Monthly Archives: April 2012
ACC Top Rope Anchor Building Course
Leaders Need To Sharpen Their Skillz Too!
I attended the Alpine Club of Canada, Vancouver Section’s “top rope” rock climbing “anchor building” course (including advanced instruction on belaying & rappelling techniques), Saturday and Sunday, April 28 & 29, 2012, at Smoke Bluffs Climbing Park in Squamish, B.C. Now that the snow is gone…expect to see our Scouts stylin’ climbing helmets soon!
DEAL ALERT! 50% Off Everything @ GoLite
“In celebration of spring (and hopes of summer peeking right around the corner) we have expanded our 50% OFF SALE to include our ENTIRE LINE OF PRODUCTS! That means packs, tents, sleeping bags, and apparel are all fair game!”
“Unfortunately it is only through GoLite directly (either in stores or online) that this sale is valid so it will not apply to international dealers.”
No problem: have your purchases shipped to one of the many border town establishments that will receive your goods and hold them for you to pick up when convenient (they do this for a very modest fee).
The Shangri-La 5 tent in the photo is an excellent winter camping group shelter that we’ve been wanting to get for months and now it’s half price! Woot!
BTW: to use these type of tents in winter camps you set it up on the snow and then dig a 4′ pit inside of it and use part for a kitchen and the rest for seating. A very nice place to have dinner while the wind and snow howls outside.
April 13-15, 2012: Joffre Lakes Winter Camp V
Well, we had time for one last trip back to the ‘Joff before the winter snow begins slowly disappearing from the Mountains.
This time we had guests from Pemberton joining us: Jason Gadd and his son Ben. They had such a good time that we’ll have to find a way of creating a Pemberton branch of the 5th West Van Mountaineer Scouts!
We also had 19-year-old Sam Lotzkar and his friend David join us. They also had an excellent time winter camping for the first time in their lives. Maybe we’ve got our first Rovers for our group?
Saturday morning we saddled up and snowshoed into the mountains. We ate lunch in the sun at Middle Joffre Lake and then continued on to Upper Joffre Lake.
After five camping trips to the park since November, it was the perfect end of a perfect season to finally put our snowshoe prints into the snow on Upper Joffre Lake below the towering Joffre and Matier Peaks and the stunning Matier Glacier!
We took the opportunity to do a leader investiture ceremony on the lake under the glacier for our new leader, Scouter Alan! What a spot for that ceremony! It was like being in a cathedral with the rocks and ice towering all around us.
The weather began socking in and it starting snowing so…with heavy hearts after only a short visit to the “Joffre Cathedral”…we had to turn around and head back to basecamp.
But you can be sure we’ll be back and next time…let’s camp at the Upper Lake!
With all the Scouts in bed on Saturday night, the adults sat in our carved out snow living room and chatted about the day’s adventures.
At 11pm our conversation was interrupted by a sound from high up in the mountains that crackled like rolling thunder for over 5 seconds…something very large, heavy and hard broke loose up there and crashed down the mountain…this was no mere avalanche…it sounded as if half the glacier had broken off.
A good reminder for us to be ever vigilant out there and to take the mountains seriously every time we go out.
UPDATE – 04/16/12: I just got this wonderful message from Jason Gadd regarding this weekend’s trip up in the mountains:
“HI Jody – Thanks for having us. Ben said that Saturday was one of the best days of his life! It was pretty great.”
Our Tour of North Shore Rescue’s Operations Centre
What a special treat. Thanks to Connie DeBoer of North Shore Rescue for arranging for the Scouts to have a special tour of North Shore Rescue’s Operations Centre tonight! The Scouts enjoyed the special honour of being allowed into “The Embassy” (NSR’s command centre). After the tour we were scheduled to stay and watch the team during a triage and stretcher rescue training session. Unfortunately for us, however, the tour was cut short when the team received a “call out”. No practice tonight! Time for the real thing! Everyone there, including Connie (a team member herself) had to respond to the rescue call and so we had to get out of the team’s way and let them do their job.
Thanks again, Connie, and all the other team members for giving the Scouts a really special experience tonight!