Saturday, February 3, 2018

Vaccinations and Wee bottles: Pre-Kilimanjaro Preparation

And we're off!! Anita and I are flying out today to our next big adventure, with a goal of summiting Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, around Feb. 12th. The months long lead up to today's departure has been a mixture of fear and anticipation, of gear shopping and vaccinations, and a strange debate about whether to use pee bottles (so one can wee in the comfort of your tent, as opposed to venturing outside in the middle of the night and potentially falling off the mountainside). Wouldn't that be a headline: Hikers die while 'pissing off Kili'. Literally. :)

We had spent all of the past summer training for this trek, scrambling peak after peak, only to have converted every ounce of fitness into fatness in the three months since cold winter weather hit. So while I thought at one point I was going to kick ass up Kili, I fear now it'll be Kili doing the kicking, and my ass the recipient.

Anywho, I should probably go do something productive in our final hours pre-takeoff. I'll leave you with these photos from Gusty Peak earlier this summer, the first 3000m summit Anita scrambled. To think that in just over a week, we will be summiting a mountain nearly double that elevation. Here's hoping.

Scrambles - Gusty Peak-8

Scrambles - Gusty Peak-1
Gusty Peak, as seen from the Chester Lake approach.

Scrambles - Gusty Peak-2
Quite a few kilometres in, with the bulk of the elevation yet to come.

Scrambles - Gusty Peak-3

Scrambles - Gusty Peak-4
Never ending scree and rubble.

Scrambles - Gusty Peak-6

Scrambles - Gusty Peak-7

Scrambles - Gusty Peak-9

Scrambles - Gusty Peak-10

Scrambles - Gusty Peak-11

Scrambles - Gusty Peak-12

Gusty Peak - Holga-2

Gusty Peak - Holga-1

Gusty Peak - Holga-3

Gusty Peak - Holga-4

Gusty Peak - Holga-5

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Trip Report: Canadian Siberia

We went for a round of shots on Friday. Before you think 'Yeah you did,' it was not as fun as it sounds. We hit the travel clinic and got jabbed with enough vaccines to give an elephant 'the autism.' Yellow fever, typhoid, seasonal flu, and scrips for traveller's diarrhea and altitude sickness. Kilimanjaro, we coming for you!

I spent this past week in Winnipeg, aka Canadian Siberia. While it was chilly the first day, the scenes from out the airplane window and on the ground were incredibly beautiful and stark. <-- Imagine that, a Game of Thrones reference that isn't just 'Winter is coming'...

Winnipeg Ice-9

Winnipeg Ice-2

Winnipeg Ice-1

Winnipeg Ice-4

Winnipeg Ice-3

Winnipeg Ice-7

Winnipeg Ice-10

Winnipeg Ice-14

Winnipeg Ice-8

Winnipeg Ice-12

Winnipeg Ice-6

Winnipeg Ice-13

Winnipeg Ice-5

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Snowshoeing to Rawson Lake

Photos. Snowshoeing. Nuff Said.

Actually, no. I guess for people that are interested, maybe it's not quite enough detail. We took advantage of the mild weather today and headed out to Kananaskis, to snowshoe in from Upper Kananaskis Lake to Rawson Lake. It was a shortish route, about 8km round trip, ending up at the base of Mt. Sarrail. The trail was pretty packed down, so even if you don't have snowshoes, you'd be fine with a pair of hikers. What are you waiting for? GO!

Snowshoeing - Rawson Lake - Jan 2018-9

Snowshoeing - Rawson Lake - Jan 2018-1

Snowshoeing - Rawson Lake - Jan 2018-2

Snowshoeing - Rawson Lake - Jan 2018-3

Snowshoeing - Rawson Lake - Jan 2018-5

Snowshoeing - Rawson Lake - Jan 2018-12

Snowshoeing - Rawson Lake - Jan 2018-7

Snowshoeing - Rawson Lake - Jan 2018-6

Snowshoeing - Rawson Lake - Jan 2018-8

Snowshoeing - Rawson Lake - Jan 2018-10

Snowshoeing - Rawson Lake - Jan 2018-11

Snowshoeing - Rawson Lake - Jan 2018-13

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Another year in the books

I thought I'd close out 2017 with another mosaic of my year in photos. While the larger social and political backdrop of the past 12 months was just one continuos loop of shit news and even shittier people, it was a pretty epic year of adventures for us. From starting the year off in Vietnam, to hiking and scrambling 16 peaks in the Rockies, reconnecting with friends and family in Ireland and Belgium, seeing the cherry blossoms in Seattle, sleeping in a teepee in Montana, to generally eating and drinking new and interesting food and beers to excess, we've carpe'd that diem like 2018 may not happen.

I wanted to send a shout out to each of you for following along in my adventures here over the past nine years. I started this blog purely for my own personal entertainment, but have been continually staggered by the number of regular readers that have followed along the way. Here's hoping you had a great 2017, and wishing you all the best in the coming year!

mosaic 2017

Previous annual mosaics: 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dear Stomach: I'm Sorry (yet again?)

A colleague of ours recently mentioned how she loves Chinese food, but was actually referring to ginger beef. Queue the collective groans from all of us Asians. This would set in motion a plan to re-educate her on the finer points of authenticity in Asian food. And so today came to be, where we spent ten hours wandering around grazing at various spots in Chinatown and the Beltline on dim sum, egg waffles, white rabbit candies, HK style pastries, beers, Thai rolled ice cream, HK afternoon tea & snacks, more beers, and then a mountain of yakitori. I'm incredibly proud of the folks that stuck it through our entire itinerary. You guys (and your stomachs) deserve a round of applause... and beers.

Asian Food Tour-4
The day's raison d'ĂȘtre: Hannah 'I Love Ginger Beef' needed to experience real Asian food.

Asian Food Tour-1
Our first stop: dim sum at Silver Dragon.

Asian Food Tour-2
White Rabbit candies, wrapped with edible rice paper. A staple in the memory of most young asian kids.

Asian Food Tour-3
Stef accidentally drops her own candy. Much sadness.

Asian Food Tour-9
HK style 'little egg waffles' from Hi-Tea.

Asian Food Tour-5

Asian Food Tour-6

Asian Food Tour-7

Asian Food Tour-8

Asian Food Tour-10

Asian Food Tour-11
HK Style Egg Tarts from Diamond Bakery.

Asian Food Tour-12
A quick stop inside the Chinese Cultural Centre to check out the traditional architectural design of the ceiling.

Asian Food Tour-13
Beers from the Barley Mill (NOT Asian, but that's cause there aren't any good Asian beer joints in town).

Asian Food Tour-14
United Way staffers will get why this is funny. Everyone else will just judge the poor choice in beverage.

Asian Food Tour-15

Asian Food Tour-20
Freshly made Thai rolled ice cream at Sweet Tooth.

Asian Food Tour-17

Asian Food Tour-19

Asian Food Tour-21

Asian Food Tour-22

Asian Food Tour-23
Afternoon tea from Calgary Court.

Asian Food Tour-24

Asian Food Tour-25
Deep fried French Toast with butter, syrup and condensed milk.

Asian Food Tour-26

Asian Food Tour-27
Beers at National on 17th (because Ming Asian Bistro and Bar wasn't open yet).

Asian Food Tour-28

Asian Food Tour-29
Grilled meats on sticks at Ke Charcoal Grill.

Asian Food Tour-30

Asian Food Tour-31

Asian Food Tour-32

Asian Food Tour-33
Ten hours after our first stop, these are the looks of some tired, but satisfied gluttons.