I love New Year’s Resolutions. My first Resolution was when I was 19 years old, and my goal was to be on time. I was habitually 5 to 10 minutes late for everything, and it caused a lot of unnecessary stress in my life. For that entire year, I focused on being on time. This meant that I tried to be 5 or 10 minutes early, which suited me (and everyone else) just fine.
If you want to learn why resolutions work and how to craft one yourself, visit The Science of Powerful Intentions.
Spending 365 days focused on a single task is incredibly powerful, and the long-term effects are stunning. The lesson learned from a year focused on being on time has stayed with me. This is why I still do big focused goals, with a lot of little goals peppered in for flavour.
In the past, I have reviewed my goals to see what I achieved, what needed to be moved to next year’s list, and what I could safely abandon (in retrospect, not everything is a good idea). However, this is the first time that I’ve examine my goals in detail to find out why some goals were met and others not.
What Went Well
This was my big, overarching goal for the year – one I would work on daily. Yes, it was a success! Did I do hard core cardio every single day of 2020? Heck no. However, I did do something every day, even if that something was just a walk, shoveling snow, or running errands.
How I stayed focused and committed was due to one single sheet of paper.
To be successful, I have to track my progress. I created a 52 week sheet, with various activities across the top. Every day I would record distances or number of reps per activity. I quickly realized that some of the exercises I chose were not ideal or sustainable. Next year, I’ll also leave some blank spots – always good to be open to new ideas!
Summer Goals – Climb 10 New Mountains:
This was a smaller goal to keep me motivated.
I try not to do the same route twice, simply because there are so many routes and only so many days. When I’m leading a group hike or scramble, I prefer to repeat routes so that I know exactly what I’m getting everyone into. Of the 26 trips hiking or scrambling this summer, 14 were new routes. If I want to nail more new routes, then I’ll have to sacrifice leading trips. The good news is that I did four more new routes than I planned.
- Johnson’s Canyon – I hiked this when I was about 22 years old, so I’m counting it as new
- McGillivary Canyon – More adventure than hike
- Pedley Pass Traverse – I did the pass 10 years ago, but the traverse was new.
- Crypt Lake – Needed a Covid year to reduce crowds to make this enjoyable
- Jumbo Pass – this was a winter wonderland. Need to return in the summer.
- Battleship Lake Loop – my first trip exploring Vancouver Island’s backcountry
- Heart Mountain Traverse. I’ve scrambled Heart aplenty, but the traverse was new
- Tower of Babel – so amazing to experience Moraine Lake like it was when I was a kid.
- Mist Mountain – my daughter went back and did her first solo lead on Mist.
- Mount Roberta – in honour of my amazing mother-in-law, Roberta Dopf
- Devil’s Thumb – a photo dream come true
- Mount Temple – I love this mountain!
- Mount Hoffman – Small, but fun and close
- Missing Link Mountain – good memories with my hiking buddy Annette
- Mount Baldy – This was my Mother’s Day present. Well worth the repeat.
- Yamnuska – an all-time favourite. I lead this for my cycling group
- Midnight Peak – I wanted to do a trip report, so up I went again
- Welsh Lakes – it had been about 10 years since my last trip
- Healy Pass – first time I hiked there and back. Usually done as part of a backpack
- Tent Ridge – leading a trip
- Swansea – leading a trip
- Little Ware – this was part of a bigger trip that didn’t happen
- Shunga-la-she – new trip, but not successful due to medical incident
- Mt Lipsett – leading a trip
- Raspberry Ridge – leading a trip
- Gunnery – leading a trip
For 2020, I spent 26 summer days hiking or scrambling, for a total of 285 km, and 18,089 m of elevation gain.
I track and goal set my winter skiing differently than summer due to so many factors being outside of my control. Weather, lack of snow, too much snow, high avalanche danger, etc. all make planning a set number of trips a fools game.
Despite covid shutting down the ski season early (and it nearly killed me because we had SO much glorious spring snow), I did manage to nail a few goals.
The Bonnington Traverse was on my List for years, ever since I saw it in the Alpine Club of Canada’s Gazette. I love hut traverses, and this one definitely delivered.
We were lucky to complete the traverse when we did. All was normal when we started. By the time we came out, it was full-on hoarding. Mike and I went to get some groceries for that night’s meal and were shocked to find the store packed and the shelves empty. Shortly after, the backcountry was shut down.
Due to the new health regulations and not being able to share a hut, the likelihood that I’ll be able to book a ACC hut or private lodge is extremely low. Multi-day ski trips will be out for the 2021 ski season.
I also did a Backcountry Skiing Leadership training day with ACMG Guide Jennifer Olson at Kootenay Pass. Spending time with guides is essential if you want to up your winter touring game and stay safe.
Winter Totals: 33 days skiing
Backcountry Ski Days: 9
Nordic Ski Days: 12
Downhill Ski Days: 12
I had a bad knee injury while backcountry skiing a narrow canyon in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park a few years ago. Since then, I’ve taken up road cycling to build up my knee muscles. It has helped, AND I’ve developed a love for cycling.
Of the 40+ rides I did this year, two really stand out. I rode from Banff to Lake Louise! This was made possible by the 1A Bow Valley Parkway being shut down and way less tourists on the road.
The other was a ride from Nanton to Chain Lakes and back. This ride rivals the Highwood Pass as it’s uphill both ways, with a nasty headwind on the way home. Make sure you do this trip in the spring or fall to ensure a good west tail wind.
What Did NOT Go Well
The one goal I did not achieve was to backpack Northover Ridge. Just when the route was getting into shape, my husband Mike had emergency gall bladder surgery. It was infected and needed to come out – now! Luckily, this was in August, during an ebb in the Covid pandemic. Our health care is top notch, and we are forever thankful not only for our system, but all the amazing nurses, doctors and support workers.
The other thing I did not do was attend an Alpine Club of Canada General Mountaineering Camp. I’ve done two camps in the past and thoroughly enjoyed them. It’s a combination of learning lots and climbing every single day. Unfortunately, all camps were shut down due to Covid. I hope they will be up and running for 2021, but I am not holding my breath.
I started writing trip reports in September 2019, so 2020 was the first full year of Trip Reports and related articles. To be honest, I had no set goals other than to post once per week. Sometimes I managed that, other times I failed miserably. I did manage 44 blog posts, or 85% success rate.
Since I just LOVE to track, these are my 2020 totals
- New Followers: 588
- Total Followers: 674
- Blog Posts: 44
- Total Blog posts: 112
- Total Visitors: 12,762
- Total Views: 22,864
- Likes: 4,553
- Comments: 637
Al’s Adventurers Facebook Page
I finally decided to give my Facebook group some love. It started out years ago as a way to get some friends together for weekly hikes. I changed the focus this year as a way to share my trip reports and articles, and to share other useful backcountry information. Without really trying to attract new members, I am now at 93 members. It’s a small group, but holy! They are fantastic! They are curious and active and want more information all the time. I love them!
It takes about three days to write each trip report. One day to physically do the hike, scramble or ski. This involves having part of my brain on leading the trip, and another part of my brain on the trip report. What photos do I need? What views do I have to show? Have I recorded the distances and time accurately?
It takes one day to write the content. I can’t wait too long after doing the trip and writing about it, otherwise I have to re-do my route planning to ensure I get it right. This is a problem during the hiking/scrambling season when I’m doing multiple trips per week. There just isn’t enough time to write about them all. It takes about a day to get the photos downloaded, organized, selected, cropped, and placed in the trip report. Finally, I like to sleep on a trip report, and edit it with fresh eyes before I hit the Publish button.
Doing all this work is absolutely meaningless unless someone actually reads it. I want to give a heart-felt thank you to all my followers for taking the time and effort to subscribe, like and comment. It means a lot to me to know that my work is being viewed and appreciated.
What’s up for 2021?
Whew. Good question! Well, a multiday ski trip is out. I was hoping to spend time on the Spearhead Traverse, but that’s done. A back-up was to return to Nelson and do some more routes at Whitewater and Kootenay Pass. With Covid, I want to respect the out of province non-essential travel procedures, so again, that’s out.
This leaves Alberta-based day ski trips. I do want to summit Cirque Peak and Mosquito Mountain. I might sneak over to Vermillion Peak. I was eyeing Mt. Rhonda, St. Nicholas and Olive, but again, hut restrictions make this difficult.
For the summer, I will again set a goal of 10 new routes. Some that have been on my list for a few years include Mount Kidd (south summit). Mount McNab and Ware in the Sheep River area. In south K Country, Holy Cross really needs to be added to my list, and I’d like to go back and finish Shungra-la-she. In the National Parks, I am eyeing Eiffel Mountain, Roche a Perdrix, and Boundary Peak. For a backpack, Northover Ridge is again on my list. Fingers crossed.
More routes to keep me more than busy. If you have a favourite route, please SHARE in the comments below. I’m always looking for trip ideas.
Despite the challenges of 2020, I do hope you made the most of this modified and heavily edited year. I wish you a fantastic 2021, and may all YOUR dreams and goals come true.