Mt. Baldy

Some friends and I hiked Mt. Baldy last weekend. We were supposed to be doing the much more exciting and much less politically correct Squaw’s tit, but surcumstances arouse that involved out party not leaving the city until much later than intended. So we settled on Baldy. It;s not a long hike, but it has a couple of fun scrambly bits with some downclimbing. Weather held out pretty well. It was cold, but the wind was low and there was no rain. We made it to the first summit, and followed the ridge for a while. There are three summits on the ridge. Considering our late start time, it was decided that we skip the second two.

I haven’t been out scrambling much this year, so it was nice to get out and get on top of something that didn’t involve a rope and a mess of gear. As much as I love climbing, it’s nice to switch it up every so often.

Mt. Baldy is located in the Kananaskis, and although I have spent a lot of time in the area, there are still so many mountains that I haven’t been up.

Adam, Nat and Mike are fast becoming my default outdoor friends. It’s nice to feel like I have some people to call up and do things with. I’ve been in Calgary for a little over a year now, and it feels like I’m finally settling in . This winter is looking to have some prety exciting opportunities. I’ve signed up for an avi course, so I’ll be able to get out backcountry skiing. Now that i’ve gotten all of my summer activities done, I’m eagerly awaiting the winter. The sooner htis awkward cold-but-dry season ends, the better.

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Return to Yamnuska

I’ve been trying all summer to get back on Yamnuska, but it’s taken several unfortunate attempts to scrape together all the necessary ingredients.  This past weekend it finally all came together. I recently joing the outdoor club at the Uni which , more than anything, has left me with several new climbing partners. Several of whom either do Trad climb, or are seriously interested in learning.

Yam is a weird mountain. It hold some serious prestige (something about being the “jewel” of the Canadian Rockies), but from my experience, it’s sort of a greasy choss pile. Really, the bits that aren’t falling off have been used so many times that you’re lucky to get any grip. Not to mention the lack of placements. This particular route was easy grades, but if one were to accidentally slip off of some greasy hold, it’s a long fall.  Yet for some reason, I was really stoked to go back.
Adam, my daring partner in crime is pretty new to trad climbing and hasn’t done a whole lot of multi pitch. That said, he’s a capable climber, so I was happy to have him along

. I’ve done the route before, but I only led a couple of the pitches last time, so leading the whole thing was a lot more work than I remembered. It’s an easy pitch, flip flopping between 5.5 and 5.6, but it’s a real fun route, with a pretty unique final pitch. The last 55 m is a large chimney feature, which spits the climbers out through a gopher hole at the top. Its pretty intimidating. Not particularly difficult, but the chasm of doom below  goes deeper than I could see, and the walls of the chimney are pretty greasy.

It was a successful run all things considered, I squeezed out of the top just as the sky was turning pink over the adjacent mountains. It was beautiful, and I briefly considered taking a photo. Then I remembered that I was freezing cold and had Adam dangling on the other end of the rope.

But somehow it feels like the end of the season (maybe it was the snow, the short daylight hours and the way an ATC feels like a block of ice. . . but I think we’ll end on a high note.)

Shiny Things: SF Bike

Pretention!

I rediscovered this photo I took in San Fran this summer. This is the most pretentious bike. Between the Louis Vuiton bar cover, the coffee cup holder, the leather saddle and it’s shiny-white-fixie-ness, this bike had me simultaneously salivating, and laughing uncontrollably.  It’s pretty and shiny and kind of silly.

Reel Rock Tour

 

World Reknowed speed alpinist Ueli Steck

 

Reel Rock tour is coming to Calgary at the end of the month. It looks like it should be super rad. Six films featuring some of the biggest names in climbing today will be showing at the Plaza theatre on October 30th. Looking at the line up, it seems that no one is going to be left out. Everything from bouldering to speed alpinism to freebase (?!) no matter what your cup of tea, there’s something for you. Oh yea, and of course there’s Sharma’s latest film. Featuring Sharma. . . being Sharma.

The Film showing is taking place in conjunction with Calgary’s Outdoor festival. which will be taking place over the same weekend at the expo grounds near McMahon stadium. There’s going to be a gear swap and loads of outdoor retailers, product demos and celebrity climbers in attendance.  More info at here

Photo Fun: Sean



Sean_3, originally uploaded by Sydsquid.

Turns out you don’t need a coach to be an athlete. All you need is a photographer to make you do hill repeats until they get enough shots to be satisfied.

It was nice to be able to get out shooting. I’m trying to work at building up my portfolio so shoots like these are great. My friend Sean from school is a triathlete, so we loaded up the bikes and headed down to a training hill and made him do laps.

There are a few more shots posted at http://www.flickr.com/sydsquid