Monday, July 27, 2009

Wow, an update!

I know, it has been a long, long while, but that is the nature of the chaotic summer life I live. One week I am on Rainer, the next in Boulder, then Squamish, and who knows a helicopter flight to some alpine climbing. Not having a steady schedule can throw you for a loop sometimes, and blogging is one of the first things to be a casualty. Well, now I can update you and throw some pics and ideas for adventure your way...

I will catch you up with part one here, and the return to alpine guiding/climbing. One of my first trips this year was for Mountain Madness guiding the Kautz glacier route up Mt. Rainier. If you haven't climbed Rainier, it is an incredible mountain, that is quite a great achievement to climb and a perfect stepping stone for climbing the big glaciated mountains of the world. The Kautz Glacier route is a really fun climb, that starts with a few pitches of easy ice climbing to a nice steep glacier walk to the summit. On this trip we were met with heinous winter weather, and a perfect sunny summit day, followed by a visit from the Jet Stream, winds lashing us on our last night on the mountain. Overall, some hard work and a great climb, here are some shots:

Ahh, the first day of summer...and 6 inches of new snow at 9,200'!

Sunshine above the clouds on the way to High Camp on the Kautz Glacier Route.

After this trip I found some time to actually do some climbing in Squamish, and was able to get up a few routes, like the University Wall, which I only hung in one spot due to abnormal wetness, or my impatience to climb the route before it was dry! I spent a great deal of time climbing in the dihedrals on the Chief as well, avoiding the crowds and climbing the steep and impeccable granite of the sky crag ledge zone. If you are up to the task, the routes Men Holding Hands, Getting down on the Brown, and Brothers in Arms are all 5.12+ trad routes and are all AMAZING. Check it out on, which by the way, is an amazing resource for online route info. I even got a chance to do my favorite route in Squamish, with my favorite person in the world: Freeway with Jasmin! If you haven't done this route, GO DO IT NOW! So good, 8 pitches of impeccable granite, short cruxes, good gear, great positions. We honored the gentlepersons of leisure club with our 3pm start and were back down at the car at 7pm, having both cruised the route, which is a good fitness gauge to feel like you can waltz up 5.11 cracks.

Jas starts up Freeway at about 3:15pm

Happy climbers on Freeway

After this I was onboard for 2 weeks of alpine guiding and instruction with Kuan and Mike for Canada West Mountain School. The boys were here to learn the skills of mountain travel and I was going to try and show them how. We started off with a week in the Spearhead Range near Whistler, where we climbing summits like Blackcomb and Decker and learned stuff like crevasse rescue and snow anchors.

Finally last week, we flew into the Tantalus Range and the luxurious Jim Haberl Hut for some more peak bagging. With high pressure all week, we managed ascents of the SE Face of Dione, North Face of Serratus and the East Ridge of Alpha. All classic and amazing, it was a great way for these guys to end their trip out to BC!

The boys summit the E Ridge of Alpha

Finishing off the North Face of Serratus with Dione in the background

Mike cooks up some burgers a the hut. Alpine climbing is so hard...

On the way up Serratus

Well, summer is slowing down, and the next 2 weeks have a bit more alpine guiding on tap as well as the Squamish Mountain Fest. I am forcing my self (so hard, I know) to take off for about a month to climb for myself from late August through September...time to climb in BC before the fall gets here! Time flies when you are busy and climbing all the time!