Year in Review – 2022

Happy New Year to you! I hope you had a year filled with love and friendship and are looking forward to the adventures that 2023 will no doubt bring.

This is my third time reviewing the past year. I love this opportunity to both reminisce and evaluate how my year went. Plus it’s a nice snapshot to remind myself just what exactly happened.

Here are the goals I created for 2022. Lets see how I did.

Daily Exercise with Tracking Sheet

Yes! I kept this up for another year. While I track my summits and skis in Gaia, and my cycles, walks, and runs in Strava, I still love the paper sheet for that quick overall look at my week, month and year. It provides motivation when I’m doing well, and it helps me see where I’m struggling. I once again melted down in the fall – I fell off the exercise wagon and landed firmly on the couch. Even though I did a two week hiking trip to Scotland in October to stave off the autumn blues, I still managed to fall prey to the funk. I did better once it started to snow in late November, but then I got sick after working the Lake Louise Ski Races so that put me back.

To help me out in the fall, I took the advice of my friend Sonya and bought a SAD light. These are available online or at stores like Costco. I really like my lamp, and find that it gives me energy throughout the day. Living in a place with less than 8 hours of light per day in the winter, and some of those days being -30 Celsius? This light really helps with the Vitamin D.

AST2 Course โ€“ Avalanche Safety Training Level 2

Done! This was such a great course. It was so in-depth that I can see myself taking this course over and over again. You can never have enough training when it comes to avalanche safety. Here is my write-up on the AST2 course with Guide Paddy Jerome.

ACC General Mountaineering Camp

Done! I have to say, this was my best camp yet! I was fit enough that I was able to go out every single day, and I was able to climb eight peaks in six days. PLUS I was lucky enough to be the first up Horseman Spire and Malachite Spire. It was a massive 12 hour day, where I had to dig really deep, and keep it together. Our guide Hamish Sanderson really wanted to bag these two peaks in one day, and I was not going to let him down.

Hamish getting ready to climb Horseman Spire. What an epic day. I still cannot believe Hamish trusted me to go up this. Full gratitude and all kudos to him for expertly guiding both of these climbs.
Backcountry Ski Week at Sentry Lodge

Done! This was by far my best ski week yet. I was fit enough to ski every single day – eight days including the two half days we flew in and out. We nabbed some of the best peaks including Sentry, Cowboy and Rasta. I was thankful to be with my friend Michelle who not only organized the trip, but cooked EVERYTHING for us – breakfast, lunch and dinner. I actually gained weight despite being on the skis every day.

Climbing to the summit of Cowboy at Sentry Lodge. We skied this twice, and then hit three more slopes on the way back. How I gained weight is a real testament to Michelle’s cooking! Want to hire her for your ski or hike week? This is her website.
Learn to surf

Done! My family took a long-overdue trip to Maui that was cancelled twice due to Covid. While Mike was out paragliding, my daughters and I took a learn to surf lesson. There was a pro photographer that captured it all for us.

Kayla and Mackenzie were naturals on the surf board. To challenge them, our instructor got them to go tandum.
Scuba dive

Done! Finally! I’ve been a certified diver since 1998, but again, with Covid, it has been years since I could go for a dive. In Maui, we hit some old favourites like the Molokini Crator and Turtle Town. Always a joy to be able to share my love of adventure with my kids. They got their open water certification when they were 16.

On the boat with our Dive Master. We are making the symbol for Turtle as we were at Turtle Town – one of the best places to dive with the turtles in Maui.
Write 44 or more blog posts

Fail! Oh my goodness! I had such just good intentions. You’d think with all that time not exercising in the fall that I could have cranked out a few trip reports – but nope. I was all round lazy. I wrote 29 posts, so I was short 15. This goal will go back on the list until I nail it.

However, I finally broke the 1,000 subscriber mark! It takes a lot of time to build up a network of followers, and I am grateful to each and every one of you. I also enjoy reading your blogs and following along on your adventures.

Northover Ridge (third time lucky?)

Gahd! Nope! I did get closer though. I created a route, and actually discussed it with two people ๐Ÿ™‚ I am SO getting this done in 2023.

Climb 10 new mountains

Done! This was a repeat goal from last year, and I really need to update it considering how I’ve changed my approach to the mountains. This year I did 47 new routes, out of a total of 56 routes. Next year? I might change the definition to a percentage, like 80% of the routes must be new ones.

Of the 47 new routes. I am only including Canadian routes below and not the international trips:

Highlights

Friendships

I am blessed with several amazing friends who are fit and keen to go out with me regularly. Truly, without them, I would not have been able to nail the amount of routes I did this year. I have gone solo a lot, but having a buddy on the trail makes it that much more enjoyable. I have “Friday Fundays” with Sonya, when she’s not in full-out bike training mode. Erin couldn’t cycle this year, so her loss was my gain. We braved the mountains on the weekends, usually an early morning Sunday to avoid as many people as possible. Plus we did a six day backpack. To thank these amazing women, I organized a four day trip to the Stanley Mitchell hut just so we could all enjoy this magnificent place together.

I also want to thank my friend “Skipper” Deb. Why Skipper? She calls me “Little Buddy” ๐Ÿ™‚ Deb had all kinds of goals last year, and she turned to me to make them happen. This included a two day hiking trip to Waterton, plus several 100 km bike rides. I felt very blessed to get the call, and I will always be available. While I was helping Deb, she taught me all about digging deep. I used her as an inspiration to get up Horseman Spire this summer.

The Highwood Cycle Team at the Drumheller Gran Fondo. Left to Right, Todd, Bente, Mike, Alisen, Jacquie, Carrie and Skipper Deb.
The 52 Hike Challenge

Over and above achieving most of my goals, I again “sneakily” accomplished something that was at the back of my mind – the 52 Hike Challenge. I ‘accidentally’ nailed this goal last year. To be honest, I didn’t know I could do it. I almost missed it too, until I realized that one of my hikes didn’t make it into Strava. As I only hike in the summer months, being able to get in 52 routes over six months is not easy. Despite not putting it on my goal list, I again managed to achieve this with a whopping 56 hikes! This does not include any cycling, skiing, walks or runs.

What helped me get to 56? I make hiking a priority everywhere I go. The February Maui trip, my family and I hiked six times in 10 days, including the epic 20 km Sliding Sands trail through the center of the Haleakala crater.

The impossibly barren yet beautiful landscape of the Haleakala Crater. The 20 km Sliding Sands trail traverses across this epic landscape. This was my third time, and it was my daughters’ second.

I also spent two weeks in Scotland with my friend Michelle (the amazing cook who organized the Sentry Ski Week), and we managed to bag six Munros (mountains over 3000′ or 911 m) plus three other hikes. And yes, with Michelle cooking, I also managed to gain weight even with a super go! go! go! schedule.

The north face summit of Ben Nevis. We summited Ben Nevis the day before, and then spent the night at the hut below. We then scrambled up to this ridge, and nabbed two more peaks or Munros as they’re called in Scotland – mountains over 3000′.

I also did a six day, ~90 km backpack trip with my friend Erin Bailey. It’s been a few years since I’ve backpacked, and I have to say I enjoyed the process of getting up, packing up, hiking, setting up – and doing it all over again the next day. Erin and I shared the cooking supplies (stove, gas, water bags) but otherwise carried all our own gear including tents. Erin booked this trip, and we are calling it the ‘What’s Left Backpack’ because all other sites were booked in Banff. It turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous trip, with the added bonus of there being NO ONE else on the trail. We had the place to ourselves for days.

I became an Alpine Club of Canada section Trip Leader, and I organized a group of 18 members to visit the Stanley Mitchell Hut for four days. This was so I could introduce my friends Sonya and Erin to the Little Yoho valley. This is my most favourite place in the whole world, and I’ll gladly go back year after year!

At the summit of Whaleback Mountain with (left to right) Mike, Alisen, Erin and Mackenzie. Last time I was on this mountain was one of the original “mom adventures”. Needed to come back with my daughter to erase any bad memories ๐Ÿ™‚ Photo Credit: Sonya Laing.
On the summit of Mount MacArthur with (left to right) Erin, Alisen and Sonya. Thanks for coming out with me you two! You made my year possible! Apologies to Erin – she is NOT that wide. It’s a distortion on the camera lens as this photo is cropped.
Cycling Firsts

While I only had 36 days in the saddle, I really made those days count! I did two cycling trips – Salt Spring Island (which is a LOT of up and down!) in the spring, and the Okanagan in the fall. I have only ever done one other cycling trip, and that was Slovenia in 2019. I am now hooked on cycling in the shoulder season in British Columbia where their summer lasts SO much longer than in Alberta.

I also completed 100 km in the Drumheller Gran Fondo with a group of friends from the Highwood Cycle Club. That was a tonne of fun and I can’t wait to do another epic group ride like that again.

I finally got a new bike. This one is way more comfortable, lighter, and tackles hills a lot better than my old bike. As a gravel hybrid, I was able to take it on the Kettle Valley Railroad this fall as well. As cycling is not ‘my sport’, having one bike to do it all is ideal.
One of many trestle bridges on the Kettle Valley Railroad. Thankfully these bridges were saved and then rebuilt after the 2003 forest fire, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to cycle this route. A big Shout Out to Cycling Phenom Sonya for giving me all the routes in Penticton and Kelowna. She made this trip that much more enjoyable with verifiable routes.

Exercise Totals

Cycling – 36 This includes indoor trainer cycles
Running – 23 I only run during the shoulder seasons when I can’t hike or ski.
Walking – 42 These are usually ‘walks and talks’ with friends.
Hiking – 56 Most of these were scrambles, summits and mountaineering. A few were actual hikes.

Downhill Skiing – 30 days at Lake Louise, including about 20 days of Ski Friending, 7 or so days at World Cup, plus some free skiing days.
Cross-Country Skiing – 14 days. Conditions were tough – either freezing cold, or not enough snow at our local West Bragg Creek. Driving four hours to cross-country ski is not a priority for me.
Back-country skiing – 19 days. I had a great year of alpine touring, including a week at Sentry Lodge. I also took my AST 2 course, which greatly increased my avalanche awareness and tool kit.

This totals 220 days, or 60% of the year. I can do better.

Goals for 2023

It’s not real if I don’t write it down. Some goals are repeats, but I really like the consistency they give me year over year.

  • Daily Exercise with Tracking Sheet
  • ACC General Mountaineering Camp
  • Take a Learn to Climb course
  • Backcountry Ski trips (Valkyr Lodge, Sentry Lodges, Stanley Mitchell & Nelson area)
  • Northover Ridge (forth time lucky?)
  • Of all the routes I do, ensure that 80% are new.
  • Write 44 blog posts

I wish you all a most successful 2023. I hope your dreams and goals come true.

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Posted in Life Hack
22 comments on “Year in Review – 2022
  1. Phil says:

    Happy New Year, dear Alisen ๐ŸŒ„

  2. cindy knoke says:

    Happy New Year Alisen! 3๏ธโƒฃ1๏ธโƒฃ๐Ÿ•›1๏ธโƒฃ

  3. KK says:

    Happy New Year ๐Ÿฅณ

  4. Diana says:

    Oh my gosh, what a fantastic year! I canโ€™t believe how many outdoor adventures you squeezed in. Wishing you many more wonderful adventures in 2023!

    • alisendopf says:

      Thank you so much Diana! I am blessed to live in a place that allows those sports to happen, and to also have enough free time to actually do them.

      I am looking forward to reading all about your amazing mountain exploits in Colorado and abroad! I wish you a very Happy and Elevated New Year!

  5. Congrats on accomplishing many of your goals for 2022. I love how so many of them are outdoor and exercise related. We took a learn to surf lesson when we visited Maui a few years ago too. It was surprisingly more work than I expected, but it was a lot of fun. It’s awesome that your girls have their open water certification and can join you while diving. We havenโ€™t been diving since the start of the pandemic and Iโ€™ve been eager to go underwater again. Wishing you lots of happiness and great adventures for 2023!

    • alisendopf says:

      I agree that surfing was a lot harder than expected. Glad I’m not the only one. The amount of upper body strength to continuously push off the board was hard. I guess I need to do more push ups!

      I can’t tell you how NICE it was to go diving again. Living in land-locked Alberta, diving really is a sport we have to work to ensure happens. When I was younger (before kids), I was all about the advanced diving and going on my own, especially on the west coast. Now? I’m content to hire the boat and the dive master and be lead around. I just don’t have the same drive or safety certifications to push myself beyond this.

      If you find a good dive spot, do let me know!
      Take care, and Happy New Year Linda!

      • Oh I know! And all that paddling is also pretty tiresome. It’s such a rewarding feeling when you finally do catch a wave though!

        Bonaire is actually a great spot to dive on your own without a guide as it’s mostly shore diving. You’re pretty much diving parallel to the shore, so navigation isn’t too tricky. When we went in the spring there were no currents or anything either. I like to think that we’re better divers now because of it as it taught us how important it is to have good communication with your dive partner, know how your equipment works, be more mindful of air consumption and navigation. That being said, there’s also something so much more relaxing about going with a guide!

  6. Equipping says:

    You did a wonderful job with this post; please keep up your good work

  7. #hhhigh says:

    Happy New Year Alisen , stay safe and enjoy your new chapter of life , great things are ahead for you.

  8. Widdershins says:

    I wonder how many got the ‘Skipper’ and ‘Little Buddy’, reference? ๐Ÿ˜€ .. the show did get me interested in the many and varied uses for bamboo though. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • alisendopf says:

      LOL! I wonder if bamboo really is that versatile?

      Yeah, I’m not sure many people do get it. And I’m not even sure why Deb started calling me that, but I love it!

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