Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer in Squamish, Mt. Bute

It took its sweet time, but summer has officially arrived in Squamish. 
I returned home from Italy to a ridiculously bad weather forecast, it was supposed to slash rain every day with no end in sight. The very next day I was up early to catch the ferry across to Vancouver Island and Horne Lake. I had agreed to go and film with the Arc'teryx photo dudes Scott and Brian and visiting Arc athlete Nina Caprez of Switzerland at the premiere limestone sport crag of BC. I am not sure why they asked me to go, being a fat alpinist and all. Maybe they knew I am a sucker for nice Swiss girls? Maybe they just wanted to make fun of me for a few days...?
My only saving grace was that years ago I had many of the routes at Horne quite wired. After witnessing my sub-par skills, Nina probably wouldn't believe it, but it could have been a lot worse for me... 

Nina and Brian buying gourmet jerky products in Coombs, BC. Nina is a beef jerky fanatic. Brian just loves shopping.

Scott Milton started climbing in the '80s and he is still damn good at it. He is the skinniest guy I know, despite a great affinity for éclairs.

It's always funny when Milton films me sport climbing or bouldering because I usually fall off, and he would actually send if it were him climbing... Here he jugs into position while Nina explains the merits of the 'caving jumar system' and I make fun of her for being a caver...

After two days of climbing overhanging limestone and one night sleeping in a giant teepee, we left Horne and drove to Long Beach. Nina was tired from her recent ascent of Silbergeier and I was tired from being fat and out of shape.

We drove to the very edge of the Province. It's rare that it was beautiful and sunny in Tofino and slashing rain everywhere else. That never happens.

Milton eats more pastries.

We arrived back in Squamish for the start of the Squamish Mountain Fest. Somehow I was roped in to teaching back-to-back aid climbing clinics in the slashing rain.

These last few days have really felt like summer. The rain has stopped and the rock is drying out nice and quickly.
Tony Richardson invited me to go for my annual mountain bike ride with him and our buddy Rich K. Here he loads the bikes into his 'truck'... Okay, it's a hatchback-truck... Quite a clever bit of design, his bike-carrying truck mod is.

As usual when I go biking, our ride is cut short by something breaking. In this case it wasn't me, but Tony who broke his real derailleur on the uphill.

We rode the recently refurbished classic Pseudo Tsuga. I had ridden this trail over a decade before! Can you tell I'm a really hard-core biker?

Jimmy Martinello's shot of Mt. Bute, to where I am flying tomorrow for a couple weeks to film a stunt for a Hollywood movie. Hopefully I will have a few days to go and send too! I am very excited about the whole experience. These kind of big mountain gags usually get done with computers these days.

To put my Karma levels back in the black after flying into Mt. Bute, I am going on a crazy self-propelled rafting/alpine climbing adventure in the heart of the Coast range with Tony Richardson. Everyone who knows me well will tell you that I drown very easily, I am not one with water in its liquid medium. Here I am training for the whitewater behind Valleycliffe.

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