scrambles, climbs and so forth. I thought about it for a bit and decided that it would be best to separate my top 10 lists into several categories, so here goes. Please note that I will update these lists as I continue to find "better" options. ;)
On Saturday, April 22 I finally managed a long time goal of mine - skiing Mount Turner in Banff National Park near the Mount Assiniboine, Bryant Creek and the Spray River area. I knew already for years that Mount Turner could be skied or snowshoed and it was in the plans for nearly every spring over the past 5 years or so.
After a long hiatus from peak bagging and pretty much any activity in the Rockies, other than resort skiing, I was more than ready to join Eric Coulthard on a front range adventure to scout out the Waiparous Creek area of the North Ghost Wilderness on the eastern edge of the Rockies in Don Getty Wildland Provincial Park, between Kananaskis to the south and Ya Ha Tinda to the north.
With avalanche conditions at "considerable" in the alpine, we had several different options for the weekend of January 21 2017. We could ski something below the alpine, go xcountry or resort skiing, or hike something in the front ranges. Dave Salahub had been trying to con Wietse into a day scramble up Zypher Creek Hills (aka Miller Creek Hills) for a few years already.
After a hiatus from the mountains due to motivation issues and cold weather, I decided to return for an easy outing up Wolverine Ridge with a group of friends on Saturday, January 14th. I knew it would be a ridiculously short day, but what the heck! Sometimes all you need is a short break to get the mojo back.
Happy new year! 2017 holds some pretty nice adventures for me, I hope you are busy planning (or doing) your own adventures too this year. There's nothing quite like dreaming about green alpine meadows with sparkling lakes and blooming wildflowers while freezing your a__ off walking to work in January is there? What I want more than anything for this new year is to focus on simply living by living simply.
After summitting Isola in some strong and cold west winds, we turned our attention to Monad Peak, lying to the west and slightly south of Isola. Considering our heavy philosophical discussions of the day, "Monad" is appropriately named after a fascinating Pythagorean world view that was steeped in a cosmology of mathematics where the world is seen as existing solely on the backs of numbers.
Ever since snowshoeing and hiking up Monola Peak in extremely strong winds and a fair amount of snow back in 2012 on November 18th, I had a trip filed away in the back of my mind that would entail both Isola and Monad Peaks to the south and west of Monola.
As part of my long-planned trip up Centre Peak - the highest peak in the Livingstone Range - I always wanted to tag Caudron, it's southerly neighbor, in the same trip. It just seemed to make sense. Given how much work went into planning the route and getting permission from various landowners to drive and hike on their land, it made even more sense.
Ever since reading a pair of trip reports from Brandon Boulier which detailed winter scrambles up both Centre and Caudron Peaks in the Livingstone Range near the Crowsnest Pass in Southern Alberta, I've wanted to do them both as a day trip from the west. Most folks ascend only Centre Peak and they do it from the east side - an easy to moderate, or even difficult scramble, depending on the route chosen.
Table Top is located south of Table Mountain and the two Whistable Peaks are between Table Top and Whistler Mountain. Despite not having official names, we enjoyed the gorgeous views and sublime weather as we sat on top of each of them on our way towards the extremely under whelming apex of Whistler Mountain.
After leaving the summit of Table Top Peak, Wietse and I followed a delightful ridge towards the twin summits of Whistable Peaks. Dave McMurray named the more southerly of the twin peaks, "Eagle Peak" but Wietse and I politely decided to rename it due to a plethora of peaks already named after that majestic bird of prey.
After staring wistfully to the east at the dry terrain around Whistler Mountain the week before while hiking and scrambling the snowy and long Lys Ridge with Phil Richards, I was back near Beaver Mines Lake with Wietse on Saturday, October 29th to try something else in the area.
After scrambling to the summit of West Castle Mountain, Phil Richards and I had a decision to make. Should we continue the long (long!) traverse to the south end of Lys Ridge, or turn back and call it a day?
Sunday, October 23 2016 didn't go quite as planned. Originally Phil Richards and I were planning on scrambling Centre Peak from the west. Both Caudron and Centre Peak are easily ascended from the west, but to get close to them requires driving 9km along a back country road that heads north from just east of the Crowsnest Pass Golf Course off of the Crowsnest Highway. Immediately on turning up this road, we started getting bad vibes.