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 – 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂 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:
- Cascade Falls / Green Monster
- Engagement Peak
- Canyon Creek Ice Cave
- Kent Peak South
- Mount Maxwell
- Ruckle Provincial Park
- Bruce Peak
- Hailstone Butte
- Windy Peak Hills
- Porcupine Ridge
- Wasootch Peak
- Exshaw Mountain
- Thunder Mountain
- Little Lougheed
- Aylmer Fire Lookout
- Old Baldy Peak
- Carthew-Alderson Traverse
- Mount Sibbald and Why Not Peak Mountaineering
- International Mountain Mountaineering
- Horseman Spire and Malachite Spire Mountaineering
- Miner’s Peak Mountaineering
- Mary Peak Mountaineering
- David Peak Mountaineering
- Six days of backpacking from Johnson’s Creek to Mystic Pass, Sawback Lakes, Block Lake, Badger Pass and Luellen Lake
- Mount MacArther
- Centennial Ridge
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” 🙂 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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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