Well, another camp has come and gone, and the girls killed it (if I do say so myself). This past week, The Alpine Club of Canada hosted the second annual Under 25 Climbers Camp. We had five days to turn five promising young ladies into all around mountain crushers. Many of them only had gym experience, some of them had a rack of cams and nuts, others had never done a drop knee before, or a dyno. It was the job of Jen Olsen and I to take them from A-Z, and back again. Sport climbing, trad climbing, multi-pitch sport, and multi-pitch trad. These four topics include a tremendous amount of information, from basics like clipping draws and cleaning anchors, to placing and waiting gear to building and equalizing anchors. From a day at the crag to a day on the summit. Pictures below.
One thing I noticed while staying at the Alpine Club’s main clubhouse, was the wall of fame, the past presidents for the last 100+ years. One observation I made was that a surprising amount of the Clubs leaders, lived very long, very active lives, most ranging from mid 80’s to nearly 100 years old. To me, this is incredible. They say climbing and guiding in the mountains is hard on the body, but many of these lifers claimed 100’s of first ascents all over BC and Alberta, and they climbed hard very late into their lives. It’s incredibly inspiring. I feel a little bit sad when I see 40 and 50 year old tourists hanging around the Chateau of Lake Louise, asking questions about climbing and the hike, many of them telling me they “will never be able to do it”, or they say, “oh – no, I’m too old for that”. It pains me, they are already thinking old, and injured and in some way, are giving up. I feel their spirit is a little lost. So here is my question, does climbing in the mountains keep you young and strong, or is it the young at heart that are attracted to climbing mountains in the first place? Does climbing add years to your life, or, is it because these presidents were so talented and already fit, or had strong genetic codes, that enabled them to climb for so many years and live such long vibrant lifestyles. Personally, I like to think the rational answer is BOTH, – the moral of the story is to never give up right?
Enjoy the pictures.
Broken rock (directional) at Grassi, this is what you get for slinging threads in the rockies. My bad.
Class is in Session.
Notice the chalk bag from Thailand. Awesome.
Ground Up, lead climbing, boo-ya.
Pocket pulling limestone.
HA LING, NORTH EAST RIDGE. 5.6. TICK.
The approach takes about an hour at the most.
And the view sucks every step of the way.
It’s obviously good fun, but expect lots of choss, wear a helmet people.
The mega corner pitch that makes the whole trip worth it.
Summit success, the girls and their loaded guns.
The ever incredible, LAC LOUISE.
Lowering from the chains, of yet another worthy 5.9 quartzite delight.