This was Kim’s first birthday in Calgary (last year we were down in Texas for the big event) and there’s some things that you just can’t do in a warm weather location. After a year of hikes and mountain climbing with the kids, I figured something outdoorsy was in order, but she needed something a little bit more adventurous… and cold!
So, we left the kids with a sitter — a birthday present unto itself! — and headed out on an ice climbing adventure. (Can’t do that in Dallas, right?) We had a half-day of instruction and climbing, to a place delightfully named “The Junkyards”, beautifully set in the mountains near Canmore, less than an hour from our house. (For those of you interested in following in our footsteps, we booked through Banff Adventures Unlimited)
Kim modelling her skiing duds and her ice climbing gear — notice the lovely footwear
Close-up of the crampons — these boots are NOT made for walking on your hardwood floors…
The Junkyards — for perspective, the wall is just under 100 ft tall… are we really climbing up that thing??
The view from the Junkyards. It was a great day, though a little bit chilly (minus 15 Celsius) Evidently this makes the ice a bit chippier than normal, as if we didn’t have enough challenges!
Kim strapped in, getting some last minute instructions — and, I suspect, still half expecting that she’s on Candid Camera:
Away she goes!
She’s getting there — check out the feet — that counts as a “climb” right?
Hey, how’d she get up there?!?
Take THAT, scary ice wall!
Almost at the top!
Here she is on her way back down. It took us 15-20 minutes each on the first run while we got the technique down — and under 10 minutes the second time. Getting down was very quick — less than a minute rappelling down the ice face.
Here goes the husband… that knot will hold, right?
This is just like skiing… except uphill.. and more vertical.. and hey, this stuff isn’t exactly powdery… where’s the chairlift again?
I swear, this place reminded me of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude
How’d I get up here?
On the way up…
The kids survived the stint with the sitter — we picked them up and had a nice dinner in Banff before heading home.
Happy birthday Wife!