Sunday, September 28, 2008

ACMG ski guide program Part 1 - Alpine Skills Course

My Squamish rock season has pretty much wrapped up. I managed to complete one more of my summer's goals by nabbing what is likely the first female ascent of Leviticus, a 5.12d trad pitch located practically on top of Hwy 99. I am not sad to be done with that noisy climbing zone.

A big part of the next six months for me will be my journey through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides ( ski guide program. There will be three training segments and an exam, and you can expect to find a post on each of them in addition to my other mishaps and shenanigans here.

The first training segment took place at the Kain Hut in Bugaboo Provincial Park last week. Topics included all kinds of ropework, glacier travel, crevasse rescue and improvised harnesses.

Chris Goliaff modelling his well proportioned improvised harness

If you want to look like a true guide, you need to be grouchy, wrinkly and carrying a mountaineer's coil

The weather started off beautiful, with golden larch trees dotting the landscape and offering a beautiful contrast to the shades of white, grey and blue cast by the snow, granite, sky and glacial ice.

Snowpatch and Bugaboo in fall glory

Marmolata and tumbling glaciers

Next phase of my fall is a 6 week US road trip through Yosemite, Indian Creek and Red Rocks. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lily the wonder dog

Lily is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever who is on her last legs and probably won't make it to another winter. She has been a part of my family since I was sixteen and I have spent countless days on the snow in the Valhalla Mountains skiing with Lily. Lily has numerous traits that make her such a great ski dog: she loves powder, she has seemingly limitless energy, and when the snow's too deep, she'll head down the uptrack and meet you at the bottom of the run. Lily's affectionate nature made her the center of attention with guests at my family's backcountry lodge (

Here are a few photos to help you appreciate Lily courtesy of Whit Richardson:

As I write this, my new dog Benny is sleeping under the table with his head resting on my feet. Benny has REALLY REALLY big shoes to fill.