Thursday, April 24, 2008


I just successfully finished my 10 day Advanced Wilderness First Aid course and my reward was a 5 am wake up to get down to the airport so I could travel up to Prince Rupert.  Tomorrow I will be heading down to Hartley Bay to delivery a week long Intro to Sea Kayaking Course for the students at the high school as part of the student mentor program that I work in with King Pacific Lodge. My fitness took a hit the past 10 days so I am looking forward to getting back into it. The Momar adventure race is only a couple of weeks away. I have my new used Specialized Stumpjumper now and I am looking forward to getting on it when i get back. Next update will be sometime this week from Hartley Bay.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Grumble Grumble

Well these days in am knee deep in a 10 Day Advanced Wilderness First Aid Course. Not high on my priority list but something I need to get done so for now it is keeping to a low level workout schedule. I am looking forward to it being finished this Wednesday. I am getting  new mountain bike tommorrow and I will be excited to rip the trails with it real soon. I have to get some mileage in for the Momar Adventure Race in May anyways. My next adventure takes me up to Hartley Bay on the 24th for a Guide Training Program for the youth in the village. I am looking forward to getting back to my adopted home. Reports from there to follow

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Finally, this trip lined up. I have been wanting to do this trip since I showed up to Squamish four years ago. Well I finally got the peeps, and the weather and after a season of ski touring we were all in shape to do it in a day. We had Michelle Boender, a nordic patrol at Cypress, her friend Mark, my buddy and Ski Guide/Patrol Martin Fitchl and his young German friend Rafi. After pounding back a cup of coffee at 5:30 am and picking up the crew we were at the Diamond Head trailhead and leaving at 6:15 am. We absolutely nailed the weather as it was a clear bluebird day without a cloud in the sky. By the time we got to Paul Ridge the sun was beginning to come up and it was spectacular. I have probably toured up here 25 times this year but everytime I come up I am amazed with the scenery. The majestic Tantalus Range sprawls to the west, the big Massif of Garibaldi was beckoning to the north, Mamquam Mountain northeast and the Squamish and Cheakamus valleys far below blazing a path through the various ranges. We stopped at Elfin Lakes for some foot repair and then headed back out into the sunshine for 5 hours of climbing up Ring Creek. The further we got into this trip the more dramatic the scenery became. I had never seen the views of Mt. Garibaldi as was laid before me now. It was also getting hot and I was dropping a lot of water. We stopped for one of our lunches on the neve, stuffing our faces with food and crushing bottles of water with Nuun tablets. I sat in amazement with the scene laid out in front of me. Hard to believe we were only 5 hours out of Squamish but in a place so remote and stunning, our backyard. After our first lunch we carried on higher and higher with a bit of frustration occurring due to sticky snow on the skins and hot spring like conditions. We certainly didn't need anymore weight on our skis. We were going light though since we were knocking this off in a day. Our high point of the trip was 1000 feet below the summit of Garibaldi. It was in fine shape and tantalizingly close. We all agreed to come back to knock on the summit next time. I am sure we would have bagged it if we had an overnight plan but our "mish" today was door to door so we needed to save some energy. After our second lunch at our high point it was backcountry skiing heaven on the north facing aspects. We shredded some incredible April snow, zippering lines into the Warren Glacier, one of the best runs I have had all year. I couldn't keep the smile off my face or the hurt out of my quads. This is what it is all about. Another bit of uphill touring lead us to the top of the Sphinx Glacier. I had a visit from my raven brother along this section, he flew overhead  sqwalking about hoping spring would arrive soon. Skins back off we crushed another line right down to the Sphinx hut just above Garibaldi Lake. I was really happy to see an open creek since I had gotten very quiet over the last two hours since I had gone through all of my water. Water is the best thing in the world eh? Especially cold Sphinx Glacier water......not that crap in plastic water bottles labelled "glacier." Now it was time for the long trek across the frozen lake. An hour into the flat traverse I felt like Mr. Roboto, in rhythm, mindless touring with awesome mountains jutting out of the lake and great views of Black Tusk. It was also at this time that my feet started aching, my boots and feet not used to the duration of this tour. As J.S.G would say, "stop whining and just put it in your pain box", course I think I left my pain box in the car or I had trouble opening it. Once we completed our traverse across the lake it was all downhill to Mark's truck. The ski out to Rubble Creek was pretty good except for the last KM where we had to take our skis off and walk the rest. The bag of chips Michelle had strategically placed in the truck for our arrival were demolished in was the Flask of vodky......seconds though for that. What a day. I was stoked. 14 hours truck to truck and 42 kms. Thanks a lot to my teammates Michelle, Mark, Martin and Rafi, for such a great day. Now I am motivated to find more big day traverses in our backyard of Squampton.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Over the Easter weekend one of my oldest friends from Coniston, Derek Nixon, came out to visit me. We have know each other since we were three, when we used to cruise our old mining town looking for trouble. Our big plan for the weekend was to go snowmobiling and since the week prior we had a fresh 80cms of snow we were pretty excited to get up there. We signed up for the Backcountry X tour with Canadian Snowmobile and we were joined by Jaime Reid, a good friend and guide who I worked with at King Pacific Lodge. I hadn't been snowmobiling since I was really young and never have I ripped it up in alpine powder. Nix was really excited. He is a very competent snowmobiler but he had never ridden in the mountains and this had been something that had been on his tick list for awhile. After a great trail ride up we hit the powder and we all realized quickly that sledding in powder is a really tough thing to do. We all got stuck a number of times and quickly depleted most of our energy digging ourselves out. I managed to disappear from the group and ended up scaring our guide, Brad in the process as I got stuck way out on the outskirts of the sledding terrain. I think the helicopters were on the way but Brad managed to find me and I received a well deserved scolding. After about three hours we had all been significantly "worked" and we were ready for apres at the Sled Head Pub of Squamish......The Shady Tree. Thanks a lot to Derek for coming out to visit. I look forward to returning the favor this summer when he can take me out for some central ontario bass fishing. I am also looking forward to getting back on the sled next year to shred some more pow. 


Petey and I managed to get off resort and check out a few local breaks. The first one we went to was close to the resort Punta Cana Excellence. It was a gentle reef break but if felt so good to get into the warm water and catch a few rollers after many sessions in Tofino. The break was about 40 minutes away from the resort and there was no one except us out there. The best spot though was the second spot we went to called Macao. This was a stunning long cresent beach with great beach break on one end and some heavier waves breaking off the headlands on the south side of the beach. It only took us 25 minutes to get here. This is a spot I could camp out at for weeks.....morning and evenings here would be incredible but on this day we got there just as the winds were starting to pick up for the day. I highly recommend getting down to the Dominican for some surf. I am looking forward to getting back there.


Hello there. I am back, I have had a great March and it started off with my trip to the Dominican Replublic at the beginning of March for Peter Bouillion and Renee Paquette's wedding. We had an outstanding time down there. We were at the Ocean Blue resort in Punta Cana. The resort was fantastic and the service was excellent. The Presidente beers were always cold and the nightly Dominican Cigars, La Aurora Belicos, were really tasty. Petey and I managed to get off resort for a couple of days to go surfing at a local beach break. The beach was beautiful and we had some great times together. I had a really good time getting to know Peter and Renee's family and friends. I enjoyed the Dominican and I would love to head back to Cabarete on the north shore for a week of surf but this week was all about Petey and Renee. Congratulations to you both....looking forward to seeing you this summer back in Sudbury.