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.
On Saturday, January 18 2014 I was joined by a gaggle of friends for a snowshoe trip under an extremely warm, winter sun. Due to high avalanche risks all over the Rockies (all the way to the coast actually), we decided on a relatively low angle and hopefully snow free ascent. We scored on one of our objectives at least...
Since acquiring my Sony A7R in early December, I've had the opportunity to try out and build up an assortment of lenses and techniques that work for me. I'm still very much in the figuring it all out stage but thought I'd give an update now, considering the camera is still fairly new and there seems to be a lot of interest in it at this time.
As indicated by the government of BC on the Elk Lakes Provincial Park website, there is a closure on the trail from the Lower Elk lake to the Upper Elk lake. Since one of the main reasons for visiting Elk Lakes Provincial Park is to do this excellent and very scenic hike (summer or winter), I thought I'd post a 'live' update and some photos for you.
You know it's not a very interesting trip when it takes me a few weeks to write it and the main photo is from the drive to the trailhead... :) Honestly, there isn't much to recommend the snowshoe trip up the North Ridge of Mount Buller, other than a decent view from the top and some good sweating (and swearing?!) on the way up.
Just before Christmas 2013, our family did a 3 day, 2 night snowshoe trip into the Elk Lakes ACC hut in Elk Lakes Provincial Park, BC. In August 2012 I took the kids on a backpacking trip to the hut but we'd never visited in the winter before.
From a recent post on ClubTread I was made aware of a land use plan for basically the bottom 1/4 of the province of Alberta that we should all be voicing our opinions on, regardless of what we love about the great outdoors we have in Canada and Alberta.
On Saturday, December 14 2013 Wietse and I continued a tradition of going to the Healy Pass area one week prior to a hut ski trip. A year previous we also skied the pass on a grey and unassuming day and this day wouldn't be much different.
Mark Klassen, TJ Neault and Chic Scott just completed an update to the old Murray Toft Wapta & Bow Summit ski map. I have received my copy and it's a great resource for anyone planning to ski or climb any of the Wapta peaks or Bow Summit area mountains including (but not limited to),
**Updated October 18 2013**
Sony has done it again! I don't normally get very excited about camera gear (yeah right) but this time I will be blogging about my experience with the new Sony NEX full frame, mirrorless camera system, as I have one on pre-order already.
What's the big deal? Well, among many other things;