Author Archives: Scouter Jody

Joffre Lakes Winter Camp I

January 18-20, 2013

Our first trip to Joffre Lakes Provincial Park for the year.

We have four new Scouts to introduce to winter camping.

Let’s see how they did….

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Garibaldi Provincial Park Camp II

December 8-9, 2012

Well, let’s try an all new format for this blog post!

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Press the left and right arrows to change pictures (or click on the pictures themselves to go to the next one).  You can click on the “X” in the upper left corner (or anywhere in the white space) to return to the blog post.

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2012 Remembrance Day Parade & Ceremony

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2012 Investiture Ceremony on the Chief

This year we held our Investiture Ceremony of our two new Scouts on the second peak of the Stawamus Chief!

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Before the two new Scouts could be called forward for investiture in our Troop, we first had to perform a ceremony with their parents.You might like this one….

We call it “Busting the Bubblewrap”.

With their sons at their sides holding the flags, I asked the parents if they were prepared for their sons to join our Troop.  I told them that they would have to acknowledge their acceptance of the challenges that such membership would entail for for their boys.  When they responded in the affirmative, I called upon the senior Patrol Leader to “present the bubblewrap”.  He put an 8 inch square piece of bubblewrap (1 inch sized bubbles) at the feet of each parent.  I then called upon the parents to “Bust the Bubblewrap” to signal their willingness for their boys to become Mountaineer Scouts.  The two parents then stomped out every bubble at their feet.  It was hilarious and the Scouts and parents loved it.

Thanks Robin and Jay for being real sports!
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Busting the Bubblewrap!

Video:

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Here’s the scrambling section of the Stawamus Chief hike recorded on a head-mounted GoPro camera: 

And here’s some video taken from the summit of the Second Peak of the Chief with my Nikon P7700:

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Garibaldi Provincial Park Camp I

October 19-21, 2012:

We hiked 7.5 kms. (3,500 ft. elevation gain) up into the alpine region of Garibaldi Provincial Park (Taylor Meadows Campground, 5,250 ft.) on Friday in the late autumn sunshine.

Just as we were getting ready to go to bed on Friday night the first snow flakes of the year began to fall.

We woke up to discover that over four inches of powder snow had accumulated on our tents.

Here’s the story of our weekend attempt to climb Black Tusk and practice glacial travel on Helm Glacier.

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Cheakamus Lake Backpacking Camp

September 29 & 30, 2012:

For our first camp of the year we backpacked into Cheakamus Lake just south of Whistler, B.C.

The lake lies in the valley south of the Spearhead Range (including Whistler Mountain) and north of Garibaldi Provincial Park.

Park Rangers told us that there is now a resident pack of wolves up in the alpine region of Singing Pass and the Spearhead Range.  One day we’ll have to head up there and maybe get to see them for ourselves.

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CFB Comox – Base Tour & Change of Command Ceremony

August 8 & 9, 2012

On August 8th, our group was invited for a private tour of Canadian Forces Base (CFBComox.

On August 9th we were again guests of CFB Comox for the Change of Command Ceremony for 407 Long Range Patrol (“Demon”) Squadron (Canada’s top anti-submarine warfare squadron):

http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/19w-19e/sqns-escs/page-eng.asp?id=522

During the tour, we spent over an hour inside a  CP-140 Aurora (there are no photos from most of the tour itself due
to security restrictions – photography is forbidden on the flight line):

http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/v2/equip/cp140/index-eng.asp

Also stationed at CFB Comox is 442 Search & Rescue Squadron:

http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/19w-19e/sqns-escs/page-eng.asp?id=559

Here are some of the highlights of this special event:

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Alpine Club of Canada Trip – Rogers Pass & The Bugaboos

“Sharpening The Saw”

Leaders Need to Have Some Fun Too!  –  July 29-August 4, 2012:

A week ago, I attended the Alpine Club of Canada, Vancouver Section’s trip to Rogers Pass & the Bugaboos for some hiking, scrambling and climbing.  Here are some of the highlights from that trip:

Note:  Click on a picture to start a full screen carousel carousel slide show of the pictures with captions.

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A shakey cam 360 view of the area surrounding the ACC’s Asulkan Hut located at 6,900 feet at the south end of Rogers Pass, B.C.

The Bugaboos from Eastpost Spire from B Jody Lotzkar on Vimeo.

A shakey cam 360 of the Bugaboos taken from near the top of Eastpost Spire.

Medi-Vac in the Bugaboos from B Jody Lotzkar on Vimeo.

The B.C. Ambulance Service airlifted one of our team-mates out of the Bugaboos (from the landing pad beside the Conrad Kain Hut) after she was stricken with a perforated appendix (she collapsed with crippling abdominal pains just before dinner after suffering stomach flu-like symptoms for 24 hours).

Our Year-end BBQ & Rock Climbing Party

We held our year-end BBQ at Whytecliff Park and got our first try at climbing at our new home crag (only about a kilometre from our meeting hall).  We dubbed the crag the “Royal Flush” (i.e., “WC” for Whytecliff and the bottom is a bowl that partially fills and empties with water during the day).  The Scouts have come a long way since their first try at rock climbing a few weeks ago!

Special thanks to Scout Mom, Helen, for organizing the BBQ party!

On behalf of myself and all of the Scouts, I say, “Thank You” to all of the parents for having the courage to let us have such a wonderful first year adventure as “Mountaineer Scouts”!

Now… what should we plan for next year and how are we going to top this year?  Well, I might just have a few ideas……

Climb High!

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Mount Matier – Sunday, June 10, 2012

Leaders Need to Sharpen Their Skillz Too! (Part 2*)

Scouter Jody first learned his mountaineering skills during the Ford and Carter administrations.  Suffice to say, retraining was high on his list of priorities for the year!

Accordingly, he applied for and was accepted into the Alpine Club of Canada, Vancouver Section’s coveted annual Basic Mountaineering (BM1) training program:

Weekend 1 – May 26-27….Rock Climbing at Smoke Bluffs, Squamish.
Weekend 2 – June 2-3……Glacier Travel and Safety on Mount Seymour, North Vancouver.
Weekend 3 – June 9-10….Climb Mt. Matier (9,131 ft/2,783 m), Joffre Lakes Provincial Park (40 km. NE of Pemberton).

Here are some of photos and stories from the course’s final challenge – climb Mt. Matier:

*See this link for Part 1.

Nearing the summit ridge on Mt. Matier (9,131 ft/ 2,783 m) in Joffre Lakes Provincial Park on Sunday morning
with the Alpine Club of Canada, Vancouver Section.

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As we ascended the Northeast ridge of Matier we got a striking view of her sister peak, Joffre (8,927 ft/ 2,721 m) rising out of the clouds behind us.
All of the great peaks for miles in every direction around us appeared as islands scattered across a sea of clouds.

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Earning every step on the way up.
Falling chunks of dislodged ice would fly past us from above and then disappear quietly into the soft blanket of cloud hiding the Matier and Anniversary glaciers far below (one chunk the size of a football hit me in the shoulder and partially spun me around – it was comforting to be wearing a helmet).  Naturally, we were on the “don’t fall” (or drop anything) plan that morning.

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Looking east along the summit ridge.
Photo credit: Gillian P.

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Looking west along the summit ridge.
Photo credit: Gillian P.

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Climbing rope-mate John takes a moment at 9,000 ft. to enjoy the stunning view before we descend back down into the clouds.
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There was little time to enjoy the moment, however, when we began hearing the roar of avalanches in the mountains below us.
As we were ascending, the sun had been cooking the slopes below through the fading morning cloud.
Once we descended far enough we discovered that our ascent route on the north side of the valley had been wiped out by avalanches and was no longer safe to use. By then, the south side of the valley had also begun continuously avalanching.
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Ultimately, the decision was made to sit out the afternoon in a safe spot on an elevated rock bluff in the middle of the Anniversary Glacier and wait for at least five hours for the sun to go down and the north slope to harden up before finishing the journey back to our camp (which we could see about 3 kms. below us). It took a bit of ingenuity to devise snow melting “stills” to supply the team with the one necessity that we had all pretty much long depleted. Once we got the water production underway there was nothing to do but lay back and enjoy each other’s company during an enforced afternoon on the “beach” while we watched nature’s show of force as avalanche after avalanche crashed down the slopes on both sides of us.

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Marooned in the middle of  “Avalanche Alley”.
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♫  “Avalanches to the left of me…avalanches to the right. Here I am: stuck in the middle with you.”  ♫

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Chillin’ in the middle of a giant reflector oven and enjoying the company of a great group of guys and gals!
Nothing left to do but hydrate and wait for the sun to go down (and, no, I didn’t burn my nose).
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Once we felt the north slope was sufficiently firm, we double-timed it across the debris fields one rope team at a time.
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It was a long day…
We had an “alpine start” at 3:30 am and did not get back to our camp at 5,400 ft. until after 8 pm.
We quickly packed up and began the long hike down the mountain and out to the cars by 9 pm.
Hiking through the dark with headlamps we reached the cars well after 11 pm and then began the 3 hour drive back to Vancouver.
I didn’t get to bed until 3:30 am.  Tired, sore and happy.

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Here’s the last two teams making their way through the north side of “Avalanche Alley” as the sun is sets on Matier.
Use the size of the two rope teams going through the avalanche debris fields to judge the scale of the area.

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Here’s a picture of Matier that I took after our last rope team crossed from the top of that rock formation in the middle of the glacier through the avalanche debris fields to safe ground (where I’m standing). By sitting tight for the afternoon we were acting at the maximum level of caution.
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Many other groups would have opted to take their chances and make a run through the hazard zone.
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There’s an old saying:
“There are many bold climbers and there are many old climbers but there are only a few old, bold climbers.”
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Play safe and Be Prepared!

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