Tag Archives: winter

ast2: quartz ridge, sunshine meadows

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

ski tour: rockbound lake

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

to the inkpots

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

a wintery day on the icefields parkway

This was last weekend, at Bow Lake on the Icefields Parkway. So cold and windy that even the ravens were just sitting tucked against the ground, their beaks towards the wind. Though it didn’t stop them from hanging out in parking spots hoping for handouts from tourists. There was a lot of snow on the ground, and the road was icy – a long way from the conditions in our valley, where it really hasn’t been snowing much, and is continuing to be suspiciously warm for this time of the year.

bzzzzt… what is johnston’s canyon

I’ll take Places With Snow On Them for 800 thanks Alex.     Approaching: Halloween, moving house, the ski hill opening, ice climbing season, pulling on plastic in the bouldering gym, back country ski trips, frozen lakes, temperatures in the minus 20s, Christmas. Fast becoming distant memories: Visiting Australia, riding the single trail after work, rock climbing after work, daylight from 5.30am til 11pm, squirrels, calling out so bears wouldn’t eat me, scrambling up mountains, jumping into lakes.

the snow in town, it just doesn’t go away

Since the start of December (or some time around then) the snow just hasn’t left the streets. Well, technically it’s left the streets. Unless you count the mushy brown stuff that looks distractingly like creamed butter and brown sugar. But it’s still everywhere else.     These photos were taken at the start of December, just before Banff Avenue re-opened (after months of roadworks). It was a perfect surface for skiing up and down on.     The Christmas lights are coming out all over town now. And suddenly all of those Christmas cards and images and song lyrics make … Continue reading the snow in town, it just doesn’t go away

bit nippy out

I’m not sure when the temperatures were last above freezing, but I think it was a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately there isn’t much snow looming in future forecasts, but at least all the cold will be helping the ice climbs get nice and fat.   But I’m beginning to see what all the Canadians in Melbourne were complaining about. Whether it’s the proper heating over here, the really dry air, or the fact the temperatures don’t seem to jump around so much, I’m finding the cold here easier to deal with than in Melbourne. Of course I might change … Continue reading bit nippy out


Reasons winter is good 1) Porridge 2) Snow and frost making things pretty 3) Foggy days in Melbourne 4) Skiing 5) Getting warm by fires 6) Long nights 7) Blankets (snuggling in) Reasons winter is bad 1) People cooking porridge in the microwave and letting it overflow then not cleaning up afterwards 2) Getting hypothermic in the snow 3) Having to have showers when you’re freezing cold 4) Cold nose, cold ears, cold hands, cold feet 5) Too cold to climb 6) Not enough sunlight 7) Having to wear several thousand layers 8) Rainy weekends 9) Continual lack of snow … Continue reading reasons


Today I was introduced to the concept of the 30-30-30 rule. If the temperature drops to -30°F or under, and the wind is blowing at 30 mph, then any exposed skin will begin to freeze in 30 seconds. It was bloody cold today. Well, it wasn’t quite cold enough for the rule to come into effect, but it was raining, and then snowing, all with a very strong wind, which managed to freeze lots of car doors shut, and create swathes of black ice on the roads and pavements, and nearly blow people over who were silly enough to be … Continue reading 30-30-30


I went hiking in Great Falls Park today. There were frozen waterfalls, and icy puddles, and trees without leaves. Hoards and hoards of trees without leaves. I can understand now why people get so excited about the leaves in autumn (or fall), as it would be pretty spectacular. Just about all Australian natives are evergreens, so our autumn isn’t anything special. These are the Great Falls of the Potomac. Hmm, apparently many people consider them to be the most spectacular natural landmark in the Washington DC area (according to google). The Potomac is actually the dividing line between Maryland and … Continue reading leafless