Showing posts from September, 2010

The Seasons, They Are A-Changin'

Technically it is still summer but it sure does not feel like it. On a bike ride in the foothills last week, I found myself ducking under branches weighed down with fresh snow. Having struggled to stay warm while rock climbing the last couple of times out, I was reluctant to head back up to The Lookout on the strength of yesterday's forecast. That, plus with the crappy weather recently, Eamonn, J and I were keen to drive the Icefields Parkway to see if something interesting might not have frozen up. As it turned out, it is still a bit early to dust off the ice tools, but we did enjoy a fun scramble up Mt. Coleman. Blue skies, amazing views, and a good lungs-and-legs workout; I have had worse days out. Mt. Amery (on the right) from the meadows of Sunset Pass. Aurora on the north face of Mt. Amery looked nearly good to go. Eamonn and J looking up the Alexandra River valley. The summit ridge, over a vertical mile above the Parkway, did not feel very summer like. J slogging towar

The Amethyst Lake Rockwall traverse

As I am writing this, cold rain is falling outside. It being September in Alberta, this means it is snowing in the hills. Summer is definitely over in the Rockies. Sure, there will still be sunny days at The Lookout and on Yam, maybe even some crisp indian summer in the alpine, but the warm afternoons and dry rock on the high peaks will have to wait until next year. And so I find myself thinking back to the season that has just ended, and the great adventures shared with good friends. A month ago Dana Ruddy, Eamonn Walsh and I walked twenty kilometres into that magical place that is the Tonquin. Our goal was the traverse of the Amethyst Lake Rockwall, taking in the summits of Redoubt, Dungeon and Oubliette. We were up before dawn and hitting the trail by headlamp. The ten kilometres of hiking around the lake went by quickly, all the more so as I was half asleep through most of it. The sun rose into a sky hazy with smoke from forest fires burning in British Columbia as we tried to ke