Mountains, sea, beach, trail, tire, tread, alpine, the little 2 man tent I own and the big orange VW, from coast to coast I roam. I started this site some years ago, after some years at Nortel, I hope you like it, it's a group effort, drop me a line and say hi.
Christmas is here, and, what to do for adventure, always tough to fight of the cake, drinks, rolls, and other tasty things. We are fortunate we have all of this, and can celebrate. So give in for a while, and indulge I say. Often-times, when far away from something you love, you gain a greater appreciation. So it goes with all the Xmas feasts. As you sit at your relatives, one meal after another, and start to get restless, you start to make resolutions. The trip you are going to book when you get home, the skiing nearby, and the friends you want to call to see if they are in the same boat.
Yes folks, unless you fly away for the break, there is scant chance you avoid "standing down" for the holidays. So loosen the belt, enjoy, and just get ready for a great 2009 outdoors.
This winter I've resolved to go back to Fruita to ride, I think this is my fav place, and, this winter, I will do more DH skiing. DH biking however, has been hazardous to my health in the past, so will have to go easy there.
Looking forward to reflecting on the trips taken (BC Elfin Lakes, Saquenay, lots of Quebec and BC, Colorado, Arizona) and more to come.
It's early November, what to do. Some say hike, others bike (if a warm blast hits), and still some are camping. As for me, this is a natural time to take a break, and, in my case, work on some trailpeak code -- get ready for ski season -- and otherwise, just stick to weekend warrior type events. It's also a great time for slideshows, re-organizing, and, taking inventory of what you did in summer, and, what to do in winter and next summer. That's the great thing about the outdoors, so much to choose from. I've already thought that if I have a winter trip, it will be Fruita/Moab again for mountain biking. Last year, I also made it to Sedona for a brief 2 days (and about 8 hikes). What a great destination for some winter hiking. I am not the beach resort pool lounge type (actually cancel that -- if the pool was as large as Kits pool I'd be all over that), so I prefer dirt, mountains, and sun such as what Colorado and Fruita provide in late March/April. In the meantime, lots of skiing to do, and lots of code to write.
Paddling the Saquenay is sublime, worth it. Our 4 day paddle had us paddling the long stretch of water under 1,000 foot cliffs and grades. It goes from fresh water and somewhat warm (no wetsuit needed while paddling) to frisky cold at 4 celcius (in July!) when you reach the St. Lawrence. Our guide was fantastic, and I highly recommend this as a guided service since there are tides, strong currents, and, lots of local knowledge that only a guide has. However, strong paddlers can do this on their own if they prepare for local conditions, currents, etc. We did not see any whales, while paddling, however, our campsites were incredible, and all tents go on awesome platforms and a fair bit of privacy and "space" is afforded to each. It was an amazing experience that is real sea kayaking without the long drive to the east coast. We drove from Ottawa, Ont -- a full 8 hour drive. I have to say the Charlevoix region north of Quebec city is pristine, and reminds me of BC. Our group of 7 enjoyed it tremendously, and Tadoussac was a really pleasant surprise full of great culture, food, and very quaint. This whole area on the St. Lawrence is Quebec's Mediterranean if you will, with beaches, cute farms, small towns, frommageries, and if you are into discovery, I highly recommend it.
Next up Aug 27 is a trip up Canada's only "legit" fjord, north of Quebec city, near Tadoussac. Whales, swimming bears, 4c water, pristine mountains and beaches, if you are after epic kayaking -- stay tuned to the SPOT page for Aug 2-31 for our kayak route as 6 of us kayak, camp, and, relax. We'll be taking appropriate measures for the conditions, wet-suits, dry-tops, SPOT, and a local guide. At 4c water temps, being ready for immersion is very important. It's a trip any intermediate kayaker can do -- using a local guide that knows the waters and conditions, but one that requires caution just the same.
SPOT UPDATE: After Elfin Lakes, I met some buddies in North Vancouver, and we drove up to Pemberton with the intent of doing the Melvin Divide hike-and-bike (i.e. bike up past the washout another 8km) and access some spectacular alpine.
However, as we took two vehicles from Devine access to FSR and up, a giant windstorm and nasty weather came in, we could look across the valley and see the ugly weather coming in. Hail, pine cones, branches -- it all started pelting our cars we continued to drive up. Once we hit the washout, we found the weather had changed so dramatically, we decided not to go further. I was dissapointed, since I had been up to Melvin Divide before and it's heaven. A lot of vertical, big views, marmots singing, and, yes Grizzly country. The alpine up past Pemberton gets to be "Southern Chilcotin" like, and we were all looking forward to taking the ATV trail (with our bikes) up to the pass -- especially since there looked to be a lot less snow in the alpine than I experienced just a few days ago at Elfin Lakes.
But now we were one our way down -- and whoa -- a very large tree was down -- this was the day (Thursday July 10?) that the windstorms ripped through Vancouver. We got out of the cars, realizing it was completely impossible to move this tree. However, since the top of the tree rested on the slope on the other side of the road -- we figured we could drive under the tree if we just cut away some of the branches.
We did so -- but Tom, a friend of ours, as he snapped one branch off, was released down the opposite slope. We almost lost him. Moral of the story: If you are driving up big alpine, especially remote logging roads, make sure you have the tools to deal with trees or rock that could fall across the road. Also, be smart about alpine weather.
Will be back to do Melvin Divide again some day. The whole area off the Duffy Lake road and the ranges in behind are incredible -- and one of the best places to explore once you've done the usual stuff close to Vancouver. Check out Marriott-Basin, Cayoosh, many others.
SPOT UPDATE: Elfin Lakes was awesome, hiked in early July (6th) and found 3 feet of snow. Truly amazing hike with all weather it seemed as I crested the ridge and started my way down to the shelter, I had to race the clouds and mist coming in. Fortunately, I was following the winter route, which is marked with red poles. This is to avoid avalanche issues even in July. Funny, since a few years ago I was swimming in one of the Elfin Lakes at the end of July. Now I was on 3 feet of snow, and, the weather boiled but resolved to be sunny in the evening, and I nabbed some great shots. There was a lot of bear scat below snow level (lower portions of the trail to parking lot), which makes sense -- the bears will move down.
Stayed up a nite, and there was only one other couple. Amusing to read through the hiker log. The next day, a quick hike out -- and, the scenery as always did not dissapoint. Just go see the ELFIN LAKES hike listing on Trailpeak for a great photo album.
SPOT UPDATE: am heading up for a relatively simple hike up Elfin Lakes Sunday July 6, then over to Opal Cone and beyond on the 7th, and back down on the 8th, still have plans to head out to Pemberton area July 9 with a bunch of old Univeristy buddies. We'll ride somewhere in Whistler on the 9th, and ride up Melvin Divide to the twin lakes (snow or not) on the 10th. That should be amazing, quite remote, quite beautiful -- we'll see how far we get as the snowline is still low (2,000 m) after a big winter in BC. Melvin Divide trail is on trailpeak, just use the search engine to find that hike (but you can ride the alpine a good way).
SPOT OVERVIEW July 7-13, Whistler area Adventure: Kurt is mixing it up with two epics, typical for Kurt to jam too much into any given week, Kurt is starting with some epic mountain biking around Whistler, including the bike park. You'll be able to watch his SPOT move up and down the mountain, taking runs and yelping "woohoo" on trails like Heart-of-Darkness. Then, it's up to the pristine Melvin-Divide area for another epic ride up to the alpine, where he finishes the last 5km by foot into a majestic saddle where everything goes vertical and ground meets sky, the Hoary Marmots sing to greet you, and two alpine lakes up at the peaks give way to unreal views of the Chilcotins to the north, and the lush rainforest off the Duffy lake road to the South. A Whistler experience need not be confined to coffee shops and condos; there are hundreds of remote and pristine trails within a few hours of Whistler. Even the famed musical bumps/singing pass trail starts right out of the village, but on this trip, Kurt will take you to a hidden gem not far away.
getting back to summer and trails after launching our new site, hope you like it. One thing i have to do is get the trails out of my profile that were submitted as anon. More things on my to do list than I know what to do with, but, any comments on the trailpeak site, post em here.
Will it ever end! This broken collarbone thing is a real drag at week 6! I should be all healed by now, but the X-rays showed my callous was just beginning to form at week 5. As the Ortho (who interestingly took some cartilage out of me in HS - shucks he didn't recognize my knee) stepped into the room, he asked how i did it, and, then looked at me (age probably) and my X-ray and said 8 weeks!!! Do Doctors keep giving dates just a few more weeks out of grasp, sort of like the carrot to keep your hopes up.
As I watch people cycle by out my front door, and, watch the trails come pouring in ... I just keep hoping.
The bone callous seems to "fill up" every night, and shrink each morning after about an hour of moving around. I've been careful, but, you have to move around a bit.
Other reports I have read suggest 8 weeks is not uncomon, and generally each week it is less painful .. but darn it i want that big bony bump as proof it's healing.
Anyone with similar run ins with a tree are welcome to post their broken clavicle stories complete with weekly schedule, e.g. Week1 = no sleep week, Week 2 = no sleep but free meals from friends, week 3 = a bit more sleep, and, ... week 4 = X-rays, more stationary cycling at the gym.
Um one more thing, and that is that the trail list to the left is about double what I myself have submitted. <p> For the longest time, I have (our software has) dumped all anonymous postings under username trailpeak.
However, now that we have a user stats area, I am moving the anonymous posts out under username Shamoo, and over more time, to user "anonymous".
If you see a trail in this list that you in fact submitted, let me know, and we'll change userID's to reflect your own. Make sure you are registered.
Welcome to my blog. Blogs can be dangerous for people in workplaces as they can get fired for saying the wrong things, but I suppose I won't fire myself ... not that I am going to get into hot water now will I. The logs are a new feature, a way to track what other users - especially those who post a lot of trails - are up to.
As for me, it will be a month yet before I hit the trails again. A broken collarbone mountain biking on Vancouver Island is taking it's sweet time to heal, almost - no definitely - tormenting me as if to say, summer is passing you by!!! <p> But of course it isn't, and before long I'll head out again. So much sea kayaking to do, hiking, and yes, still more mountain biking.
At present, I simply hope to part ways with the LazyBoy chair that has allowed me to sleep pain free over the past few weeks. Fortunately, with NHL playoffs on, it has been a great time to be a couch potatoe. You know what it's like don't ya. The broken bone sydrome. At first it's anger - ususally at yourself - "how could I have been so stupid" - which turns into anxiousness for the wound or bone to heal, which gives way to total acceptance for however long it will take.
I look forward to joining the world of the active soon, and in the meantime, I can check all your trail blogs out!