After Yosemite, I drove straight to Boulder, Colorado, to meet up with Matt Segal. I was excited to be in town the week of the Adventure Film Festival, an amazing celebration of mountain culture with many good friends. This was an especially important year - we all miss Micah, Jonny and Wade and I was honoured to be able to celebrate their lives with family and friends and the Colorado climbing community.
After the festival, Matt and I drove out to Indian Creek for some splitter training. I was excited to be on a stress-free rock climbing trip, something I haven't done in a few years. Over the weekend, half of Boulder seemed to come and join us for a truly special Thanksgiving dinner in the desert. The Turkey tasted even better than at home (sorry Mom) and everyone contributed their favourite side dish. There was so much food you could only sample one bite of everything before your plate was overflowing! The following day Phyllis and Jon Copp Sr. literally drove for hours around the desert trying to find us on their way back home to southern California. We convinced them to spend the night out in the desert with us. Jon brought out Jonny's guitar and played around the campfire. Renan was ever present with his camera and took about 3000 photos, editing them into a beautiful video on his drive home. Jon Copp's rendition of Take Me Home, Country Road provides the soundtrack:
Back in Boulder I got the news: Will Stanhope bailed on our expedition to Patagonia that was coming up in a month. At first I was quite bummed as Willy is definitely my best partner and we seem to be able to pull off amazing stuff together. But I immediately asked Matt Segal if he wanted to go. After 5 minutes of phone calls to the North Face, Matty was in one hundred percent. Then I managed to convince Big Jon Gleason to be a third. I am really happy now with the team we have lined up for our objective.
Segal toasting the booking of our plane tickets with a bottle of Basil Hayden's Bourbon.
I forgot to mention how much fun it was to shoot guns in the Utah desert with Pete and Jose... I'm a nice Canadian boy so had never done this before...
It was so, so hard to leave Boulder, and when I finally did I accidentally ran out of gas somewhere in Wyoming. That was a cold, cold walk...
It's good to be home in Vancouver. I was really excited to get ice climbing and skiing upon my return, but conditions were perfect for rock climbing and little else. Conditions were so good I even went up to the roof pitch on Freeway to check out a hard project with local badass Jer Smith. That was a bit optimistic as although it was clear, winds were gale force and tried their very best to blow us off the mountain while chilling us to the bone. Needless to say we didn't send, and I had nightmares of Patagonia for days after.
December bouldering at it's finest! Magic!
Coastal ice was slowing creeping in so on thursday I got out with long time Canadian ice climber and sender of Everest, Michael Down to see what we could climb. We stopped at Carl's Berg on the Duffy. It looked climbable, but certainly not in its classic WI5 shape. I was keen to try though, and found lots of steep and technical aerated ice with little pro for the bulk of the pitch... It was a good first pitch of the season for me... sort of...
Full value on Carl's Berg