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Chronological Explor8ions – The Blog

Okotoks Mountain

The summit ridge was longer than expected, the views were about as underwhelming as expected.

Corral Creek Mountain & Cutline Ridge

I have to say that I enjoyed Corral Creek Mountain more than I thought I would, especially with fresh snow coating the landscape around me. The Willow Creek PLUZ area provides lots of hiking and rambling opportunities if you are desperate for some foothill / mountain views but don’t expect pristine wilderness.

Johnson Creek Ridge & Cell Phone Ridge

It was truly strange how much I was enjoying myself at this point considering how dull the weather was and how much work it was to break trail in all the snow. Sometimes I wonder why these things make me so happy.

Indian Graves & Willow Creek Ridge

I’m not going to sugarcoat it. If it weren’t for Covid-19 and the many restrictions around hiking and closed parks and areas I would NOT have done any of the hikes in the Willow Creek PLUZ area.

Stimson Creek Hills

I have to admit that this little hike is pretty underwhelming. I wouldn’t recommend driving all the way from anywhere just for this one.

Quartzite Peak

Summit Elevation (m): 2865 Elevation Gain (m): 1050 Round Trip Time (hr): 8.5 Total Trip Distance (km): 19 Quick ‘n Easy Rating: Class 2 – You fall you sprain something – unless you’re in an avalanche. Then you could definitely die. Difficulty Notes:  Winter ascent includes serious avalanche risks. Learn how to manage these risks and perform avalanche burial rescues before attempting this trip. Technical Rating: OT4; YDS (Skiing) Map: Google Maps I can’t believe it’s already been 8 years since I last skied […]

Dolomite Circuit, The

I was very satisfied to ski this circuit again after 12 years. It was easier and simpler than I remembered – this would make a great beginner backcountry ski tour with limited avalanche slopes and pretty easy navigation in clear weather.

McLean Hill

As my habit has been over the past few weeks, I found myself driving west of YYC towards the Rockies front ranges after work on March 11. Snow squalls were busy making the roads slick and wet and the weather wasn’t inspiring.

Taipiti Ridge & Ranger Hill

I could feel myself losing motivation to ascend Prairie Mountain in 80 kph winds after work on Tuesday, March 10 2020. Even the day before I was really forcing myself to leave the city and drive west yet again after work.

Wilderness Canoe Tripping – Tips, Tricks & Gear

I have done more than a few wilderness canoe (and hiking) trips over the past 20 years and my experience has given me some insight that could benefit other aspiring explorers or even a later version of myself.

Helena Ridge East

Summit Elevation (m): 2560 Latest Trip Date: Monday, December 30, 2019 Elevation Gain (m): 1100 Round Trip Time (hr): 5 Total Trip Distance (km): 16 Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you sprain something Difficulty Notes: A very easy backcountry ski or snowshoe trip with minimal exposure to avalanche terrain. Technical Rating: OT2; YDS (Skiing) Map: Google Maps As the year closed out in 2019 the avalanche ratings were still fairly high and the weather was bitterly cold. […]

2019 Reflections on Explor8ion

I would like to take a moment to to wish all my friends and readers a very happy Christmas and even more delightful New Year! I guarantee that you will have a better time in 2020 than I was in the photo headlining this post. Bushwhacking through a recent burn with a canoe on your head is a guaranteed way to make you question your life choices. But doing such idiotic things is much more enjoyable when your 20 year […]

Sunshine Landing (GR882573)

This is a highly recommended option for a safe training day when other objectives are too dangerous or you find yourself alone with a skiing itch.

Mustang Hills, The

Since I now live in SW Calgary and am essentially neighbors with Wietse, we can do things like drive 45 minutes west and hike meaningless little bumps such as the Mustang Hills.

Sibbald Five, The

An easy ramble along a number of front range foothills with some surprising views and a lot of unsurprising non-views.

Praise for the Weekend Warrior!

Kudos to the MANY weekend warrior hacks like myself who may not exude much “stoke” but we definitely DO exude “life” – and more than just our own.

Wind Ridge

With snow blanketing the Rockies pretty early in the Fall of 2019, it’s been difficult to find worthwhile objectives that I haven’t done before and that still hold some interest.

Skoki Lakes (Packers Pass Peak)

I knew I was overdoing it when making plans for Sunday October 6th 2019. I tried to recruit a couple of friends and even their reactions told me so. But I’m stubborn when it comes to these things, especially at the end of the year when I know the odds of completing long hiking and scrambling trips are quickly becoming nil.

Stenton & Carrot Peak

As I tossed and turned in the pitch black night, I found myself wondering (and not for the first time in my life) why I wasn’t home in my comfortable, warm bed next to my beautiful, warm wife!

Sunshine Meadows (Rock Isle Lake)

Trip Date: Monday, September 23 2019 Round Trip Time (hr): 4.5 Total Elevation Gain (m): 750 Total Trip Distance (km): 19 Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 1 – you fall, you tripped over your own feet Difficulty Notes: No difficulties other than following the myriad of signage along the trail and slogging up and down the Sunshine road. Technical Rating: TL1; YDS (Hiking) Map: Google Maps After a long solo trip up Scarab Peak the day before, I wasn’t too keen […]

Scarab Peak

An unbelievable smorgasbord of bubbling brooks, golden larches, high passes, rushing streams, waterfalls, glistening alpine lakes, hidden routes, ancient glaciers, tarns and ridges to one of the highest peaks above Egypt Lakes.

Lillian, Mount

A quick, fun, moderate scramble up Mount Lillian over Buller Pass in Kananaskis Country during larch season, somewhat tempered by a cloudy, grey sky which cleared while we exited the mountain.

Ostracized Peak & Sentry Mountain

After spending just under 4 hours to the summit of Phillipps Peak earlier in the day, it felt a bit strange to be unloading my bike at a completely different trailhead at 12:30 in the afternoon.

Phillipps Peak

I highly enjoyed and highly recommend Phillipps Peak for scramblers looking for a short and somewhat challenging scramble in the Crowsnest Pass area.

Pulsatilla Mountain

A long awaited journey to the summit of the highest peak in the huge Castle Mountain massif with views to match – Pulsatilla Mountain.