Monday, June 26, 2006

Cotton wood snow storm

Originally uploaded by cgoble72.
This was one of the most beautiful weekends we have ever had in the park. Aside from warm temperatures and a lack of wind, the highlight was the cotton wood blossom storm.

Normal winds blow cotton wood blossoms around. However a lack of wind meant that small strands of cotton were floating around at random. It was the equivalent of a light snor storm at times. Down by the police station the blooms were almost a foot deep. You could see lots of people making snowballs out of them.

In the evenings the sun rays on the blossoms combined with the fawns just coming out into the open and the lush grass from all the rain made for a spectacular day.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Fuez Tower

Saturday Dave and i climbed Fuez Tower on Castle Mtn. It was an awesome day of climbing on pretty good rock. There's about 4300' of height gain from car to summit and it took us about 11 hours round trip but you could speed that up if you were to simul climb some of it. We hiked around the right side the Dragon's Back (some people climb over it) to an obvious gully that runs up to the top of the Dragon's Back and the base of the tower itself. You climb a couple of pitchs to a scree gully and from there you can follow the original route up the left side of the gully or stay on the right side of the gully and follow the rib to the summit. This side offers more consistent climbing on better rock and was our choice as well. We found the crux of the climb to be at the second to last pitch which was probably 5.5??. When you rap off you follow the original route (left side) back down. There are quite a few bolted rap stations for the trip down and lots of cordalette for the rest. It only took us 1 1/2 hrs to rap down. The whole climb can be done with one rope, including rapping off the original route. We both thourghly enjoyed the climb and I would highly recommend this climb for a fun day out.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bearhat Mtn.

Last weekend Dave and i went back to Logan's Pass, skied over to Hidden Lake and climbed Bearhat Mtn.

Although the lake is still frozen, it was still unnerving to cross it. I would say that by this weekend the only way to safely get to the other side of the lake would be to wade the creek......that should make one's toes curl up!! Although it took us three attemps to bag the minor peak/high point, mostly due to conditions, it's not a technical climb but the views are amazing. We did try to bag the main peak but as often happens in a new area, route finding becomes an issue and without a rope we were forced back. On the way back down we did manage to find the most likely way to the main summit though so i suspect we'll be back there next spring to try again.

For all you skiers out there, it's a great area to catch some late season skiing and will still probably be decent enough for another for another three weeks or so.

other pictures at

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Boundary Bay Cuts

This weekend Anne and I went for a paddle down to Boundary Bay. The paddle down was slow. Paddling old whitewater boats on flat water can be a challenge. Walking up the boundary cut to check things out for kayaking revealed a very nice, but intense section of canyon running through the green argillite band.

There are about a half dozen 15-25 foot cascading melts in there plus numerous ledges and big holes. It was really quite spectacular, and an easy hike up the boundary cut.

It was interesting to see the uniformity in trees there. I would have thought things would have grown up much more from teh 1935 fire there. Apparently that fire almost wiped out the townsite. They had already been given exacuation notices, and back in a time when warnings meant something that means things were quite severe. It was a crown fire that spread rapidly and ran out of control. The road crew from the chief mountain highway were conscripted. I believe my Grandfather had a close call there. His crew was sent out to fight the fire and when things got bad, they stayed, tyring to keep it from crossing the corner before the townsite. Being rather stubborn, I can imagine conditions weren't too good. At any rate the chief pulled everyone else back, leaving them without protection and surrounded by flames. He figured they were done for, tried to get to the small creek for protection. Luckily the wind shifted and the fire stopped it's rapid progress. He said it was a good thing the chief had evacuated out as his axe might have gotten put to use on something other than trees.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Logan's Pass

Dave and i went down to Logan's Pass for a day of skiing Sunday. When we got there we discovered that the road wasn't open yet. Their still clearing snow!! Although they are only about 150m from the parking lot we heard rumors that they are still 1 to 1 1/2 weeks away from having it open.

Dave and i being the die hard skier's we are packed our ski's 4 miles up the road for a few turns. We didn't bag anything but we did have some fun spring skiing. The weather closed in as the day wore on we got soaking wet on the way out from the rain. I imagine he will have some pictures up on his website soon.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Waterton Lakes Lodge

I have to apologize about hte lack of posts. Kayaking season always does me in. Tom had a question a few days ago about the Lodge, and I thought I would add some pictures showing the newly renovated dining room.

The old dining room was quite horrible. The architects had gone for a ski lodge feeling. They wanted everyone to have a window seat so they made the room long and narrow. However this made every table a central aisle seat. It was pretty bad. Plus for some reason (to create a separate compound that would be a draw) they placed the central building inside the compound without any real views. The views were saved for the rec center, staff accomodations and hostel. However they moved a builidng at the last moment and ruined the views from the pool and the sun room. While you can't correct that, new management did do a wonderful jobbing fixing the restaurant. The picture above should attest to that.

The dining room is on several levels and has nice wood work and rock work. Most tables are on the upper floor and finally have a view over the staff accomodations.

view from the upper floor

more views

No word on what the food is like though. I saw one person in there this morning so it looks like food is now being served. There is also a nice lounge by the entrance with a fire place and bar. If they make it non-smoking it might be a good hang out. I can't stay the smoke infested Bayshore lounge. It would normally be a nice place, but I don't have that much of a fondness for cancer and 20 year old musk.

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