August 3, 2017

Bugaboo Provincial Park, Canada

Last month, Jason Dorais and I spent several days climbing in the mystical Bugaboo Range in Canada. Really it's difficult to put into words the beauty and majesty of these most incredible granite spires.  The notoriously rapid changing and violent weather of the range held up to its reputation as we found ourselves dodging storms the entire time.  As weather windows would open for us, we would rush to our desired routes and get on them as quickly as possible.  

More than just the world-class climbing was the simple aspect of just being present among some of the greatest creations on earth (at least from what I have seen).  Hardened Bugaboo climbers are amazing alpinists. Being a newbie to the range, I was impressed by some of the folks camping at Applebee Dome and the routes they had climbed before the weather went south and what they were holding out to do.  This was Jason's third time to the range.  To see him absorb the energy of the environment was really neat to witness. We walked away with tremendous prizes but also a growing list of possibilities, which we look forward to returning to make a reality.  

When we got back into cell range, I got a text from my middle son, "Yo Dad how are the Bugaboos?" Hopefully he will get his own answer next year when he joins us.

Pigeon Spire

Snowpatch Spire
Wild and Icy morning- Bugaboo Spire
Background- South Howser 
Bugaboo Glacier
Bugaboo and Snowpatch Spires below
Sidewalk of Pigeon

Pitch 1 Bugaboo

Calm between storms
Eyeing a short-lived window
Jason on McTech Arete- Crescent Spire
2nd to last rappel of McTech

March 11, 2017

January and February's Deep Memories

A couple unreal months have settled into the past but the memories keep filling my mind as this winter in the Wasatch Range has been unbelievable. A few photos record some great moments with friends that have quickly like myself become powder snobs.

Lars topping out on Y

Jason Dorais Deep in Thought in Hogum

Jason and Andy, we skied line left of Hogum's Heroes

Lars early January

Me in Y Not, courtesy Bart G.

Bart Gillespie rapping Y Not

Jared Inouye Y Not

Jared Inouye, Top of Little Y

Jared and the rap in Y Not

Superior Morning- Courtesy Lars

Justin Wilson- late February

Me- Courtesy Justin Wilson - late February

December 26, 2016

A Collage of December Powder

It's been a great month. Holiday fun and some wonderful mornings out in the hills with friends. December is a special time of year, not only because of the many festivities but the snow is unique. Some of the coldest temperatures of the year tend to fill the morning hours of December, capturing the lightest personalities of the flakes. We have been fortunate enough to enjoy some.

Lars- Courtesy Jason Dorais

Jason Dorais and morning December light
Tom Goth- Courtesy Andy Dorais

Old man- Courtesy Jason Dorais
Jason Dorais

Bart Gillespie- Courtesy Jason Dorais
Andy Dorais- Courtesy Jason Dorais
Old man-Courtesy Jason Dorais
Justin Wilson- Courtesy Jason Dorais
Tom Goth- Courtesy Jason Dorais
Morning Magic

August 22, 2016

Lowe Route-Lone Peak

On Saturday, Jason and I were able to get together again, enjoy some fine mountain air and share yet another most excellent outing. Ashamedly, I had never done the Lowe Route. It has been on my list for many years. Incredibly, we had the LP cirque to ourselves in an almost hauntingly calm morning. The steep granite walls received us like a cathedral beckoning the saint or sinner forward. 

Autumn was in the air and the granite felt like mid-September. The morning went off without a hitch, except for the clove hitch we had to use because Jason forgot his belay device. The route met every expectation, amazing setting with exhilarating exposure. A most magnificent alpine morning indeed.

Jason topping out on Pitch 1

Me looking down the incredible Question Mark Wall

Jason Dorais!

August 12, 2016

Grand Teton- Upper Exum- Parental Highlight-- August 10, 2016

Alex who is now 17 years old a few years ago climbed the Middle Teton with me. Upon reaching the top, the youngster got his first glimpse of the Grand Teton's magnificent south ridges. "Dad we gotta go there someday!" he quietly said, with the summer sun pouring morning rays over both of us.

On August 10th, we departed the car at 2:25 AM, hiked in at a good pace reaching the Lower Saddle by 5:45 AM. Our route of choice was the Upper Exum Ridge of the Grand, one of my favorite classics in the range. We simul-climbed a good chunk of the route, except for belaying the Golden Stair, Friction and V pitches. We arrived on top at 9:05 AM. After enjoying the summit to ourselves in heavy winds, we headed down the rappel.

Upon reaching the Lower Saddle, nestled between the Middle and Grand Tetons we hid from the wind and reflected on the spectacular morning. After some photos we then descended, arriving at our car just after 4 PM that same day.  It was a journey I shall never forget and I hope Alex carries it with him always too.

Wall Street and Exum Guide Silhouette

Morning light and the Golden Staircase

Friction Pitch and wind spinning the cords

V Pitch

Getting there