Picnic at Haffner's Creek.

This week I had the chance to get out and climb with my good friend Joe. Back in the day this family man climbed and bolted mixed routes all over the Canadian Rockies. Recently his motivation was given a new spark and has been training routinely.

When he asked me to go climb at Haffner's Creek he had told me that the kids would be joining a "picnic" he called it.  I had thought to myself "man how cool would it be to be 8 years old and watch youre dad climb a mixed route" - he's got to be a real life superhero or something right? The day started with a pile of mits, boots, snow pant and jackets all while Joe prepared his gear. The check list was complete with everything from crampons to hot chocolate. It was time to squeeze the gang into the truck - two dogs included. 

The half hour walk in seemed like nothing for these three high energy wide eyed children; true explorers. Once we arrived we made a small fire to keep the crew warm while spectating. Joe lead first on a route called "Half & Half" M7. While progressing up the route he was calling down pointers and useful Beta that would come to help me a great deal. It was inspiring to watch attempting to memorize the moves and sequence; wondering how the heck I was going to pull it off myself.

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I remember pulling myself on to the overhandging Icicle which seemed so intimidating climbing under it. Using my knee behind it wedged against the rock as a shifty knee bar in order to get my axe over the lip. Once finding good placement for my tools I remember both my feet hanging below the icicl as I pulled my chest up close enough to get my crampon on the Ice as well. It was smooth climbing after that plugging my axes in various pockets leading to the anchor.

Haffner's Creek - British Columbia 

Haffner's Creek - British Columbia 

Back on the ground it was time to get the sausages roasting and shake the hand warmer's for the little ones. After some Fuel and warm digits it was time to pack it in. With only one route climbed the day was nothing short of awesome. 

I think it's amazing that Joe has the opportunity to raise his children this way. The outdoors is a key part to childhood. It provides crucial fundamentals to help develop skills and knowledge that can later be applied in life as they mature. Kids should be given the power to know that anything is possible and to see there hard work pay off. 

Handfuls Of Life

45 hours ago I set out on the biggest chase of my life.  It took many hours of contemplating to decide if this is what was “best for me” A part of myself was saying “Yeah dude, you got this” and that would be the “glass half-full” side of me. The other side of me I pictured with that face; you know the one when you encourage your bro to stick it but just bites it instead. Either way I’ve always been a fan of the effort, even if the end result isn’t what you perceived.  At least you can say you tried.

I broke it down, the pros and the cons. The biggest pro was that I would be happy and content with all the hard work and effort I plan on putting forth this season. The biggest con I could mustard up was how disappointed I’d be in myself If I didn’t just try.

Along the way somewhere between Minnesota and North Dakota I found myself coffee eyed aimlessly biting sunflower seeds between my front teeth. Placing each half of the shell in the ashtray one by one… handful after handful. I was using this as a tool to break concentration from the tunnel vision that 38 hours without rest has on the human body.

That’s when it came to me. Life can come in handfuls. The good, the bad, the easy and the hard.

At times we feel overwhelmed –  we humans can take too big of a handful at times.    Which in my case would cause me to spill seeds all over myself and make a mess. Which makes me think of biting off more than you can chew in life - would it turn out the same always?  A big mess?  Is it done consciously or do other factors like greed come into play. Personally I believe the good in people causes them grief at times. Taking on anything for anyone hoping good Karma will find them.

Then there are the times when we may feel we simply don’t have enough of something.  This can be troublesome.  Having the correct amount of  what makes an individual happy is key to a healthy balance. If you feel you don’t have enough of something you need to be happy then take more – Just don’t let other factors such as greed guide you’re hand in the process…. You could end up with a big mess on your hands in the end.

Now that I am in Canmore. I am confident that I did not bite off more then I could chew. I knew I needed a bigger handful of happiness and after a whirlwind of a month back home I’ve landed somewhere I feel I belong. The risk was worth the reward.

Oh and I’m proud to say that trading in my perfectly “Fine” Ford Escapefor a 96’ Clubwagon with a drivers door that closes 3 out of 5 times, a busted passenger window and not to mention the permanent check engine light…  Was a good idea after all… All who said I’d regret it.