Monday, May 22, 2017

Trip Report - South Summit of Mt. Baldy

The Rockies are my gym. Free admission, no lineups, and the best views. Sure, there's no overpriced kale smoothie bar on your way out, but pack a lunch and a beer for the summit, and you've got yourself a pretty glorious day of training. #canadianrockies #legday

Anita and I scrambled up the south summit of Mt. Baldy yesterday, to enjoy a pretty stunning view of snowcapped peaks to the west. For those of you interested, this is a straight forward hike gradually rising to Baldy Pass, before turning into a rugged scramble and ridgewalk up the south ridge of Mt. Baldy. Definitely more fun than a day in the gym.

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy
Summit Brew: PEI Brewing Company

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy

Scrambles - Mt. Baldy
Summit Pano: click to view large

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Four cameras but no bear spray

On our scramble up Wasootch Peak, I brought along a Kodak Instamatic 500 film camera that was given to me recently. Between Anita and I, we had two camera-phones, a digital camera, and this film camera, but no bear spray because I couldn't find it in our basement. So while we could shoot a bear with four different cameras, we'd be hooped if it decided to charge us. #hikingfails

For the camera nerds, the Instamatic 500 is a 50+ year old beauty (see photos at the end). It is shiny chrome on black, has full manual controls, and a Schneider-Kreuznach 38mm f/2.8 lens. Designed originally to take 126 film (obsolete), I reloaded a spent cartridge with 35mm film instead and shot some photos of Anita scrambling up the peak. The camera doesn't play nice with the film perforations of 35mm, yielding numerous slightly overlapping exposures. But despite the unpredictable overlaps, the results are still pretty awesome. All shots taken on expired Kodak T-Max 400.

Instamatic - Wasootch Peak-3

Instamatic - Wasootch Peak-1

Instamatic - Wasootch Peak-2

Instamatic - Wasootch Peak-5
Slightly overlapping exposures.

Instamatic - Wasootch Peak-7

Instamatic - Wasootch Peak-10

Instamatic - Wasootch Peak-9

Instamatic - Wasootch Peak-14

Instamatic - Wasootch Peak-15

Instamatic - Wasootch Peak-12

Instamatic 500-3

Instamatic 500-1

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Trip Report - Wasootch Peak

Anita woke up looking a bit lethargic, so it seems fitting that she wore a t-shirt with a Low Battery icon pattern on it while we scrambled up Wasootch Peak yesterday. And while the photos make the day look beautifully sunny, it was actually incredibly windy and chilly at the top. The views over Kananaskis were pretty spectacular though, and the south west facing ascent means that the snow was largely melted, so this is a good shoulder season starter for those of you itching to head out for a scramble.

Also, Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful mom's out there!! Hope you were pampered by your loved ones.

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak-5

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak-1
View of Mt. Kidd, from the early part of our ascent trail.

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak-2

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak-3

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak-4

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak-6

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak-7

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak-8

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak-9

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak-10

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak-11
Summit Brew: Tool Shed Brewing's Star Cheek IPA.

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak-12

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak-14

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak-15

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak-16

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak-17

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Trip Report - Heart Mountain, Grant MacEwan Peak

"A day in the mountains is worth ten in the city." -famous quote by some Asian wise guy. <--me.

As the avalanche risk continues to be high for many peaks in the Rockies, we played it safe and took a short scramble up Heart Mountain yesterday, doing the counterclockwise circuit to Grant MacEwan Peak, and descending back down the northeastern ridge to the road. As if to emphasize the avi risk, we heard and then saw a massive avalanche on neighbouring Mount McGillivray while at the of summit Grant MacEwan Peak. Be careful out there.

Aside from some knee deep snow, and a few icy patches, it was a beautiful day. We were in largely good spirits until Anita slipped hard on a steep downhill ice slope, landing on her bum, and conking herself in the nose with her trekking poles. Then she was grouchy - at the ice, at her poles, at me ... pretty much at anything in near vicinity. :)

First peak down this season. Many more to go.

Scrambles - Heart Mountain - May 2017-1

Scrambles - Heart Mountain - May 2017-2

Scrambles - Heart Mountain - May 2017-3

Scrambles - Heart Mountain - May 2017-4
Just to give you an idea of how steep some parts of this scramble are.

Scrambles - Heart Mountain - May 2017-5
Anita showing off some of her mad scrambling skillz.

Scrambles - Heart Mountain - May 2017-6
A colleague remarked that 'We look too happy' for people scaling up rocks.

Scrambles - Heart Mountain - May 2017-7
The massive Mt. MacGillivary, to the west of us.

Scrambles - Heart Mountain - May 2017-9
Panoramic view. Click to see it bigger.

Scrambles - Heart Mountain - May 2017-8
Because beers taste better up here.

Scrambles - Heart Mountain - May 2017-10

Scrambles - Heart Mountain - May 2017-11
Knee deep snow on the ridge leading towards Grant MacEwan Peak.

Scrambles - Heart Mountain - May 2017-12

Scrambles - Heart Mountain - May 2017-13

Scrambles - Heart Mountain - May 2017-14
The painfully long, but incredibly beautiful descent.

Scrambles - Heart Mountain - May 2017-15