Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The Year in Photos - Pandemic Edition

As we prepare to send off 2020 with a most deserved two finger salute, I suppose we should spend a second reflecting back on this year that has managed to feel like it took forever, while also flying by at the same time. Dumpster fire of a year that it was, overall, I can’t complain about my past 365. I managed to spend a ton of time with my favourite people while properly socially distancing on remote adventures in the wilds of the Canadian Rockies.

My mountain stats for the year include setting all new personal bests:
  • 50 days spent in the mountains
  • 47 peaks summited in the Rockies (22 more than my previous one year record)
  • 140,699 ft of total elevation gained (50,000+ ft more than last year’s)
  • 470 kms trekked, hiked, and scrambled
  • 314 hours and 46 minutes total time spent bashing up peaks (18,886 minutes)
  • 100th unique peak summited (cumulative) in the Rockies during the summer
  • bagged my second 11,000’er in the Rockies
  • saw more bears than in any previous single year
Between bouts of mountain adventures, I baked a lot of things out of sheer boredom, caught the Mumps, spent dozens of hours yelling at political news cycles on TV, threw out my back tying my shoe, drank 130 different craft beers, read 20 books, and otherwise laid around the house like a potato.

It should come as no surprise then, that my year end selection of photos features a lot of mountains, interspersed with food, beer, and incredible prairie sunsets.

Wishing you and yours all the best in 2021!!

Mosaic 2020 - Final-1

Previous annual mosaics: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

Monday, December 14, 2020

Trip Report: Little Galatea, Round 2

This past Saturday's adventure was a sweaty and sweary affair, as we sought redemption on a peak we failed to summit last year due to snow. It almost became a failure again, as we encountered some steep slippery slopes that were difficult to gain any traction on, resulting in some choice words and hanger induced temper tantrums. Anita struggled in vain to make any headway, sliding back down with each step up. After finally making it to the first false summit, there maaaay have been an awkwardly entertaining moment of her muttering 'Faaack this... this is faaacking stupid' in response to Jas asking her if she was doing okay. She most definitely was NOT okay, nor having a good time. :)

Despite this, the weather was a combination of bright blue skies, beautiful low winter sun, and rare windless conditions along the ridge, so I parked Anita at the false summit, and ran up the remaining two high points to tag the actual peak. Cause I was NOT interested in doing this for a third time. The views were phenomenal, and made for some gorgeous photos, particularly as the sun was setting on our descent. Take a peek, and see if you can hear Anita swearing in some of the photos. :\

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-2

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-3
Keith blazing a trail up towards the summit, being careful to stay well back of the corniced ridge.

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-12
This is where I parked Anita, and told her "DO NOT GO ANYWHERE." Because on one side, you couldn't tell where the rock ended, and the cornice began, and on the other side, the slope was so steep that if you slid, you wouldn't be able to stop.
Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-4

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-6

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-5

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-8
If you look really closely, you may be able to spot a red speck on the bump in the bottom centre of this photo. That's Anita, chilling in the sun while we pushed on for the true summit

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-7
There she is, in the middle.

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-10
Summit brew: Common Crown Brighter Days Citra Pale Ale.

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-9

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-11

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-13

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-15

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-16

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-17

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-18
As we descended, the light rapidly fell, and we were greeted by these magnificient last rays of sunset, and alpenglow.

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-19

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-21

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-20

Snowshoeing - Little Galatea - Dec 2020-22

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Dear Stomach: I'm sorry - A midweek Date Day in YYC

Anita and I took the day off with intentions to go hike something, but ended up staying in town and checked out a couple new hot spots in the local food scene. For lunch, we hit up Orchard, a modern Mediterranean joint in a beautifully decked out space in the Beltline, and for dinner we snagged a table at Ponshu, a recently opened Japanaese izakaya by the same team behind Ajito. Both were great visual treats, with stylistic presentations that you feasted on equally with your eyes and your stomach. Between the two places, we ordered 14 dishes, which was definitely too much. Chalk this one up as another entry in the "Dear Stomach: I'm sorry" diaries. But another lockdown is probably just around the corner, so despite my current stomach discomfort, I REGRET NOTHING.

Warning: viewing these photos while hungry is a bad idea.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-9

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-2

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-7
Beef bolognaise with penne, arugula, and grana padano.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-8
Mussels with lardo tomato broth, fennel, grilled sourdough and chili flakes.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-6
Tomato panzanella with broccoli, crostini, shaved vegetables, grapes and soy sesame vinaigrette.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-5
Cheese stuffed garlic bread with seasonal herbs.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-10
Seasonal fruit tart with raspberries, blackberries, and rhubarb.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-4
E9 Brewing Co. IPA.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-3

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-12
Ceviche with scallop, shrimp, salmon, tuna, ikura, octopus, and tosaka seaweed, topped with ponzu jelly and soy olive dressing.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-11
Yuzu Sidecar, and Yuzu Ginger Ale.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-14
Assorted sashimi with tuna, sockeye salmon, and toro with gold flakes. Served with actual fresh grated wasabi.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-15

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-16
Sea urchin carbonara udon with crab meat, masago, and shiso.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-17
Habanero pork cheek with ginger soy sauce and green onions.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-18
Salmon tuna yukke with yuzy teriyaki sauce, chips, and quail egg.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-19
Crab stone bowl bibimbap with crab butter, snow crab, and masago.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-13
Snow crab sushi with miso mayo, masago, ponzu jelly and sesame.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-20
Raspberry panna cotta.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-21
Matcha creme brulee.

Date Day in YYC - Nov 2020-22
Double baked pandan coconut croissant, double baked butter croissant, and everything muffin.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Winter Wonderland ... in Autumn

Autumn in Calgary can be a real mixed bag. This past Sunday, it was full blown winter and -26 degrees for the start of our hike up Forgetmenot Ridge. Even despite wearing five layers up top and two layers on my legs plus gaiters and thick socks, it was still cold enough to frostbite your nuts. But hey, the bright blue skies and snow covered trees made for some magical winter scenery, so... worth it?

Snowshoeing - Forgetmenot Ridge - Oct 2020-17

Snowshoeing - Forgetmenot Ridge - Oct 2020-10

Snowshoeing - Forgetmenot Ridge - Oct 2020-11

Snowshoeing - Forgetmenot Ridge - Oct 2020-1

Snowshoeing - Forgetmenot Ridge - Oct 2020-4

Snowshoeing - Forgetmenot Ridge - Oct 2020-6

Snowshoeing - Forgetmenot Ridge - Oct 2020-9

Snowshoeing - Forgetmenot Ridge - Oct 2020-12
Summit Brew: Dageraad Brewing - Jumo. Tart Kveik Ale.

Snowshoeing - Forgetmenot Ridge - Oct 2020-13

Snowshoeing - Forgetmenot Ridge - Oct 2020-14

Snowshoeing - Forgetmenot Ridge - Oct 2020-15

Snowshoeing - Forgetmenot Ridge - Oct 2020-16

Snowshoeing - Forgetmenot Ridge - Oct 2020-18

Snowshoeing - Forgetmenot Ridge - Oct 2020-19

Snowshoeing - Forgetmenot Ridge - Oct 2020-20