Showing posts from December, 2009

Krakowski Festiwal Gorski

Earlier this month I went to Poland, to attend the Krakow Mountain Festival and to try to do some climbing. The festival is a great event, similar to but maybe even bigger than the Banff Film Festival. It featured some cool films and slide shows, but as is usually the case at such events, the socializing that went on in the hallways, restaurants and bars was the best part. There one got to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Drytooling at Zakrzowek, a quarry in Krakow popular with the ice-tool-wielding crowd. Wojtek Kurtyka (left) and Maciek Ciesielski on Barka, a floating bar on the Vistula River. Jan Muskat, "The King of the Tatras" and a pioneer of frozen grass climbing. The climbing part of the trip was supposed to take in the famous frozen grass of the Tatras. Unfortunately winter was late in arriving, with rain in the valleys and the freezing level hovering not far below the mountaintops. We did try to go climbing in the mountains in spite o

Adventures of the 2009 Canadian Pumari Chhish East Expedition

It has been some months since Eamonn, Ian and I returned from Pakistan. As such, the report below is not exactly breaking news. Still, I thought I would kick off my blog with it, as some people might enjoy reading it. Ian Welsted with a friendly local in the pastures above Karimabad. In the summer of 2009, three of us Canadian Rockies locals (Eamonn Walsh, Ian Welsted and I) traveled to Pakistan to play in the bigger hills over there. We returned to the Hispar Glacier area, a region we first visited in 2006 when we unsuccessfully attempted the southwest face of Kunyang Chhish East (ca. 7400 m). Even though Kunyang East is one of the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen (and remains unclimbed to boot), in 2009 we decided to experience another mountain: the (also unclimbed) Pumari Chhish East (ca. 6900). The Kunyang Chhish (left) and Pumari Chhish massifs. We left Calgary on June 10th, and on summer solstice arrived in basecamp at 4500 m, a wonderful grassy spot perched above