The last time I passed by Watridge Lake I was 34 weeks pregnant, feeling too warm, with sore feet, and generally feeling as if I’d hiked far enough. We’d hiked through from Sunshine Meadows to Mount Assiniboine, and I’d already travelled 19-20km that day. I was kind of hoping for a travelator to take me home. Or a small helicopter. Perhaps a tame and friendly moose. This time I returned with a baby on the outside, and a tame snow-shoer to pull along the Chariot. It took us less than an hour to reach the lake! I was … Continue reading Return to Watridge Lake
The snow and ice are finally going away and we’re getting some warm weather. It’s mostly snow-free around town now, although it does keep snowing again, and getting cold again. Down by Policeman’s Creek, in the middle of town.
We went to ski this thing: Quartz Ridge It involved another episode of cheating, where we caught the gondola up to the village at Sunshine, then rode a chairlift to gain even more height, then whizzed off downhill into the meadows. Eventually we ran out of speed and had to start skinning. And then after some hole-digging, some steep uphill skinning. Skinning up Quartz Ridge Then it was weeeeeeh downhill again (that’s me in that cloud of powder… somewhere). Megan skiing down Quartz Ridge And some more hole digging and food eating (leftover spaghetti … Continue reading ast2: quartz ridge, sunshine meadows
Woah, it’s been a while… I haven’t been on the internet much, although I have found the time to make a pie chart displaying exactly how much time I’ve been spending at work and in transit and sleeping, leaving only 3 hours or so at home for laundry/dinner cooking/grocery shopping/going for bike rides/bouldering…. But anyway, prepare for an onslaught of backdated adventures. With lots of pictures and not many words no doubt. Rockbound Lake, nestled underneath the ramparts of Castle Mountain This one is more of a Nordic trail than anything else, with just one little steep section … Continue reading ski tour: rockbound lake
Looking through the guidebook for an ice climb to do on a windy day with high avalanche risk, we struck upon the climbs down by the edge of Lake Minnewanke. The guidebook told us that the first ascent team had used iceskates to get to the climbs – but for later in the season recommended bikes. “Ok”, we thought, “bikes it is, that sounds like a great idea”. Walking the bikes across Lake Minnewanke Arriving at the lake we had to hunt around for a while to find a good place to get onto the ice – neither … Continue reading ice-capades on a frozen lake
Unfortunately this time the jinx did not take itself out on me, but my hapless climbing partner. We drove to Haffner Creek, changed into boots, loaded ourselves up with climbing gear, hiked in to the climbs, picked a likely looking first climb, climbing partner racked up and started leading. The ice was quite hard, the climb was very vertical, and climbing partner started to get pumped and shaky, attempting to place an ice screw that just wouldn’t bite. Front bail of one of climbing partner’s crampons popped off, and climbing partner rapidly went from being a few metres up on … Continue reading perhaps my ice climbing trips are jinxed this season?
The avalanche danger has been very high recently, so a lot of the more interesting backcountry skiing has to be avoided at all costs. And most of what’s leftover has to be approached with a healthy dose of paranoia. So on my day off I went and did what was basically a hideously ungroomed nordic trail, with no avalanche danger whatsoever, as it was so flat and far from anything that could conceivably be viewed as a skiable slope. But still pretty. We kept the mountains at a healthy distance, and there were signs of natural avalanche activity … Continue reading to the inkpots
The sun shone on us feebly from far away. But the snow was soft and fluffy. Mt Assiniboine
Suffering from the standard hemisphere-displacement complaint of “It just doesn’t feel like Christmas if it’s not stinking hot/minus 20oC/snowy/dusty/filled with venomous snakes”. We do have a Christmas tree though. Well, Christmas cactus. At least it’s trying. I don’t think it would take many baubles without complete cactus-failure occurring though. Out on the streets it’s a different matter, with shiny lights and snow-covered Christmas trees everywhere. (PS. Imperial leather is an odd name for soap)
Fed up with not having any exercise for the last week and a half, I decided to test out my knee on a short bike ride. Unfortunately the warmest it managed to make it to today was -22oC (-8oF) or so. And there was a lot of snow around, so it ended up being a longer than planned bike ride with large sections of pushing. As I set out it was like a world of pastel though, with everything snow-covered and subdued sunset pink and blues soaking through. I went back out and cycled along my nemesis track … Continue reading back on the bike
The new sculpture in Canmore, The Head, is based on the word ceannmore – the Scottish-Gaelic word that’s said to be the origin of the towns name. It literally means ‘big head’ (although possibly in the sense of wise leader, not large and lurking stone noggin emerging from the pavement). All sorts of headgear have been turning up on him. This crocheted beanie/toque appeared just at the start of the cold snap (and no, it wasn’t me).
The worst thing about minus 24oC is the frozen nostril hair. Although I did get to go home from school early! (School being work in this case) Colder than -30oC up on the hill = too cold to ski!
An expedition into town today led to the acquisition of some Continental Spike Claw 240s (at the only local bike shop that wasn’t sold out of winter tyres). The physio also made my knee work again – well, it’ll still be recovering for a few more weeks, but now it bends at least. So maybe eventually I’ll be able to ditch the crutches and start utilising the fancy new winter tyres. And perhaps one day our car will no longer live at the mechanics.
After Sundays adventure I’m hobbling around on crutches with a knee that is swollen like a water balloon and won’t bear much weight. Thankfully there’s probably nothing broken, fractured, twisted or torn, so I just have to wait for my knee to stop panicking (it has an built-in air bag that doesn’t deploy quickly enough?) and recovery might not take too long. I hope. Then I shall buy these tyres (Schwalbe Winter Marathons) and laugh in the face of any ice and snow in my path.
It wasn’t going BOOM at all (except for once perhaps, on the way up). Starting from a parking lot not far South of Castle Junction, you head up through the trees, then up and down a meandering path through the trees til you hit the lake about 5km later. When we went up there were only a few sets of footprints there, some of which had obviously given up after a kilometre or so. The lake was mostly frozen (except for those few disconcertingly slushy sections), and had a few inches of snow on it. There are a … Continue reading boom lake
So, with the Jeep still out of action at the mechanics (and while it’s away we’re secretly looking at every Subaru we see for sale), we ended up cycling to the ice. First we tried to have a look at the Pigeon Mountain Falls near Dead Mans Flats, but the guys at the quarry in front of it weren’t having any of that. So we cycled onward to Heart Creek. Creeksicles Nothing was looking particularly inspiring – and Heart Falls definitely didn’t sound very frozen, I couldn’t be bothered with the scramble round to confirm one way or … Continue reading early season ice
The things you do when you don’t have a functioning vehicle. (Yes those are nordic skis and poles strapped to the bikes – it worked quite well)
So apparently it’s largely uphill along the highway from Canmore to Banff. Only 700 metres gain over 25km or so. Gradual enough to make you think it’s flat, and that you’re just really unfit – until you turn around and go the other way. Riding along the 1A Despite the cool temperatures on Thursday (it was around minus 13oC at 11am, I don’t know that it got much warmer), we went Banff-wards by bike – largely to go and see the new Warren Miller movie (Children of Winter, much better than other Warren Miller movies I’ve seen in … Continue reading another silly bike adventure
I suppose including cheese in your meat slice makes sense on a certain level, as it will save you having to put to put two separate slices of stuff in your sandwich. Not entirely sure about the macaroni though.
After prolonged warm weather, it finally snowed in town the other day – and there was actually some snow on the ground for opening day at work (which has been kind of hectic). Oh, and the flag really is a Canadian flag, it’s just being all insipid and limp.