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Mt. Kilimanjaro - 19,340 ft. (5,895m)

January 27 - February 16, 2013

Where Lucille has been for the past 24 hours.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tangle Falls

This is a nice and easy little climb that we decided to try on our way home. OK it is a bit out of the way, but the approach cannot be beat. Maximum 5 minutes, and that includes the time that it takes to put on the crampons.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and I practiced going up and then down climbing until we got tired and then we headed home.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

We left early in the morning after checking the road reports. The roads were icy, but we left early and although we drove 80k/hr we still got to the climbing spot early enough. Thankfully it was a weekday, so we had the place to ourselves.

This was my third time to climb Chantilly Falls, but after the first pitch we decided the ice was too thin, so we headed down. Then Domhnall had me practice going down a steep slope walking forwards while hanging on to the rope in several different ways. Good practice for going down the Lhotse face.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Edith Cavell

Our plan was to leave Edmonton right after we got off work at 7am, but we decided sleeping a few hours before leaving was prudent. We were looking at the sky on the drive to Jasper, and noticed that there was a full moon, so when we arrived at the Edith Cavell parking lot at 11pm it was so bright that we decided to start climbing right away rather than getting a bit of sleep.
Domhnall stripped down his pack, and carried our extra layers, water and the rack while I carried the rope. Two hours later we were at the top of the ridge. We climbed through the night, and I was thankful for the light from the full moon when my headlamp fell apart.

The sun was just creeping over the horizon shortly before we topped out. The climbing was great and the rock was superb.

It had snowed the night before so we were really careful for the last few hundred meters as it was a bit slippery.

Domhnall on the top

The way down the West Ridge was a bit longer than we had anticipated. I had some difficulty getting down the scree slope, and once we were off the slope we still had a long way to go....about another 10 km to walk around the mountain and back to the road. Domhnall walked the extra 2km to the parking lot to retrieve the truck. I got back to the vehicle at 4pm which made for a 16 hour day.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ha Ling Peak

July 6 - Domhnall picked me up at the airport at 10pm and we headed off to sleep at the Canmore campground.
July 7 - After about 4 hours sleep we woke up and assessed the weather, it looked OK, so we got up and drove to Canmore to the base of Ha Ling Peak.

The scramble up to the base of the climb took us about 2 hours where we took a bit of a rest, changing into our rock shoes and grabbing a bite of food.

Domhnall lead all of the pitches, and I was trying hard to be quick at the climbing, and also at the turn arounds.
Domhnall's feet were hurting, so the only time he was smiling was while he was sitting with the shoes off!
I was having fun managing the rope, and it looked like we had made a good choice as the sun was shining. The rainbow after the second hail storm. The storm blew over the back, which is why we hadn't noticed the sky getting darker. We were pelted by hail, but worse than that was the river of water flowing down the face making climbing difficult.
Eventually the sun came out, warmed us up and dried off the rock. This is me just topping out.

I decided that I needed to carry a bit more weight on the walk to the truck, so I carried Domhnall's pack on my shoulders.

July 8 - We climbed up Lady MacDonald, turning around just a few meters from the top due to my increasing fear, and some bad weather was coming in.

July 9 - We spent the afternoon at the Wasootch Slabs before going to rescue Renee and eventually making it home.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Waiting to fly in

We flew into Whitehorse and met up with the rest of the team. The first day was spent looking over our gear and preparing the 22 bags of food that we would need for the expedition.

The second day we drove to Kluane Lake which was the staging area prior to flying into basecamp. We waited here for 8 days and we spent our time in numerous ways.

I slept-in every morning until 11am, while the boys went exploring the area. Mike is very enterprising and was able to scrounge up many different articles which made it more comfortable around camp. We practiced with the pulks which is how we are going to move our food and equipment on Mount Logan. The pulks are really just children's sleds, but they are perfect for our use....light weight and cheap!

Every evening we gathered around the fire telling stories and enjoying our purchases from the liquor store.

After 5 days Rich pulled out a bottle of Yukon Jack and passed it around telling us about a tradition. The plan was to drink the sky blue.....and as we were drinking we noticed a blue hole that just kept getting bigger. We were so excited when it was still blue the next morning. The only problem was that it wasn't nice on the glacier, so we waited another 3 days before flying in. It was on day 6 or 7 of waiting that Martin told us that this was his second trip to Logan....we were excited to hear his story until he told us that they waited 2 weeks at base camp and left without ever setting foot on the mountain. We were starting to lose hope of ever seeing Mount Logan.
This is a photo of the team from left to right:
Mike, Lucille, Martin - assistant guide, Thomas and Rich - guide.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lake Louise

Mike and I decided to spend the day skiing at Lake Louise so that we would be more comfortable on the Logan trip. The weather was great, and the snow wasn't too bad. We had a good time, but I'm not too sure that my skills improved very much. I guess I'll see next month when I'm trying to get down off of Logan.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Columbia Icefields

Mike and I decided to do a bit of practicing for the upcoming Mount Logan expedition so we headed out to the Columbia Icefields planning on spending a few days tenting and possibly heading towards Mount Columbia.

This is Mike carrying a heavy load. We didn't get going very early today but we made fairly good time travelling on the glacier. No danger of falling in a crevass here so we didn't need to be roped up.

It was quite windy by the time it was time to start setting up camp so that we could finish before dark. After setting up camp we melted snow for water and I made supper. It was so windy that cooking outside was not a possibility so I kept the tent door open which allowed a lot of spindrift to enter the tent causing us to get a bit wet.

We didn't sleep at all because the wind sounded like a freight train so the next morning we got up, packed up and headed back home. We skied downhill all the way back to the truck, but it was so windy that it really slowed us down.

We headed off to Lake Louise for two days of skiing, and we had a great time.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bow Summit

April 8 - I headed off to Lake Louise Ski hill to take some skiing lessons before my trip to Logan. I spent two days on the ski hill will Jill, one of the ski instructors at the ski hill. I managed to get down the hill without injury, but all this was without a pack.

April 10 - I headed off to Bow Summit to put into practice all the lessons that Jill had taught me.

After a bit of breakfast, I put on a small pack and headed up the hill. I had the whole hill to myself and the snow conditions were perfect.

The sun was shining, so I slathered on the sunscreen, not bothering to look in the mirror!

Just before heading back home, I strapped on the snow shoes that I had borrowed from Kathy and headed up and down the hill for a bit of practice. I was told that we may have to wear snow shoes on Logan if the conditions warrented it, so I decided that I should have a bit of experience prior to getting there. The snow shoes worked great, but I am sure hopping that we will not have to use them.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Guinness Gully

January 17 - We went to Kananaskis and climbed Chantilly Falls. A nice easy climb, perfect for my second time out. A great place to learn more about ice climbing. We then drove out to Field to stay with friends.

January 18 - We slept in a bit, then leasurly packed our bags and headed off to climb Guinness Gully. It was -25C, and I had no idea how long this climb was going to take, I figured a few hours at best, well I was wrong.

Domhnall got everything ready, and started up the first pitch. At least there wasn't any wind as it was really cold.

The second pitch went well, but I got tired on the third pitch, and just couldn't continue. So Domhnall lowered me down, and we rappelled down to the bottom where we had left our packs. We had only had a few snacks along the way for the entire day and no water, so we were almost out of energy. We were most of the way back home, long after dark when we ran into his friends who were heading out to look for us.

January 19- We headed off to Bow summit for a day of skiing, but all we could manage was to skin up once, and ski down. We were still tired from our efforts from yesterday. Plus the snow wasn't all that great...so it was an easy decision to head back to Field to spend the day in front of the wood stove.