canada climbing general

perhaps my ice climbing trips are jinxed this season?

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 the ice to being on the ground.

Luckily he was falling onto snow and his legs were fine, but unluckily he nicked himself in the face with his tool on the way down. Meanwhile the other tool was still up in the ice. And a lot of blood.


Kind man bouldering up to retrieve the tool


After the lone tool was rescued we packed up and drove home. A hospital visit and two stitches later and he was as good as new again.


Post-hospital with a couple of stitches under the left eye


So we dashed off to the Junkyards for a couple of hours of laps on a toprope – and ended up getting some climbing in after all.

bikes canada

new wheels, man



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.

bikes canada general

winter tyres



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.

canada general

all things considered, this day gets a D-

Pro I got to have a sleep-in, because I was doing the Yamnuska Leading on Ice course today.
Con Our Jeep still isn’t working, so I had to leave the house early to cycle to the Yamnuska Office.
Pro Riding around town is always fun, and it was fairly warm this morning.
Con I arrived at the offices at 8am (as it instructed on the email I got) and everyone else had apparently been there since 7.30, and they’d been having a pre-course briefing.
Pro I got to carpool with a nice Japanese girl.
Con The other car which held the other three people doing the course, and the guide, quickly disappeared. So much for a convey – oh well, at least he told us where we were going, and we can hopefully remember how to get there.
Con We realised after we pass Dead Man’s Flats that the car would not have enough fuel to get to King Creek and back.
Con Exshaw petrol station doesn’t open til 10am on Sunday.
Con When I phone the guide to let him know we’ll be late, it goes straight to voicemail. Damn.
Con We end up driving back to Canmore again just for fuel, as it’s now the closest place that will be open.
Con The car will now not go into gear, and is not going anywhere any time soon.
Pro At least we’re stuck in Canmore, rather than anywhere further afield.
Con Get voicemail again when try phoning guide again. Leave message. Get voicemail at Yamnuska too.
Con Where we want to go is too far for any of the cab companies.
Con The rental car places are closed on Sunday.
Con Cannot find anyone with a car I could borrow.
Pro Having walked back to the Yamnuska offices, they are toasty and warm. I wander round inside and yell to see if anyone is there.
Con There is noone there.
Pro If I was a thief I could steal lots of good things.
Con I am not a thief.
Pro It is snowing pretty fat flakes, and I decide to ride to the Canmore Junkyards – it is Sunday, maybe there will be people I know there.
Pro I look around and take photos at the Junkyards.
Con I do not climb at the Junkyards.
Pro Cycling in the snow is fun!
Con I go back along the powerlines, where there is ice underneath the snow. The ice is less fun, and on a downhill section I lose the back end of my bike and land knee first on the ice.
Con My knee hurts rather a lot.
Con I have trouble walking now, and cannot bend my knee to ride.
Pro Nice men from the power company give me a lift in their truck.
Con My knee has an increasingly large bloody lump on it.
Pro The snow is pretty to watch outside the window, and is handy for putting inside a bag to ice my knee with. And I have brownies.

(Grade subject to revision depending on how this knee injury turns out… and I would love some studded tyres to help with the ice problems, but they weren’t really in the budget… hmm.)


you can’t get the wood, you know

On the advantages of driving on the right-hand side of the road… I am left-footed. When I go cycling in traffic in Australia, I have to grovel about standing in the gutter, with my right foot resting on the road. Meanwhile everyone else stands proudly tall, their left foot on the kerb. However, when I get to cycling on American roads, finally I have my day, and can stand on the kerb with pride (I was excited when I discovered this).

Also, I’ve torn my A2 pulley (sounds rather impressive and doctor-waffley doesn’t it? It’s the tendon in my left ring finger). Luckily it’s only a partial tear. This is what I get from climbing in the gym.

Are you a millionaire?
No, I’m seven and six short.