Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Father's Day 2018 - Barrier Lake Lookout

For Father's Day, we took my photo averse father-in-law on a hike up to the Barrier Lake Lookout, with a total elevation gain of about 515m or so. Considering his age, he kicked ass up this minor peak. He didn't want to be in any of the summit photos, so all I got was a surreptitiously taken shot of him with Anita as they rounded past the first viewpoint with Mt. Baldy in the background.

Quick quirky story about dad-in-law: he has this inexplicable love for a terrible Chinese buffet not far from our place. Of all the delicious restaurants we could have taken him that night, he wanted this buffet. Imagine if someone asked you for your favourite sushi joint, and you said you like it fresh from the gas station. Queue the instant furrowed brows, and looks of judgement from your friends.

Anyways, I don't know where I'm going with this... so enjoy the couple quick photos from the hike, and a wolverine pelt we saw on display.

Father's Day at Barrier Lake-4

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A wolverine pelt! Yes, wolverines are real. They're also occasionally known as Hugh Jackmans. True story.

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Father's day Gin Saison. I wish I could claim to have bought this for the father-in-law, but he doesn't drink. So I'll drink it on his behalf.

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Asian Weirdo (me)

Funny bus story for you. Anita and I ride the same bus route every day, and there's this asian dude that often catches the same bus as us. He sort of reminds us of John Cho (Harold from the Harold and Kumar movies), so we've always assumed he was Korean. Well today, after work, I was standing next to him on the bus home, and he had his tunes turned up so that I could almost hear the music from his earbuds. I thought I recognized the opening bars from the theme song to this obscure Chinese fantasy soap opera series from the 80's that absolutely NO ONE other than Anita and I remember from our youth. I LOVED the show, and the theme song. So naturally, I needed to confirm if in fact he was listening to this song, when I started leaning my head in a bit closer... and then even a bit closer, just to be really sure. At some point, I must have crossed the threshold of social acceptability, and he backed off with that "WTF ARE YOU DOING, WEIRDO" look on his face as I invaded his personal space. :)

Of course, I figured it would be more acceptable to just come across as a weirdo than try to explain, "Hey random guy on bus, is that song that's playing just loud enough for me to maybe recognize, the theme some from super obscure 80's Hong Kong fantasy soap opera?" So now I'm always going to be weird awkward man in his books forever more. I'm fine with that. At least I confirmed that he WAS in fact listening to that Chinese theme song, and when I texted Anita to let her know, her response was, "I thought he was Korean?!"

Anyways, we didn't get out to the mountains this weekend, so instead of summit photos, I thought I'd share some photos from our visit to China a couple years ago where we thru hiked a couple sections of the Great Wall. We started at Gubeikou, a largely unrestored section of the wall, and hiked for about 4 hours connecting up to the Jinshanling section that is restored to look like the imposing castle rampart style you immediately imagine when someone says 'Great Wall of China.'

These sections of the wall were a bit further away from Beijing than some of the more tourist visited spots, so we had miles of the wall to ourselves.

Great Wall of China - 2016-12

Great Wall of China - 2016-13

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Great Wall of China - 2016-17

Great Wall of China - 2016-19

Great Wall of China - 2016-1

Great Wall of China - 2016-2

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Great Wall of China - 2016-7

Great Wall of China - 2016-8

Great Wall of China - 2016-9

Great Wall of China - 2016-10

Great Wall of China - 2016-11

Great Wall of China - 2016-20

Great Wall of China - 2016-14

Great Wall of China - 2016-15

Great Wall of China - 2016-3

Great Wall of China - 2016-4

Great Wall of China - 2016-18

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Trip Report - Grizzly Peak

We saw an invisible couch yesterday. True story. On our way to the mountains, we were passed by a truck that was carrying a couch in its truck bed, that was camo printed. Because you know, Alberta. That couch probably confuses the crap out of his roomba.

Anyways... fourteen years ago, I was introduced to the activity of scrambling, when a friend took me up Grizzly Peak. I loved it so much that I've been chasing summits ever since. Back on that first scramble, we had the entire mountain to ourselves. Fast forward to yesterday, and you can see the immense growth in popularity of hiking/ scrambling, as we hit up Grizzly Peak to discover it was an ant hill of hikers.

I would never discourage anyone from taking up hiking, just don't be like the large group of morons we saw that were needlessly scrambling off route up a loose rock face, kicking rockfall down onto others trying to access the regular route. They clearly had no idea what they were doing, and were completely inconsiderate of the dangers they were posing to others. Be a badass, not a dumbass. <--Life Motto for you. Now go out and enjoy the beauty of our backcountry!

Scrambles - Grizzly Peak-5

Scrambles - Grizzly Peak-4
Summit Grizzly Peak.

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Scrambles - Grizzly Peak-2

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Summit Beer: Collective Arts Brewing Liquid Arts Fest Milkshake IPA with passion fruit, mango, and vanilla.

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Trip Report - Packenham Junior

Last weekend, we took a short hike up a largely unheralded minor peak known as Packenham Junior. Total elevation gain was only 630m, and it was supposed to be a fairly straight forward hike, with little technical scrambling required. But between the ridiculously steep 2nd half of the way up (see the photos), and the several spots where we sort of lost the faint trail and ended up scrambling up some sketchy loose rock walls, I would say this one isn't quite as 'easy' as Nugara's book rates it. Also, ticks. EVERYWHERE. It's apparently that time of the year, so check yo'self.

Scrambles - Packenham Junior-7
Anita does a bit of scrambling as we near the summit. Yes, the route was actually that steep for the last half of the way up.

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Scrambles - Packenham Junior-1
We got a little off trail, and ended up scrambling up a steep loose wall.

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She generally only sticks her tongue out like this when it gets relentlessly steep.

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At the summit, Anita looks at neighbouring Grizzly Peak, which happens to be the first mountain I ever scrambled up.

Scrambles - Packenham Junior-13
Summit beer: Oast House Brewers Barn Raiser Country Ale.

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On the descent, we encountered a few of these cliff bands we had to navigate around.