Friday, August 19, 2005


Well I am finally back from the North. I had a good time, even if the mosquitoes drove me crazy. I had one kayak mini-epic and one hiking mini-epic, plus scores of mosquitoe crazy moments.

The kayak adventure involved wandering down a reasonably nice looking river to access the lower canyon of the Stikine. It ended with a humungous portage up an 800 foot hillside to avoid a nasty class VI 40 footer in a slot canyon. I had a moment's thought about running it despite not being able to see the landing, but the nasty stuff further down the canyon quickly changed my mind. If you can see exploding waves up a thousand feet and a kilometer away, you know they are huge! The port invloved dragging my 70lb boat 2km through some nasty low growth spruce forests. Yuck!

As for the hiking epic, maps are nice. Warnings up north actually mean something as well. I will write up the story in more detail, but suffice it to say, the trail I had planned on taking was pretty sparse, and I figured it could be an old indian trail. The road I ended up taking added about 12km to to the trip. Near the end of the day, insane from bugs I didn't take enough time at a cross roads at 40km. This meant I wound up on the wrong side of the park, well out of food, energy, and at 9:00pm, with another 10km penalty. Trying my best to make good time to avoid getting benighted, the trip ended at 11:30pm and, with this being my break in hike, ended up messing up doing in the cartlidge problem I occasionaly have with my knees. But at least the 60+ km day hike was a good start to the trip. Of course it sounds like it had better rock that Mt. Sir Douglas!


At 8/22/2005 09:00:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you made it back with only mini epic's. If you've ever read Pierre Burton's book "Klondike", he talks about people literally commiting suicide and some people just plain going off the deep end because of the bugs. No thanks.....
Sir Douglas was a long haul. We were up at 5:30am Saturday morning and got home at 6:00am Sunday morning, non stop. I don't think i've ever been so tired and the last three kilometer hike out of there felt like it was never going to end. On a more positive note, the positions on the ridge were very exhilarating with 40m runouts over crux's and nothing between us and the glacier below but 1500' of air. The nice thing about it all was that the rock was pretty decent over the crux's.
We did the East Ridge of Storm Mtn. on Saturday. The rock on the whole was a little better with a stiff 5.6 crux but the positions on the climb were not as exhilarating as Sir Douglas but none the less, it was still a fine day in the mountains!! 

Posted by Blair Piggot

At 8/25/2005 12:16:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like your day was longer than my long hike.

Intersting to hear about Storm. I had got about a 1/3 of the way up a couple years back before I decided my partner's inexperience and lack of crampons could make things rather epic. Glad to hear you made it up. Let me know what you are doing this Sat. If you aren't up a mountain somewhere, give me a call in Waterton. I have some keys you may enjoy. 

Posted by chris

At 8/26/2005 08:17:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were heading up to do the east face of Custer tomorrow. Let me know if you want to come. Were hoping to be on the trail by 0400. 

Posted by Blair Piggot

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