Climbing

Bear Mountain – A redux

If you’ve read about our first attempt to climb (or even glimpse) Bear Mountain, you may be wondering how or why we ever returned. I wish I knew myself, with any sort of confidence. Was it the resentment of failure? Was it the undeterrable enthusiasm we had for this climb? Was it because of a …

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Bear Mountain: A loving tribute to a living nightmare – Part 2

Things started off great when we immediately got off trail (we wouldn’t know this till days later). We attempted to follow some GPS tracks I plucked from the internet. This involved scaling a wet, lushly vegetated and slippery mountainside. This became increasingly tiresome and ludicrous, with steep precipice falls a constant reminder of our mortality. …

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Bear Mountain – A loving tribute to a living nightmare

In the late summer of 2016, my friend Dan and I attempted to climb Bear Mountain, a 2,400-metre tall peak situated in the North Cascades National Park, just south of British Columbia. The north buttress of this mountain offers 670 metres of superb alpine granite. Tucked away in northern Washington, the base of the climb …

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Helping the community climb to new heights

Chris Gishler, owner and operator of Equinox Adventures, has spent the last 15 years building and developing his outdoor adventure and education company as the Yukon has continued to grow. Back in 1999, Gishler arrived to Whitehorse in preparation for a Mount Logan trip in Kluane National Park, only to discover plane issues, which led …

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The Week that Was…

Once summer arrived, along with consistent plus 25 temperatures, it was time to enjoy some swimming, hiking and generally the beautiful weather in Yukon. (In the Yukon, if you see a single day of plus 20, there is a likelihood it will come to fruition, but a few days showing the same, you’re guaranteed good …

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High Adventure

At the age of 82, Peter Steele says he has very little memory of his own parents. That’s partly why he decided a few years ago to write his autobiography. “I didn’t want my own kids to able to say the same,” he explains. “I thought I had enough interesting stories that I’d like them …

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Taking on Sunshine Crack

I sleep in the next morning and Dan and I take it slow. Ironically named, Sunshine Crack faces north and does not catch sun until late in the day. It is cold in the Bugaboos, despite it being late July. Our approach is easy however and we are at the base by 11 a.m. There …

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Taking the Kain Route

We begin the next day by eating cereal with rehydrated milk powder, gathering our things and setting out. The hike and scramble to the base of the climb involves navigating past several glacier pools, ascending a snow ramp in crampons, and scrambling up a loose low-angle rock slab. Upon reaching the saddle between Bugaboo Spire …

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Bugaboos, Part 1

Due to the geographical layout of the valley we ascend, Anniversary Peak and Hound’s Tooth remain in view for most of the way while all other peaks are generally obscured by trees and hills. The hike takes us three hours, with few breaks, and spits us out onto an incredible plateau of rock, overlooking the …

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A smoky pinnacle beckons in a hiker’s personal Shangri-La

Yes! This month, Jane Vincent is coming with me on an attempt to climb the pinnacle. It’s a pinnacle I now call Dragon Mountain. Recently, hiking there on my own, setting my own pace, very aware of my surroundings, I was in tune for miracles. The mountain was un-named; a mountain in a range of …

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Boulder On!

Do you like climbing rocks? Do you enjoy hiking in a gorgeous valley? What about making friends? Walking a tightrope suspended between two giant boulders? Do you like having fun and being happy? If you answered yes to any of these, you’re in luck. This Saturday, the local climbing community will host a revival of …

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The boulder you get

The sport of bouldering does not end with “conquering” a boulder but, rather, “understanding” it. The sport’s founder is a mathematician and accomplished gymnast, while its most successful participants do not necessarily possess great strength. The Ibex Valley Bouldering Festival (not “Competition” … but “Festival”) is a good chance to see this sport and to …

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Taking Medicine to New Heights

Cambridge medical students are expected to be well-schooled in the art of social climbing, but Peter Steele, who studied medicine at the University of Cambridge, in England, chose mountain climbing instead. “There were some really excellent climbers [at Cambridge], and I got bit by the ‘climbing bug’,” Steele says in a British accent that seems …

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Getting a Leg Up

Eric Allen keeps his hand close to the supporting foot of a young climber as he coaches the six-year-old through his first successful climbing problem during the 8th Annual Ibex Valley Bouldering Festival. The bouldering festival is one piece in the mosaic of the ever-expanding Yukon climbing community. Bouldering is a style of rock climbing …

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Climbing

Climbing back

Over a decade ago, the climbing wall housed on the gymnasium stage at F.H. Collins Secondary School was awash with young climbers training to compete in climbing competitions in southern Canada. At the helm was their coach, Alain Dallaire. Then tragedy struck in the form of an ice-climbing fall that required Dallaire to step back. …

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Do as the Monkeys Do

Have you ever been happily hopping from rock to rock on a hiking trail, only to have a rock shift unexpectedly beneath your feet to remind you that the ground isn’t always as stable as you like to think? Have you ever had it happen when you were 60 feet in the air? I have, …

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Climbing and Being Climbed

There are little leaps and big leaps, little walks and big walks. I like the idea of “keep on walking”, day after day, farther away. There are people who do that, and I don’t know if it ever will be me. I haven’t even gone on overnight hikes for a few years. Not that I …

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