Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Year in Photos

It feels like just yesterday I was writing out my year end summary for 2017, and yet here we are again already. There's no way to do justice to the adventures of our 2018, but here are some of the year's highlights:

-Summiting Africa's highest mountain (Kilimanjaro)
-Getting 9th degree sunburns snorkelling the Indian Ocean
-Shooting big game in the Serengeti (with a camera)
-Dressing up as Luigi, and Mariokarting the actual streets of Tokyo at night.
-Eating our weight in street food in Taiwan
-Bagging 15 summits in the Rockies
-Trekking to 5200m high Rainbow Mountain, and to a 5000m high pass on Salkantay Trail in Peru
-Eating guinea pig (cooked five separate ways)
-Celebrating 10 years of marriage whilst trekking to Machu Picchu
-Stargazing and sleeping in a polycarbonate pod suspended off a cliff
-Kissing a frozen cod on the lips, as part of my first visit to Newfoundland

If that list seems heavily skewed towards mountain adventures, that's because over the year, I netted 20,711 metres or 69,036 ft of elevation gain just chasing summits.

Before I sign off for the year, I will leave you with a selection of photos from the year that was, and a few last words of motivation: Our world may seem like a shitty place at times, and that weight will try to drag you down, but there are plenty of amazing and positive experiences out there waiting for you. Take that first step, break the inertia of just watching shit happen, and you'll find that the momentum carries you on from one adventure to the next.

I cannot wait to see what adventures lie in store for 2019. All the best, my friends.

Mosaic 2018

Previous annual mosaics: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Trip Report - Wasootch Peak

On a beautiful Sunday, that looked promisingly warm and sunny, we headed out to the mountains for our 15th (and likely final) summit in the Rockies this year. Anita and I thought, "We'll just take it easy today, and hike up Wasootch Peak" for a quick jaunt to get our legs moving again, believing we could gain the 900m of elevation in lightly snow dusted conditions sans problems. How wrong we were. Considering all the mountains we've conquered this year, we did not think that the fact we have basically sat on our asses for 2 months since coming back from Peru would have completely eroded all of our fitness gains. I now have empirical scientific proof that eating chips every night and not doing any exercise for 2 months destroys every ounce of fitness you've built up over the past year.

We huffed and puffed on the final push towards the summit, and I have video of Anita moaning and groaning endlessly about how she would like to quit, with less than 150m of gain left to reach the top. But with a bit of coaxing and coddling, she did eventually tromp her way to the summit to bag this peak. Teamwork!!

The photos may make the day look pleasant, but they do not show the relentless and vicious wind that cut short our stay up top.

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-12

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-1
That beautiful winter light.

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-21
View of Mt. Kidd, as seen through the trees on the initial ascent.

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-2

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-3

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Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-5

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-6

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-7

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-8

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-9

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-10

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-11

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-13

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-14
Summit shadow selfie!

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-15

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-16
Summit brew: Quidi Vidi Day Boil Session IPA.

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-17

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-18

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-19

Scrambles - Wasootch Peak - Dec 2018-20

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Dispatches From The Field: St. John's, Newfoundland

For our final trip of the year, we spent four days out in St. John's, NL, to attend our friends' wedding, as well as to eat and drink to excess (as per standard operating procedure). Having never been out to Newfoundland before, I can now confirm that the wind is brutal, the people are friendly, their accents do not require subtitles/ closed captioning (except when extraordinarily thick), the food is strange (moose meat in a glass bottle? 10lb tubes of bologna?!), and the traditions are even stranger... Example: we were 'screeched in', whereby first time visitors are made honourary Newfoundlanders by drinking a shot of Screech (rum), saying a bunch of gibberish, and then kissing a frozen cod on the lips. Just another regular weekend on the rock.

Enjoy a handful of photos from our all too brief stay. We'll definitely be back.

St. John's-7
Clear and beautiful late afternoon on the way in to Yellow Belly Brewery and Public House.

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45 minutes later, we came out to this garbage snow and wind.

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Flight of Yellow Belly brews.

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Anita at Cape Spear, the eastern most point of North America.

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Sunset at Cape Spear Lighthouse.

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Blackhead Bay.

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Whelk and Copa (pork) on a Labrador Tea Skewer from Raymond's (the #7 rated restaurant in Canada).

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A beer from Dildo Brewing Company. I'se da B'y PA.

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Macaroons at the wedding.

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We drank a shot of this Screech before kissing the frozen cod.

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I drank all of the 'brewed for Newfoundland' crap beers. Like playing Pokemon, gotta catch em all.

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Bottled Moose and Bottled Rabbit. Newfoundland, you so weird.

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Ross Larkin, the winner of last season's Top Chef Canada, and also the Chef de Cuisine at Raymond's.

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Petty Cove.

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Tea at Mallard Cottage (#22 restaurant in Canada).

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$5 for a plate, and then you select as much desserts as you want/ can fit onto the plate.

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Our selections. We ended up packing most of them up for later.

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Port Rexton Chasing Sun IPA. Delicious.

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Jellybean Row Houses in St. John's.

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The view from our hotel room.

St. John's - Landing