The other day on the news I saw a story on a company called what3words that I found fascinating. To make a long story short - (check out their site for more details), they have come up with a way to name every square 3m of the planet using 3 word, simple but unique addresses in multiple languages. As with most great ideas, it's an extremely simple mapping between the 3 word address and GPS coordinates. For example, here's the w3w address for Mount Assiniboine: . For anyone who travels regularly off the grid, this is a fantastic new and intuitive way to give very precise coordinates in trip reports etc. Instead of handing out meaningless GPS coordinates which are difficult to translate into a real location, give out the three word address and you're good to go! I've added a field for this address in the map section of my trip reports.
On Sunday, January 24, 2016 I was joined by Mike Mitchell for a long ski tour up Unity Peak in the Skoki region of Banff National Park near Lake Louise. Due to a 'considerable' avalanche rating, specifically around ridges and wind loaded, faceted slopes, we had to be very choosey with our choice of ski tour.
Happy new year 2016 to all my friends and explor8ion.com visitors! Normally I don't give a shout out to the new year, but I am reworking and rejuvenating much of explor8ion and would like to call your attention to all my hard work.
Originally I was planning to attempt skiing Little Galatea, an outlier of the much larger Mount Galatea. After Matt Clay posted that he and Matt Hobbs had recently spent a considerable amount of energy breaking trail through sugar-snow to the upper ridge, I couldn't resist taking advantage of this on my 'shoes, and I got to spend another day in the hills with my family out of the deal.
Despite a very chilly forecast, Wietse, Bill and I decided that we'd brave the -20 degree temps near Sunshine Village in Banff National Park to give the Monarch Ramparts a go on our skis. Wietse and I had been up Healy Pass Peak almost exactly 2 years previous and at that time we'd gone up the north end of the Monarch Ramparts, but not far enough to claim the summit which lies towards its south end.
With all the incredible advances in smart phone technology over the past few years, there are two in particular that have caught my eye. The first is the GPS capabilities that have been standard for a while now and which I'm currently experimenting with and have blogged about as well.
The weather in mid October 2015 was sublime. So sublime, in fact, that with the weekend fast approaching, I found myself invited on a number of trips that would normally be done in the summer - certainly not in the last half of October! Phil and I have been on a bit of a roll the past month, so it seemed appropriate to continue on it that vibe.
On Friday, October 09 2015 Phil Richards and I decided that we should do a "pre-turkey" workout. Well, actually only I decided that, since Phil doesn't eat turkey, but you get the point. Originally the weather was looking perfect. Naturally, as the day approached the weather deteriorated a bit but still looked reasonable enough to make the effort.
I'll admit it. By the end of September 2015 I was getting a wee bit desperate to finally see some fully turned larches. Despite getting out a lot in the middle of the month, especially to Waterton Lakes National Park, I'd yet to run into the full fall golden goodness of larch heaven that I've come to crave at the end of each scrambling / hiking season in the Alberta Rockies.