One of my ski photos was chosen for a poster at ISPO winter in Munich, to advertise Primaloft - see poster at
Spent the summer exploring the north from BC to Yukon and Alaska, with my Alpacka packraft, paddling lakes, rivers and in the ocean. See alpackaraft.com and wearing my dry top and pants from bombergear.com.
My lightweight gear helps me on camping trips, especially the 6 oz. Bushbuddy twig stove which requires no fuel to buy or carry on my trips.
I am enjoying life in the mountains of Shangri-La in the Land of the Thunder Dragon - the Kingdom of Bhutan. This land, a jewel of the Earth, is ruled by a benevolent king, whose only goal is to increase the Gross National Happiness of the Bhutanese. It is a privilege to be able to help His Majesty achieve this task. http://www.flickr.com/photos/xtremepeaks/sets/72157620594885445
Attended the Banff Festival of Mountain Films, watched great films and listened to speakers, went to seminars and met a lot of cool people, such as Dean Karnazes, Ueli Steck, Conrad Anker and Chris Sharma.
Traveling south from the Smithers area, winter has arrived already to the mountains with early snowfalls and high winds, the latest storms dumped a pile of snow from the Babines to the McBride area and I found the hiking very tough in the deep, wet snow, even snowshoeing wasn't easy. I used my Yukon boots to keep my feet dry and warm, and they worked well in all these conditions. They are hand-made by Charlie Van Gorkom - see - http://hikingbootshandcrafted.com/snowboots.html
Did some great hiking and biking trips in Kluane Park at Alsek river, Shorty creek and Cottonwood trails. And continued down the Cassiar highway exploring trails and rivers in the Spatsizi Park area with good access to lakes and rivers using North Pacific Seaplanes. http://northpacificseaplanes.com/tatogga.htm Now in Prince Rupert area where you can reach the coast and islands with float plane flights too.
I have been traveling north on the Cassiar highway with some great hiking in the Spatsizi Park area and in the Cassiar mountains. Planning to visit the Kluane Park area next for some hikes, biking and paddling trips in the Yukon. <img>
I am attending the Fernie Mountain Film Festival this weekend. Friday night over 300 people attended the screenings in the Community Center. Winners of the photo contest were announced after the feature film.
The feature film: 3 peaks in 3 weeks - recounts the story of 10 women climbing the highest points of Africa raising money and awareness for the three key issues currently facing Africa; environment, education and health.
Also met local Fernie athlete Paul Attalla who completed a solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a rowboat, 5000 km in 76 days, the 1st Canadian to do that in this rowing race. His presentation and video footage were exciting to watch as he recalls the hardships and joys of the crossing.
Other short films included snow kiting - riding the snow on skis and boards with kites in the open hills of Idaho; and exciting footage on trails by the Fernie Mountain bike club.
The Festival continues Saturday evening with more films and presentations.
I am currently attending the Banff Mountain Book Festival http://www.banffcentre.ca/mountainculture/festivals/2008 and talking to various authors at the Book signings. Started to read "Expedition to the Edge: Stories of Worldwide Adventure" by Lynn Martel of Canmore. It is a great collection of 60 compelling stories of contemporary adventurers. See more info and photos at http://www.lynnmartel.ca Tonight is the announcement of the book festival awards.
Spent the last month in the Spatsizi Wilderness Park of northern BC at Cold Fish Lake, enjoying the great hiking trails, canoe trips on the lake, fishing for rainbow trout and climbing the nearby peaks.
Arrived here on the Cassiar road, and getting ready to go to Cold Fish Lake in Spatsizi Park where there are great trails to hike, mountains to explore and many lakes for paddling. Will be adding more trails to trailpeak soon.
My trips in the Yukon went well, I made it to many remote areas and enjoyed the scenery and photography. SPOT worked well, as my friends were able to follow my progress all summer. And my gear was great, including my Salomon Elios Mid XCR shoes that kept my feet dry and in good shape on my hikes.
Now off to Spatsizi Park for exploring the trails in the Cold Fish Lake area in September.
Visited Kluane Lake and the abandoned cabins at Silver City. Summer is over, it is getting cold and rainy, all the peaks are snow covered and the leaves are turning yellow and red. More rain is coming this week at Haines Junction.
[B] TEAM SPOT TRIP UPDATE - Fort Selkirk, Yukon an 1895 ghost town [/B]
Fort Selkirk on the Yukon river was an amazing place, a real national treasure of a well preserved town established before 1896. I made it out to Pelly Farm, after paddling from Fort Selkirk and then a long walk via overgrown trails to my vehicle. See my report at http://trailpeak.com/index.jsp?con=trail&val=4898
July 27th TEAM SPOT TRIP UPDATE - Fort Selkirk [/B]
The river trip went well, and finally this evening I arrived at Fort Selkirk, a most amazing historic town established in 1889. I am setting up my camp here among the old houses and will spend the day looking around and doing photography in the area.
[B] TEAM SPOT TRIP UPDATE - Yukon river to Fort Selkirk [/B]
I am at Minto, inflated my packraft and loaded it with gear for the trip to Fort Selkirk some 40km away on the Yukon River. I will spend the day paddling and exploring the many islands along the way, observing birds and mammals, and visiting historic sites.
July 23 TEAM SPOT TRIP UPDATE - Yukon river to Fort Selkirk [/B]
I am near the Pelly River now, caming at an old homestead near Pelly Farm. There are many old trails in this area, so I am walking down to the Yukon river to check out the correct route to follow when I come out from the river after Fort Selkirk. The area is prime habitat for grizzlies and black bears so I am proceeding to the river with caution, marking waypoints and track with my GPS.
July 22nd TEAM SPOT TRIP UPDATE - Yukon river to Fort Selkirk [/B]
I arrived at Minto Landing on the Yukon river just downstream from the rocky cliffs of Five Finger Rapids. I will continue my trip north to the Pelly River after checking out conditions on the river and packing up my gear for the trip.
[B] TEAM SPOT TRIP UPDATE - Yukon river packraft trip [/B]
I went to Whitehorse and started paddling my Alpacka packraft http://alpackaraft.com near the Yukon river bridge. The current was fast and there was a storm blowing in, with high winds pushing me from behind. This was OK as I was traveling fast down the river to a wide area with many islands where I could observe eagles and seagulls. I landed below the steep banks, packed up my packraft in a pack and walked back to my starting point via the riverside trails. See the SPOT map and also http://trailpeak.com/trail-Whitehorse-Yukon-river-trails-near-Whitehorse-YT-3684 This is a great loop of river paddling and hiking, with zero emissions to get back to your starting point.
I did a great paddling trip on the Takhini river yesterday using my Alpacka packraft http://alpackaraft.com and saw many beavers, eagles along the route. Got to the Yukon river, packed up my boat and jogged 5km to drop my stuff and pick up my bike at the house where I stay. Then biked back to Takhini Hot Springs, soaked in the hot waterfall at midnight and picked up my car by the river.
TEAM SPOT TRIP UPDATE - Mountain Biking on 37 Mile Creek trail
Had a great bike ride along 37 Mile Creek with views of the Sifton range. Trail not bad, but only suitable during dry weather as the old road becomes very muddy and slippery in the rain. The route goes to wetlands via mixed forests and to a ridge overlooking the valley, and finally ends at 37 Mile Lake. See this trail at
Then I went off to the Takhini Hot Springs which just re-opened recently. Some of my SPOT tracking points in the Takhini area did not show up, due to tree cover and not always facing the SPOT device to a southerly direction to transmit to the satellite.
SPOT tracking missed some messages while I was doing trails above the Takhini river in a wooded area. Will test that area again for OK messages, from some clearings to see if it works. -- Yes it worked just now! In the Yukon I have to point SPOT in a southerly direction always to transmit to satellite low above the horizon.
I arrived in Whitehorse after a successful trip to the far reaches of Observatory Inlet to the ghost towns of Kitsault and Alice Arm. I used my bike to travel logging roads to the abandoned mining town of Kitsault http://www.kitsault.com where over 1000 people lived in 1980.
Then I continued with my packraft to cross the inlet to the 1920's silver mining centre of Alice Arm. Here I found a number of restored cabins and new summer dwellings owned by various families from Alberta and BC who spend their vacation fishing and enjoying the remote solitude. But also I found business people who are starting an enterprise to revive 100 year old dams and generate clean power for BC. (http://www.anyox.com)
I was fortunate to be allowed to continue my exporations on bike along old roads and private access to the rich Dolly Varden silver mine of 1920-40 where remains of old rail tracks and equipment can be found. This road will be restored all the way to the Kitsault dam by Anyox Hydro http://www.anyox.com as part of their hydro generation work. See my travels in coastal BC being tracked by SPOT.
currently in the Kitimat and Terrace area, checking out trails and paddling. Heading further to the west coast to Prince Rupert and then to the Kitsault and Alice Arm area to search out abandoned towns and silver mines, and a dam that was built in 1920 which has developed cracks. see my progress on the SPOT google earth map.
Got my new SPOT satellite messenger today and will be testing it this summer on my solo northern expeditions, traversing coast ranges and inlets, paddling trips on Yukon rivers and exploring the wilderness of the Spatsizi.
Spending every day skiing in the Purcells west of Kimberley. The snow is deep and not well settled in many areas, trail breaking is hard work still. My ski photo http://www.flickr.com/photos/xtremepeaks/2244874526 was used for ISPO winter in Munich for a poster by Primaloft.
Skiing the trails in the Kimberley area, covered over 300km so far in the backcountry. Snow conditions are not the best so far this year, but at least it is cool enough to keep the new snow dry and fluffy.
This photo of mine is published: www.flickr.com/photos/xtremepeaks/84097617 - featured in the book: "Gold Rush! - Desperate Stampede" by Scholastic Canada Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7791-6781-4 printed by www.cleanslatepress.com
I just published a book on blurb.com with photos of my Northern trip and stories of adventures with the amazing people I met. See a preview of it at: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/112997 and click on Book Preview. (pdf file)
I am now in Kitimat and paddling on the Kitimat river and in Douglas channel, with my alpacka packraft from http://alpackaraft.com The scenery is great and many new trails to do around here. Such a great place for photos too.
I am busy testing out my new packraft these days; this 5 lb inflatable raft from http://alpackaraft.com will get me to some really remote places in the backcountry this summer. And its a lot of fun and easy to use, watch for some trip reports soon.
Winter access to huts of the Columbia Valley Hut Society is long and tedious via logging roads, a skidoo can be helpful. Call Ted in Invermere if you need a skidoo ride: (250)342-3793 or cell (250)341-1323. He is helpful and takes skiers to remote trailheads.
Spent a week in the Jasper, Miette and Cardinal Divide area. There was up to 3ft of wet snow at Miette and on the peaks. Trails were in bad shape after hundreds of trees fell down and broke off. Lots of trail maintenance will be needed on the trails next spring to clear deadfall.
Back from a long journey through Northwestern BC, with hikes in Prince Rupert, Stewart, Hyder, Terrace and Spatsizi Park. Sorting out my 1000 photos and notes on all the trails. It was a great trip to amazing places.
I am in Prince George - doing all the trails in the area. This whole place is hikers and skiers heaven, from Robson Park to McBride and PG. Heading on to Smithers and further north next. Taking lots of photos and notes along the way.
Back from Jasper. Kiwi Lisa and I did about 110km of trail run in Robson Park and Jasper North Boundary trail. We stopped 25km short of Snake Indian Pass Sat. afternoon due to slow going because of the rain, mud, flooded trails and wet clothes. See some pics at http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasabi42/
Off to Jasper park for a few days. My xtreme buddy Lisa and I will attempt a one day trail run from Berg Lake at Robson to Snake Indian Pass on Jasper North Boundary trail and back. A total of 164 km over 2 days from the road. If you dont hear from me next week, then I perished in this attempt.