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.
Ever since skiing up Vermillion with Scott a few years ago, I wanted to go back for Mount Haffner. The Vermillion burn area makes for some great tree skiing in the right conditions and the no-nonsense approach from hwy 93 makes both of these peaks repeatable - something which I rarely admit to!
So, how do you take a great photograph? That's a great question!! Depending on the subject and your definition of a great photograph, this will be different for you and I. I'm mainly a landscape photographer, and I seriously hesitate to call myself a "photographer" at all. The saying that the more you know, the less competent you feel definitely applies to me and photography!
After summitting Big Bend Peak (BBP), we decided that the day was much too beautiful to simply head back to the hostel already. Why not bag Mount Saskatchewan Junior (MSJ) while we were in the vicinity right? Peak baggers can be dumb like that.