Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Summit Summary (so far!)...

The last few weeks of summer have been action packed and full of great climbs & summits!  I've been fortunate to have lots of really fun guests join me on a variety of trips & climbs throughout the Rockies.  Here's a summary, in photos:

 I had trouble getting this guy to put his harness on, he was too busy eating I guess.

 In late June I ran a glacier travel course, it felt like winter out there!

 Hiking up to A2 with Luke & Hang on a beautiful day.  Athabasca in the back.

 Nearing the summit of A2, on the very snow crux pitch.
 Had a great day up on the East End of Rundle climbing Geriatric with Jamine.  
She only had a couple days of previous climbing experience but did awesome!

 Spent a fun few days in the mountains with Andrei & Galena.  Here we are approaching the N. Face of Mt. Andromeda.

 Looking up at the North Face of Andromeda.  To make things more interesting we climbed one of the steep gullies through the rockbands to the left of the normal N. Face route.  Lots of fun!

On the summit of Andromeda.

 A couple days later we headed up to Castle Mountain.  On the first day we climbed Eisenhower Tower, and on the second day Galena enjoyed the scenery from the hut while Andrei & I climbed Brewers Buttress. 

 As our finale we decided to choose something with lots of climbing but less walking, the classic NE Ridge of Ha Ling. 

 Nearing the top of the NE Ridge on Ha Ling.

Next, I had a great group of guys join me for an Alpine Skills Course.  In this pic we are learning crevasse rescue techniques. 

Good times on the N. Glacier!

Learning snow belaying techniques on the Alpine Skills Course.

Putting the new skills to use on Athabasca the next day.

 Lovely weather near the summit!

On the summit of Mt. Cline after two days of climbing!  Perfect views, we could count over 30 of the Rockies 11000 foot peaks from up here!

A few days later, Tyler & Mark joined me for some climbing at the Icefields.  We spent the first day climbing & practicing rescues on the glacier.

A beautiful sunrise as we approach the N. Face of Andromeda.  Unfortunately it was way to warm out and we were forced to retreat.  

Next, I was joined by a great group of women from Winnipeg, Squamish, and Minnesota for a week of alpine skills & climbing!  

Nearing the summit of Boundary Peak on day 2.

Cool atmosphere on the summit of Boundary Peak, with Athabasca in the back.

Practicing rock climbing skills at Kootenay Plains near Nordegg.

Climbing up the beautiful Windy Point Ridge near Nordegg with my old backyard in the background.  I lived in Nordegg for over a decade before moving to Canmore.

On the crux section near the top of the Buckle above Windy Point Ridge. 

Back at the Icefields the next day, just chillin!

Two of the women had to leave on Thursday night, but the other three joined me for an ascent of Athabasca.  Here, we are reaching the top of the long snow gully on the AA Col route. 

On the summit of the Silverhorn, all smiles!

Which brings us to the present.  This weekend I had another really fun group for a glacier travel course at the Icefields. 

This used to be my favorite roadside viewpoint in the Rockies.  Now it is being turned into a pay-only ridiculous tourist attraction for bus tours since Parks decided to sell the pullout to Brewsters (despite hundreds of thousands of signatures on the petition against it).  I guess there are enough people who only want to view the wilderness through panes of glass to justify it.  Sad.

Tomorrow morning I am heading out to attempt the North Face of Robson with one of my strongest guests Aaron (the air guitar guy!).  The forecast looks great so I'm optimistic it will go well!
J. Mills

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