Monday, June 19, 2017

Trip Report - Windtower

After our failed summit bid last Sunday, we were bound and determined to bag a peak this weekend. So despite the four seasons we experienced (sun, cloud, rain, and snow) on our way up, we summited Windtower in just over 3 hours for our fifth peak this season. While at the top, the wind howled ceaselessly. I don't know why I expected anything different, considering WIND is in the mountain's name. Think how much more awesome these self fulfilling name prophecies would be if they'd called this Calmtower or Beertower instead.

Aside from the weather, this was largely just a straight forward hike, with few difficulties other than the exertion of trudging up 1000m of elevation over about 6km. I say straight forward, but it still gave Anita quite the bruise when she wasn't paying attention (see last photo).

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Summit of Windtower, looking over the sheer cliffs down the Northeast face.

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Snow and rain all around us.

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Summit Beer: Unity Brew 2016.

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Pano of the west view.

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Looking North towards Rimwall and the Three Sisters peaks.

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The snows rolled in when we were on the summit.

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Despite the howling wind and snow, we spent an hour at the summit, hiding out behind this windbreak.

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Mt. Lougheed to the South.

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Of course there's snow. Because it's only June.

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Nice treat on our descent back along Westwind Pass: spotting a few bighorn sheep.

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Weekend battle scars: Anita's bruise courtesy of a tree branch. George's cut courtesy of the mall (seriously...)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Trip Report - Little Lougheed

It doesn't happen often, but occasionally, we head out for a scramble but don't bag the peak. It seems wrong to label today a failure, when we still had an awesome hike crowned by spectacular enough views, but failing to summit Little Lougheed still feels disappointing.

From the get go, things didn't feel right. Waking up with a slight hangover, arriving to more snow than expected, thinking we were off trail, doubling back to try bushwhacking for an hour through knee deep snow, deciding that that didn't seem the right way either, and then finding a stupidly steep boulder field further up the trail that we finally gave up on... sigh.

Scrambles - Little Lougheed, June 2017-1
Them views!

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This boulder field would ultimately be where we'd give up and turn around.

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The awesome looking massif of Mt. Sparrowhawk.

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Spencer Creek, at the start of this hike, is so beautiful.

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Dispatches from the Field: Seattle Edition, April 2017

After four straight weekends of scrambles in the Rockies, we didn't get out for a hike this past weekend. I was getting the shakes from summit withdrawal...

So rather than post more photos from our recent mountain adventures, here are another selection from our trip to Seattle over the Easter long weekend. Oysters, beer, oysters, scenic views, more oysters, graffiti, and Lenin. A very short, but very fun getaway.

Seattle - April 2017-12

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Seattle Skyline from the top of the Space Needle. Click to see it large.

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View from Deception Pass Bridge.

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Underneath Deception Pass Bridge.

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Some hipsters shooting Fuji FP Instant film through an old Polaroid Land camera.

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Barnacles on the rocky beach of Deception Pass.

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Anita enjoying every last spoonful of clam chowder from Ivar's Seafood Bar.

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Selection of oysters from Shaker + Spear.

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Night time lights and reflections at Pike Place Market.

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Happy Hour at The Walrus and The Carpenter.

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A most amazing Spot Prawn Crudo, from The Walrus and The Carpenter. Seriously, you need to eat this.

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Another selection of oysters.

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Oysters Casbarian from Blue Acre Seafood.

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The unexpected Lenin statue in the Fremont district.

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Oysters from Taylor's Shellfish Oyster Bar.

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Geoduck (pronounced 'gooey duck') ceviche from Taylor's.

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Seattle Public Library.

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One last selection of oysters from Elliot's Oyster House, just before we headed to the airport.

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The bar at Elliot's Oyster House.

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And what trip to the Pacific Northwest is complete without same craft beer samples.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Trip Report - Ha Ling Peak

We wanted a quick and easy day of scrambling yesterday, so decided on a tourist hike up Ha Ling Peak, previously known as the politically incorrect Chinaman's Peak. I guess you could say I was putting the Chinaman back into Chinaman's Peak. :)

Anita was really NOT feeling it (it was like trying to wake a slumbering bear this morning), and she was yawning throughout the hike, but despite this, we summited in a personal best time together. So our early season training is working.

Scrambles - Ha Ling, May 2017-9
Anita, with the impressive looking massif of Mt. Lawrence Grassi in the background.

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Emerging from the treeline, the views open up.

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Tired and grumpy. The Missus is clearly not impressed today.

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The final ascent up to the summit is steep and rocky.

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View from the top.

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How you know it's a tourist hike: it's like a full parking lot at the summit.

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Summit brew: Something Brewing's Hop Bomb IPA.

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The East End of Rundle behind Anita.

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I wuz hear too.

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Seen on our drive home...