Monday, September 28, 2020

Larch Madness at Little Arethusa

Just another pleasant fall day in Alberta... you know, complete with snow squalls, 60km wind gusts, and minus temperatures in the Highwood area of Kananaskis. We saw the uncertain weather forecast for Saturday, so decided to tackle an easy peak. There were literally hundreds of hikers in Arethusa Cirque out hunting for Larches, those golden hued conifers that will shed all their needles in the next couple days. But once we started the ascent up the ridge to Little Arethusa peak, we left the crowds behind, and would have the entire summit to ourselves, owing to the wind.

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-14
September in AB... a crapshoot for weather.

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-1
Last of the larches. These colours will likely be gone by next weekend.

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-24
The base of the cirque was muddy and slick, and got progressively more wintery as we ascended.

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-2
Gaining elevation above the cirque, this was where we broke away from the crowds.

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-4
The colour of the golden larches really popped when contrasted against the wintery backdrop of the Highwood area, as the sun peaked out intermittently.

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-3

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-5

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-7

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-8
A nice calm fall day… no adverse conditions whatsoever…

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-9
See? Perfectly calm.

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-6

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-10

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-11

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-12

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-13

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-15
Summit Brew: Duclaw Brewing Sour Me Unicorn Farts Glittered Sour Ale. Disclosure: It was so cold and windy up top, I saved the beer for after we got home.

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-16
Conditions got briefly worse as we prepared to descend. A wall of snow swept in, and pelted us with sideways blowing snow pellets that hurt your face.

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-17

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-18

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-19

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-20

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-21

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-22

Scrambles - Little Arethusa - Sept 2020-23

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Trip Report - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway)

Anita and I took Monday off to head up Boundary Peak in the Icefields Parkway. This peak overlooks the Athabasca Glacier, whose name you might recognize as the site of the tragic snowcoach rollover accident from earlier this summer. Difficulties on our trek were minimal, aside from some minor throat irritation from the thick smoke of the forest fires in the US. It felt like we were wandering through a vape shop for most of the day. Views of the glacial terrain were obscured as a result, but the smoke did add some moodiness to the photos.

Assuming the air quality doesn't deteriorate much further over the next couple days, Jas and I will be hitting this area again on Saturday morning for a 4am start on a guided climb up the massive glacier seen in the photos.

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-12

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-11

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-1

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-2

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-3

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-4

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-5

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-6

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-7

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-8

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-9

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-10

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-13

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-14

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-15
Summit Brew: Born Colorado Brewing Second Summer Citra Pale Ale.

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-16
Adult lunchables! Featuring Genoa salami, turkey breast, gouda cheese, and little melba toasts.

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-17

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-19

Scrambles - Boundary Peak (Icefields Parkway) - Sept 2020-18

Monday, September 7, 2020

The Tashkent Metro System

Ugggghh... how is it September already?! And single digit temperatures? Frick. With no international travel upcoming in the forseeable future, here's a look back at our last trip (a year ago!) in which we spent a day in Tashkent, Uzbekistan touring their underground Metro stations. I wouldn't fault you for thinking that USSR era Metro stops would be about as interesting as a North Korean paperclip factory, but hear me out. Built during the 1970's, these stations were suprisingly ornate and extravagant, some even bordering on outlandish, compared to the typical austere architectural style of Soviet realism. A token to ride the Metro cost 1400 Uzbek Som, or the equivalent of $0.18 Cdn. And because there was no time limit to your usage of the system so long as you did not exit a station, we spent less than $1.00 Cdn that day to see numerous architectural curiousities that more resembled museum lobbies than Metro platforms. I hope these photos do something to sate your wanderlust.

Uzbekistan Metro-2

Uzbekistan Metro-3

Uzbekistan Metro-5

Uzbekistan Metro-7

Uzbekistan Metro-6

Uzbekistan Metro-8

Uzbekistan Metro-4

Uzbekistan Metro-18

Uzbekistan Metro-9

Uzbekistan Metro-15
Not actually taken inside a metro station... these next couple pics were just interesting interior domes inside a mosque we saw on this same day.

Uzbekistan Metro-14

Uzbekistan Metro-13

Uzbekistan Metro-12
Now back to the Metro stations.

Uzbekistan Metro-10

Uzbekistan Metro-11

Uzbekistan Metro-16

Uzbekistan Metro-17

Uzbekistan Metro-1

Uzbekistan Metro-19
As I've already mentioned, 1400 Som was the equivalent of 18 cents Cdn. So this is what walking around with a couple hundred bucks (Cdn equivalent) in a largely cash transaction based society looked like.