Two factors have most influenced our climbing over the past week – the weather and the mosquitoes. The weather has actually been fantastic… we’ve only had one drizzly day and actually managed to get some climbing in that day on a wall under large imposing roof. The challenge is that the rain is really unpredictable. We’ve been finding ourselves climbing on rainy days and planning rest days only to find that the 60% percent chance of rain never produces a drop. It’s been a bit tricky.
We came prepared to battle it out with the bugs and we have. Deet, citronella, you name it, we’ve got a layer of it covering our skin. It’s been a wet summer up here producing swarms of blood suckers. Josh seems to be particularly attractive to them and I’ve actually read one study that may actually explain this better than him just being so nice and sweet. Mosquitoes may actually be repelled by cortisol, a chemical produced in response to stress. Josh being such a laid back guy probably doesn’t have as much of this natural repellant as some of us more up-tight personalities.
And it’s sure easy to be relaxed around here. We enjoyed a couple days clipping bolts at Lake Louise—the iconic Canadian Rockies image—jewel colored water surrounded by towering peaks, imposing glaciers and endless forests. And hordes of tourists. But we’ve been able to get away from the crowds by enjoying a couple of multi-pitch route, which provide views in every direction.
This week’s ticks
Lake Louise – fun cragging. Routes aren’t all that memorable but there aren’t too many other places you can clip bolts in such a beautiful alpine setting.
Tunnel Mountain; Ballista – great eight pitch limestone route. Short approach, varied climbing, lots and lots of bolts. Just bring your helmet, lots of loose rock.
Nanny Goat; Beautiful Century – another cool well-bolted limestone route. More loose rock at the belays. Approach is a big slog.