Wednesday, 14 September 2016


After a summer of an immersion in the joys of Squamlandia I loaded up the duffels and hightailed it to one of my favorite parts of the Planet: The Arctic Circle.  Landing in Iceland our posse assembled to take in the flavor of the place.

                                                  Paolo, is always all in...

                                               Vicky: funner than a drunken Monk

                                                    Matt is always ready for more

                                                       Ange is a rabble rouser

                                     Cool as a cucumber, Julian keeps it tight behind the lense

We dined at a traditional Icelandic Restaurant and opened our hearts to embrace this strange new culture.

It wasn't long before Vikki got us kicked out of this building, not all Icelanders are as friendly as Bjørk.
Except maybe this guy: Rasmuss (though he's actually Swedish), First Mate on our passage to Greenland.

And his boss, the stern but psyched Vidar; captain of the good ship Aurora

Sailing across the Denmark Straight took 3 days and it was not only nauseating but moved me to tears when we finally saw land.  As I found out there's no "TAKE" in sailing.

 When we finally got down to the climbing it was really good!  The rock was a mixed bag of quality and the views were so so as well.

Here's Paolo tacking out a 5.11 pitch on the First Ascent of the South West Buttress of Hidden Peak.

Vikki on the proudest lead of the day, somewhere around pitch 12.  Does that crimper, gaston, highstep combo high above a glacial fjord strike you as a gentle romp in the hills?

Anyway, Vikki is badass, but on the second rappele (out of 17) her left rock shoe slipped off like that time Cinderella was in a hurry to leave the Ball.  Needless to say, the route named itself.  Note the sock/athletic tape setup Vicky rocked for 16 more raps plus 300 meters of down-scambling.

Paolo gunning for advanced basecamp which we reached well into the Arctic night.

 Next stop, the unclimbed, unnamed peak in the center of the photo.  Highest summit of the Mythics Cirque at a whopping 1450m above the sea.  We took the obvious ridge left of the hanging pocket glacier.

Getting established on this feature proved tricky but the rest of the ridge was dreamy...

Ange getting after it!

                                                                     Summi slopes

A lot of people could care less if the're first, I care alot, it's my thing.   I don't care so much about being first to the top, but rather, being the first to consider, to try, to see if it's possible. 

The walk off after a bivi on route, day two.  Plenty to do here still...

After the "real" climbing, we managed a few pitches right out of the Fjord.  This spicy number is named "Camperella" after a new Italian word Paolo taught me.       Vikki Weldon Photo

                                         Fun, engaging climbing and good stone.     Vikki Weldon Photo

We departed from the Fjord (named Kangerttitivastiaq - no kidding) after about ten days of sessioning and cruised south 100km to the village of Tasilaq.  The Bergs were a highlight.

The village was a sight for sore eyes and the village people were very sweet.

This guy invited us into his house for coffee, sweets and Whale blubber.  The blubber was as you might expect chewy but nourishing.  It's always nice to see how other humans do it!

One of the highlights of the trip for me was a flight I snuck in about an hour outside Tasilaq.  You can see my wing's shadow at bottom left and our ship, the Aurora, is a speck just left of the mountain shadow at the head of the bay.   The air was magic and I soared out over the Yacht and landed in a meadow just 20 meters from shore.

                Greenland is stacked with potential, I can't wait for another visit!  Thanks team!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Summer in Squamdale!

With a few unexpected turns in fortune, I found myself at home for an unprecedented month this summer.  Squamish in it's prime is really too good, everyone knows it so everyone is here.  Between the hoards and the heat, locals have little else to do than hang at secret beaches and run to the hills.   Finding solace in the redneck 'pine is one of my favorite activities and poking around an unknown corner couldn't be more enjoyable with the company of good friends.

  Checking out an unexplored canyon above the village with the remarkable Klemen Mali

We equipped this box canyon with 10 rap anchors, the crux is the walk out

 Refreshing pools are always welcome

The eerie Ice Box Canyon with Will and the Gibson clan.

The focus changed horizons with Crosby Johnston new routing on the Fluffy Wall

Glamorous work it is...

Spot the climbers!

Crosby and Chris Trull wait for a break in the weather to beat the crowds new routing on the Chief

For a brief interlude, Helen and I headed to Port Renfrew where I discovered the panorama function on my camera

 The far West Coast rarely disappoints, calling this marine park mystic is like saying Fred Becky has put up a few new routes

Fred, after establishing a few first ascents has segued into crushing established classics.  When you turn 93, please remember: it's is not an excuse to to make Bridge your passion.

 A day of Legends; Jim Sinclair and Fred remembering a climb they did together over 50 years ago

Another more spry legend on hand Peder Ouram.  He keeps saying he's over climbing but he's out more days than most.

Back in action with Crosby on another project in the backcountry

Ground up!

You just don't find this every day...

Tommy Gruber on the Ganesha Project...Stay tuned