Showing posts from December, 2011


One of the cool things about playing in one's home mountain range is going back to familiar places and seeing them in a new light. Like, say, tiptoeing up delicate mixed ground and thin ice right next to the massive Weeping Pillar. Contrived? You could say so. Fun? You bet! 2008. Eamonn Walsh and I took a few days off and went on a little road trip up the Parkway. Our friend Dana Ruddy was away, but that did not stop us from crashing in his basement in Jasper. From there on the first day we climbed "No Use In Crying" , an unlikely four-pitch line well left of the Upper Weeping Wall. On the second we took care of some unfinished business on the left margin of Curtain Call, calling the result "Cyber Pasty Memorial" in honour of a perennially untanned friend who had recently given up ice climbing. On the third we headed back up to the Upper Weeping Wall to try a line to the right of Weeping Pillar we had spotted two days earlier. The first pitch went up an intimid

Creeping old fartism?

You know you are getting long in the tooth when you start reminiscing about days gone by. Steve Swenson refers to this unfortunate tendency and other signs of advancing age as "creeping old fartism." I try to guard against this dreaded syndrome, but still catch myself occasionally telling some bored youth about the time my partner and I made the first (or was it the umpteenth?) ascent of the north face of Mt. Forgettable... All the same, every December 1 I cannot help thinking back to that day in 1997, when by all rights I should have gotten the chop. I wrote the following story not long after the event. *** "Rumour had it that Dave Thomson had put up an M8 on the Stanley Headwall: Teddy Bear’s Picnic, the direct start to the unformed pillar of Suffer Machine. I had no clue about M-grades, but an eight sounded exciting. I had to have a go at it. And so the morning of December 1 found Dave Campbell and me hiking up to the Headwall. There was little snow, but it was col