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Showing posts from August, 2010

Seventh Rifle

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The alarm goes off at 3:30 a.m. I do not hear it, as I have my earplugs in against Jon's snoring, but he does. I stick my head out of the tent and look at the sky. Not a single cloud obscures the thousands of stars; there is no excuse to go back to sleep. Unfortunately by the time we choke down our instant oatmeal the stars have disappeared behind dark clouds. But with a full French press' worth of coffee in our veins there is no turning back, and we set off boulder hopping by headlamp across the moraines. The early morning light is just enough to see by when we crest the Bugaboo-Snowpatch col. What we see is not very inspiring: thick, low clouds are streaming from the north across the Howsers. The thought of rappelling into the west face in marginal weather does not appeal. We run back down to Applebee, where we crawl into our sleeping backs and do not reemerge until almost noon. Wake up and smell the coffee! The stormy Howsers from the Bugaboo-Snowpatch col. The scene rep

The Bugs!

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Last month "Polish Bob" Rogoz and I spent some time in the Bugaboos . We enjoyed good granite, sunshine and storm; in other words, the classic Bugs experience. Are there really porcupines up Bugaboo Creek, or is it all a myth? The west face of Snowpatch Spire. Yoga on the (south) summit of Snowpatch. Photo: Robert Rogoz. Life and death on the glacier. Sunrise on the Howser Towers. A piece of gear should ideally serve more than one function. For instance, a sharpened stick works as an ice axe but also comes in handy for staking vampires. The sun's first rays warming the top of the Beckey-Choiunard route on South Howser Tower. The Great White Headwall on the Beckey-Choiunard. Photo: Robert Rogoz. A disturbing scene on the summit of South Howser Tower. A Rockies' rat does not like to venture out of sight of his favourite mountains: Bugaboo Spire with the Goodsir Towers in the background. In the clouds on the summit ridge of Bugaboo Spire. Bugaboo moonrise.

Huatulco bouldering

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Huatulco? What does a tropical beach paradise in southern Mexico have to offer to a climber beside cold margaritas? Well, first of all margaritas are nothing to sneeze at, especially when consumed to the accompaniment of vuvuzelas at the FIFA World Cup on the beachside-bar TV set. But wait: what is that iguana sitting on? Is that high-quality granite? While Huatulco is not likely to become known as a bouldering mecca anytime soon, there are enough stones strewn along the coast on which to to shred one's fingertips, before wrapping them around the aforesaid margarita glass. ¿Cu├íl es el resultado? Huatulco stone. An iguana topping out on a classic problem. "The Egg of Huatulco" offered some great problems with a variety of landings. The key beta: pull with the arms and push with the feet. Photo: Vera Slawinski. Then again, some problems did not require much in the way of footwork. Photo: Vera Slawinski. On any road trip it is hard not to get psyched out by locals run