A quick trip down memory lane before we slam the door on this past year and sprint confidently into 2017:
1. Lovely Larches
When: September 15, 2016
Where: Valley of the 10 Peaks (Lake Louise, Banff National Park)
Anecdote: Running through tunnels of freshly lemoned larch trees at sunset with your partner is as romantic as it gets. The Lake Louise area love vibe is hard to beat.
2. Perfectly Still
When: October 6, 2016
Where: Consolation Valley (Lake Louise, Banff National Park)
Anecdote: Calm weather in the mountains is such a rarity that when it strikes a profound sense of awe prevails. It was hard to leave the swampy shoreline of Consolation Lakes.
3. Entrancing Inversion
When: October 12, 2016
Where: Pigeon Mountain (Kananaskis)
Anecdote: Our group had no expectations of a view at all this day, only hope. Breaking through the clouds was like entering another world, one where it was impossible to stop taking pictures.
4. Perfect Light
When: June 5, 2016
Where: Mount Buller summit (Kananaskis)
Anecdote: I had just finished taking a whiz when I noticed Ruchel appreciating the 900m precipice off Buller Mountain summit. Luckily I managed to get this shot off before she realized I was done relieving myself.
5. Frosting on the Ridge
When: September 1, 2016
Where: Mount Northover summit (Kananaskis)
Anecdote: Views like this are why peak bagging is so god damn fun and addicting. You actually see the ridge melting away, both snow and rock.
6. Crossing The Expanse
When: May 18, 2016
Where: Gap Peak (Kananaskis)
Anecdote: Fun friendships forged in the mountains are strong and enduring. Soloing is sweet, but moving quickly as a team feels really cool too.
7. Bombing Steeps
When: July 23, 2016
Where: Mount Lougheed Peak 1 (Kananaskis)
Anecdote: When I first started scrambling never in my wildest dreams did I dare to muse of running the Lougheed Traverse, and certainly not with a girlfriend willing and capable of the same. We have come so far and yet we are only at the beginning of these wild adventures in the mountains.
8. Intense Lines
When: August 28, 2016
Where: Mount Smuts (Kananaskis)
Anecdote: Just days after her 132km ‘fun run’ Ruchel joined me for redemption on Mount Smuts (we’d been rained off the day before). I managed to completely blow the route finding and led her up a horribly steep and exposed gully that gave us both quite the surprise. What a relief to make the summit!
9. Shenanigans at 10,500ft
When: August 22, 2016
Where: Mount Stephen (Yoho N.P.)
Anecdote: Geoff Hardy’s infectious fun energy turns every peak bagging mission into a hilarious zany adventure. This pic was orchestrated by him, and he actually took my place after I failed several attempts to achieve the height he was looking for.
10. Finding the Beauty
When: August 15, 2016
Where: Pilot Mountain Summit (Banff National Park)
Anecdote: After concluding that Pilot Mountain offered interesting vistas but no striking view I wandered over to the South edge of the long summit plateau. From here the connecting ridge to Mount Brett was breathtaking and made we wish for the gear and skill to make it there by a more direct means than the scrambling routes.
When: July 6, 2016
Where: Dolomite Peak (Icefields Parkway, Banff N.P.)
Anecdote: The sharp grey rubble of Dolomite Peak is a harsh place devoid of life and color except for this little fellow. Its always surprising to find life in some of the most extreme spots in the mountains.
Thanks for looking!