Ski Touring, mountaineering, climbing, coffee and living in the Coast Range of British Columbia.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Yesterday at 11:09 am we said good-bye to our best friend Linus.

For us, dogs are family. We feed them, train them, spend countless hours with them, walk with them, curse them, hold them when they are in pain, be proud of them, cry for them, can't wait to get home to them and love them with all we have. In turn they give us more then we can understand - from them comes a connection to a basic existence and teachings to live in the moment, always. They are not thinking about yesterday or tomorrow. We have the opportunity to learn a lot from them if we are open to it. For them, we are everything they have and they show it in every action. The connection is not easily described by this language.

 Linus was a truly special soul, an old soul. We always joked of him being an old man in a fur suit. He was good when he needed to be, affectionate when he needed to be and excitable when he needed to be. He could pick up on our emotions in a very in tuned way and always seemed to have the right reaction. He was Erin's rock for the highs and lows of the last 13 1/2 years. He went on countless road trips, rock climbing days, sailing days and brightened our home every day. Everyone loved Linus. For the last 6 years I got to know him like a best friend too, he came with us on every adventure we did pretty much. 2 years ago, we took our time taking him up to Joffre lakes. Erin didn't know I'd ask her to marry me this trip but I knew Linus had to be there if she said yes, it wouldn't be the same if he wasn't. We always had a plan to have him bring in the rings for us but Osa will have to take his place for that now.

He was a really strong dog. Both physically and in his personality. You had the feeling like you met 'someone' when you first saw him, he wore everything on the outside.  Maybe that's why its so hard to say good-bye, he really left a mark on you, a huge impression. In the end, there was nothing too tragic about Linus dying, he was an old dog that lived a good long life surrounded by love and people that planned their lives around him, just like family does.

Off to the happy hunting grounds buddy.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Norquay to Mosquito Cr in photos

Its already been a year since our last trip together. Jonny and G met me at the Helen Lk parking lot for the usual vehicle drop off. Seeing these guys is always the same, they bring out the best in me and I always cannot wait to spend time with them on these annual trips, as they have become.

According to Parks Canada, the booking levels for backcountry campsites had its peak in the 1970's. We are always amazed at how quiet it is, we have only ever seen a few people over the years and I think I can remember them all. There was Graham and his family hiking for two weeks from near Sask Crossing to Jasper: We encountered them in the lower reaches of Pobotken Crk and after us trying to swim accross the swollen Maligne river the day before and knowing that's what was in store for them, we wished good luck.  G gave the young kids his Chocolate stash as they seemed disenchanted with the 'add-water' hummus for likely the 8th or so day in a row. Their big eyes jumped out at G's outstretched hand, chocolate enclosed, then darted to Mom who nodded approval before graciously taking the sweets, smiling. I recall a few days later, after a few stream crossings and moving cross country over a higher pass, seeing a tiny boot print an wondering how the Maligne went, I am thinking that those kids will grow up to be pretty cool folk.

Its that quiet that I love......and simpleness..after the 2nd day a system is attained..sleeping, eating, packing and walking become a lesson in pragmatism. Stop when hungry, drink when thirsty..walk, walk. The mornings are my favorite, when the air is cooler and coffee has spiked your attention and the day is all ahead of you with a whole bunch of promise.

Trip notes: We packed light, under 12 kg each in total pack weight with food and water. Light sneakers and a ski pole each, we use ULW tarp tents made by Henry Shires.

We left Norquay and traveled up 40 mile creek, over Pulsatilla Pass, the Skoki area, the remote Pipestone, Molar Passes, Fish Lake and finally, Mosquito Crk. 120 ish KM.

I'd like to thank Jon and G for being stalwart attendees on these sojourns, good friends and rock solid mentors for me over the years. Till next year hombres.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Taseko Lake to Tyax

With much anticipation in the preceding weeks, the Chilcotin annual had finally arrived. We rode, pushed, bushwacked and carried our bikes over 100km and 4000m of elevation gain carrying food and supplies for 3 days. It was our most ambitious trip to date in the park and my favorite so far. The thing that always stands out the most with these trips for me is the camaraderie and friendship, I want to thank Jamie, Chris, Martin and Scotty for being great partners and friends on so many of these kinds of trips over the years - whether with bikes or on skis.

I will let the pictures do the talking...