Latest News

This page contains quick news items, and gives the most up-to-date information on our whereabouts.

When? What's up?
April 1st, 2005 Eric's back at work too... this was the last milestone in our return to civilization. We'll try to keep updating the website until we complete all planned pages, but don't hold your breath... With both of us working full time, and using any free time and weekends to climb, sitting at the computer to work on our site won't be high on our list of priorities.
March 07, 2005 Lucie's first day at work in 786 days...
February 27, 2005 This is it... we just moved into a rental duplex in Los Alamos. The bus is parked right here at the curb for now; we just cannot find the courage to move it out of sight.
February 7, 2005

As I am writing this, we are still living full-time in our bus, but our primary focus has shifted to finding full time employment. We haven't had that much luck so far but we do have several good leads, so we are hopeful. We should be back to a "normal" life soon. In the meantime, we try to find whatever ice we can in Colorado.

December 2004 Early December, Lucie is busy with job interviews. We also spend quite a bit of time trying to locate a reasonably priced appartment/house to rent, just in case the interviews work out... We spend the rest of our time visiting friends we have not seen in a while. We then fly to France on December 9 and spend the next four weeks visiting our family. It's a long overdue visit as we have not seen them in quite a long time!
November 26, 2004 THE END! Today, we are leaving Cochise and driving back to Santa Fe. This, the 686th day of our trip, is also the last real day on the road... Tonight, we'll back in Santa Fe and start to shift our focus on finding a place to live, and jobs. As much as I like driving the bus on the open road, today we're feeling sick about it...
November 20, 2004 After climbing Beeline (a classic 5.9 crack) and a new line just around the corner from it (about 5.10c) yesterday, we finally got on Days of Future Passed today. It'd been on our list for a while but somehow we never got around to it during our previous stays at the Stronghold. It lived up to its reputation of a classic and runout moderate... the top two pitches are severely runout out 5.8/5.9 terrain.
November 18, 2004 The weather has been gorgeous the last few days. We've climbed a number of easy routes that we had done in the past (Beeline, The Wasteland), and today, are enjoying the spring-like temperatures in the sun around the bus. The camping here is fabulous (and free if you know where to look).
November 15, 2004

Arrived at the Cochise Stronghold today (east side). Hoping to get better weather here. Our friends Gary and Lynn Clark are here as well, their first stop on their road trip.

November 13, 2004

Partial update: Hey, it's our second update in two weeks! Cannot say we're not trying. We're still in Prescott. We've had a lot of rain recently so we have not done that much climbing. After one route on Granite Mountain two weeks ago, we climbed The Mace (in Sedona), an exceptional route up a colorful sandstone tower. More rain after that, then yesterday we climbed at King Dome, a remote friction climbing crag in the mountains south of Prescott.

It's raining again now. In two days, we're headed further south to the Cochise Stronghold, a great massif of granite domes southeast of Tucson. We've climbed there several times before, but we really like the place and have several good routes yet to do. Besides, there aren't that many good places to rock climb at this time of the year!

We spent a fair fraction of the rainy days here in Prescott looking for jobs... We are also going back to Europe for the holidays. It's been a long time since we've seen our families.

New pages: we finished a group of 5 pages about one of the great little gems of north-American cragging: Lover's Leap. We spent about three weeks there last spring and enjoyed that area tremendously. Check out the main page (overview of the Leap as well as other areas nearby: Eagle Cliff, Sugarloaf, and Calaveras Dome), and four more pages about the East Wall, the Main and West Walls, the Lower Buttress, and the Hogwild.

November 11, 2004 Better weather yesterday so the rock must have had a chance to dry. We got up early to go climb on Granite Mountain again, only to find cold, humid weather and a cover of high clouds. Too cold for Granite mountain. Instead, we made the long drive to King Dome, a remote granite knob in the mountains south of Prescott with a very good selection of slab climbs. Climbed four lines there, finding them sustained, solid at the grade, and a bit heady. The climbing involves a combination of smears and tiny edges up relatively steep walls. Most lines are bolted. Turned into a fun day!
November 9, 2004 We're still in Prescott, AZ. We kind of enjoy the place but the weather has been rainy and cold most of the time. We're waiting for another chance to go back to Granite Mountain... In the meantime, we enjoy the beautiful, brand-new library at Prescott College (free WiFi and all!), mostly writing e-mails and surfing the web. Every day, we cannot resist checking out the live-the-vision message board for ice conditions in Canada: it's an exceptional start to the season again, and we're missing it! (we've exhausted our 6-month allowance for travel outside the US... one of the great benefits of Permanent Residence).
November 5, 2004 We drove to Sedona to climb The Mace, the most popular desert tower climb in the area. Had a great day! The climb consists mostly of technical chimneying and flared cracks and finishes with a unique step-across move... try to ignore the 4ft wide by 140ft deep chimney below your feet!
November 4, 2004 Partial update: we've reworked the road map as it was getting too crowded, and after deciding against going to Alaska. The new map is split into two, to better highlight our route as it overlapped itself quite a bit from one year to the next. We've finally finished the page about Inti Watana, a great 12-pitch route on Mt Wilson at Red Rocks.
November 3, 2004 Disaster has struck. How the American people could have reelected (I should say _elected) the worst president in the history of the USA is beyond comprehension. Documented lies and fabrications leading to the deaths of hundreds of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis not only were not enough to get him impeached, but he's back for another term! But hey, as long as he doesn't fuck his interns...
October 31, 2004 Climbed Reunion, via the first two pitches of Said and Done, on Granite Mountain. I think this is the best 5.10 combination on the wall. The finger crack pitch on Reunion is amazing. If you don't believe me about sandbagged ratings at this crag, go do the second pitch of Said and Done: it's rated 5.9+...
October 28, 2004 Just arrived in Prescott, AZ, home of the beautiful Granite Mountain. This cliff was once known as one of the five best crags in the country (I think it still is). The location, scenery, and rock quality are all outstanding. Be warned that this is a staunchly traditional area, with a long approach, committing routes, some runouts, and the most consistently sandbagged ratings anywhere.
October 24,2004 Climbed Dream of Wild Turkey again, but via The Gobbler variation. This combination is definitely one of our two favorite routes on Black Velvet Wall (the other one being Yellow Brick Road). This route has it all: slab, crack, chimney, and steep face. Highly recommended. We found the crux move on the third pitch of the Gobbler to be solid 5.10b/c... maybe some holds broke off?
October 23, 2004 Back at Red Rocks again. Lucie led the amazing Wholesome Fullback, in Black Velvet Canyon.
October 21-22, 2004 Just spent 24 hours at the Flying-J truck stop in Vegas to take advantage of their affordable high-speed internet. Spent the day networking with former colleagues to explore job opportunities. Noisiest place we've ever spent the night at. We were well away from the trucks (who leave their engines running all night... should be a law against that) but close to the pumps... where the sound system kept playing music all night.
October 20, 2004 A huge weather system is passing through. It's been cold, rainy, and extremely windy for the last 3 days. We've temporarily left the 13-Mile Campground to save days off the strictly enforced 14-day limit. We're spending our time on BLM land near the Valley of Fire State Park, mostly working on our website.
October 12, 2004 We're at Red Rocks again. Not so many classic routes we haven't already done here but we like the place so much! We're still finding a few lesser known gems and also repeating some of the better classics. Temperatures are still too hot to climb in the sun.
October 7, 2004 I guess we got used to it... we just left Yosemite today, after over 3 weeks! We did a few of the long routes still on our list, and a bit of cragging. Also, after over 21 months on the road, we finally have to start thinking about going back to work. We're spending some of our time getting back in touch with former colleagues. Hopefully we'll find something soon...
September 19, 2004 After spending a couple of days in Tuolumne Meadows, we head toward the Valley. We had avoided it so far on this trip because of the crowds and other hassles in Yosemite. Not sure how long we'll last here... kind of hate the place, really. It is so commercialized. We're camping at the Pines... we call it the "rat hole": dark, dirty, incredibly crowded, and totally overcome with campfire smoke every night. Lovely.
September 8-12, 2004 We're back at City of Rocks. I guess we've grown to like the place after all... It has something to do with the amazing campsite we've used (#77): incredible views of the valleys to the west and gorgeous sunsets from the comfort of the bus!
September 7, 2004 We drove to the Sawtooths two days ago. We got up early this morning to hike up to the Elephant's Perch. We had spent the better part of yesterday preparing the gear. This morning though, temperatures are frigid! It's -3°C at 8 AM! Climbing north-facing routes a few thousand feet higher does not seem that appealing anymore. Scrap the plan, unpack the gear, and drive away...
August 27 - September 3, 2004 Cragging at City of Rocks, Idaho. We've never been here before. The location is gorgeous and the camping outstanding. At first, we weren't that impressed with the climbing though: mostly short climbs on small domes, and not that many really striking natural lines. Many of the routes looked uninspiring to us. There is a good selection of lines in the 5.7 to 5.8 range, but not as many in the higher grades, particularly between 5.9 and easy 5.11, the grade we usually enjoy most.
August 26, 2004 On our way to City of Rocks, Idaho. Stopped in Helena, MT where we had to break the bank and get four new tires for the rear axle of the bus ($1300! They're big...). We had hoped to stretch the old ones to the end of the trip but they were getting really bald.
August 25, 2004 We're leaving the Rockies. Seems like summer ended abruptly five days ago (as we were to find out later, it really did). Temperatures suddenly dropped on August 20 and it's been raining on and off in the five days (and snowing on the high peaks). We think the season is over. We've lost hope that the North Face ice routes will get back in shape before the winter: after weeks of warm weather and severe rock fall, they are now receiving large amounts of snow and are starting to avalanche... too bad. Cannot really complain though, as we enjoyed exceptional conditions on the long alpine rock routes.
August 19, 2004 Climbed the Grand Sentinel, an amazing quartzite spire just below Mount Temple. We were hoping to try both the Regular Route and "Cardiac Arete" but it started rained hard right as we finished the rappels off the Regular Route.
August 14, 2004 Climbed the East Ridge of Mount Temple, in a day. A very enjoyable climb! Lots of variety, fun route finding, a few good pitches of 5th class, and a spectacular glacier ridge finish! The descent down the casual tourist trail makes it a fairly easy day too.
August 12, 2004 After a bit of rest, we move to Lake Louise. The weather is expected to hold for a few more days so we're planning to attempt the East Ridge of Mt Temple.
August 10, 2004 Climbed the striking Northwest Ridge of Mount Sir Donald, car to car in a long day. Cannot say we really enjoyed that climb so much: the ridge is 2500 vertical feet of pretty monotonous class 4 climbing. The rock is good but the climbing lacks variety, and the ridge is not quite as sharp as it looks from the road. The descent is long and complex. We were pretty beat by the time we reached the car!
August 8, 2004 The weather is finally supposed to improve, starting tomorrow. We spend the morning at the "beach" along Lake Windermere, watching a precision landing contest for para-gliders and hang-gliders. One of the targets is in the water, which makes for interesting "landings". By early afternoon, we're on the road to Golden and Glacier National Park, hoping to climb Mount Sir Donald in a couple of days.
August 6, 2004 Partial update: And you thought we had given up! Still wayyy behind but trying to catch up. Three new ice climbing pages: the complete Weeping Wall by linking Central Pillar and Teardrop, Right Hand - also on the Weeping Wall, and Shades of Beauty and Memorial Falls in the Beauty Creek drainage. Nine new rock climbing pages on Red Rocks: Geronimo, Y2K, Frogland, Lotta Balls, Whiskey Peak cragging, Red Zinger & Beulah's Book, Triassic Sands, The Prince of Darkness, Yellow Brick Road and Resolution Arete. Also, we've added mini area guides to a couple of areas: Bishop, and Leavenworth. They include pointers about the best camping, food joints, stores, and the like around those towns.
July 29 - August 2, 2004 We're back in the Bugaboos with four more days of food, hoping to climb a few of the more technical routes. We climb Surf's Up and Sunshine Crack on Snowpatch, and Paddle Flake Direct on Crescent Spire.
July 27-28, 2004 We're out of food so we go back down to town for a couple of days, leaving all our gear at camp.
July 22-26, 2004 After a few days waiting for a favorable forecast, we're finally in the Bugs! Beautiful place. We camp for four nights at Applebee and climb the North-East Ridge of Bugaboo Spire, the West Ridge of Pigeon Spire, and Mac Tech Arete on Crescent Spire. While we're up there, we've put the bus in a cheap storage lot.
July 17, 2004 Amazingly, the weather has been remarkably sunny and very hot the last few days. Way too warm for any North Face snow and ice route. We decide to leave Canmore to go check out the Bugaboos. We've never been there before so it should be a treat, assuming the weather cooperates... We first need to find a place to store the bus for a few days at a time near Radium or Invermere.
July 15, 2004 Climbed Super Brewer, the combination of two long routes on Castle Peak. "Super Brewer" links "Ultra Brewer" (5.9, 9p) with "Brewer Buttress" (5.6, 13p), for a great 22-pitch direct line to the summit. And - once above the nightmarish first 4 pitches - the rock is good and there's some really enjoyable climbing!
July 12, 2004 Climbed the Gmoser Route, a long, 17-pitch 5.8 line on Mount Louis, near Banff. An impressive, craggy peak but the rock leaves something to be desired... world class choss.
July 6, 2004 Took advantage of a break in the weather to go climb Direttissima on Yamnuska (5.8, 9 pitches). The rocks is what it is (i.e. not so great), but it's fun to be climbing again anyway. Reminds us a lot of alpine climbing in the Dolomites. The weather turns sour again as we reach the summit...
July 4, 2004 We're back in Canmore! Mixed feelings... it feels a lot like home, but the town is a lot more overcome with tourists than in the winter... and the weather SUCKS. At least Lucie gets to go to Yoga and we go say Hi to our former roommates.
July 2, 2004 We stop in Nelson, BC for most of the day. Pretty cool town. It is quite touristy, but still feels real. Too bad there isn't that much climbing nearby.
July 1, 2004 Crossing into Canada. It started raining 100 meters south of the border... no kidding. We were delayed a couple of hours for an extremely thorough search and some undeserved accusations...
June 30, 2004 We are on our way to Canada. We're paying our friends at Omega Pacific in Spokane a quick visit along the way. They've just moved into a much larger building where the company is concentrating all activities (they just abandoned their prison labor program). They got us some more of their excellent ice screws!
June 27, 2004 Climbed Mount Thielsen, just north of Crater Lake. This is a really good looking volcanic plug with a pointy summit. Impressive looking from all angles. The climb is a steep hike that ends with 50 meters of class 4 scrambling to reach the top.
June 26,2004 Stopped at Crater Lake National Park on our way North to Mt Thielsen. We were expecting a disappointing tourist trap, but Crater Lake is really a uniquely impressive place. The deep blue lake is surrounded by very steep cliffs and scree slopes that form the rim of the Caldera.
June 25, 2004 Climbed Mount Mac Laughlin. Just a hike really, but a nice summit; we'd seen it from Shasta so we had to climb it!
June 20-21, 2004 Climbed Mount Shasta via the West Face Couloir, with a high camp at Hidden Valley. Technically easy (40° snow) but pretty physical; the couloir on day 2 is 4000 vertical feet of 30-40° snow in one long continuous slope... thought it would never end. Then it's another thousand feet to the summit over mixed rocks and snow. Loooong glissades back to camp! A fun route.
June 17, 2004 Hiked up Lassen Peak, in Lassen Volcanic National Monument. Fun standing glissades on the way down!
June 13, 2004 Time to move on... We're leaving Lover's Leap, direction Redding, CA, to climb a few minor volcanoes as warm-ups for Canada. We stop in Sacramento for a couple of nights along the way: dinner and a movie! (actually two movies...).
June 6, 2004 We're still at the Leap. We've pretty much climbed all the classic moderates here and are starting to run out of things to do. It is also getting really hot. We ordered new ropes; they are supposed to be delivered in Lake Tahoe this coming week so we gotta stick around. We considered going to Yosemite for a few days but the campgrounds are all booked... that place is such a hassle. Also went to Calaveras Dome yesterday to see if we could climb there... too hot!
May 20, 2004 Just arrived at Lover's Leap. We were here once before (in 1999) to climb the classic Traveler's Buttress. We had liked the rock and the feeling of the place so here we are again. The campground is closed because of a pine beetle outbreak. The Forest Service has cut a large number of trees all over the camp, then realized they'd have to have the trees removed (they're everywhere, including across the loop road). Great planning! I guess they all take example on Dubbya. Anyway, we found a good spot on National Forest land just a couple of miles away.
May 19, 2004 Resolution Arete seems to have taken a lot out of us, both physically and mentally. The next few days at RR, we really did not feel motivated to climb very much. Did a couple of short routes but we're just not into it and besides, it is getting way too hot. Time to move on.
May 18, 2004 Partial update: Still trying to catch up... will we ever? Four new pages: Rainbow Serpent, Whiteman Falls, Hydrophobia, and This House of Sky.
May 12, 2004 Finally! We convinced ourselves to climb Resolution Arete, a superclassic 20+ pitch line on Mount Wilson. The route is the longest at Red Rocks, and it reaches the summit of the tallest formation... enough to have us obsessing over it for the last few years.
May 6-9, 2004 Climbing a few classic lines in Black Velvet Canyon: Triassic Sands, The Prince of Darkness and Yellow Brick Road.
May 4, 2004 OK. It's been more than fourteen days since we left Red Rocks so we can... go back! There are still several routes Lucie is eager to lead, and a few more we still have to climb at all.
April 17, 2004 Our time is up at the 13-mile campground (14 days limit... strictly enforced by the local campground "nazis"), so we head back to the Owens River Gorge for more bolt clipping on great rock.
April 4-16 , 2004

Having a great time at Red Rocks again, one of our favorite rock climbing areas in the US.

On a side note, we met two of our readers at RR and spent a very enjoyable evening at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Las Vegas, "Frank and Fina's Cocina" (formerly Alberto's). It's really quite rewarding to hear from people who visit our site. If you see our bus in the climbing area you're at, please stop by and say hello.

April 3, 2004 We're leaving Bishop, direction Red Rocks near Las Vegas, NV. Just a 4 hour drive with a "standard" vehicle. With the bus, it will take most of the day.
April 2, 2004 Partial Update: A new page covers the amazing Ghost and Waiparous areas, with a detailed map of some of the many great climbs there. Four new climb pages cover Lacy Gibbet, Wicked Wanda, and Phantom Falls, all three in the Ghost area, and Professor Falls, the moderate classic of Mount Rundle in the Bow Valley. Ten more pages to go and we'll be up to date...
March 21 , 2004 First day of sport climbing at the Owens River Gorge (this season anyway). We find it pretty hard to get used to rock climbing again! It is sooo different from ice, both mentally and physically... where the hell are my ice tools?
March 19, 2004 Arrive in Bishop, CA. We've dreamed of this more than once during some of the hardest and coldest ice climbing days in Canada! Aaah, warmth!
March 15-18 , 2004

We make the long drive back to California. Spend a day in Boise along the way. Not too impressed with that town.

A side note: one of the things that really struck us, coming back to the US after 4 months in Canada, is the intense (I would say excessive) police presence in the states. In 4 months in the Canmore area, we've seen police patrols a total of 5 times (no kidding!). Back in the states, it is a rare occurrence when we don't see that many or more in a day! Do we really have this much more crime on this side of the border, or is it a manifestation of rampant paranoia? Oh well.

March 14 , 2004

The weather looks good early morning: slightly overcast with a few flurries. We decide to give "Polar Circus" a go. It's Sunday so we're worried about the crowds and decide to go early. Turns out to be a perfect day: cloudy weather, nice climbing, and not another soul on the climb! We're back at the car before dark and drive to the campground at Lake Louise.

Now that we've bagged the obligatory "Polar Circus" - one of the last ice climbs on our list - we're ready for warm rock climbing in sunny California! We've had an amazing time in Canada; one of the trip's highlights, for sure. We'll miss you, Canmore!

March 12-13 , 2004 The weather is really warm. We're waiting for a cloudy day to have a go at "Polar Circus" as it is southwest facing and exposed to avalanches from above. In the meantime, we climb the last line we still had to do on the lower Weeping Wall: Right Hand.
March 11 , 2004 Climb Left Hand on the Lower Weeping Wall. By the time we're back at the base, it's like the beach (warm and sunny)!
March 10 , 2004 After a stop in Canmore for more yoga, we drive back to the Icefields Parkway.
March 8-9 , 2004 In Calgary, having the bus fixed. Found a cool, small shop specialized in busses. They let us do some of the work ourselves! Refreshing! We change one of the leveling valves and install better drains on the compressed air tanks to try and minimize water accumulation in the air system. Should help.
March 7 , 2004 We're driving back to Lake Louise. We're out of water and we're dreaming of a hot shower. The bus is still losing air pressure...The weather forecast looks awful: snow and very warm weather are announced for the next two days. It does not look like we'll be able to climb anything for a while, so we decide to drive to Calgary to have the bus fixed.
March 6 , 2004 After a well deserved rest day , we climb Shades of Beauty and Memorial Falls, near the Columbia Icefields. Nice approach along the beautiful canyon of aptly named "Beauty Creek". Good climbing even though it is really cold!
March 4 , 2004 Climb Central Pillar and Teardrop, one of the best complete lines up the Lower and Upper Weeping Wall. When we started the day, we did not intend to do the link-up, but we finished the Lower Wall early, so... A great day! Seven pitches of stellar climbing, all between WI4 and WI6... and all that 10 minutes from the road!
March 3 , 2004 There are still a couple of climbs we want to do along the Icefields Parkway, so we're heading north. Passed Lake Louise, the bus starts losing air pressure... likely from ice in the system (both the brakes and the suspension depend on it). We manage to make it to the "Big Bend" where we'll be spending the next few nights.
Feb. 29 - March 2, 2004 It's time to hit the road again. We're moving out of the cozy house in Canmore and move back to the bus. It takes us a couple of days to get the bus ready. In the meantime, we're still enjoying the civilized lifestyle - the daily yoga, coffee shop, and shower.
February 27, 2004 We climb "Nemesis", another of the mega-classics in the Canadian Rockies. After a failed attempt the day before (it was snowing and the ceiling was really low), we're going for it. A long approach (over two hours on snow shoes) and the steepest climb we've ever seen - it's a long hard day!
February 23, 2004 Wanted to climb "Candlestick Maker", in the South Ghost, but found ourselves worried about a large snow pillow above the route... bad vibes. So gave up on that and climbed This House of Sky, a long easy climb in the North Ghost instead.
February 20, 2004 After a failed attempt yesterday, trying to reach the climb from the south (found the road into the North Ghost impassable), we are back from the other side. The drive into Waiparous Creek is easy. After a 2 1/4 hour approach through great scenery, we climb Hydrophobia, a legendary, sustained, and beautiful line. A great day!
February 15, 2004 Went to Kananaskis country to climb Whiteman Falls, a famous WI6, which we found a bit disappointing.
February 13, 2004 Picked the right date to climb Aquarius and Rainbow Serpent, the most incredible WI6 pillar anywhere. The location alone is something: perched in the Recital Hall, a hanging rock amphitheatre in the South Ghost.
February 11, 2004 Been here for 3 months and still have not climbed Professor Falls, the Mount Rundle classic near Banff. Today it is. We have the climb to ourselves and find it in pretty good conditions.
February 9, 2004 Tried to drive into the Waiparous to attempt the Ice Funnel, but found the first creek crossing flooded and only partially frozen... Reverted to the Ghost instead and climbed Phantom Falls, a rarely formed climb near This House of Sky.
February 8, 2004 An easy day out, climbing Wicked Wanda, in the South Ghost.
February 5, 2004 Had a very long day in the South Ghost. Climbed Lacy Gibbet, and found the approach much longer than advertised: 3 hours!
February 3, 2004 Approached Kemosabe in the Waiparous area but found the climb drenched. No climbing but a nice long snowshoe hike!
Jan. 28 - Feb. 2, 2004 It's been snowing again so we had a forced break from the ice. Went skiing at Lake Louise for a day... first time on lift-serviced slopes in at least 5 years!
Jan. 26-27, 2004 Went to the Columbia River valley to check out the climbs there. Top-roped "Raven's Call" the first day (a wicked looking WI5 pillar), then climbed Gibraltar Wall the next. Spent the night in a motel in Invermere, BC.
January 23, 2004 The fu&#!@ jeep is broken down again: this time it's the drive shaft... Fortunately easy to replace, but not cheap.
January 21, 2004 Another try at Kitty Hawk. This time we drive straight from Canmore in the morning (2 hours). And we make it before anyone else! We've finally bagged it. A great climb.
January 20, 2004 Went to the Kananaskis again to check out "R&D", a classic WI4 pitch we had given up on as our first climb in the area due to avalanche danger in November. We forgot the snowshoes and ended up post-holing thigh-deep for over an hour and a half in awful crusted, bottomless snow before giving up, disgusted, not halfway to the climb.
January 18, 2004 Went to Lake Louise for the annual ice carving competition; it's amazing what they can sculpt in that stuff! Spent the evening ice-skating on the lake.
January 16-17, 2004 We're climbing along the David Thompson highway for two days again, with a night at the Shunda Creek Hostel, in Nordegg, AB. We climb Five Seven Zero on the 16th. The second day, we get scooped for the approach to Kitty Hawk (this climb is becoming our Nemesis), and climb Elliot Left-Hand Gully instead.
January 14, 2004 Back to field again. Intended to climb "Superbock", a long WI4 on Mount Stephen, but it was not formed. Climbed Guiness Gully instead, yet another of the beer climbs.
January 12, 2004 Climbed Pilsner Pillar, another of the "Beer climbs", near Field, BC.
January 11, 2004 Roadtrip milestone: this is the anniversary of our departure! Wow! One year on the road already... we could get used to this. That's worth a drink ! Or two ! Or ... OK! That's enough!
January 9-10, 2004 Back to the South Ghost again. Got stuck in snow drifts on the drive in... shoveling. Climbed Malignant Mushroom on the 9th, a beautiful but very wet WI5 pillar. Camped for the night. Next morning checked out Wicked Wanda but found it so wet we did not even start it. Got soaked enough the day before...
January 7, 2004 The arctic front is on its way out. Went back to the South Ghost, hoping to climb Weathering Heights. The approach was rather tiring due to the rotten snowpack (crust and depth hoar). The climb was not in (bottom third had no ice). It was still brutally cold in that valley. We started a few meters up Anorexia Nervosa, another climb across the gully, before bailing off with frozen fingers and toes.
January 5, 2004

Website update: Several more pages on ice climbs in the area, including the mega-classics Bourgeau Left and The Sorcerer.

New pages: Ice Climbing in the Canadian Rockies (modified), Lake Louise (modified), Murchison Falls, Nothing but the Breast, Bourgeau Left, Valley of the Birds, The Sorcerer.

December 30, 2003 One more failed trip (not turning into a habit we hope); this time to the South Ghost. Arctic temperatures and stiff winds turned us back (wind-chill factor must have been -40C or so).
Dec. 25-26, 2003 Drove up to the David Thompson highway again, hoping to climb the classic WI5 Kitty Hawk, on Mount Elliot. Spent the night at the Shunda Creek hostel near Nordegg but by that evening, Eric was sick with the flu... Aaargh!
Dec. 21-22, 2003 Second trip into the Ghost. This time for two days. Got nicely stuck on the way in this time (45 minutes of digging...). Climbed The Eagle the first day, a beautiful pillar we had scoped on our last trip in the Valley of the birds, and The Sorcerer the next day, the most incredible WI5 line anywhere. Great ice on both.
December 19, 2003 Drove up to Bow Lake to attempt "Uli's Revenge", a good-looking WI5 flow in an incredible setting just below the Wapta Icefield, near the well known "Bow Falls". Found large snow cornice above the climb. Did not attempt it (part of the same cornice, further left, broke off and exploded down as we were watching!).
December 18, 2003

Website update: We're still not up to date but we've got several new pages about ice climbing! Check out our main page for Canadian ice.

New pages: Ice Climbing in the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise, Bourgeau Right, Grotto Canyon, Evans-Thomas Creek, Beer Climbs.

December 16, 2003 Went into the famed Ghost Valley for the first time. The trip into the valley is a bit long (took us 2 hours) but wasn't as bad as expected. We got all the way to the Valley of the Birds without stopping for shoveling once, thanks to chains on all 4 wheels. Climbed Yellow Bird (WI4, 90 meters) and Albatross (WI3, 100 meters).
December 14, 2003 Went back to Sunshine to climb Bourgeau Left (WI5, 200 meters). Incredible climb! Classic. A great day.
Dec. 11-13, 2003 The fu$%&!@ Jeep is kaput again! Stuck two days while waiting for parts to replace the clutch master cylinder.
December 9-10, 2003 Stayed at the Shunda Creek Hostel near Nordegg, AB on the David Thompson Highway (Hwy 11). Drove around and checked out several climbs along Hwy 11 and the parkway. Climbed Nothing but the Breast (WI4+, 150 meters).
December 8, 2003 Climbed Murchison Falls (WI4+, 240 meters), a classic waterfall located along the Icefields Parkway just south of the Saskatchewan River Crossing.
December 6, 2003 Went back to Lake Louise to climb Louise Falls (WI4+, 110 meters). The pillar was in good shape this time and we had the climb to ourselves!
December 3, 2003 Cragging day at Haffner Creek Canyon. Climbed a couple of WI4 pillars and watched other climbers hang-dog up bolted mixed lines... We will be back to try them.
December 2, 2003 Hiked up to Johnston Canyon, north of Banff. Unfortunately, the creek was not frozen so we could not access the upper falls. They look well worth climbing though so we'll be back.
December 1, 2003

Website update: We're almost up-to-date. We hope to post another update with several pages of ice climbing soon.

New pages: Snow Creek Wall, Squamish, Mount Daniel, Frenchman Coulee, Washington to Canmore.

Nov. 24-30, 2003 Lucie got hit in the knee by a 20lb chunk of ice while belaying a third pitch above Carlsberg Column. She's OK but could barely walk out. Her knee is keeping her from climbing so we're taking the time to catch up with the website.
November 23, 2003 Climbed Carlsberg Column (WI5, 90 meters), one of the "Beer Climbs" near Field.
November 21, 2003 Climbed Snowline (WI4, 100 meters) and 2 Low 4 Zero (WI3 R, 90 meters) in the Evan-Thomas creek area. More than 60cm of fresh snow made the approach a bit slow.
November 20, 2003 Climbed His and Hers, two short WI4 pillars in Grotto Canyon, near Canmore. Also top-roped a fun mixed route just right of "His".
November 18, 2003

Website update: Got way behind again with the site. It's snowing hard today, so we got to work: here's a partial update.

New pages: Rock Climbs in the Cascades (modified), Boston Basin, Darrington, Replaced the Links page with a new "Other" page.

November 16, 2003 Climbed Bourgeau Right, WI4, 310 meters (1000 ft) of great plastic ice just above the parking lot of the Sunshine ski area. Mega fun.
November 14, 2003 After more snow and three days of mechanical problems with the Jeep, we're finally climbing ice at Lake Louise! Climbed the first pitch of Louise Falls (WI3) for warm-up, then a fun technical smear just left of it, Lunar Eclipse (WI4, 55 meters, has never formed before, first climbed this year, also known as "Webster's Smear").
November 11, 2003 Got up very early hoping to climb R&D, a classic WI4 ice climb in Kananaskis country, south of Canmore. It has been snowing hard all night though, and when we get to the parking area, it is covered with a foot and a half of fresh powder. Bummer. The climb and the approach are extremely exposed to avalanches from the huge bowl above. No climbing today.
Nov. 7-9, 2003 Two and a half days of continuous mountain movies, presentations, and panel discussions at the Banff Film Festival. It's been great fun! We had seen their "best of" on tour in Santa Fe the last 3 years and loved it, but the real thing is even better.
November 5, 2003 OK! We're set up! Just moved in last night with a really cool couple of locals. We're renting a room in their house. Comfort! The bus just isn't practical in steady sub-freezing temperatures.
Nov. 2-4, 2003 It's way cold up here. We spent three nights on a parking lot in Canmore in temperatures down to -25 Celsius. Everything in the bus is frozen. We're looking for a heated place to stay. The good news is that the ice season is off to a very good start, although there is much more snow than usual for this time of the year...
November 2, 2003 Just arrived in Canmore, AB. Planning to stay at least to the end of the year to climb ice.
October 31, 2003 We have tickets for the Banff Mountain Film festival (a great display of climbing and mountain culture movies). The festival starts on November 7, so we're leaving for Canmore (a much nicer town just 15km east of Banff).
Oct. 19-30, 2003 Spent our time between a bit of city life in Missoula, MT, and unsuccessful climbing at Blodgett Canyon, near Hamilton, just south of Missoula. Blodgett Canyon has several attractive and tall granite spires and buttresses with long traditional routes. Unfortunately, bad route selection on our part, then cold weather kept us from completing any line.
October 23, 2003 Erratum: an attentive reader correctly pointed out that all east and west references were reversed in the North Ridge of Mt. Stuart page. Oops. Fixed it. At least now we know that some people actually read this stuff!
October 15, 2003 Leaving Frenchman Coulee (where it is now cold and raining!) for Spokane, WA. Planning to spend a few days there and visit with our new "sponsor", Omega Pacific. See our "OTHER" page for more detail.
Oct. 9-14, 2003 Cragging at Frenchman Coulee, near Vantage, WA.
Sept. 24-Oct. 6, 2003 Lucie is in France to attend her sister's wedding. See a picture of the happy couple (or click here for a high resolution version). Eric is spending some time at that terrific campground in the Teenaway Valley (29 Pine campground) doing long overdue maintenance on the bus in amazing Indian Summer weather!
Sept. 22, 20003 Driving to Seattle. Lucie is flying out on the 24th.
Sept. 21, 20003 Summited Mount Daniel.
Sept. 19, 20003 Only 4 days left before Lucie has to fly back to France to attend her sister's wedding. We have some unfinished business with Mount Daniel (aborted attempt this spring) so we're driving to Roslyn to bag the peak.
Sept. 17-18, 2003 Cragging around Leavenworth (Icicle Canyon and Outer Space on Snow Creek Wall).
Sept. 16, 20003 Well, it's raining west of the crest now. Leaving the dark side for Leavenworth.
Sept. 15, 20003 We've seen enough rain. We're going back to WA! The weather is good west of the crest so we stop at Index for the afternoon.
Sept. 1-14, 2003 Cragging at Squamish, BC. Weather is excellent the first week we're there and we climb five days straight. Unfortunately, it is now raining every day.
August 29, 2003 Wanted to climb Mt Slesse but everything in BC is closed due to extreme fire danger for at least two weeks... So we're heading to Squamish for some cragging instead, stopping along the way in Bellingham for some Bikram yoga.
August 28, 2003

Website update: we've done it again!! Barely a month since the last one! Eight new pages about rock climbs we've done throughout the Cascades.

New pages: Rock Climbs in the Cascades (modified), Backbone Ridge (Dragontail Peak), North Ridge of Mount Stuart, South Ridge of Ingalls Peak, North Early Winter Spire, Direct East Buttress of South Early Winter Spire, Liberty Crack, Leavenworth.

August 21-28, 2003 Rock climbing on the slabby granite domes near Darrington, WA. Climbed Silent Running and Total Soul on Three O'Clock Rock, and Dreamer on the Green Giant Buttress. The rock is just amazing: very clean gray granite with incredible friction!
August 15-19, 2003 Four-day high camp in Boston Basin. Climbed Sahale Peak, Forbidden Peak, and Sharkfin Tower.
August 12, 2003 Moving to the west side of Washington Pass (Marblemount)... crossing our fingers for good weather!
August 9-10, 2003 Climbed Liberty Crack on Liberty Bell. Fixed the first three pitches yesterday. Jugged the ropes and went for the summit today.
August 6-8, 2003 The weather has turned to cloudy and rainy (cannot complain... haven't seen any rain in weeks!). Waiting for improvement to attempt Liberty Crack.
July 30-Aug. 5, 2003 Climbed three routes on the Early Winter Spires: Northwest Corner and West Face on North Early, and Direct East Buttress on South Early.
July 29, 2003 Taking a break from long approaches; arrived in the Washington Pass area, on the east side of the North Cascades, for some "roadside" cragging.
July 28, 2003

Website update: finally!! It's been 4 months since the last one but we've been busy climbing... sorry! This stuff is a lot of work!

New pages: Bend, Oregon Coast, Portland, Seattle, Snow and Ice Climbs in the Cascades, Monitor Ridge (Mt. St. Helens), Colchuck Glacier (Colchuck Peak), South Side (Mt Hood), Sunshine (Mt. Hood), South Spur (Mt. Adams), Emmons Glacier (Mt. Rainier), Liberty Ridge (Mt. Rainier), North Ridge of Mount Baker, Rock Climbs in the Cascades, South Face of Prusik Peak.

July 23-26, 2003 In the bush again. This time for a multi-day camp near Stuart Pass, as a base to climb the North Ridge of Mount Stuart (in a day), and the South Ridge of Ingalls Peak.
July 21, 2003 Found another beautiful camp! This time in a privately owned but free (!) campground along the Teanaway River, north of Cle Elum.
July 20, 2003 Finally leaving our quiet little camp on National Forest land and the town of Leavenworth. We've been here 24 days! Not a bad place. Heading around the mountains to approach Mt Stuart from the south.
July 15-19, 2003 Getting some rest. Also, we are trying hard to finally bring the website up to date again. Lots of work. The weather is amazing (blue skies almost every day), but unusually hot (well into the 90's).
July 12-14, 2003 Went up to Colchuck Lake again, this time to climb the Backbone Ridge, a very long 5.9 alpine route on Dragontail Peak.
July 6-11, 2003 A mix of rest days and cragging. Climbed at "Pearly Gates" one day (good rock), and climbed Orbit, a reputed 5.9, 8 pitch line on Snow Creek wall (not that good we thought).
July 2-5, 2003 Climbed the South Face of Prusik Peak from a great camp at Lake Viviane.
June 28-29, 2003 Cragging at Castle Rock, Leavenworth.
June 27, 2003 Arrived in Leavenworth, WA, again, land of faux lederhosen and schnitzel.
June 23-26, 2003 Climbed at Skaha the last few days. The weather is wayyyy too hot though (36°C). Can only climb in the shade, but most walls face east so there is no shade! We have to wait for mid afternoon to climb! After a few days of this, we're thoroughly baked and decide to drive back to the Cascades. At least we had a great camp spot right along the lake with beautiful views on the vineyards (free of charge of course).
June 21-22, 2003 Had enough snow and ice and volcano slogging for this season! Our feet hurt just thinking about another one. Time to switch to rock climbing! But our upper bodies are about as tuned as wet noodle. Where can we go to get back in rock climbing shape? Asked around and selected Skaha, a reputed cragging area in south-western Canada, near Penticton, BC. Got searched at the border (of course). Two Canadian customs officers seamed to have good fun inspecting the bus thoroughly. No harm done, hey!
June 18-20, 2003 We're in Bellingham for a few days, a small university town with great yoga studios! If you're ever in Bellingham, stop by the YMCA to take a yoga class from Lauron (great teacher) or if you're in the mood for some heated yoga, try the Bikram Yoga studio on Railroad Avenue.
June 16-17, 2003 Mount Baker (North Ridge).
June 14-15, 2003 Driving to Glacier, WA near Bellingham to climb Mount Baker.
June 11-13, 2003 Drove to Seattle where we spent a few days. Nice to be in town for a while: dinners and movies!
June 11, 2003 Roadtrip milestone! It's been six months since we hit the road!
June 8-9, 2003 Climbing Liberty Ridge.
June 3-5, 2003 Decided to climb Mount Rainier by the Emmons Glacier first as this would be our descent route for Liberty Ridge.
May 31-June 2, 2003 Drove to Mount Rainier National Park. Stopped along the way in Olympia and Tacoma.
May 29-30, 2003 Mount Adams (South Spur).
May 28, 2003 Drove to Trout Lake, WA to climb Mount Adams.
May 26-27, 2003 Mount Hood (Sunshine).
May 22, 2003 Mount Hood (South Side).
May 20-21, 2003 Drove back to Oregon to climb Mount Hood.
May 18-19, 2003 Unsuccessful attempt on Mount Daniel.
May 16-17, 2003 It's snowing! Waiting for the weather to improve ...
May 15, 2003 Drove to Cle Elum to climb Mount Daniel.
May 12-14, 2003 Climbed Colchuck Peak.
May 10, 2003 Cragging in Leavenworth at Castle Rock.
May 8-9, 2003 On the road again... Drove to Leavenworth, WA - the "Bavarian village" of the Cascades.
May 6, 2003 Skied Monitor Ridge on Mount St Helens.
May 3-4, 2003 Back to Portland. Lucie's Dad left for France on the 3rd. After driving him to the airport, we spent two more days visiting Portland. Left Portland on the 4th, direction Cougar, WA, to climb Mt. St. Helens.
May 1-2, 2003 Back to the Oregon Coast - this time with Lucie's Dad. It's nice to have company for once.
April 30, 2003 Drove to the RV park near Jantzen Beach (Portland area). Our very first (and last) time in a RV park... Picked up Lucie's Dad at the airport and spent the afternoon in Portland.
April 29,2003 These standard US parts are really a piece of S#@! (I already replaced the starter 4 months ago), but at least they are widely available. Got a new solenoid at the local NAPA. Spent the day in the engine compartment but got the thing working again!
April 28, 2003 Shit has hit the fan again... we lost the starter after a fuel stop on our way from the coast to Portland. Managed to kick-start the bus in a short downhill parking lot! Now we've gotta fix this before the 30th!
April 25-28, 2003 Spent a few days visiting the Northern Oregon Coast; very scenic, a good diversion. Lucie's Dad is coming to visit us for a few days; we're picking him up at the Portland airport on the 30th!
April 20, 2003 Eric took a bad leader fall on a crack climb at the Gorge, Smith Rock. He bruised a rib in the process. We are taking a break from climbing... let's go visit the Oregon Coast.
April 14-20, 2003 Climbing at Smith Rock, O R, just a few miles from Bend.
April 13, 2003 Drove through Klamath Falls and arrived in Bend late afternoon. Spent the evening downtown Bend and spent the night at the local Wal-Mart.
April 12, 2003 Arrived at Mount Shasta. It was snowing hard. Since Mount Shasta was not yet in condition yet, decided to go check out Bend, OR, instead.
April 9-11, 2003 Leaving for Red Rocks for the season, destination: Mount Shasta. Along the way, stopped in Reno, NV, and Quincy, CA. Climbed a few pitches at Grizzly Dome and then continued to Chico, CA. Hung out in Chico for an afternoon - nice university town!
April 8, 2003 Website update: Added the Bishop page and updated the Red Rocks (new climbs) and the Climbs page. Left Red Rocks late afternoon. Stopped for the night near Hawthorne.
April 5, 2003 Still at Red Rocks. Had a few good climbing days and connected with friends from Los Alamos. It's been windy and getting cold the last two or three days. We may stay a few more days before heading North towards Mt. Shasta.
March 27, 2003 We're back at Red Rocks, NV for a few days. Figured there would be too much snow around Lake Tahoe.
March 27, 2003 Website update: OK! So there were a few bugs ("JPG" extensions instead of "jpg"! Works on Windows, not on the server...). Hopefully we've got it all fixed. Thanks for the feedback!
March 24, 2003 Website update: Finally! After several days and evenings of hard work over the last two months, our first web site is on line!
March 21, 2003 We are still in Bishop, in the beautiful Eastern Sierra country of California. We likely will stay for another few days before heading to the lake Tahoe area for more rock.
March 5, 2003 Arrived in Bishop, CA, Eastern Sierra.
March 3, 2003 The weather at Red Rocks does not look like it will improve much. Leaving for Bishop and the Owens River Gorge.
February 20, 2003 Arrived at Red Rocks, Las Vegas, NV.
February 16, 2003 This ice season sucks! Tired of looking for the odd ice climb in condition. Switching to rock climbing, direction Red Rocks!
February 13, 2003 Left Bozeman. Arrived in Missoula, MT.
February 7, 2003 Arrived in Bozeman, MT.
February 6, 2003 Finally left Billings after days of coaching incompetent mechanics!
January 28, 2003 Arrived in Billings yesterday night. This morning the clutch on the BUS broke down... we are stuck here for the next few days.
January 27, 2003 Arrived in Cody, WY the day before yesterday. The temperatures are easily 30 degrees F above normal; there is no ice to speak of. Leaving to Montana where we hope it is colder.
January 23, 2003 Leaving Ouray for Cody, WY.
January 12, 2003 Arrived in Ouray, CO for ice climbing.
January 11, 2003 The trip has begun! Left Los Alamos at 12:40PM.