So far 2017 has been a great year for me. Despite all the smoke ruining views for people all over the Rockies, I've been pretty fortunate with views when I really wanted them. This year was all about ticking off peaks and trips that have been on my radar for many years now. This includes (but isn't limited to);
Every time I drove home from the mountains along the Trans Canada highway, I wondered how easy this little bump would be to ascend. It's certainly prominent enough to warrant a name, but it doesn't have an official one as far as I know. Sonny and Raf are two friends who have done it. Raf assured me that it would be a nice short day - something I could do with my family.
On Saturday, May 23 2015 Raf and I decided we were in the mood for an easy scramble. We settled on Waputik Peak on the border of Banff and Yoho National Parks after Raf assured me that the slopes looked dry already a week ago. I couldn't believe there was that little snow already near the divide - but he was right.
Chickadee Peak has been on my radar ever since seeing Raf's trip report on it. Back when Wietse and I did Boom Mountain, I remember looking at all the skiable terrain further up the Chickadee Valley and wondering if there were any other peaks we could ski in the area. Well, it turns out that there is!
On Sunday, April 19th we awoke in -15 degrees feeling pretty darn good with ourselves. The previous day we'd skied into our camp beneath Mount Columbia and even managed to ascend the peak before collapsing into our sleeping bags after a long and hard 17 hour day.
Colin Haley is an elite alpinist based out of Seattle. He uses words like "easy" and "solo" when talking about Robson's Emperor Ridge (although to be fair he did end up bailing and descending the west face on a 60m 5.5mm rope with a scary rappel incident).
Josh Wharton is an elite alpinist from Rifle, Colorado who has done big, bad ascents all over the globe. In 2011 he finally turned his attention to the Canadian Rockies, not expecting very much. He got a good taste of how badass / good they are and came back in 2012 for some serious climbs.
The wind was forecast to be strong all over the Rockies on Sunday, March 29, 2015. The forecasts were right. I woke several times in the Bighorn Campground near Ya Ha Tinda by the sounds of a gusty west wind. When the alarm went off at 04:00 it was still gusting pretty strong but at least the sky over us was clear and the air temperate was quite warm at around 5 degrees Celsius.
It wasn't looking good as I sat in the Tim Horton's in Sundre on Saturday, March 28 2015. It was around 11 in the morning and it was pouring outside! Not just a mist, but a full on down pour. I was waiting for Steven and Ben to arrive from Edmonton before we continued our drive to the Bighorn Campground in the Ya Ha Tinda area of the front ranges.