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.