Sunday, December 13, 2009

Music!



A man and his energetic band from the country of Mali in Africa amazed me one day with their authentic sound and amazing instruments. The first time I saw him in Banff, AB, at the Banff Center of Performing Arts, where he had built a reputation from his previous shows, no one could resist dancing the entire show. If you would like to hear something a little different listen to this, you will love it!! I will include 3 songs to really get a feel for their music. Everyone in the band plays multiple instruments, enjoy!

Song: Titati - Habib Koite & Bamada
Song: Namania - Habib Koite & Bamada
Song: Massak - Habib Koite & Bamada

R.I.P Guy Lacelle!

This is a really sad loss to the Canadian climbing community. Guy was an inspiration to many and achieved things that most of us would never think possible. The climbing community has lost a hugely inspirational figure and an icon whose achievements and style will leave an impact that will last for a very long time. Such a sad day to lose such an accomplished climber who was so unassuming and accepting of others, no matter their level of ability. You will be missed immensely Guy.



Here is the press story:
The Associated Press
Date: Friday Dec. 11, 2009 8:27 AM ET

BOZEMAN, Mon. — World-class ice climber Guy Lacelle died Thursday when an avalanche swept him off a mountain in southwestern Montana.  The Canadian was climbing a gully when a team above him triggered a small avalanche, said Doug Chabot, director of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.

"A small pocket of snow pulled out and caught him," Chabot told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. "It hit him and took him off the cliff, down the ice."

More than 20 rescuers responded to Hyalite Canyon to retrieve the body. Deputy Chief Coroner Dan Springer said the 54-year-old Lacelle died from the fall.

Lacelle, a tree planter by trade, was the first to solo link the extreme ice routes the Terminator/Sea of Vapors and the Replicant in fivehours, Weeping Pillar and Polar Circus in a day, French Maid, Curtain Call, La Pomme D’or in Quebec, and lastly Hydnefossen in Norway. Notably, La Pomme D'or is a 1,000-foot WI 5, with sustained sections of vertical ice and a thin crux. The remote route is a serious undertaking even for a roped team. Lacelle's solo, though mindblowing for most people was typical for him. He was known for several notable ice ascents and won the Ice Competition in Ouray, Colorado, in 2000 and 2001, as well as the Festiglace Competition in Quebec in 2004.

John Irvine, the sports marketing manager for the climbing equipment company Arc'teryx, called Lacelle a "fanatical ice climber" and said his death is a "huge, huge loss."

Irvine said Lacelle was a foreman for a tree planting company in British Columbia during the summer and took the winters off to ice climb.

The Hawkesbury, Ontario, native started climbing while earning a physical education degree at the University of Ottawa in the 1970s. The Banff Centre for Mountain Culture said he later led Outward Bound classes and taught at the Yamnuska Mountain School in Canmore, Alberta.
Lacelle is survived by his wife Marge Lachecki.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rock Climbing In Sicamous & Mara Lake, B.C



There are quite a few motivated locals in this area that are putting up many new routes. The potential in this area is phenomenal! More rugged than the Okanagan, great views and there seems to be rock everywhere you look. Haines Creek, Syphon Creek, Mara Crags and many others host many classic lines! The Salmon Arm/Sicamous area is located right off the Trans-Canada, why dont you check it out! This mini-guide is now available to the masses, and although the routes are limited, bring your boulder pad and brushes, lots of potential for new problems. See you in spring!

Link: Sicamous & Mara Lake Mini-Guide


Music!



The most amazing live band played in Vernon, Bc the other night, FIVE ALARM FUNK. And although I have seen them before, they still had me dancing in awe! A 10 piece band that plays with The Wassabi Collective and now resides in Nelson, BC, their funky style will make you smile! Check out this song, it features some solos that give you an idea of their sound!! If I ever need to a jump start to my day, I put these guys on the stereo! ENJOY!

Link: Five Alarm Funk - Don Mega

'A Guide To Select Rock Climbs In Alberta's Rocky Mountains'



Right near the end of my time in Banff, Alberta during the summer of 09', I compiled this guidebook to encompass a group of areas and routes worth doing from Kananaskis to Jasper. Many of these areas are unknown to many people travelling through the area. Jasper, for example, does not even have a guidebook, and in this guide two of the towns' best climbing crags are included . My goal was to draw a little more attention (or make them at least known) to many of these amazing destinations and give people the opportunity to climb many of their classic routes. If the summer is ever too hot in BC, take a visit to the rockies and climb you wont be sorry. Places like Black Feather Canyon, Lost Boys and the Grand Sentinel, should be on any serious rock climbers list!!!




On a side note, I would really like to know what people think of it.......It took me lots of time and effort and although this copy is available for your free download, it will be revised in the future and maybe just maybe, I will turn it into a better hard copy. I have separated the guide into seven parts; an intro, outro and the five general areas, so that the download would be faster and easier, and maybe you might only like to print a certain section. Enjoy everyone, I just wanted to share a little piece of the great experiences I was privledged to enjoy in this great part of the world.
ALLEN

The Seven Parts' Links:
The Intro/Cover Page
The Kananaskis
Canmore
Banff
Jasper
Lake Louise
Outro



Sunday, November 22, 2009

Music!



Anyone who loves Pearl Jam will appreciate this song. It's off their new album and it just feels so good! I have a lot of respect for Eddie Vedder and the rest of Pearl Jam, they have been making non-stop amazing and original music for a long time now and it doesn't look like they have lost their touch. This song is mellow and it is a great song to play in your car on the way to work in the morning. Puts me in a good mood!!!! ENJOY!

Link: Pearl Jam - Just Breathe

North Okanagan Hiking Adventures Guide!~


The Okanagan Valley has a wide variety of beautiful spots, from beaches, to cliffs, rivers and hiking trails. Recently I have compiled a nice small hiking guide that covers 5 hiking areas in the vicinity of Vernon, Lumby and Armstrong, B.C that are all in close driving distance and can easily be done in an afternoon. Most locations covered have really good swimming and camping opportunities, not to mention they are beautiful and they all offer a unique experience. Time to get out and stretch the legs before the ski season is upon us!
EnJoY!

Link: North Okanagan Hiking Adventures Guide


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Colorado Climbing!



Colorado is known to most people as a magnet for serious American climbers. Rifle, Estes, Boulder, all hold a very unique reputation in the climbing world and offer a ton of options waiting to be had! Since the ice climbing and ski season is upon us I will include a few winter-ish links: the first one; The Colorado Ice Climbing conditions page, and two; 'Climbing Life', and excellent resource for ski tours, ice climbing, alpine routes and rock climbing. These are the best sites I have been able to find and they give a ample amount of information about the great climbing that Colorado offers. This is a very awesome state that has a little of everything for every type of climber! Enjoy the winter!!
Link: Climbing Life.Com
Link: Colorado Ice Climbing Conditions

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Raven Adventures~Jasper, Alberta!!


In 2005, I moved from Ontario to Jasper with 12 friends of my friends from Outdoor College in Ontario. Highly trained and motivated, we somehow ended up taking over the rafting industry in Jasper. My good friends Steve and Chris now run this awesome Outdoor Adventure company called Raven Adventures and it is now one of the most successful companys in town! At the beginning the company was completely focused on Rafting and now 5 years later it has expanded due to the hard work of many Outdoor Adventure graduates and students! I am so proud to have been part of all this. I am sharing this on this page so if anyone is ever in the area and looking to do something fun and experience the beauty of Jasper, these are the guys to hook up with! Just to name a few activities; the Sunwapta River and it's awesome class III+ whitewater, Mt.Edith Cavel with its amazing alpine experience, Maligne Lake and Maligne Canyon which are great mellow experiences for all ages and many more! I'm sure in the future they will be expanding their operations to include many other options!  Check them out!!
Link: Raven Adventures


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Paddling In The Yukon!


SO! There is more than just Gold in the Yukon!!! Hahaha! Here is another addition to some Yukon outdoor activities information! As most paddlers know the kayaking, rafting and canoe options in this beautiful territory are vast and endless. You have everything from big long multi-day expeditions, beautiful pristine lakes, big canyons and even little play spots right near the road. Most rivers here peak during early summer and basically run dry by mid to late summer. Although the season is short and the logistics can be complicated, a river trip here is a experience not to be missed. Rivers like the Tatshenshinni, Yukon and the Liard are classics and deserve any whitewater enthusiasts attention. You also have the Wheaton River, located nearby Whitehorse that you could easily run and get in some rock climbing in the same day nearby. Included here is a link to Kayak the Yukon, which is a great page to get some basic information to get you started. A very highly recommended guidebook to aquire if you plan on heading up this way is Ken Madsen's book "Paddling in the Yukon: A Guide to the Rivers" ENJOY!!
Link: Kayak Yukon Web Page




Rock Climbing In The Yukon!


There has been a bunch of people developing some really good looking rock climbing near Whitehorse, YT. The community is strong and their site seems to cover everything you would need to get out. The rock is mainly limestone and granite, and it offers lots of sport, trad with tons of potential just waiting to be discovered. Every summer they even host a awesome bouldering festival at a place they call IBEX! The bouldering around this place looks wonderful! Just knowing this climbing exists offers another excuse for me to get up off my ass and make a trip to the Yukon! Between the amazing rivers, alpine climbing and now rock routes, a road trip here looks like it is more than worth the effort! I will be trying to add more beta about the Yukon in the near future. Enjoy this cool find!!
Link: Climb Yukon Web Page


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Music!


Another addition to the music tracks for everyone to enjoy; The People Under The Stairs! They bring the old school West Coast sound back to hip hop and they make it sound sooo good! This song just reminds me that hip hop is not dead and all that horrible new radio played gangsta crap is just a joke! If you like true hip hop music listen to this track, its from their brand new album, I swear you will enjoy playing it loud on your car stereo! ENJOY!
Link: People Under The Stairs - Down In L.A

Sunday, November 8, 2009

SnowBoard - Ski Season 09'


Just wishing everyone a great riding/skiing season! I know everyone is starting to jonse, the climbing/paddling season is over and it is time for the snow to fly! It is snowing in BC and some mountain resorts are even open. Be safe and hopefully everyone has some epic deep days! Here are some links to some very important Snow Reports at many resorts that in my books are worth visitng if you have not, make sure to make time for a great road trip! There are also links to Avalanche Sites/Bulletins on the sidebar of this homepage! ENJOY!!

Sunshine Village - Banff, Alberta: http://skibanff.com/conditions/snow_report.php

Kicking Horse Resort - Golden, BC: http://www.kickinghorseresort.com/mountain/information/conditions.aspx

Revelstoke Resort - Revelstoke, BC: http://www.revelstokemountainresort.com/revelstokemtn/conditions.aspx

Silver Star Mountain - Vernon, BC: http://www.skisilverstar.com/mountain_showSnowReport.html

Red Mountain - Rossland, BC: http://www.redresort.com/mountain/report/

Whitefish Mountain Resort - Whitefish, Montana, USA: http://www.skiwhitefish.com/snowreport.php

Jackson Hole - Jackson, Wyoming, USA: http://www.jacksonhole.com/mountain-info/conditions/weather-snow-report.html



Cougar Creek Crack Climbing - Kootenays!


This area is a crack climbers paradise and it is home to some of the best slab and crack climbs in the West Kootenays! Located between Nelson & Revelstoke near Valhalla Provincial Park & Slocan Lake, this crag is well worth the effort to get to. Its quite isolated, has a rough logging road + 40 minute approach and there are almost no bolted climbs, so it doesnt tend to see much traffic. But............. if this is your 'bag' and you are looking for this kind of experience this place is unbeatable. The potential here is staggering; there are a ton of boulders in the area waiting to be climbed and lots of routes waiting to be discovered, so bring a brush and a sense of adventure and you will be rewarded,  The rock here is very similar looking to Granite but it is actually Gneiss, the highest cliffs are about 150m, so two ropes can be useful and a wide assortment of gear. Get out and enjoy this place, there is also lots of other climbing around, be sure to pick up the 'West Kootenay Rock' guidebook just released which includes the Valhallas & Slocan City Bluffs, both nearby and also highly recommended as a part of the trip! Come spend a week even! ENjoY

Included here is a very great in-depth guide!
Link: Crack Climbing - Cougar Creek Guide

Friday, November 6, 2009

Riggins, Idaho.......The Bouldering & Sport Climbing Is Fantastic!



If you are planning on heading down to City Of Rocks, Idaho (highly recommended), this is another place to stop on the way. The bouldering here is so full of flavour and the sport climbing is great too. There are so many amazing lines waiting to be sent here it is really hard to believe. Between the City of Rocks, Massacre Rocks and Riggins (oh with some sick paddling too) there is no reason not to road trip here. The sport climbing guide included here is focused on the amazing steep limestone located in the Hell's Canyon (Snake River) area and the bouldering guide is mainly focused on the Gneiss boulders near the Salmon River. All the climbing areas are located in the direct vicinity of the "Idaho Paddling" section of this blog. So one could easily make up a multi-activity trip in here, it would be well worth it! I could not think of a better place close to home to make an effort visiting, this region offers a wonderful experience in the outdoors!  The climbing and paddling in Idaho is really exceptional, I simply cant say anymore, get out there! Once you get into the area you can easily pick up a better guidebook to the paddling, climbing, and hiking at one of the many outdoor shops. Have a great time!
Link: Riggins Bouldering
Link: Riggins Sport Climbing


Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Shuswap/Salmon Arm/North Okanagan Outdoor Adventures!!


Stretching from Salmon Arm Area to Sicamous and down towards Enderby, the Shuswap area hosts a great deal of outdoor activities for every kind of Outdoor enthusiast! You have the lower Shuswap River coming down from Mabel Lake, which offers really good paddling oppourtunities for all levels. There is Scotch Creek that feeds into Shuswap Lake north of Salmon Arm, which hosts great whitewater in during spring and early summer. You can get in a canoe or kayak and travel across the lake systems camping at recreational sites or more developed campgrounds. There is also quite a lot of climbing being developed, ice and rock! Included here is a guide to the best hiking trails in the region. It is divided into sections but none are too far away from Vernon or Salmon Arm and some are fit for mountain biking (designated). Albas Falls, Enderby Cliffs, and Haines Creek are must do's if you are in the area! So if you live anywhere near get out and enjoy, the area is so diverse it has a little something to keep everyone interested!! Have a good time!
Link: Shuswap Hiking Trails

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ice Climbing In New Brunswick!


There IS Ice in New Brunswick and there is actually a small, faithful community as well. There is quite a lot of ice further to the south, but really, it is scattered everywhere, there are also tons of mixed climbs established amongst the areas! The Bay of Fundy, Saint John and Grand Falls are just some of the concentrated areas. I don't know if there is anyone viewing my page that has an excuse to go here, but if you do, go climb some ice. I personally have a lot of family in the Maritmes so....I will be bringing my tools if I ever visit in the winter cause it looks goooood!!! Tons of routes and potential, barely any avy hazard and no people! There is a really good website with current conditions and beta and a great guide included! EnjOY!!
Link: Ice Climbing NB - Website
Link: New Brunswick Ice Climbing Guide

Music!


This amazing drum & bass group that is renowned for their live instrumental sets come from New Zealand and they have captivated me since day one. Lots of amazing vocals, live instruments and amazing beats, if you like any sort of electronic music you will fall in love with these guys, they are so different and so original. Give them a listen and see what you think! This one is called 'ONE' and the flow is unbelievable............
Link: Shapeshifter - ONE

Mt.Orford - Quebec Sport & Bouldering!


Mt.Orford is located just east of Montreal, Quebec on the way to Sherbooke, Quebec and it is a premier rock climbing destination! The best known crag in the eastern townships, Mount Orford is really worth the drive. The cliff is host to about 60 routes, most of them completely bolted. There are also about 100 boulder problems, scattered in the boulder field at the base of the crag. One of Quebec's most developped sport climbing destinations, it is certainly the area with the largest concentration of hard routes in the province. It is estimated that more than 75% of routes graded 5.13c or harder in Quebec are at mount Orford. Although long and pumpy is the norm here there are lots of moderates to get on as well! The rock here is Gneiss, it's steep, well featured, and really fun if you looking for something different than the typical granite in the east! Along with the great climbing, their is an ambundance of other activities around like mountain biking, hiking and swimming/lounging around to keep you occupied. Another must visit when the fall colours are coming out, beautiful!

The guides included can be used together, the bouldering one is in french but the sport routes guide has the same directions and is in english. Everythink else should be easy to reference. Enjoy!

Link: Orford Sport Guide
Link: Orford Bouldering

Here is also a sweet video of the SICK bouldering at Orford….


video












Bon Echo - Epic Rock Climbing Experience In Ontario!


Bon Echo is a huge granite cliff located between Ottawa & Toronto. The cliff hangs over the beautiful Mazinaw Lake in Bon Echo Provincial Park and hosts a huge amount of routes some being amoung the best in Ontario! Almost all the routes start from the water and travel their way up several pitches of exposed, beautiful climbing. Many of the climbs can feel spicy for the grade here but they host very good protection by today's standards, with a few bolts thrown in here and there. There is an Alpine Club of Canada Clubhouse in close vicinity, and although access is not straight-forward, they offer a shuttle boat several times a day to get to the cliffs. There is a boat launch at the campground on the west side of the lake and the cliffs are located on the east. You can camp at Bon Echo, stay at the Clubhouse (become a member of ACC), or if these are full, stay at one of the many motels or campgrounds nearby. In winter once the lake is frozen up, there is one really nice long WI4 ice climb as well! The experience here is not to be missed, several amazing classics!


Included here is the full guide seperated into six parts for easier uploading, enjoy! Go to the sidebar labelled rock climbing downloads on this page and find them there!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cuba Climbing!!!


Most people by now have heard of the unreal rock climbing in Cuba! Amazing people, awesome climbing and an unforgettable experience, make this place a premier destination. Karst Limestone sport climbing is the theme and there is a little something for everyone! Travelling to Cuba can be a bit of an adventure, especially for an American, but it is worth the effort. Typically you need to be sure to orgainze yourself very well before going with all your accomodations and plans worked out before being able to even enter the country. Make sure to look into it, this site offers some great info. The link is to the Cuba climbing web site that should get you started on the right path. Another addition to the tropical climbing destinations.

Link: Cuba's Climbing Site

Frenchman's Coulee - Washington State!


This place I discovered is called the Frenchman's Coulee. It is located between Seattle & Spokane right off the Interstate-90. The climbing itself is in the close vicinity of the Columbia River near the town of Vantage. It offers a desert like setting with most of the climbing on Basalt, desert like towers! This place should be on the list for any climber living near the state of Washington or passing through. The guide included here is just a reference to the good stuff for visitors. This place is so unique, it hosts some amazing trad routes, lots of sport routes and has a really nice atmosphere in the area they call the Echo Basin. The crag is also located about an hour and a half from the little climbing mecca town of Leavenworth, WS, that was just featured in the most recent copy of 'Climbing' magazine! Make the effort, you will be impressed.
Link: The Coulee Guide

Climbing In Bermuda!


There is sport climbing, beach-side bouldering and an amazing amount of potential for deep-water soloing on the island of Bermuda! Mostly made up of limestone the routes range from ok to amazing and if you are ever in the mood for a unbelievable island paradise with rock climbing, visit here. All the climbing here is very accessible, almost all beachside and the people are awesome. Just thought I would share this because I never knew until a few days ago. This is the first installment of many tropical climbing destinations. This is a link to a fully in-depth topo site. Enjoy!
Link: Climb De Rock - Bermuda Topo


Whitewater Paddling in Idaho!


There are few unbelievable rivers in Idaho that are worth a paddle!!! This state is remote, mountainous and it has everything you would want in a wilderness, whitewater experience. The Salmon River being one of the classics is a must do if you are in the area. Rated a Class II to IV there are several different sections and forks that provide everything from a full on experience to a multi-day adventure through Idaho's amazing wilderness. The Snake River's Hell's Canyon, is another must do! There are a lot of boaters in this area so just ask around at local shops and such and you should be able to get some good beta or a partner. Included here is: Two websites with incredible resources and guidebooks to buy, some maps of different section of the Salmon and a good map of the state of Idaho. As far as guidebooks go, 'Idaho River Tours' & 'The Idaho Paddler' are great! Enjoy!
Link: All About Rivers.Com
Link: Paddling.Net
Link: Map Of Main Salmon River
Link: Map - Middle Fork, Salmon River
Link: Idaho Map/Orientation

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Val-David Bouldering

Val-David is located just north of Montreal and it is one of the premier destinations of Quebec. It has lots of great trad and sport routes, it is very close to Mt. Tremblant and it is a destination not to be missed if you are in this part of Canada. If you are interested in a route climbing topo, inquire at the town info center, they are very helpful. Definitley amongst the classic areas of Eastern Canada, this bouldering crag has so many amazing routes it's hard to know where to start. Granite, good landings, easy approach and great problems are the highlights of this spot, this topo is just a little taste! Bring a pad, some beers, good people and come and crank hard! Enjoy the Quebecois atmosphere....Allez!
Link:Val-David Bouldering Topo

Music!

This addition is by the group called 'Crown City Rockers' they are a instrumental hip hop group that sounds like nothing else you've ever heard. They have two albums that sound so original it's hard not to like them (that is if you are into this genre of music) Lots of live instruments and amazing vocals. Listen to this song and see what you think. They play live sets with lots of bands across North America at big outdoor events. Feel it!
Link: Sidestep - Crown City Rockers

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cory Richards!

About 3 years ago with a Swiss friend of mine by the name of Klaus, I had the privelege to climb with Cory and honestly at the time I did not know he was so talented. He has been everywhere, from Peru, to Canmore, to the Himalayas and his pictures reflect this. Check out his page and you will get an idea of a person who has seen many things most people would never imagine. When I saw him in Rock & Ice, he looked like he had barely survived his (almost) plummet into the sea, wow Cory! The intense life can be so fullfilling in some weird way! The picture is of Cory on Moonlight (WI4) in the Kananaskis Country, Alberta.......Awesome~
Link:Cory's Photos!

Into Adventure Photography


A very awesome guy I had the pleasure of climbing with by the name of Mark is an adventure photographer, and I would just like to share his website with everyone because it is........amazing! Some of his pictures from Hawaii are unreal, he has surely seen his share of adventure. I love pictures, they motivate me to get to place I have not had the pleasure of being, have a look yourself!
Link: Into Adventure Website