Thursday, February 09, 2006

Jasper, Travel Time

I had to go up to Jasper for the last few days to work on an ARD (German TV) documentary on the Canadian Rockies with Pat Morrow, so we made the most out of it by stopping at the Cineplex along with Andy. I've been doing more aerobic stuff and so on, but jumped on Musashi for training, found it still hard. I've lost some of my fitness for really hard routes over the last month, I timed a good physical peak for the Ouray comp and have slid down from that. It's to be expected, without any clear-cut goals I can't hold a peak fitness level for all that long. Still did some good laps on Musashi (with hangs to figure out moves, that route is always changing but always good), and Andy did the M7 a couple of times, not bad for a self-described "out of shape painter." Right.

Tuesday I got to climb in Maligne Canyon with my dad for the camera, that was great fun. My dad recently had some medical issues sorted out and is still recovering, but fired the Queen first go. We first climbed the 100-foot Queen in about 1980 together and last did it maybe six years ago, good to see Ben still getting after it. I feel pretty lucky to be able to do a TV show with my dad, and my mom, Cia also came out and threatened to climb it, plus Pat Morrow on camera. My dad of course bitched about his fitness level, but he's a much better athlete than he'll give himself credit for, give him a couple of weeks and he'd be leading it. He hadn't ice climbed in a couple of years but still hiked the Queen for his first route...

The drive back to Canmore down the Parkway yesterday was fantastic, about a foot of new snow in places with wild winds blowing the snow off the tops of the peaks--I get gripped even watching the wind loading from the car, things will be interesting in the alpine avalanche-wise for a while after that storm I bet. No matter how many times I drive the Parkway I still get fired up by the mountains, there's just nothing like it anywhere else that I've seen. The avi hazard did look high, but it doesn't matter as I'm off to Scotland in the morning, then Norway, then back home at the end of Feb, things should have shaken out by then.

The plan is to climb "classic" Scottish mixed routes, as well as some new-wave stuff with a leading local activist over there, Dave Macleod. He specializes in really run-out "old school" mixed climbing during the winter and super-hard bouldering the rest of the time, should be entertaining, plus doing some filming with the Hot Aches crew, drinking a lot of scotch and just soaking up the scene that started this whole mixed climbing madness. I've heard about Ben Nevis climbing for decades, going to be fun to finally climb there and see the legend in person... Then it's off to Norway to hook it up with my bud Andreas Spak, climb some huge new ice routes, then back home. Yeah!!!


Monday: Cineplex. Enough said.
Tuesday: Laps in Maligne Canyon, pretty relaxing day.
Wed: I hadn't done any Yoga in about a week and was stiff like a dead dog so had at that, then went for a run that ended at the Vsion, just rock-bouldered then did some pegboard training, somewhat relaxed but fun session.


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Anonymous said...

Do you think avian flu is going to be a problem ?

I heard it would hit USA & Canada this fall.

Is there anything to the avian flu panic ?