Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Thunder Mountain

After losing an hour's sleep, Anita and I headed out bright and early on Sunday morning to the Crowsnest Pass area, and scrambled up the long and beautiful ridge of Thunder Mountain. With the bright blue skies, warm sun, and generally mild wind, everything about the adventure felt invigorating, and the views were epic. But if you asked Anita, she might have used some other choice four letter words to describe the outing. She was tired, grumpy, and disinterested most of the day... but still soldiered on all the way to the summit.

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-20

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-21

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-3

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-2

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-1

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-5

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-6

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-8

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-9

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-10

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-11
Summit Brew: Rural Routes Brewing It's Prounounced Chow-dah New England IPA. Delicious thirst quencher for a long day in the sun.

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-12
Mr. Tubby gets to see the summit too. Miss you tons, buddy.

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-13

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-14

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-15

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-16

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-17

Scrambles - Thunder Mountain - March 2021-18

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Blue skies, beers, and ... a buttplug

This weekend's summit adventure featured bright blue skies, beers, and ... a buttplug? More on that in a second. We took advantage of the still relatively snow-free conditions, and headed up Porcupine Ridge in Kananaskis. The approach to the summit was a relatively straight forward, but interesting hike with some minor bits of scrambling. Once at the summit, there was an interesting looking extension off to the south, that involved crossing a really narrow exposed ridge. Naturally, I couldn't help myself, so went to investigate. Thinking about the most difficult scrambles we've done over the years, this ridge was probably the most exposed one I've crossed yet. See the photos, and decide for yourself whether you'd have the cajones to cross it.

Anyways, back to the buttplug story. A dude we follow on Instagram has been putting up unofficial summit register containers on various peaks in the Rockies, and they usually contain a notebook, a mickey of Fireball cinammon whisky, a magnum condom, and some other random odds and sods. Well this particular summit box had those, plus a tube of pre-rolls (joints), and what appeared to be a gently used buttplug. Call me immature, but we guffawed for a lot longer than we should have. All in all, this was an awesome outing.

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-22
That little red dot in the middle of the spine is me, gingerly making my way back down. (photo taken by Keith)

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-10
This is what the ridge looked like from a highpoint to the east of the summit.

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-23
The ridge was thin, with steep drop offs to either side. With the intermittent wind gusts, I sat to take in the views before slowly making my way back across to safety. (photo taken by Keith)

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-8
This is what it looked like from my vantage point, as I was making my way back across.

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-1
The low winter sun created some beautiful flaring around Keith.

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-2

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-3
Looking towards the summit.

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-4

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-5

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-6

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-12

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-11
Summit brew: Snake Lake Brewing Company's Brighter Horizons Tropical Pale Ale.

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-14

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-13

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-15

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-16

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-18
We saw one other character decide to climb the tower. He made it to the top, which is more than I could say. I opted to turn around just below where he is in this photo, knowing that ascending this section would mean having to downclimb it after.

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-19

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-21

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-20

Scrambles - Porcupine Ridge - Jan 2021-7
And finally... here's the aforementioned butt plug. Pro hiking tip: always bring sanitizer for mountain adventures. You never know what you may end up coming into contact with.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Peer Pressure Printing

During a recent video call, a colleague pointed out that for a person who takes as many photos as I do, I surprisingly had a blank wall behind me. And my rationale for this was that I don't look at the wall behind me in the office... but I succumbed to the commentary, and selected a bunch of photos to print anyways. Because there's no motivator quite like peer pressure and judgement.

So a couple hours, and 30 odd bucks later, I picked up these 8x12 enlargements, and all I can say is... print some of your photos. There's nothing quite like holding large physical prints, and collectively displayed as a set, they can look pretty awesome together. Even if you did get them done at Costco, and the quality is as mediocre as a Michelob Ultra.

For those that are interested, this random assortment of photos includes scenes from: Ottawa, Zanzibar, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, Japan, Beijing, Newfoundland, Chile, Tibet, and the Canadian Rockies.

Print Englargements - Blog-2

Print Englargements - Blog-1

Print Englargements - Blog-3

Print Englargements - Blog-4
And this is how the images look as a set, hung on the wall.

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Print Englargements - Blog-6

Saturday, January 2, 2021

First summit, sunrise, and summit brew in the books

Turning 40 in the midst of pandemic restrictions meant a low key new year's eve for my birthday. But we kicked off the new year with a 4:15am departure to greet the first sunrise of 2021 from atop a mountain. The colours were spectactular, and owing to the wind, we were the only ones on the actual summit during the sunrise. Dropping back to below treeline, I cracked an 8% Imperial IPA for my first brew of the year by 9:00am.

So 9 hours into 2021 and I'd already bagged my first summit, first sunrise, and first summit brew. What can I say, it may be a new year, but it's definitely the same old(er) me. Happy new year everyone!

Snowshoeing - Ha Ling - Jan 2021-4

Snowshoeing - Ha Ling - Jan 2021-1
The colours as we approached the summit, whilst also seeing the city lights of Canmore.

Snowshoeing - Ha Ling - Jan 2021-2

Snowshoeing - Ha Ling - Jan 2021-5

Snowshoeing - Ha Ling - Jan 2021-9

Snowshoeing - Ha Ling - Jan 2021-8
Soaking in one last glimpse of the sunrise before hastily making a retreat back down to escape the wind.

Snowshoeing - Ha Ling - Jan 2021-12

Snowshoeing - Ha Ling - Jan 2021-10

Snowshoeing - Ha Ling - Jan 2021-11

Snowshoeing - Ha Ling - Jan 2021-13
Summit Brew: Cabin Brewing Super Duper Saturation Imperial New England IPA.

Snowshoeing - Ha Ling - Jan 2021-15
This chubby little bird was hoping we would drop some food.

Snowshoeing - Ha Ling - Jan 2021-14