Monday, May 20, 2019

Cussing out Maze Peak

Just in case you thought summer was around the corner, I thought I'd remind you how silly that notion is. It's only May long weekend, so of course there's still wintery conditions out there in the mountains. :\

Anita and I took a drive up towards the Ya Ha Tinda area on Sunday, and barely made it without busting an axle or blowing a tire on the dumptruck sized potholes along the dirt roads leading in. We scrambled up Maze Peak, which involved hiking up a steep face with some of the most rotten rock I've ever encountered. Every step you took, the brittle shale scree underneath would shatter. The going was of the annoying 'take one step up, slide half a step down' variety, which was rather irritating. I caught faint echoes of F-bombs raining down and for a second, thought it was me unconsciously expressing my dismay with the terrain. But I turned around and quickly realized it was Anita in the distance cussing out the ground. LOL. A short while later, we would gain the ridge to discover full blown winter, wind, and cold, which would make Anita even that much more pleased with life. Needless to say, we didn't summit because I didn't want to get pushed off a mountain. #pickyourbattles

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-17

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-20
The day started out promising... with warm sun, and snow free slopes.

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-1

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-2
Tree drool!

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-3

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-4
And then it started to get a little bit wintery.

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-5

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-6

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-7

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-8
Hard to believe this is the same hike as the above photos.

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-9

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-10

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-11

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-12

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-13

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-14

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-15
Anita looks across the Red Deer River, over towards Labyrinth Mountain.

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-16

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-18

Scrambles - Maze Peak - May 2019-19
Summit Brew: Tooth and Nail Brewing's Sucker Punch Double IPA. It was so cold up top, I waited until we descended back down towards the warm and dry front side before cracking this bad boy.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Night Photography Workshop

Another no mountain weekend due to the weather, because apparently Mother Nature hates me. So instead, check out some shots from a night photography walk I hosted last weekend. We captured some long exposures and panning shots, got heckled by a moron who thought we should've been photographing him instead of the trains, and got startled by a stealthy beaver in the river. Just a regular night in downtown Calgary.

Night Photography Workshop-1
Moments before this shot, I was startled by a beaver lurking in the water... stealthy like a ninja.

Night Photography Workshop-8
"Ludicrous speed!"

Night Photography Workshop-9

Night Photography Workshop-4
Apparently, I own a crystal ball now. Should I start charging $$$ to read people's futures?

Night Photography Workshop-2

Night Photography Workshop-5

Night Photography Workshop-6

Night Photography Workshop-7

Night Photography Workshop-3

Monday, April 22, 2019

Trip Report - Gap Peak

I hope you all had a good Easter long weekend. Mine involved scrambling a mountain and drinking beers. Protip: The order in which you do those activities directly correlates to your summit success rate. We spent Saturday drinking Turmeric IPA's, Pear Saisons, Triple IPA's, and Milkshake Sour IPA's from Eighty Eight Brewing. As such, I was not really motivated to get up Easter Sunday to bag a peak. But I knew I would feel terrible about wasting a four day long weekend, so dragged myself out of bed regardless, to take a steep hike up Gap Peak in the Canmore Corridor/ Bow Valley area. The original plan was to give Anita a weekend reprieve, and do a relatively short repeat mountain like the East End of Rundle. But as we got near Canmore, Gap Peak looked relatively snow free, so we carpe'd that diem instead.

The hike wasn't overly difficult, or long by any means, but it did encompass a wide variety of terrain and scrambling which made it rather interesting throughout. And the scrambling along the summit ridge, under bright blue skies and mostly calm winds, was something epic.

At one point, another couple would pass us by and asked if I was planning to camp overnight on the mountain. I guess she found my rather large pack to be overkill for this trail. She wasn't entirely wrong... I've been using the larger pack for months to carry extra layers and winter gear in case something goes wrong and we're stuck bivvying mountainside. But maybe it's time to move to my smaller summer pack now that the threat of death by freezing has become secondary to death by hungry bear... or Angry Anita. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Scrambles - Gap Peak-15

Scrambles - Gap Peak-16

Scrambles - Gap Peak-1
Mt. McGillivray, perfectly framed in the trees on our way up.

Scrambles - Gap Peak-2

Scrambles - Gap Peak-5
We found a cool little rock window 3/4 of the way up.

Scrambles - Gap Peak-6

Scrambles - Gap Peak-7
Yours truly, with my giant pack.

Scrambles - Gap Peak-8

Scrambles - Gap Peak-9
Some more steep scrambling.

Scrambles - Gap Peak-13

Scrambles - Gap Peak-10

Scrambles - Gap Peak-12
A rare photo of us together on the false summit.

Scrambles - Gap Peak-11
Summit Brew: Maui Brewing Company Big Swell IPA.

Scrambles - Gap Peak-17

Scrambles - Gap Peak-19

Scrambles - Gap Peak-20

Scrambles - Gap Peak-21

Scrambles - Gap Peak-18

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Trip Report - Anklebiter Ridge

Our trek up Anklebiter Ridge on Saturday wasn't particularly pleasant. The wind howled, the sun was hidden all day, and there was a surprising amount of snow as we got near the top. But despite the conditions, there was a lot of interesting scrambling throughout the route. Sure, we probably could have bypassed all of it by just finding a hiking trail up, but where's the adventure in that? I only had a mild heart attack as I watched Anita slip on a steep slope on our way back down, but fortunately it wasn't on a dangerous or exposed dropoff.

This minor peak features 840m of elevation gain, and probably doesn't rank high on people's lists during the summer, but for an early season objective, the scrambling opportunities are quite fun. Check out the photos to see Anita practicing her skills.

Also, tomorrow is election day in Alberta. If you haven't already, make sure you get out to vote. Because if you don't vote, you can't bitch. And we all know that everyone has something to bitch about when it comes to the Government, regardless of your political stripes.

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-6
Looking back at the lengthy ridge, as we neared the summit.

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-1

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-2
Anita searching out a route to scramble/ climb up.

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-4

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-5
It got a little wintery about 3/4 of the way up.

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-7

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-9

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-8

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-10

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-11

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-12

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-13

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-14

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-15
Summit Brew: 1919 Belgian Style Pale Ale by Little Brown Jug brewing. Kind of meh...

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-17
His and hers packs.

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-16

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-20

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-18

Scrambles - Anklebiter Ridge - Apr. 2019-19