Well, the fall recreation season draws to a close as I must return to work up north. This year I am returning to Encana to search for oil and gas. They have a huge project on the go just a few hours north of Canmore so I will be there for the next few months doing initial survey work.
As I reflect on my rec time, this was the best year I’ve had in the mountains. The endless training I’ve undertaken is paying dividends. In the last year I got my AST2 certification, my crevasse rescue certification, I did the Wapta Traverse, two 11 thousanders, the Seven Summits, the 12 hour Canmore Triple Crown, the Spray Grind as well as a dozen other summits. I finally feel like I’m in what I call “Canmore shape.” There’s being in shape, and then there’s Canmore shape!
The next few months will be long cold days of hard work with the reward at the end being some hard won time to do some more winter ascents and traverses. My regular touring group has been broken apart this winter. Hugo is getting his electrician apprenticeship, Peggy is giving birth(!) and Emil is out west exploring the Coast Mountains. Our big trip for the year takes place in the end of April when stability allows some ascents that are not possible the rest of the year and Emil insists he will come back for that trip which we are in the beginning stages of planning.
I want to make an attempt on Mt Columbia/ North and South Twin/ Mt Kitchner up on the Columbia icefields. Randy says he doesn’t want to spend 8 days huddled in a tent because of non-stop blizzard! (most climbers fail several times here because of this. It is on the roof of the world and generally engulfed in a weather bomb) If they don’t want to try it I may end up organizing a Columbia trip through the Alpine Club of Canada if I can find the right people.
Last week, Randy and I went out with a potential touring partner recruit. We climbed up Mt Jimmy Simpson with a mind to ski down its north face. Unfortunately there seemed to be a miscommunication about his skiing ability. His skill level at resorts did not translate to the wilds very well and the deep, untouched snow caused him great difficulties. Above: leaving the highway.
Luckily it was a beautiful day so I didn’t mind spending the bulk of the descent routefinding the easiest possible way to for him to get down! Above: Randy and I probing around near the top of Mt Jimmy Simpson looking at snow stability before making our descent.
Around the house, we put up Christmas lights for the first time. Suz got the ball rolling buy buying the lights and I did some of the creative direction by recreating iconic Canmore mountains, The Three Sisters in christmas lights. I was quite proud of them when I put them up but now see too many flaws in the geometry!