Galdhøpiggen with Krevassi-Timo

Years, back Krevassi-Timo and I went to Norway and climbed its highest mountain, Galdhøpiggen. I shot slide film on that trip. I scanned them recently.

This is in Southern Norway. We climbed the mountain and did a little additional glacier traveling trip somewhere else, driving around in Timo's Opel Astra GSI and trying not to hit the roaming Norwegian cows.

Here's a link to the complete gallery:


Dog days of climbing - Skaha 2010

Finally, the pictures you've all been waiting for!

Well, the pictures Markus has been waiting for me to sort because I asked him to hold off on this posting until I had a chance to contribute my photos. This time you'll actually get to see images of Markus and not just me.

We first spent time in Skaha during our great Canadian road trip of 2004 and fell in love with its forgiving granite, its lovely warm-up hikes to its endless crags, and its great diversity in climbing routes. This, my friends, is a sport climber's paradise and one of North America's top climbing destinations. That's why after climbing in Italy in 2008, impressed though we were with the Aosta Valley, we wondered why we were traveling so far when there was such excellent fodder in our own backyard. "Backyard" is, of course, relative, but I digress.

In 2009 we returned to Skaha. It was the perfect balance of climbing, comfort, friends, food, fun and relaxation. The Okanagan Valley is known for its fruit orchards and vineyards, making for very fine dining. What an excellent time.

Such an excellent time, in fact, that we couldn't resist coming back again this fall. We had considered other destinations such as Yosemite, Joshua Tree and Smith Rock. However, after weighing in cost, available sport routes and amount of travel involved, Skaha simply came out way ahead of the rest. We weren't disappointed.

This was a true holiday.

For more pictures, look in the gallery section or click here:

You can find pictures of the 2009 trip in the gallery section or by clicking here:


Climbing in Skaha, 2009

About a year ago Delia and I did a rock climbing tournee to Skaha, B.C. Skaha is a crimper's paradise and boasts over 700 routes at all levels. I put up a little gallery from the trip. (Yes, it took a while to get around to it.) Here you go:

Skaha climbing trip photos, 2009

Skaha is simply awesome. While it may not sport many multi-pitch routes, it is filled with great sport climbs.

I had a goal to climb French grade 7a (sport). That's about 5.11 b/c on the Yosemite scale. Every long-term climber should be able to climb 7a. Period. I wasn't.

We started easy because we had only done some light bouldering that summer and not much climbing in the last few years. My first 5.8 almost got me which didn't bode well. I was shaky.

Over the next two weeks we were both getting stronger and better day by day. Quickly 5.10a became the 5.9 of the past and soon I led 5.10d that first felt way too strenuous. Climbing is a head game. Concentration and tactics play an important role in saving energy and moving efficiently. I wasn't really getting stronger in the physical sense. I was just using my strength more sustainably.

On one of the last days we top-roped in light rain a route called Tilted Glass (5.11a) and both climbed it with relative ease, to our suprise. The route was slightly slabby and with thiny holds - great fun. I would have like to have lead it but the first bolt was very high and required stick-clipping or relatively large testicles, especially considering the slight wetness of the bottom holds. We had neither.

While I don't climb for grades, I do. It's good to have goals, be it a certain grade or a certain feeling of flow or a certain place to climb at. And what better goal than to improve one's climbing abilities. I certainly was having a lot of fun doing it. Unfortunately we were running out of time and the improvement curve didn't seem quite steep enough.

In the end, I climbed a 5.11b on lead. It was far from clean, but I did it. Not that I give any credit for it: I was so wimpy on that climb that I would rather forget about the whole thing.

Coincidentally, we are heading to Skaha again this fall! I shall resume my quest.

-Markus at 3:30 am

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