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.
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.
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.