As of December, Krissy and I were still living in Halfax, Nova Scotia where I was finishing the last term of my Engineering Degree. After completing my degree I was lucky enough to have a connection to get a job starting February 1, 2013. The catch: we were going to move to Calgary, Alberta for it. So, after a short stay in New Brunswick around Christmas 2012, we packed everything we could into one car and started the drive to Alberta.
After visiting Calgary last summer we decided that it was probably our top pick for places to move once I finished school. The city is interesting and we have lots of friends here. Calgary also has incredible access to the mountains just a short drive away – world class climbing, skiing, mountain biking, etc. We arrived in Calgary without Krissy having yet found a job, but after about one month she landed her first Occupational Therapy job. We are now both working professionals! Quite a lifestyle change from the last few years.
We have now been in Calgary for seven months. It is definitely beginning to feel like home. During the winter months we were able to get in a few ski trips to Sunshine Village in Banff, and Lake Louise – only about one hour from home! During the winter we were also climbing and training lots with a really fun crew at the Calgary Climbing Center Gyms. We have a gym membership that allows us access to two climbing gyms in the city, so we can pick and choose the gym we want to go to on any given night. Once the weather started warming up, we started climbing outside as much as possible.
Within about an hour’s drive we have a lifetime of world class limestone sport climbing – anything from short power-endurance routes at Acephale, to 50m endurance routes in Echo Canyon. It is pretty much the polar opposite of Halifax (all bouldering - all the time).
This summer has been especially wet around Calgary – flooding etc! We decided to use the wetness as an excuse to travel to a climbing area in Ten Sleep, Wyoming. This ended up being a great little trip where we were able to meet up with some friends who we met while traveling last summer. Ten Sleep is a very small, very western town. The population is something like 270 people – most of whom seemed to be legitimate cowboys/cowgirls. There was one gas station, one coffee shop, one saloon, and no grocery store. Just outside the town is Ten Sleep Canyon. This canyon has great summer sport climbing. There was free camping in the canyon, with the climbing only a couple minutes’ drive and hike away. Due to the orientation of the canyon, you get to start climbing at noon, and continue into evening. It is a really laid back pace for climbing. The trip was a success for both of us, climbing our main goals for the long weekend and having lots of fun. Krissy managed a last day send of Great White Behemoth (5.12b) and I managed to climb The Hellion (5.13c) – both of which are best of the grade in the area. We will be returning to the area for sure!
Back in Alberta we have been working away at various climbing projects as weather and time allow. Currently, Krissy is close on one of her projects that was left undone from last summer – Jingus (5.12d at Acephale). Krissy recently sent Spicy Elephant (5.12c at Echo Canyon), an unsent route from last summer! I have managed to tick a few routes this spring. Probably the most notable is Stone Temple Pilots (5.14a - ish) at Echo Canyon. This route is about 50m of all styles of climbing – steep bouldering, groveling corners, endurance sections, etc. I managed a surprise send of the route a couple days ago! I was planning to go up and work out a few more moves and ended up climbing the thing! Krissy says that I was probably on it for about 1 hour! We will see how the grade holds up with future repeats. Regardless of the grade, it is one of the most impressive looking sport climbs I have ever seen or tried. Most recently I was able to climb Endless Summer (5.13d) at Acephale. This route put up a pretty good fight for a number of days. We think that it is the first ascent since a key hold broke some time ago – the last ascent seems to be from around 2011…
We are definitely enjoying the lifestyle here, for instance, this past long weekend we climbed one day at Acephale, one at Lake Louise, and one at Echo Canyon. We almost always end the weekend more tired than when we left work on Friday afternoon! Hopefully more regular updates to come!
In no particular order!
|Trying Prime Time (5.14c) at Acephale - Our new home crag!!! Photo credit: Josh Muller.|
|Prime Time (5.14c). Photo credit: Josh Muller.|
|Krissy's new dream catcher's!|
|Dr. Fox inflicting some serious pain! Our new Calgary Chiropractor.|
|Can't wait for next time!|
|Hankem Spankums in Ten Sleep, WY.|
|Ten Sleep, Wyoming scenery.|
|Krissy sending Great White Behemoth (5.12b) on our last morning in Ten Sleep!|
|Great White Behemoth (5.12b)|
|Bones in the campsite.|
|Ten Sleep Saloon - more or less the only eating option in Tensleep.|
|Krissy in Ten Sleep Canyon. We were camped about as far back in the Canyon as you can see.|
|Ten Sleep Canyon. So Fun! Good climbing conditions begin at the crack of noon!|
|Blake on Hellion (5.13c) See video below.|
|How Ten Sleep got its name.|
|This was after driving all night! We began climbing only a coupe hours later...|
|All the entertainment you need|
|The very entertaining guidebook.|
|Blake on the Hellion (5.13c).|
|The very mellow hike (by Alberta standards) to the climbing in Ten Sleep.|
|So long Halifax!|
|Tess out bouldering shortly before our departure from Nova Scotia.|
|One of our last evenings in Halifax.|
|Another one of our new home crags. Look close and you will see Ben on Buffet Royale, a 45 meter 5.13c. We are climbing on 100 meter ropes here! Photo Naoko Mori.|
|Fire dragon roll at our new favorite sushi place in Calgary.|
|Sunshine Mountain Village.|
|Sooo fun skiing here!|
|Hiking into Echo Canyon. The Three Sisters and Canmore in the background.|
|Yup, cowboy country.|
|My work calendar...and I actually sent.|
|The view after another great day at the Lookout in Echo Canyon.|
|The damage after another graston session with Dr. Fox|
|The drive to the mountains|
|Iron Ring ceremony|
|Our fancy night out. Krissy found the chocolate fountain!!!|
|Post hike...early season.|
|Yup, real climbing gyms here!|
|The girls at our fancy dinner.|
|Found this in our hotel...got to stay and ski for free!|
|Ben and Jade on the hike to Acephale.|
|Raw beef sushi.|
|Souvenir from Ten Sleep, WY.|
|Banff from Raven's Crag. Shortly after this, the trail was shut down because a Grizzly bear ate a black bear....|
|There are some great roasters in Calgary.|
|Lake Louise in May!!!|
|Ben lowering off Stone Temple Pilots in Echo Canyon.|