With the recent death of Ueli Steck on Nuptse in Nepal, internet forums and Facebook posts are ripe with the old platitudes about "living your dreams" and "no regrets". I agree 100% that Ueli obviously lived his dream and now that he's gone, he obviously has no regrets (that's true for every dead person). Two excellent articles that I came across on the topic of "no regrets" in pursuit of your own dreams, include this one by Andy Kirkpatrick and this one by Will Gadd.
I don't like to advertise my age, but suffice it to say that I'm getting to that point in life where I no longer throw things in my pack "just in case" I might need them. ;) My knees / back and shoulders have taken quite the beating over the past decade and after hundreds of Rocky Mountain summits, many canoe trips and thousands of kilometers of walking and skiing with everything from light day packs to huge expedition sized (90+ litre) back packs overflowing with gear.
When I heard there was a major winter storm coming down through Calgary and the Rockies to the west on Sunday, November 9th I decided that as much as I didn't feel like getting up early on Saturday the 8th - I should probably try to make it a priority before the deep freeze. One last warm fall hike / scramble in 2014!
We had lots of time left after completing the summits of Warre and Vavasour so Kaycie and I decided to descend the south ridge of Vavasour towards Mount Leval. Kaycie had some large blisters and was done peak bagging so we also decided that she would stop on the ridge in a safe, wind-protected area to read her e-book while I continued down and then up to Leval on my own.
After scrambling up Mount Warre on a gorgeous last Saturday of summer 2014, Kaycie and I turned our sights on Mount Vavasour, the higher of the two peaks standing sentry over our beautiful bivy site beside Warre Pond far below.
Early on Saturday, September 6th 2014 we awoke to a star-filled sky and made preparations for our climb. There was talk of adding Mushroom Peak into the mix if there was enough time but we didn't fully expect that this would happen. I've never heard of anyone combining these three peaks in one day and I know for a fact that nobody has ever done Little Alberta and then Woolley / Diadem AND Mushroom Peak the very next day.
For my last weekend off at the end of the summer holidays, I was joined by Ben and Steven for a shot at some peaks in the Woolley / Diadem area just north of the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park. Obviously Woolley and Diadem were the main objectives for us, but we also had some other summits in mind - naturally!! :)
I had the whole week of September 1-7 off, but ended up working a couple of days on Tues / Wed due to bad weather. By Thursday I was ready to resume my break. Steven, Ben and I had plans for Fri-Sun so I had an extra day to do something myself. Originally I had a peak in mind but after thinking about it I decided to hike into the Woolley / Diadem bivy area by myself on Thursday and spend an extra night just chilling and reading or taking photos at one of the best bivy sites in the Rockies.