Never start a holiday with “It never rains when we’re on a road trip.”
Three weeks camping and driving around BC brought 2 weeks of solid downpour. Up north we had closed roads due to the weather and way too much time taking shelter in the cosmopolitan delights of Northern BC’s glamour towns. On the plus side we got bright skies in Tofino and decent 8 to 12ft swells.
It’s been a tough Summer. No work, only 3 days of clouds in just over a month, hot weather and so much swimming it’s like being twelve again. With mountain bike season closing in the next month or so it’s time to put some thought towards the coming ski season….. but first some photos from around town.
The Western US… what an odd place. Monster and I spent three weeks road tripping down through Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho before finally getting back to Fernie. Here is a synopsis.
Montana – Church, Casino, Church, Casino, Church, Casino… repeat for every town.
Wyoming – Yellowstone is better on TV. Grand Teton very cool. Mountains BOOM.
Utah – Disappearing towns, hot and home of some very cool Nat’l Parks. Bryce, Zion and Lake Powell/Glen Canyon were top memories.
Nevada – Home to power lines, Las Vegas (massive pile of poo) and the worst of America. I see why some friends like it.
California – Hippies, traffic, water waste, surfing (rad) and coastal summer fog (not rad).
Oregon – Super nice state parks, meandering rivers, swimming in Crater Lake.
Washington – Mount Ranier, and lots of berry stalls. Looks like BC (duh).
Idaho – Drove through. Looks nice. Good Reggae music stations (?????).
Anyway…. 1000 photos later. Here is a quick hit for your viewing.
Flowers and the Tetons
Out to summit a Canadian classic I partnered up with guide Conrad Janzen and tackled Mount Athabasca (3491m). This being my first pure alpine climbing experience (no skiing) and my first time out with Conrad (whom I met at Fairy Meadows in April while he was guiding an ACC group of 8 ) I wasn’t sure what to expect. All in all it was a perfect day with good company, great weather a successful summit and near perfect conditions.
Scoping out Athabasca the night before….
With all of BC having a pretty heavy spring snowpack conditions turned out to be an icy crust over very hard snow throughout the whole climb. The day started at with an early 2am alarm at our roadside camping spot and we were on trail up the moraine for a 3am start. Once up the moraine it was glacier time as we approached our route up a variation of the North Face.
Our route went up the face to the notch on the left side of the north face, from there we traversed across the snow ledge and up a tiny couloir before climbing a snow/rock mix to the summit ridge.
Looking back to the road (start point)….
Top of the notch…
Traversing the snowledge (feeling very exposed!)…
Summit ridge climb…
Touristo Summit Shot!
Thats it. 12 hours start to finish and some very tired knees.
Spent the past 5 days in the Stockholm Archipelago with Monster and her parents… Sailing. On the positive side the adult swedes were great hosts supplying the boat, wonderful food and great company. On the negative side I now realise that sailing consists of confined space, many head bonks on low ceilings and constantly being in the way. The weather was… hmmm and the swimming was chilly (14 celsius) but hey I went in twice, once on my own terms and the second fully clothed. Gotta watch those slips!
Total epicness has been hard to come by over the last 8 years of working in London and only being able to travel back to BC. But now it’s time to get back L I V I N. Road trips, camping, hiking, biking and general getting back to mother nature are all on the cards now that I’m on the verge of a 6 month extended vacation. Hello Fernie! And guess what??? Monster is coming with me……
Monster meets Fernie dirt