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.
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.
Saturday afternoon, once we moved bivy sites from the South Glacier to the east one, Steven came over and expressed some concern at the obvious giant, open 'schrund splitting the whole south face of the upper glacier on Prince Albert. Initially I dismissed his concerns thinking of how easily we avoided similar issues on King George's South Glacier.
After descending the glacier and loose scree of King George's upper mountain, we realized that with a whole afternoon still ahead of us and perfect weather, we should attempt a scramble of Mount Princess Mary. After all, there was no way we were slogging all the way back here again - no matter how beautiful it was! ;)
The first ascent of King George was in 1919. The second ascent wasn't until 52 years later in 1970! I'm sure this mostly has to do with the demanding and remote approach rather than the climb itself. There are enough possible routes and interesting lines on this mountain that I'm sure if the approach was easier and more accessible there would be many more ascents than there is today.
On Sunday, August 3 2014, I took my family on a day hike that I'd wanted to do for a long time already - Picklejar Lakes. There are a couple of scrambles in the area but I was fairly certain that I wouldn't be doing those - I'd save them for another day. Lineham Ridge and "Picklejar Peak" (a GR nearby).
On the longest day of 2014 Ben, Steven and I hiked into the Aster Lake region to attempt the 11,000er in the region, Mount Joffre. We've been planning this one since May, so it started out as a ski trip and ended up as a snowshoe trip due to the lateness of the attempt. Snowshoes just might be the way to go for this one as it couldn't have gone any better than what we experienced.