Summer 2014 Epic Road Trip Part 3 – The Long Way Home

Well, looks like I’ve headed as far East as I’ve planned to go. I guess it’s time to slowly make my way back to the Westcoast. But first, there’s going to be some detours! Was driving the Crowsnest Pass and came across Frank Slide. It was pretty crazy. It’s where a rock slide happened in 1903 in the little town of Frank in the middle of night. 90 million tons of rock came down and took out the Eastern edge of Frank, the coal mine, and the railroad. It killed 70 – 90 people. Apparently they’re still buried in the rubble.

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Next stop was Nelson! Met up with a few friends and stayed there for the majority of the week. This town is pretty awesome. Good food lots of young people, and surrounded by mountains.

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Spent the morning rock climbing at Raven Wall in Castlegar with a few friends. Great climbs! Was able to flash a 5.11a and projecting a 5.11b. Until next time!

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Back on the road again! Heading out West.

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Made it back to the coast! Met up with a friend and enjoyed a sunset at Crescent Beach. Always a great place to just hang out.

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Next day, picked up my friends from the ferry and off to Squamish for the weekend before I had to head back to reality. Haven’t been here in years, so it was amazing checking it out and seeing how much I’ve improved. Great times!

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What an amazing trip! Great rock climbing, great friends, great food, lots of nature… Life can’t get any better than that… Well, I guess it’s back to reality. Stoked to see what lies ahead! Definitely more adventures to come!

Summer 2014 Epic Road Trip Part 1 – Chasing A Waterfall

First off, I’d want to say I’m really sorry for the lack of updates. Things have been really busy – working, rock climbing, sorting out some photography things, and road tripping. Hopefully I’ll get caught up on all my work soon…

I decided to go on a two week road trip. It was something I had to do because last year I wasn’t able to go on a trip, so I was really itching to get out there. I got the chance to meet up with a bunch of friends along the way. It was definitely great seeing them again It’s been too long! And this was actually the first time I’ve ever done a trip by myself (well… Drove all over the place by myself), so it was something out of my comfort zone because I had long days of driving and I always felt like I needed a partner in crime when doing trips like these. But I was glad I went for it!

My trip started on July 11th (Friday) right after work. Packed up my car and headed for the ferries. Spent the weekend in Squamish doing a trad/multi-pitch rock climbing course (no pictures for that). Then on the Monday, I was off to my next destination – Lake Louise. Met up with a friend and her friend and camped at the Lake Louise campground. The next day we climbed Takakkaw Falls. It was my first big multi-pitch climb, so I was really stoked about it. 12 pitches rated at 5.6.

 

Here’s a picture of our camping spot. Rise and shine! Ready for an epic day!

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Here is the beauty we’re going to be climbing.

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After climbing up all that scree at the bottom, we were ready to rock! This is Sean leading the first pitch I believe.

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Joy leading the second pitch.

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4th pitch – just a little bit of traversing.

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This next pic was great. This is the view you got after coming out of the rocks on pitch 7.

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So much focus…

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The next one is the 11th pitch. It’s not really a pitch… It’s more like climbing through a 200ft tunnel near the top of the waterfall. So awesome!

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Joy finishing up the last pitch!

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We made it to the top!

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After hanging out for a little bit, it was time to get back down. This is Joy setting up the first rappel.

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Thank you Joy and Sean for bringing me up this amazing climb! You guys rock! What an epic way of starting the road trip. So much beauty.

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Next day, it was time to head over to Calgary, so I made a quick stop at Lake Louise to snap a few shots.

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Stay tuned for the next part of the trip!

Mt Arrowsmith

Two weeks ago, Roxy, myself, and a few others went up Mt Arrowsmith (located around Port Alberni area). I’ve seen this mountain a lot of time while driving around the area. Today was the day to conquer it! It’s been on my list of mountains I’ve wanted to hike for a while. It is the highest mountain in the Southern Vancouver Island area. We went up Un-judges route and came down on Judges route.

Elevation: 1819m
Elevation gain: ~1000m
Total distance traveled: ~6km

We started hiking for a little bit and then lost the trail because an area of it got clear cut. So we had to hike through this but eventually found the trail markers again.

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Loving the exposure.

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We’re almost above the treeline!

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That’s where we’re going (to the right). Can see the summit.

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Walking the ridge.

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There’s the summit in sight! Getting there.

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We made it to the summit!

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Panoramic shot.

Mt Arrowsmith
All in all, it was a great experience. Everyone survived, and my knees were killing by the time we got to the summit. I guess I’ll have to work them a little more so they get used to it. Stoked for the next adventure!

Mt Horne

My buddy, Mason recently bought a bunch of camping gear, so we had to test it out! A group of us went camping for the weekend at Little Qualicum Falls. It was a great time to get away from the city. It was definitely something I needed. A few of us hiked up Mt Horne.

Elevation: 910m
Elevation gain: 750m
Total distance traveled: 9.78km

The trail was really steep… But we all made it (eventually). I slowed down the whole group because my cardio is garbage. But in the end, it was really rewarding. In my mind, summer has begun already!

This is the beginning. Just finding the trailhead.

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After the first steep part, we reached a railroad track which was level (thank goodness!).

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After a little bit, we had to head back up the steepness.

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We’re on the right track!

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The first glimpse of Mt Horne.

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Views along the way. Man is it beautiful!

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We made it to the top! Signed the registry and hung out for a bit. Victory!

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Mt HorneI was pretty exhausted afterwards, but it was so rewarding! I’m pretty stoked for the many trips in the near future!

Mt Wells

Well… I’ve finally decided to hike Mt Wells. I’ve been wanting to do this hike for a while, but never got around to it because I usually end up rock climbing here. This was my first hike of the summer so I’m a little bit out of shape. Luckily this was a fairly easy hike. So I think we’re off to a good start! And of course, had to grab a couple of geocaches on the way up.

This used to be a working 44km concrete aqueduct that went from Sooke Lake to the Humpback Reservoir. Then from the reservoir it would transport the water down to Victoria. But now it’s not needed.

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You can see Mt Finalyson in the distance (the really round mountain).

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At the summit.

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In the next picture, on the right, that’s Mt MacDonald – another place to rock climb!

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Jocelyn Hill

Lauren and I decided to hike Jocelyn Hill on a Saturday. I’ve never been here before, and Lauren hasn’t been able to find the summit after a few tries. So we decided to give it a shot. At this point I just got my new camera (Canon 5D MKII. Got it used, but it’s new to me). It’s a full frame camera, so only my 50mm 1.4 lens would fit on it. It was interesting trying to shoot with this lens but it got me to experiment with shooting/stitching panoramic pictures. There’s two in this batch that I had to stitch. It was lots of fun.

I woke up in the morning and saw there was fog. I was pretty stoked about it (Lauren wasn’t too happy about it). We met up and started heading out there. As we got out of town, the fog cleared up and it was blue skies! I was not impressed (Lauren was super happy about it). Seemed like we’re quite the opposite. But once we got to the peak, it was such an awesome view – clear blue skies with the morning fog lingering above the waters. It was such a great day!

If you like these pictures, you can follow my new photography business page on Facebook! (click here)

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Old Copper Mine At East Sooke Park

Chad, Kevin, and I went to East Sooke Park for a day of geocaching at the end of August. We found a loop we could do – about 12.5km round trip, and around 30 caches. It was a good day. I kept hearing about this abandoned mine there, so we decided to check it out today. Here’s the few pictures I took.

Unfortunately the cave wasn’t as deep as we thought it would be. It was about 35ft… It was still cool though.

Chad and I decided to drop off a couple of Travel Bugs at the cache site.

More Rock Climbing At Nanaimo River

On Aug 25th, Bethany, Lauren, Chrissy and I decided to go rock climbing for a day in Nanaimo River (Dion and Marilee were going to meet up with us later on). Chrissy has never climbed outdoors before, and Bethany and Lauren were always itching to do more rock climbing outside. We finally were able to arrange a day where all of us weren’t busy. So off we went!

The awesome part about Nanaimo River (Sunny Side) is, it’s a short hike to the crag. And once you get there, it’s an amazing view from up top, and then you get to rappel down. It’s always a great time!

Lead climbing a route called “Green (5.8)” (Thanks Lauren for taking some pics of me!)

Now that a top rope has been set up, it’s Bethany’s turn.

Lauren’s turn!

And this is Chrissy’s first outdoor climbing experience.


After this, we moved over to a really interesting corner climb. So after I set up the top rope, I stayed up at the top so I could take some pictures from up top. I’ve never done this kind of photography before, so it was new to me (which was really cool!). This route is called “Jamaica Jerk Off (5.7)”. Lauren was first to go on top rope!

Bethany’s turn on the route.

And Chrissy is next…

And look who finally showed up! Dion and Marilee!

Afterwards, we did a few more climbs… Lauren found a frog in a hole in the wall. It was an awesome day! Great to see Chrissy climb so well on her first time! As well as seeing the progress on Bethany and Lauren! Sooo proud of you all. It makes me super stoked seeing you all stoked on climbing and just getting better and better each time. Can’t wait for our next outdoor adventure!

Rock Climbing at Nanaimo River’s Sunny Side

Well…. Since I’m working full time now, I have to really take advantage of the weekends. Soooo what do I do? I go outdoor rock climbing! My friend Nashira came to make one last visit to Victoria before she moves to the interior (booooo!!), so Nashira, Dion, and I went to Nanaimo River for an awesome day of climbing on Sunny Side. I love this place! I also love the random chairs… Great view.

Also there’s a nice view of the river.

Once we finished taking pictures and admiring the view, we decided to get some rock climbing done! We decided to get to the bottom the cool way. Which is rappelling down with our gear. It’s always a good time.

This is Dion on Psychobabble (5.9) (the climber on the left).

This next route is called Jamaica Jerk Off (5.7)

While we were climbing, Nashira had homework to do.

This has become a pretty awesome day. I FINALLY finished one of my projects. The route is called Pseudo Placenta (5.11a). And my goal for this summer was to send a 5.11 route – which means climbing it without taking a fall or break. Soooo stoked!

photo by: Nashira Birch

Photo by: Nashira Birch

What an amazing day! So stoked to see what other projects I’ll be able to finish this summer!

Chilling on Mt MacDonald

Dion and I went rock climbing on June 30th at Mt MacDonald. Both of us were running a bit behind that day, but I was glad we had a really late start because it was SUPER hot out.

We got to the climbing area and decided it was going to be a really chill day because of the temperature (luckily it was late afternoon and the sun was slowly going down by the time we got there). We started with a 5.10a route (??) that wasn’t listed in my guidebook. Did another run at it, then afterwards took our food to the top and ate our supper while enjoying the amazing view from up top. After a good meal and a good chat, it was getting late, so we had to rappel down, pack up and head back home… Overall we didn’t do much climbing at all, but it was such a great time just talking and hanging out with a good friend. Here’s to more awesome days of climbing!

Photo Credit: Dion Manastyrski. http://earthpics.ca

Photo Credit: Dion Manastyrski. http://earthpics.ca

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