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.
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;
After summiting Crown Peak we began the descent to the Crown / South Tower col. There were a few anxious moments of wondering what the terrain was going to give us but we managed to avoid all major difficulties by traversing the SW face below the ridge and around any cliff bands that we encountered.
On Saturday, August 24 2013 I took my family for a hike to Taylor Lake in Banff National Park. I've been to the summit of Mount Bell and to Boom Lake a few times but never hiked to Taylor. I'd been warned that the hike is a bit boring but we found ourselves with a few hours and some energy and it was this or Bourgeau Lake. We let the boys vote and they used the stats to pick Taylor...