I’m really enjoying writing these monthly recaps. They’re good reminders that I am putting in the work, as it’s easy to feel like I should/could be doing more. They also are a fun walk down memory lane, reliving all my adventures from the past few weeks.
April weather was a little mix of everything and I found myself doing all the mountain sports: running, scrambling, and skiing. My monthly vertical is getting closer to where it needs to be, but I’m still about 60,000ft behind schedule if I want to make my goal of 1 million feet this year. I take comfort in knowing that January-April are usually the most awkward, snowbound months for climbing mountains. It should all be uphill from here!
- Minotaur Thursdays have started! Every Thursday Patrick and I lead a group of adventurous runners up a front range peak. We try to keep the runs (more like power hikes), to around 2hrs and I find it super enjoyable showing local runners obscure routes in their own backyard. In April we went up Baldy, Wasootch Ridge, Doorjam/Loder and Iyarhe Ipan.
- Pincher Ridge to Victoria Ridge to Drywood Mountain. This was my first big scrambling day of the year and it was perfect. Phil came up with the route idea, and Philippe and I came along for the ride. 29km, 2400m of gain and nearly 9hrs of pure mountain exhaustion.
- Almost White Pyramid. This was another long ski day and a good introduction to spring skiing in the Canadian Rockies. Snow quality in the valley was terrible (crust on facets in the morning, ice or isothermic snow in the afternoon), but the skiing up high was really nice. Our route took us beneath towering glaciers and we were able to catch a glimpse of the stunning valley beyond before we were engulfed in a whiteout. The whiteout conditions were not conducive to a summit bid and we turned back only 100 vertical metres from the top. I had never attempted to ski in conditions like that and I was extremely cautious on the way down the steep slope from the col. Memories of Delirium Dive were still fresh in my mind. Once we hit the more moderate slopes the skiing became super fun as I learned how to react to the terrain changes in low visibility. I’m looking forward to working on these skills next season.
- 9x Prairie Mountain. This was supposed to be 24hrs of Prairie Mountain, however a significant snow storm blew in after about 13hrs and footing was getting bad. The sun was about to set and I did not want to slip slide my way through the night. Leo and I were hiking together at this point and we decided to call it a day. 9 is my record number of Prairie repeats, and 6300m of climbing is my new single day record. My legs felt quite reasonable, my stomach was good and my breathing was okay. Overall, the day was a success. After 3 attempts at this project, I am totally at ease with putting this particular dream to rest.
- Grizzly Peak the fun way. This wasn’t a big day, but it was such a nice trip that it deserves to be in my highlight reel. Two days after my Prairie repeats I was itching for a shakeout, so Patrick and I went out to Grizzly Peak. In a spur of the moment decision we decided to take the scrambler’s route up instead of the usual hiking trail. We didn’t have much beta other than a line on maps.me, but I think that’s part of what made this trip so fun. Every time we thought we might hit an impassable line through the cliff bands, another weakness in the rock would appear and we would be able to make our way up. It felt so good to be scrambling again and we finished the trip with huge smiles.
With another month passed, I’m feeling eager and excited to get out running on the trails. The snow is melting and I can feel the dirt underneath my feet, even if I can’t see it yet. This is shaping up to be the best May yet!