Sunday, December 13, 2009


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


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.

The Seven Parts' Links:
The Intro/Cover Page
The Kananaskis
Lake Louise