Monday, August 23, 2010

Return of Mountaineering in the Cascades

Because of the trip I did last year, I just had to sign up for more. It is a 10 day mountaineering seminar that NOLS offers their instructors. With it only being an hour and a half south I jumped in the van and headed back to the States. We organised gear the next day and took off for the hills.

This time round there were only 6 of us and an all female trip. You could just imagine the shenanagins we got up to. We managed to hit 3 peaks, travel a bunch on glacier, go crevasse diving, abseil of steep passes, have photo shoots and a whole lota a laughter - not to mention the blue bird skies every day!

The views...

The Camping...

The summits...

The people...

The skills...

The Marmots...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Summer Lovin

Summer over here in Canada has been all go. Within 3 days of Jacqui arriving back from Australia we were on the road again, family included. We had Hillary(shauns sis), Helge, Ange (Jacs sis) and Mic visiting so we took them for a tickey tour around the rockies. Although it seemed like it was summer in Vancouver - it was not the case in the rockies, we had more snow than anticipated. But all in all it was an awesome trip and was great to be hanging out with the family....

Shaun Hills and Helge at the top of the chief - Squamish

Ange and Jacs Melinge Lake, Jasper - not quite thawed!

The Crew so excited about sunshine and Mt Robson!

Of Course we had to get them out on some whitewater action. This picture is now the face of Fraser River Rafting! what an action shot!

Within a week or two of saying farewell to the sisters we anticipated the arrival of Jacquis mum and stepdad...round 2.

Continuing on a simlar journey through the rockies we also went to the Calgary stampede. Yehaww what an event that was. We pulled out our western attire and tried to fit in...

Canada Day - Proud!

All dressed up and ready to rodeo

Cuckwagon races

Mandatory jumping shot

We then had a bit of time back at work with a mixture of Vancouver and Vancouver Island Locations. Shaun then got assigned some work in the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii) in northern BC for 3 weeks. So we jumped in the company jeep and drove north for 2 days, through the haze of the forest fires and into sandfly / mosquito territory.

A small piece of evidence of bug action...

Jacs planning our route

There's heap's of totem poles on the islands. We hired some sea kayaks for a day and found this one.

Good views all round

Apparently it's crab season up here. We found this (undersized) one while kayaking and didn't keep it. A couple of days later we went out 'crabbing' for real. Evidence of that is below, unsuccessful on the crab front though

Mid-day, mid kayaking rest stop on a secluded beach

Some pretty cool rainforest up here

Jacs got creative and made some bannana bread

It wouldn't be a rugged coastline without a few good shipwreck's I suppose

This lake is just down the road from where Shauns staying / working.

We finished off the trip by going to a local music festival, awesome music, food and people...what more could you ask for?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Where to practise your hauling skills on Vancouver Island and

So I had completed my rock strength testing program on the Seymour Canyon formation and, beside losing my wallet (featured here on its last evening in my company, emotions emotions), I had nothing in mind (well there was a week of office work but...)

Shaunie was in Vancouver Island chasing Bald Eagles away from his favorite landfill, figuring he would get his weekend off.

Got some ideas from a local paddler and we met by Campbell River late on friday and carried on to beautiful Stary lake by Gold River. Everything finishes with River out here. It's gotta be a good sign

Team Bacon and Eggs started massive, supported by the fact I had forgotten the stove (lots of fuel though I should say in my defence)

We put in for the Upper Upper Gold river the next day where we found stuff we wanted to paddle

And stuff we didn't want to paddle

Paddling stuff is fun but sometimes, when you have a busy mind like mine, you feel like breaking the routine, looking at things from a different angle, giving yourself a chance to live the sport through all you sensors. I say no more...

Nice day finishing with our finest home brew, a strong purgating curry (most likely from hell), time to relax amongst the trees, listen to a bit of music and talk about the days and years to come.

My blurry pictures style hasn't quite found approval and support throughout the globe yet, but it is just waiting to happen, so I keep exposing people to it until they perceive the true apporximate and deviant depth of the concept. One day...

So we were sunday, and after two separate runs the previous day, we decided to take a look at Monkey Canyon for which we had a description that we cared to read very partially before putting in, so we would remain interested the whole way.
The first succession of rapids would normally be nice but with higher lows that desired and a tree right across we quickly came to an agreement.

Just after the narrows (which are very narrow by the way) Shaun led the way and jumped that fair jump behind his paddle and kayak, soon to be followed by his French buffer.

Things were good for a few more rapids, sun was shining, our muscles were feeling stronger and bigger than ever, but then the valley narrowed again with a distinct horizon line.

The rapid none of us remembered reading clearly about, with a no-return eddy as an only way to scout. The pool below and the rapid itself looked busy enough, and like I said we were feeling massive and strong, so we decided we were gonna do the glory portage on that one. After two unsuccessful bluffed out exits, a few ferry and hauling of kayaks along the river, we found the way

Back to the happy day with bark and mud in the neck, and hands heated by the hauling

You do it cause you love it.

Shaun just passing his "Root" commiting move