Saturday, October 23, 2010


We spent the week out at a lake learning the basic canoe strokes to prepare for a whitewater paddle at the end of the week. Canoeing is a graceful sport that becomes meditative once you know how to make the canoe go where you want it to go. Reverse figure eights, sculling pry's and draw's, forward figure eights and pivoting turns were some of the techniques we worked on solo and tandem. Eventually I'd like to do solo whitewater canoeing like in this video I have posted. AWESOME!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"You are better off than cavemen"

I'm not sure what details I can release pertaining to our three day survival course other than it was exhausting. Day one we meet John a former SAS for the British Army with ridiculous stories about training in the African jungle. He tickles fish, has went through rigorous torture resistance training, and once went five days without sleep. Day two we watch a movie about extreme survival called "Through The Void" about a mountaineering trip gone terribly wrong. After lunch we are told we cannot eat for two days and so begins the survival exercise. One match fires, solo and group shelter building, navigation, survival "spooning", and vital decisions are tested as we spend 30 hours in the bushes without food or water. Day three we stumble out of the forest cold and tired. I survived 47 hours without food, 23 hours without water, and a night in my solo shelter with the temperature dropping to -5 Celsius. I did give in at three in the morning and found one single match to light a fire to pull me through the rest of the night (we were supposed to make sleeping bags out of cedar).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Climb On!

Flashback to standing on top of the climbing wall ledge attached to the local hockey rink. I am eight years old with tears streaming down my cheeks clamping on the metal bar that contains me high above the safety of solid ground. I do not want to drop off the edge of this wall. I do not want to rapell down relying on a single rope... This week I was in Stonehill, Montana "anchoring" and "cleaning" routes both involving rapelling from heights down rocky ledges. I kept thinking about how terrified I was at eight and how AMPED I was now using my ATC to descend rock faces. This week we learned movement techniques, climbed challenging 5.8-5.10d routes and solidified anchoring basics. In this short time of five days I have become fascinated with climbing and look forward to improving my technique and problem solving skills. Plus, my forearms are nicely toned and now I feel sort of legit hahaha. Maybe i'll take my Top Rope Instructors course in the spring time. That would be a challenge to work towards.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


What could possibly be fun about climbing up huge bodies of ice? For starters you get to wear crampons which like moon boots make you feel invincible. What used to be a slippery slope is now an easy stroll up a 45 degree hill when your spiky friends are hugging your feet. When climbing a glacier you attach yourself to your group by a harness, carabiners, and a long climbing rope so that you can not fall to far. The crew practiced making ice anchors and crevasse rescue during our 5 day trip in the Columbia Icefields in Jasper National Park. "Falling" into a crevasse was very thrilling, exploring the differences in ice density (white to shades of dark blue) and going back in time day dreaming about when this ice was formed is mind blowing. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010


My best friend Jaelynn came down this weekend to visit me and she made me realize what this town can do to you on a Saturday night. Enough said she might have broken her tail bone and lost her voice. We headed down to The Brick House and got hooked up with the best nachos ever (by the best staff ever). We played pool with some miners at the Fernie and danced to techno at Bulldogs to end the night. Needless to say this town will wrap its arms around you and give you a wet willy so you just better hold on tight and enjoy it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Delayed Delay

After not having internet for A MONTH I let my blog slide... But it is back and running and I hope you continue following my adventure. A lot has happened in a month so I will make a point form list of what major events have been going on:
  • I have learned how to use a topographic map and compass to navigate around the Rockies.
  • The class went on a five day backpacking trip but was snowed out on day four! 
  • We have spent the last week learning climbing knots, anchors, and mountaineering safety. Can you tie a munter hitch?
  • At all breaks at least half the class is in our climbing gym bouldering and creating climbing routes such as "Jersey Shore" that requires "The Situation" abs.

Photo Cred: Byron W. Crossing Sunken Creek on MAST outrip 1

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I've been thinking about how I can aquire money while being a student without having to work minimum wage. Is there such a thing? I started watching this show on HBO, How To Make It In America, about these two twenty something dudes hustling in New York. Of course, some of there financial adventures are illegal, the general idea is that they have fun and are never bored. As a student am I suposed to wait out the few years of spam and used books and write it off as a part of a "coming-of-age" right of passage or can I really find a get rich quick scheme that gives me financial flexibility? If anything watch this new show because although it may be fantasy, it gets you thinking big.