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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.

Boundary Peak (Porcupine Loop)

Boundary Peak was the highest point on Wietse and my 21km, 1700m+, 10.5 hour Porcupine Loop traverse. As we started the seemingly long trek from Crown Peak towards Boundary Ridge, we were starting to realize that this is a pretty big day - especially for a bunch of front range, unofficial summits. It was also a gorgeous day. Perfect for ridge hiking in every way. No wind. Not too hot. Great views.

Crown Peak (Porcupine Loop)

"Crown Peak" is probably the most questionable summit that Wietse and I claimed on our fantastic Porcupine Loop scramble on May 19, 2018. I got the name off the Gaia base map I used to plan our trip. The reason we claimed it is simple. It's a LONG way from the road, it's higher than anything we stood on up to that point and it's distinct enough from its neighboring peaks to justify with its own page. YMMV - it's the Internet - we all get an opinion! cheeky

Porcupine Tower (Porcupine Loop)

After enjoying the summit of Porcupine Ridge, Wietse and I turned our attention towards it's extension summit - Porcupine Tower. I have to admit, things get a bit interesting as far as naming and claiming summits, especially on long ridge traverses such as the Porcupine Loop. Wietse and I spent more than one occasion chuckling at the fact that likely NONE of the "summits" on this loop are official.

Mann, Mount (The Battleship)

Some people might wonder why I even bother with these front range, tiny bumps and hills. Am I relentlessly obsessed with summits, no matter their size or import? Do I love hiking up grassy, forested ridges? Would I rather hike up a grassy, treed bump in the front ranges than go for yet another walk in the concrete jungle of my neighborhood back in YYC? Yes.

Rhondda, Mount

Most of my Wapta summits have had brilliant blue skies and views to die for. Mount Rhondda was not one of those peaks. When I first ascended it back in April of 2007 we had very windy conditions with limited views. I set out to rectify this injustice on Thursday, April 26 2018 on a brilliantly sunny and warm Spring day. I was joined by Liz and Alison, both of whom had not done this central icefields peak before.

Exshaw Mountain

You know it's been a long winter when Phil and I go up a treed bump with no summit views after work in April. To be fair it was 13 degrees outside as we parked near the municipal building in the small hamlet of Exshaw. Kids were roaming the streets playing their after school games and the sounds of birds chirping over top of happy kids, playing in the warm afternoon sunshine was very pleasant.

East Ridge of Panorama Ridge

After skiing to the summit of Mount Field the day before, I was ready to enjoy another perfect winter day on skis before returning back to the drudgery of another work week in the concrete jungle. Since I haven't been out much on the snow sticks this winter, I was certainly feeling a bit stiff the evening before! Despite Daylight Savings Time screwing with my internal clock, I managed to stagger out of bed and point my truck in the right direction on Sunday morning.

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