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I like being outside if it's nice out. This includes mountain biking, trail running, sailing, climbing, skiing and much more. If you're going on a fun adventure, let me know!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

September Sail

A nice afternoon of sailing in September on Ben's Catalina 27, Business Time. It's always fun to go out on the water with a few friends to enjoy the sunset. I've been pretty lucky to have two good friends with sailboats to hangout on this year.

DSC_8079 The Captain
The Captain

DSC_8067 Blue Steel
Blue steel


DSC_8013 Enjoying the sunshine



Jessie at the bow taking down the jib sail after a nice short sail

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Marriott Basin Ramblings

Ben, Frances, Meghan, Adam and I spent two days rambling in the Marriott Basin. We left Vancouver late Saturday morning, and drove up to the Duffey Lake road. The hike into the Wendy Thompson hut is quite pleasant, with abundant blueberries along the way. The next day we woke up early and scrambled to the top of Mount Marriott via the friendly south ridge The route gets three stars and a moderate rating in Matt's book. I can't wait to come back here to ski.

DSC_7469 High quality reading material
We were stuck behind construction for almost an hour on the way through Whistler. I guess Saturday afternoon depatures aren't the greatest idea. At least we had something to read, the Fairley's guidebook was at my feet.

DSC_7556 Lower Marriott Lake
The first lake encountered on the hike up to the Wendy Thompson hut. There are numerous other lakes and tarns in the Marriott basin, but this is one of the bigger ones.

DSC_7561 Reflection
Reflection of fall colours in the lower Marriott lake.

DSC_7571 Onions
Meghan preparing ratatouille for dinner. It was a great evening out, hardly any bugs at all.

DSC_7634 Alpine rambling
Frances hiking along in the Marriott basin. We stayed at the Wendy Thompson hut the previous night, and hiked up to the top of Mount Marriott the next morning.

DSC_7672 Headwaters of Spruce Creek
Looks like a beautiful valley to explore

DSC_7705 Cayoosh Mountain
Ben takes panoramic views on the way to Mount Marriott. The north glacier on Cayoosh is suppose to be an amazing ski. Fred and I skied Cayoosh a few years back, but we went down the east side. The views weren't quite as spectacular though, we were in a whiteout

DSC_7768 View West from Mount Marriott
Looking west from the summit of Mount Marriott towards the Place Glacier group.

DSC_7811 Frances
Headwaters of Spruce Creek, and the Cayoosh Range

DSC_7814 Hiking in the Cayoosh Range

DSC_7836 Rambling Terrain
Mount Rohr is the one with some snow left on it, everything else is pretty dry...

DSC_7790 Group Shot
Group shot, Frances stayed behind at the bottom of the south ridge.

DSC_7846 Hiking along the ridge crest
On the way down

DSC_7874  Hiking in the Marriott Basin

DSC_7898 Slabs and Water
We went swimming in that lake, the best way to describe it would be refreshing

DSC_7936 Marriott Basin
The shiny thing at the bottom is the Wendy Thompson hut

Hiking in the Marriott Basin. I like the contrast between the granite slab, and the hilly basin behind.

DSC_7985 Say Cheese
Say Cheese. Group shot outside the Wendy Thompson hut, located in the Marriott basin off the Duffey Lake road.

DSC_7997 Joffre
View towards Joffre from the end of the road

DSC_8003 Splitz Grill
Splitz grill for burgers.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Skaha with Three Rope Guns

Sarah Matt Paul and I went to Skaha over the labour day long weekend, hoping to avoid the torrential rains forecasted for Vancouver and Squamish. In the end it still rained a bit in Penticton, but the amounts were much less. On Saturday we climbed at the Maternal Wall, an awesome crag with steep and long pumpy routes, great fun! On Sunday the weather was more iffy, and we started off warming up at the Diamondback wall in the sun. Soon it started to thunderstorm, and we ran off to Werbworld seeking shelter underneath the overhangs. Werbworld is one of those new crags in Skaha, described in the new routes topo, with a bunch of fun juggy steep routes. The routes aren't that long, but once you're at the top it feels like you've climbed much further. Our last day, Monday, was spent at the Doctor's Wall, and the Blipvert tower. There are some really good (but hard!) routes here. I'll have to come back.

DSC_6986 Banana Bypass
Paul climbing through the pumpy traversing mid-height section on Banana Bypass, 5.11c.

DSC_7067 Dreams be Dreams
Sarah trying to unlock the sequence on Dreams be Dreams, 5.12b. This looked like a rather difficult section pulling the roof, onto crimpy reaching holds for a ways until the next bolt. Sarah bailed.

DSC_7030 Dreams be Dreams
Paul hanging out on Dreams be Dreams, 5.12b. Supposedly one of the best routes of its grades at Skaha, but I never got on it. Looks pretty amazing though.

DSC_7055 Hanging out at the Maternal Wall
We were watching Sarah work Dreams be Dreams, 5.12b.

DSC_7107 Kelly on Dreams be Dreams
Kelly climbing through the cruxy section at the top of this spectacular looking route. Dreams be Dreams, 5.12b

DSC_7117 Dinner
Thai restaurant in Penticton. The panang curry was tasty.

DSC_7197 Sarah belaying at Werbworld
Sarah belaying at Werbworld

DSC_7212 Paul on Strange Brew
Paul working the final overhang on Strange Brew. He didn't get it on this attempt because the jugs up there were wet. But once it dried, it was good!

DSC_7220 Light Duty Power Pack
Sarah starting up the boulderly start on Light Duty Power Pack, 5.11b at Werbworld. The first couple moves are hard, and then its mostly steep jugs.

DSC_7272 Lost in Paradise
Matt cranking the lower roof on Lost in Paradise, 5.11c, at Werbworld. Matt was the only one to flash this one! Probably the best route at the wall.

DSC_7275 Lost in Paradise
Matt cranking on Lost in Paradise, 5.11c, at Werbworld. Matt flashed this one!

DSC_7248 Sunshine!
After raining for about an hour, it cleared up again and it was back to tanktops and sunglasses instead of goretex and toques

DSC_7362 Strange Brew
Paul working on a funky mantel move on Strange Brew, 5.11c at Werbworld.

DSC_7259 Strange Brew
Me climbing through the steep section on Strange Brew, 5.11c at Werbworld. I managed to flash this one, sweet! Photo by Matt.

DSC_7412 Alternative Medicine
Matt on Alternative Medicine, 5.10b at Doctor's Wall. Probably the only warmup here. It was cold that morning.

DSC_7428 Italian Jam Shop
Matt climbing on Italian Jam Shop, 5.12a at the Blipvert Tower. It's an awesome route, starting off on a finger crack, then some steep sustained bulges, and finally a short arete. The routes here are spaced quite closely and cross each other, hence the coloured hangers

Sarah, with her fully loaded backpack walking off to the bus stop.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Old Settler - West Buttress of the South Peak and Summit Traverse

DSC_6433 Sunset Exploration of Logging Roads
Like any good trip, this one began with a set of confusing logging roads.
DSC_6514 Traversing the shoreline of Daiphy Lake

We had a great day of climbing on Old Settler, but let’s not talk about the approach or the leg home. As Bram pointed out, the amount of time spent on bushwacking was much greater than the time spent on scrambling, which was still more than the time spent climbing. The joys of the Coast Mountains. We climbed the West Buttress of the South Peak, one of the top six climbs in southwestern British Columbia according to Don Serl. The buttress is about 400m high, but there’s probably 600m of climbing. The route definitely lived up to the hype, solid olivine-rich rock the entire way up a low-angle buttress, divided by massive ledges. There’s a lot of possible variations on the route, going climber’s left generally made things easier. We simul-climbed the lower two-third, and solo-ed the last third, reaching the summit shortly over two hours.
DSC_6583 Racking up
Chris BL racking up at the base of the west buttress of the south peak of Old Settler

Chris climbing the west buttress

We looked at the time, and decided to try to traverse over to the North Summit and beyond. After some exposed downclimbing and then some enjoyable 4th class sections, we reached the main central summit with the helicopter pad on it. It’s quite confusing looking at the numerous peaks on Old Settler, there’s the North Peak, the three Central Peaks, and the South Peak.

Chris waiting his turn on the 4th class section up to the Central peak

Summit shot

After scrambling up all the Central Peaks, we crossed the contact zone, a massive yellow band of loose rock and dirt and continued onwards to the highest North Peak. With the smoky haze, it was pretty hard to see anything. We could barely see nearby Urquhart peak, and only the top of most other peaks. We didn’t make it very far down the northwest ridge, probably just less than halfway to the highpoint at the end of the ridge. The rock quality was deteriorating to some kind of friable metamorphic igneous rock, we were running low on water, and the days were getting shorter.

DSC_6800 Heelhooking madness

On the northwest ridge
DSC_6826 Ridge rambling

Hoping to avoid an epic, we turned around, climbed back up to the North peak, and back down to the contact zone. It wasn’t very much fun descending the chossy contact zone, at least it’s mostly traversing so you can’t quite impale your partners with rocks. Daiphy lake taunted us the whole time down the scree descent. We were running low on time, but went swimming in the lake anyways. The blueberries, huckleberries, and thimbleberries were delicious and abundant, above the forest, making it difficult to leave. The last couple kilometers of the road are heavily overgrown with slide alder. It’s not much fun thrashing through it by headlamp, unless it’s set to strobe mode. Try it next time, it might just keep you entertained enough to tolerate missing the correct turnoff.

The upper half of the west buttress of the south peak of Old Settler.

DSC_6860 Hiking around boulders

For future reference, the road is no longer drivable past the 8.6km spur (distance based on Matt’s book) There’s a few sections on the road going past rockfall, including one steep section. You would probably want a high clearance vehicle with a bit of power to get through that. Trust me, hiking the road isn’t fun.