Friday, April 18, 2014

Packing up for the icefield

We've wanted to go back for a long time, since the last time we were there 5 years ago. So it's off to the Columbia Icefield to spend a week close to one of the two hydrological apexes of North America which is a mountain called Snow Dome.  Snow that falls there eventually drains either to Hudson Bay, the Arctic Ocean or the Pacific Ocean.  The magnitude of the Icefield itself is remarkable - it's vast and we predict not too many people this long Easter weekend.

Mark's pack is close to 50 lbs, and I'm pretty close to that so I'm going to feel strong.  I'm more worried about my feet and ski boots, which I've tried to mediate with ever since I bought them but my feet just don't seem happy no matter, even with new liners I stuck in them this season. The liners are supposed to mold to my feet but my feet don't listen to the instructions and want to break out of might be the deal breaker of the trip actually.

We fussed with z-pulley systems and we'll have to fuss some more because we don't want to get in a position where we haven't practiced our crevasse rescue enough.   I think there will be plenty of snow and we also got all the avalanche stuff which if we make the right decisions we won't need.  The last time we were on this icefield it snowed over a meter and we ended up going out another way to avoid the avalanche hazard of the Athabaska route.  I hitchhiked back up to the truck cause Mark would have probably had to wait a lot longer to get picked up.  I remember the conversation with the man who brought me back up to the top - that was the year a bunch of snowmachiners got killed in an avalanche outside of Elksford and that's where he was from.  He lost some friends.  Since then snowmachiners are learning to be more saavy about their terrain choices - or at least it seems like there is more opportunity for education.  Now it's cool for a snowmobiler to know something about avalanche hazard and how to avoid them.  This has changed in the last five years I believe.

The Weather Network longterm forecast for next week - Nordegg which I guess is the closest reporting spot.

The last time we were here we basically got weathered out, but we're bringing the cribbage board this time just in case.  Five years ago, which was also the April long weekend, we ended up getting neighbors next to us and they set up a nice cook-tent we were invited to hang out in.  We ended up having to leave due to work responsibilities but they stayed on until the weather broke and ended up summiting.

I'm sure the cribbage board will bring us good weather.
Or maybe I'll get really good at counting.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mailbox collecting

Since visiting the south island of New Zealand, I've succumbed to mailbox obsession.
The picture doesn't capture it like I hoped, but the top mailbox is for "airmail" and the one below is for "junk mail".
These folks on HWY 97 are waiting for the Goldfinches still to arrive
I think these mailbox owners appreciate biplanes.
I'm always on the lookout for cool mailboxes.  Where we live now there isn't mailbox delivery, but I have a a really cool postoffice... it's got the original mailboxes from the early 1900's.  Hopefully Canada Post will decide to keep the post office open on Saturdays - it's a cool building for the tourists out for a weekend looksee.
Come visit us and see for yourself!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring March - over and out

Here it is, March 31, 2014.  Here are some highlights looking back through the month-

Last day patrolling was yesterday, Spring fling was a pajama party
Mid March we went for a week long hotspring visit
We saw our first mosquito of the season snowcamping at the springs
We hosted our first long distance cyclists of the season
Thanks to Marco and Sarah for cooking us an amazing dinner
That visit made us catch the travel bug and I figured out I've visited 6.22 % of the planet.
What will April bring other than tax season?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February happenings

Skinning up the Dhu
Skiing the Dhu
View of Phoenix Mtn from the dacha
I love how Canadians fly the flag everywhere
A view from Phoenix Mtn looking over to the Dhu
I love storm days
Making a black burrito of a kid
Mainstreet Greenwood
And it's not over yet!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fossil Fuel Resistance

I watched the Bill Moyers show with Bill McKibben interviewed.  There were many good reasons about why the world citizens and particularly President Obama needs to stop the Keystone Pipeline from being built. In January a report was issued from the state department that was the final Environmental Impact Statement. It basically said that the pipeline was safe and that the pipeline didn't contribute to climate change. Of course it didn't talk about all the heavy oil that would be flowing through it and those consenquences.

The bottom line is this project needs to be stopped in order to shut down the extraction of the oilsands in Canada so that there is a chance for international negotiations to take place to come up with a plan to stop continued warming of the planet.  We need to resist continued use of fossil fuels.  Period.  You would think a war would get that point across as well, but then I guess really in the end it's all about money.

Snowden?  Did I miss it that some of the data he released from the NSA was that the United States had placed "bugs" in the Copenhagen 2009 climate change summit that failed so poorly?

No wonder the United States wants Snowden's head.

So, watch the interview- it's worth the time.  The politics and the money and the different sides are difficult for me to understand.  What's the point of talking about richer corporations getting richer, normal people having jobs, and a safest pipeline designed if the climate continues to warm up?  I'm intelligent enough to know that the continued burning of fossil fuels is the route to this catastrophe and we all need to make our opinion known.  There is plenty of evidence already that the 1 degree warming is too much already.

Spend time to send a letter to President Obama and Secretary Kerry and tell them that the Keystone Pipeline needs to not be built.  Perhaps that will buy us some time to really get to work and get off fossil fuel.

President Obama:

Secretary of State Kerry:  Response Via Email(Support Agent) - 02/18/2014 01:26 PM
On January 31, 2014, the Department of State released the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline project. It and additional documents are available on the State Department’s website: A 30-day public comment period will begin with the publication of a Federal Register notice on February 5, 2014 and will close on March 7, 2014. During this period, the public and interested parties are encouraged to submit comments on the national interest to Comments are not private and will be made public. 

I love snow and so do polar bears.