Finally, I’ve been able to catch some internet waves.
The story starts like this…
It was a dark and stormy morning.
We were already tired after a 4 hour buggy walk off of Redstreak mountain the day before. Knees were blown. Packs were heavy, 90 pounds each heavy. It was 8 am, and we were at the helipad in Radium ready to fly to Mt. Assiniboine.
We landed at Wonder Pass and hiked down to the lake Magog campsite and tried to pretend that we hadn’t flown in.
We were greeted by a cloudy Mt. Assiniboine.
And then it rained a lot and reminded me of the coast.
The next morning sun finally broke through.
We went to meet with Barb Renner, the most helpful friendly lady ever who runs the lodge, and she forced us to have coffee and cookies before we were allowed to hike. (That’s obviously Ryan in the picture, Barb is very elusive.)
After coffee, we went hiking to my favourite repeat so far this year. It’s been our screensaver for the last few months. We spent quite a while yelling at clouds to get the image just right.
The originals were taken in 1913 by A.O. Wheeler and I think this was as fun for him as it was for us.
Marmots were interested in Ryan’s field notes.
The next station was exposed. Mom: you would not have liked it.
Carrying the camera out there was difficult.
Next station was similar, so I pretended to fall off, but there was a ledge. Ryan was concerned. I was being a silly boy.
We did some Yoga.
Did I mention how amazing Assiniboine is? This was our walk back to camp every night.
Next day, I worked with Allie, and it was as bluebird as you can imagine. We got really burnt. She didn’t like the route I chose which went straight up the snowfield. Apparently it was hard work.
We were really really happy when we got to the station though.
At the end of the day we met up with Stuart and Ryan to have a nice sunset nap in the col before running down the scree slope and across the meadows of eden to get to an amazingly delicious dinner at the Assiniboine lodge.
Next day was our last day at Assiniboine, and as the topping on the sundae, we got to go up to the col at the base of Assiniboine and repeat a station at 3000m on Mt. Strom (Barb also gave us sundaes for breakfast.)
Normally it is a long unpleasant climb up a headwall to get to the Hind hut, but we are opposed to hard work, so we flew.
We then hiked up to Mt. Strom, and discovered that it’s easy to get to 3000m if you fly most of the way.
We repeated a gorgeous station, and our best friend Matt the pilot picked us up from the mountaintop and flew us back to Radium. Getting out of the helicopter in our fleece, down, long underwear, and Gore-Tex was very unpleasant in the 36 degree heat.
The next day we were fairly tired, but between the two teams completed five stations in Kooteny National Park.
We went down to the beach in Invermere with our mobile office to do some uploading and have dinner.
It was lovely until parks contractor locked the bathroom door without checking to see if anyone was inside. Thirty-five minutes later the RCMP and a nice locksmith from the volunteer fire department let me out. At least there were no mosquitoes in there.
Tuesday Stuart and Allie took a restful office day so that they could keep working today and tomorrow while Ryan and I relax in Banff. Ryan and I took some volunteers out for a nice scenic flight to a bunch of mountains in clouds. With a ceiling at 8000ft and stations at 8500-9000, taking photos is difficult. At least I was able to scope out lots of landing sites for the next few days when weather improves.
We went back to Radium and Ryan and I cleaned and repaired the cameras and tripods in more 35 degree heat, and drove back to Banff a bit sunstroked.
I still had Stuart’s truck keys in my pocket. The only set.
I am very thankful greyhound runs buses to Radium, and it has a nice driver.
Now off to many days of relaxing before heading to a fire camp!
Great to hear from our many fans, friends, and family.
Check the flickr group on the right tab for many more pictures!