Franz Josef Glacier, Westland National Park, NZ

Franz Josef Glacier, Westland National Park, NZ

Giant's Gate Waterfall, along the Milford Track in Fiordland National Park, NZ

Giant's Gate Waterfall, along the Milford Track in Fiordland National Park, NZ

Pyramid Lake and Pyramid Mountain, Jasper National Park

Pyramid Lake and Pyramid Mountain, Jasper National Park

LANDSCAPES THAT INSPIRE

AN INTRODUCTION

What's this About?

There are few things more valuable to a traveller than access to local knowledge. Without it, one drifts through a picturesque landscape only to see the usual destinations “supported” by commercial infrastructure and marketing; unaware of what else is accessible, worthy of notice, or even possible. In my own travels I have benefitted greatly from such information.

My passion for adventuring began during an extended journey to New Zealand. Over a period of four months, I completed several of the “Great Walks”, kayaked in both glacier lakes and in the fjords, scrambled a volcano, did my first glacier walk, and submerged myself in a steel cage as a dozen Blue Sharks and one Mako circled, probed, and nibbled. It was the beginning of a fascination with exploring epic landscapes that a return to the farmlands of Southwestern Ontario couldn't possibly support.

So I moved out west to Alberta; and to a few hours drive away from the Canadian Rockies.

My first year saw few adventures, but a brief trip to the Marmot Basin ski area introduced me to Jasper National Park and rekindled a longing to go everywhere and see everything. During that trip, a vague recommendation led me to take a detour up to Pyramid Lake; a beautiful area just north of the town of Jasper. A photo I took there (shown in the header above) soon became my desktop wallpaper of choice and, between making maps for work, I would often look at Pyramid Mountain, imagining potential climbing routes.

One day I decided to investigate the possibility of climbing Pyramid and was delighted to find a series of trip reports from others like me; postings complete with climbing routes, photos, helpful suggestions (“bring a bike”), useful warnings (“watch out for bears”), and other details that contributed to a safe and successful ascent. Access to such local knowledge helped turn a daydream into a good story, a series of amazing photos, and even some new friends.

So what's this site about? This collection of personal trip reports is my attempt to give back what local knowledge I've acquired to a community of like-minded hikers, climbers and adventurers. Trip reports are an excellent resource for learning of new destinations, of potential routes and pitfalls, of regional seasonality, and of the relative difficulty of a journey. Such information can allow one to select the appropriate gear, to allot sufficient time, and most importantly, to tailor travel plans to their ability level; gradually seeing skills and experience develop to match those initial ambitions.

More About Me

Peaks List
Courses Taken
Action Shots
  • Here is a history of the mountains I've summited, beginning with two in New Zeland back in 2007.

    • 1. Ben Lamond Mountain  / 1,740m / 2007

    • 2. Mt. Ngaruhoe  / 2,260m / 2007

    • 3. Pyramid Mountain  / 2,762m / 2011

    • 4. Tangle Ridge  / 3,000m / 2011

    • 5. Mt. Greenock  / 2,097m / 2012

    • 6. Cinquefoil Mountain  / 2,257m / 2012

    • 7. Mt. Baldy  / 2,195m / 2012

    • 8. South Baldy  / 2,195m / 2012

    • 9. West Baldy  / 2,181m / 2012

    • 10. Mt. Lawrence Grassi  / 2,685m / 2012

    • 11. Grotto Mountain  / 2,728m / 2012

    • 12. Mt. Fairview  / 2,748m / 2012

    • 13. Saddle Mountain  / 2,441m / 2012

    • 14. Read's Tower  / 2,664m / 2012

    • 15. King Creek Ridge  / 2,420m / 2012

    • 16. Mt. Athabasca  / 3,497m / 2012

    • 17. Isolated Peak  / 2,845m / 2012

    • 18. Whaleback Mountain  / 2,633m / 2012

    • 19. Kiwetinok Peak  / 2,902m / 2012

    • 20. Mt. Pollinger  / 2,816m / 2012

    • 21. Mt. McArthur  / 3,015m / 2012

    • 22. Mt. Kerr  / 2,863m / 2012

    • 23. Akamina Ridge  / 2,565m / 2012

    • 24. Forum Peak  / 2,425m / 2012

    • 25. Mt. Temple  / 3,543m / 2012

    • 26. Geraldine Peak  / 2,947m / 2012

    • 27. Opal Peak  / 2,814m / 2012

    • 28. Cirque Peak  / 2,993m / 2012

    • 29. Mt. Hood  / 2,903m / 2012

    • 30. Mt. Wilcox  / 2,884m / 2012

    • 31. Utopia Mountain  / 2,564m / 2012

    • 32. Nigel Peak  / 3,211m / 2012

    • 33. Hawk Mountain  / 2,553m / 2012

    • 34. Oyster Mountain  / 2,777m / 2012

    • 35. Skoki Mountain  / 2,697m / 2012

    • 36. Mt. Rae  / 3,218m / 2012

    • 37. Storm Mountain  / 3,092m / 2012

    • 38. Little Odaray  / 2,978m / 2012

    • 39. Mt. Schaffer  / 2,704m / 2012

    • 40. Nigel SE3  / 3,025m / 2012

    • 41. Roche Miette  / 2,321m / 2012

    • 42. Rimwall  / 2,690m / 2012

    • 43. Healy Peak  / 2,577m / 2013

    • 44. Monarch Ramparts  / 2,428m / 2013

    • 45. Opal Ridge  / 2,575m / 2013

    • 46. Little Chester  / 2,650m / 2013

    • 47. Smutwood Peak  / 2,690m / 2013

    • 48. Mt. Michener  / 2,523m / 2013

    • 49. Mt. Hector  / 3,394m / 2013

    • 50. White Pyramid  / 3,275m / 2013

    • 51. Bald Hills  / 2,405m / 2013

    • 52. Heart Mountain  / 2,135m / 2013

    • 53. Grant MacEwan Peak  / 2,179m / 2013

    • 54. Twin Towers  / 2,319m / 2013

    • 55. Old Baldy Mountain  / 2,735m / 2013

    • 56. Old Baldy Ridge  / 2,390m / 2013

    • 57. Ha-Ling Peak  / 2,408m / 2013

    • 58. Miner's Peak  / 2,413m / 2013

    • 59. Red Ridge  / 2,661m / 2013

    • 60. Turtle Mountain  / 2,204m / 2013

    • 61. Mt. Saskatoon  / 1,811m / 2013

    • 62. Mt. Erickson  / 2,495m / 2013

    • 63. Morro Peak  / 1,681m / 2013

    • 64. Esplanade Mountain  / 2,297m / 2013

    • 65. Roche a Perdrix  / 2,135m / 2013

    • 66. Fiddle Peak  / 2,279m / 2013

    • 67. Roche De Smet  / 2,543m / 2013

    • 68. Boundary Peak  / 2,879m / 2013

    • 69. Mt. St. Nicholas  / 2,970m / 2013

    • 70. Mt. Olive  / 3,130m / 2013

    • 71. East End of Rundle  / 2,590m / 2013

    • 72. Mt. Rundle  / 3,018m / 2013

    • 73. Dolomite Peak  / 2,998m / 2013

    • 74. Mt. Bourgeau  / 2,930m / 2013

    • 75. Mt. Edith Cavell  / 3,363m / 2013

    • 76. Mt. Indefatigable  / 2,670m / 2013

    • 77. Mt. Carnarvon  / 3,040m / 2013

    • 78. Big Bend Peak  / 2,824m / 2013

    • 79. Mt. Chephren  / 3,280m / 2013

    • 80. Mt. Willingdon  / 3,373m / 2013

    • 81. Crown Peak  / 3,361m / 2013

    • 82. South Tower  / 3,349m / 2013

    • 83. Point 13,545  / 4,129m / 2013

    • 84. Twining Peak  / 4,179m / 2013

    • 85. Mt. Columbia  / 4,289m / 2013

    • 86. Mt. Harvard  / 4,395m / 2013

    • 87. Mt. Elbert  / 4,399m / 2013

    • 88. Mt. Massive  / 4,396m / 2013

    • 89. La Plata Peak  / 4,370m / 2013

    • 90. Pyramid Peak  / 4,273m / 2013

    • 91. Mt. Maccarib  / 2,663m / 2013

    • 92. Mt. Clitheroe  / 2,749m / 2013

    • 93. Tuff Puff Ridge  / 2,323m / 2014

    • 94. Heather Ridge  / 2,695m / 2014

    • 95. The Wedge  / 2,665m / 2014

    • 96. Mt. Sparrowhawk  / 3,121m / 2014

    • 97. Indian Ridge  / 2,720m / 2014

    • 98. Roche Bonhomme  / 2,504m / 2014

    • 99. Mt. Mary Vaux  / 3,206m / 2014

    • 100. Replica Peak  / 2,794m / 2014

    • 101. Sunwapta Peak  / 3,315m / 2014

    • 102. Mt. Blakiston  / 2,910m / 2014

    • 103. Mt. Hawkins  / 2,694m / 2014

    • 104. Mt. Lineham  / 2,728m / 2014

    • 105. Mt. Roche  / 2,484m / 2014

    • 106. Mt. Crandell  / 2,378m / 2014

    • 107. Mt. Abruzzi  / 3,268m / 2014

    • 108. Cascade Mountain  / 2,998m / 2014

    • 109. Mt. Sarrail  / 3,174m / 2014

    • 110. Mt. Lady MacDonald  / 2,605m / 2015

    • 111. Mt. Yamnuska  / 2,240m / 2015

    • 112. West Rundle  / 2,975m / 2015

    • 113. Windtower  / 2,688m / 2015

    • 114. Armor Peak  / 2,895m / 2015

    • 115. Skogan Peak  / 2,662m / 2015

    • 116. Mt. Lorette  / 2,512m / 2015

    • 117. Mt. Aylmer  / 3,175m / 2015

    • 118. Mt. Hardisty  / 2,708m / 2015

    • 119. Mt. Harrison  / 3,359m / 2015

    • 120. Mt. Aberdeen  / 3,162m / 2015

    • 121. Haddo Peak  / 3,082m / 2015

    • 122. Yoho Peak  / 2,783m / 2015

    • 123. Tower of Babel  / 2,335m / 2015

    • 124. McBride Peak  / 2,284m / 2015

    • 125. Congregational Peak  / 2,485m / 2015

    • 126. The Fist  / 2,630m / 2015

    • 127. Snow Peak  / 2,797m / 2015

    • 128. Mt. Daly  / 3,147m / 2015

    • 129. Mt. Niles  / 2,974m / 2015

    • 130. Big Sister  / 2,936m / 2015

    • 131. Chief Mountain  / 2,768m / 2015

    • 132. Mt. Gould  / 2,912m / 2015

    • 133. Haystack Butte  / 2,282m / 2015

    • 134. Mt. Oberlin  / 2,497m / 2015

    • 135. Elliot Peak  / 2,880m / 2015

    • 136. Sentinel Mountain  / 2,611m / 2015

    • 137. Verdant Peak  / 3,040m / 2015

    • 138. Peveril Peak  / 2,691m / 2015

    • 139. Mt. Nestor  / 2,978m / 2015

    • 140. Mt. Field  / 2,635m / 2015

    • 141. Mt. Romulus  / 2,833m / 2015

    • 142. Prairie Mountain  / 2,209m / 2015

    • 143. Mt. Remus  / 2,688m / 2015

    • 144. Fossil Mountain  / 2,946m / 2016

    • 145. Unity Peak  / 2,699m / 2016

    • 146. Kistahorn  / 2,355m / 2016

    • 147. End Mountain  / 2,432m / 2016

    • 148. Association Peak  / 2,395m / 2016

    • 149. Association Hill  / 1,935m / 2016

    • 150. Rearguard Mountain  / 2,750m / 2016

    • 151. Resplendent Mountain  / 3,425m / 2016

    • 152. Mt. Forbes  / 3,612m / 2016

    • 153. Mt. Kitchener  / 3,505m / 2016

    • 154. Snow Dome  / 3,456m / 2016

    • 155. Abraham Mountain  / 2,834m / 2016

    • 156. Narao Peak  / 2,978m / 2016

    • 157. Wiwaxy East Tower  / 2,703m / 2016

    • 158. Cheget Mountain  / 3,468m / 2016

    • 159. Mt. Elbrus  / 5,642m / 2016

    • 160. Park Mountain  / 2,956m / 2016

    • 161. Aspland Peak  / 2,676m / 2016

    • 162. Cayambe  / 5,800m / 2017

    • 163. Ardennes Peak  / 2,238m / 2017

    • 164. Normandy Peak  / 2,400m / 2017

    • 165. Two O'Clock Ridge  / 2,508m / 2017

    • 166. Mt. Ernest Ross  / 2,443m / 2017

    • 167. Bridge Peak  / 2,689m / 2017

    • 168. Landslide Peak  / 2,807m / 2017

    • 169. Two O'Clock Peak  / 2,806m / 2017

  • AST LEVEL 1

    A training course which teaches avalanche theory (how they form and can be triggered), safe routefinding in backcountry terrain, and companion rescue gear and techniques.

    Course Provider:

    Yamnuska

    Course Location:

    Canmore and Bow Summit

    EMERGENCY FIRST-AID

    I recently went through my third re-certification for these essential backcountry skills. I'm hoping to augment this with a wilderness first-aid course at some point in 2013.

    Course Provider:

    Lifesaving Society

    Course Location:

    St. Albert

    SNOW & ICE WEEKEND

    An introductory mountaineering course covering ice axe and crampon use, glacier travel and crevasse rescue. See my Athabasca trip report for more details.

    Course Provider:

    Yamnuska

    Course Location:

    Mt. Athabasca & Parker Ridge

    WILDERNESS SURVIVAL

    An introductory course providing practical information on how to prepare for, respond to, and survive emergency situations in the wilderness.

    Course Provider:

    Boreal Wilderness Institute

    Course Location:

    Edmonton

  • Here are some photos of me in action taken by friends.

    Gazing at Mt. Athabasca“Gazing at Mt. Athabasca”
    From: Nigel Peak
    Downclimbing the Crux“Downclimbing the Crux”
    From: Little Yoho Valley Day 2
    Mt. Hector Summit“Mt. Hector Summit”
    From: Mount Hector
    Ascending White Pyramid“Ascending White Pyramid”
    From: White Pyramid