Tuesday, September 1, 2015

From Pleasure to Work and Back Again

Opening new boxes of gear, getting vaccinations, researching different areas to learn to para-glide in India/Nepal, packing gear and visiting friends and family have been the happenings since finishing work 8 days ago. So before I get to caught up in India's rustle and bustle here is an update from my spring and summer.

After all the sweet sweet ice climbing in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia I traveled to Chamonix, France for a month of alpine climbing with James Monypenny were we climbed numerous long, fun routes and started planning for our trip to Pakistan.

 Photo by James Monypenny
James put in a huge amount of energy into this and we have received support from: Lowa, Mountain Equipment, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Gore-Tex, British Mountainerrin Council, Cilogear, and The Mount Everst Foundation. Thanks to all you for the support!!

After my return home from Chamonix I flew to Vancouver to meet up with Ashlie. We got in a few days of climbing in Squamish and then headed to the Yukon for a summer of work and play.

My first adventure was getting dropped off in Skagway AK by Ashlie and our friends Meredith and Chris. I then jumped on a ferry to Haines AK to meet up with Erik Bonnett for another trip into Koosdakhaa Spire. We headed in on May 18th, again via sky plane with Drake Olson, and on May 19th-20th we made a successful ascent of Koosdakhaa Spire. 
Our route was sustained 5.10-5.11 climbing for 14 pitches. It took us 33hours to reach the summit and another 5hours to get back to our camp. We named the route Otter Water Boogie Man 5.11- A1 V 600m. When spent a few days resting and then moved to another climbing objective. This time we climbed for 16hours and climbed a new route called Lichening Bolt Buttress 5.11- IV 400m. Shortly after we found ourselves descending to Skagway via the Nourse River Valley. The river was 

awesome! Sporting continuous class 2-3 & the random class 4 rapid for 30km to the Taiya River confluence and then into the ocean close to Skagway. We both were exceedingly happy with our trip especially after all the hard work we put in last year in this same area!!

Soon after our trip Erik headed back to California and I was in Whitehorse with Ashlie and getting ready for my first NOLS course of the summer. We hiked for 12 days in the Pelly Mountains and the paddled on the Finlayson and Frances Rivers to the community of Upper Liard. We covered 70km of hiking and 300km of canoeing. 

On our day off Jamie and I paddled the Tutshi River, which is the classic creek run outside Whitehorse. It was an awesome class 4-4+ run with good flows.... I have to say it was great to get back in a kayak!!
With my day off behind me I was back to work. This time getting ready for a 35day Mountaineering/Whitewater canoeing course. This is the first course of its type and I was happy to be apart of it! We traveled through the Logan Mountains just outside of Nahanni National Park for 70km over small pocket glaciers and climb numerous peaks. We then put on the Little Hyland/Hyland Rivers and paddled and lined our way 410km to the Alaska/Canadian Highway.
Once again, another incredible summer in Canada's Yukon Territory! We saw the northern lights, caught numerous fish, saw several moose and caribou, were bluff charged by a Grizzly and got to experience the moody weather the north offers year after year! Thanks to Evan, Sam, Arthur, Erik, Ashlie, Jamie and Kate for paddling awesome whitewater, portaging canoes, cooking awesome food, climbing a bunch pf rocks and sharing a tent for numerous days! And to all our students for working hard and having fun in one of the coolest places on Earth!

This Thrusday Ashlie and I will be off to India to meet up with James to start the move to the Karakorum. Ashlie will be stopping in Northern India to do a yoga teacher training and we will meet up there after James and I are finished climbing in Pakistan.

All photo's taken by Max Fisher unless otherwise noted.

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