February 9th 2017
I've been trying a few different styles of pictures lately. A friend in an art class gave me an image of picture by the artist Barry Thomas of yachts in a harbour (the right hand image). Mr Thomas's original is an oil painting mine is pastels. Its a lot of different colours from my usual palette!
January 20th 2017
Happy New Year
Here's a selection of picture I have been doing over the past few months.
At the top of the Athabasca Glacier, Jasper NP. Based on a photo from ski touring trip I did a few years ago. This is for some very good friends.
Into the Dragons Mouth, Wicked Wanda, South Ghost. Strong winds buffet the top of the climb - Wicked Wanda forming the ice into these amazing formations.
I have been getting out as well. A cold day in Banff NP in early January, sun setting on Cascade Mt. and me at the bottom of Professors Falls on the east face of Mt Rundle between Banff and Canmore. I cycled to the base of the climb -lots of hoar frost - I doubt it was more than -15 - IT WAS COLD!!!!
On another cold day this time in May probably 2014 we climbed the North Twin and the Twin Tower on the Columbia Icefield. This is the triptych - Twin Tower on the Columbia Ice Field - Mountain, Summit and Summit Team.
I also tried a few different subjects
Bike Racers 1 - Finished Bike Racers 2 - a work in progress
I used to bike race and love the blur of speed. Pastels give me that feeling of speed.
Reflection in a Pond 1 - A friend gave me the photo in an art class - Its very different from what I usually do but it was fun. The finished framed picture looks great.
November 11th 2016
Pictures from the year
Its been busy year with work, haven't managed to post much so here are a few of this years works
On top of the Tower of Babel, Moraine Lake on a stormy day in late July
This is the photo, I climbed the tower of Babel with my friend Brad, he lead and I followed.
Sargents Point, Lake O'Hara, my version of the famous John Singer Sargent painting.
Assiniboine, what a mountain, I climbed it in 2009
On my way to the Fuhrmann Ledges on Mt My running shoes after 3 months of ridge running
Lefroy, planning to go to Abbott hut from they get pretty beaten up!!
Lake Louise but the early snow and ice in
Late September put a stop to the plan
Climbing Popes peak with Raff and Brad. Climbing The Tower of Babel, looking down at Moraine Lake
Twin Tower, Columbia Icefields we climbed this The frozen weeping wall in Jasper NP. We climbed here in January.
a couple of years ago. The sun was getting
lower casting these fantastic shadows.
Ice climber study. Hydrophobia, the Ghost wilderness. As a continuation of the ice climber series this is a study a bigger picture that i'm yet to start.
December 29th 2015
Working on these Ice Climbers - They are of Mountain guide Barry Blanchard whom i have climbed with on a few occasions. The left, on the crux of Bourgeau Right Hand, the ice fall that can be seen from the Sunshine gondola just before it makes its left hand turn on the way to sunshine meadows. The right is Barry on Murchisons falls, belaying at the top of pitch 2. The lower picture is a larger version of the Bourgeau Study.
December 23rd 2015
Mt Chephren - Final Pictures
These are the finished pictures, now framed.
November 1st 2015
Mt Chephren Pictures
Just working on these picture based on photos I took on the Chephren trip
This photo, Glacier at the base of Mt Chephren and this pastel
This photo of Howse Pk.
October 4th 2015
Scramble Mt Chephren
Met bright and early at 3.45 am to get a good start on what we knew would be a long day. Mt Chephren is almost at Saskatchewan Crossing on the 93 so it was long drive and we knew it would be a long walk. Set off at 6.30 am in the dark. Got light around 7.30 but very overcast. We walked around Chephren lake and then headed up the lateral moraine of the long gone glacier, I hope there aren't any climate skeptics any more but if there are go and have look, climate change is going make a huge difference to the Rockies and the prairies as we need their water......After leaving the moraine we headed up a steep but grassy slope, we were in the cloud now. As we gained elevation the cloud appeared to be clearing but in fact we were climbing above the cloud.The views of first Chephen and then White Pyramid, Hawse Peak were fantastic. Eventually we got completely above the cloud and could see the whole range down to Mt Hector. As we got higher the snow we had expected, October is late for this scramble appeared. At about 2700M we doned crampons and started through the snow. We got to the gully with the rope mentioned in the guide book, the rope was frozen in ice because of the shade but with a good 500 metres to go it was obvious we were too late in the year . We were concerned it would take another 2 hours to summit by which time the snow which in places was thigh deep would be pretty unstable. We turned around, next year......
Overcast early morning, Lake Chephren, the At the top of the lateral moraine but wheres the Glacier???
base of Mt Chephren is to the right
White Pyramid coming into view through the cloud
House Peak - we're above the cloud now
Looking south, above the cloud The lakes - Waterfowl in the distance, Chephren below
Our high point, frozen rope in the gully Looking back at Mt Chephren, next year....
19th September 2015
Glacier Peak - View from Abbott Pass
Finished the larger version of the study, this one is 20" x 30" on Contes Mi Teinte board, it took longer than I thought but I'm pleased with the result. I decided to donoted this picture to the Alpine Club of Canada , for the Mountains Guides Ball in October. I've been a member for a long time and wanted to give something back.
12th September 2015
Moose Mountain, Bragg Creek
Got out for a late afternoon run on Saturday, saw the weather on Sunday was supposed to collapse (and it did). Left the car park around 3.30pm and ran into a beautiful evening, warm, sunny and slight breeze. On top it was a little cooler but still a fantastic view.
View from Moose Mt across the Prairies
9th September 2015
Study of Glacier Peak - view looking south from Abbott pass
Dug out some photos from a trip I made to Abbott Pass in 2009 to climb Mt. Victoria. Produced this study, I plan to do a bigger version as this has turned out well.
23rd August 2015
Made myself a wooden palette to hold my pastels. I'm hoping having the pastels close together will make it easier to choose colours and values. It has a lid so i can move then which will be handy.
20th August 2015
Mt Shanks / Hawk Ridge
Met Simon at 7.30am after yesterdays long day, he was only 30 mins late which is good for him. The ridge looked a long way!! It had just rained but seemed to be clearing (good job Simon was late i guess). We set off down the Simpson river trail after the experience gained on our last foray at the end of June (see the video below) no plans to bushwhack. The going was fast if damp and we got to the Assiniboine/Kootaney boundary in about an hour. Headed up the fire break and then hit the dead fall, lots of it, it was deep but fortunately there was only about 500m of it. We then started up the ridge toward the first peak. There was actually a path, we assume that before the 2003 fire this must have been a popular hike? Got through the trees at 2100 m and headed north on the ridge. It was cloudier than the day before but still the views were impressive, north to the Valley of the Ten Peaks, across to then Rockwall and Assiniboine behind us. It was classic rockies shale extremely loose but most of the ridge was pretty easy. The crux is coming off Mt Shanks on the north side, theres a shale slab with not a lot to hold on too. There was some interesting geology, paper shale (really thin shale) Simon is a geologist hence was in nerd heaven! We traversed for about 15km and then headed down Honeymoon pass to the Kootenay Park Lodge. AND THERE WAS A TRAIL!!! The descent off the ridge was horrendous we ended up in a gully system that that seemed like it would never end and then there it was, the trail no bushwhacking, none, zip. I was so happy. We literally ran the decents and fast walked the rest which after 26km, nearly 3000m and 11 hours wasn't bad. For various reasons we left our car at Floe lake car park 8km north. We were now at Kootnenay Park Lodge and thought someone will offer us a lift? Not sure what happened to the great Canadian spirit on that Thursday night but suffice to say we walked another 8 km.
Simon on the Shale The last summit had a registry. These guys were here in 2004. There was one other entry from 2013, they'd come up from Honeymoon Pass.
Looking north the 93 in the valley
19th August 2015
Went back to Mount Ball on Wednesday. Got up at 3.30 am so that i'd be at the trailhead for 6am. Just about got there in time, started up Haffner "Hell" Creek for the second time in 10 days. First 4 km took an hour which i thought was great, thing then started to slow down again. It doesn't matter were you go on the slope there is NO EASY way. Got to the head wall and climbed into the cirque at 2350m. It took an hour to scramble up the cirque onto to the ridge and another 45 mins to the summit, about 4.5 hours from leaving the car. The view across the rockies were spectacular. It was a beautifully clear day but cold, at 3311 m the wind was biting. Took a few photos and headed back. The descent gully had a tiny amount of scree the rest was ankle breaking boulders, but it didn't take long to descend 600 m. Decided on the way back to investigate Stanley Peak, after a lot of messing around i got to around 2600 m and decided to stop, still had 500 m to go, had been out for 10 hours and had a big day planned tomorrow. But i know the route up and another time i'll get up there but i can't face Huffier again this season at least!
Looking up the descent gully Looking SW towards Mt Shanks and Hawk Ridge where i'm going tmrw
Me, cold on the summit Castle Mountain in the distance 500m lower in elevation
Glacier falling down Looking back toward Stanley Peak
the face of Mt Ball
Summit Panorama Summit Panorama
16th August 2015
Trying out this paper from France - Pastelmat. It holds pastel well, is much softer than the sand paper i usually use. I like it better than the suede (Storm over Assiniboine) paper but its expensive compared to the sand paper.
Sunset - West Coast Sunset - Nipika 2
15th August 2015
Nipika - Yearling Creek Avalanche Shoots
James and I decided to give the the avalanche shoots our 3rd attempt this year, we'd been up twice already but on the both occasions ended up on the wrong paths and in the wrong place. The second time we nearly made it but ran out of time, both were horrendous bushwalking exercises but......its makes for a good story. The weather was appalling 15 degrees (in August) and raining hard but if you're going to have an adventure... We had an idea where to go, we now knew the drainage we needed to be in and decided as it was our third attempt we would make it. And we did. Its tougher than i remember!
On the top (it was chilly) The view, Nipika is in the valley
The shoot the way down Back at Nipika
10th August 2015
Just finished this picture for a friend
8th August 2015
Mt Ball Reconnoissance
Decided to take a look at getting on to Mt Ball and Stanley Peak via Haffner Creek. I'd read a few blogs about getting up Huffier and it not being so bad after the 2003 fire but I forgot the floods. What the blogs talked about as being trails by the creek were completely gone. I opted to go higher contouring along the valley side, it was slow going, Mt Shanks all over again. I had taken Sarah our dog and the rough terrain had taken a toll on her feet so we returned after getting into the cirque below Mt Ball. On the way back i tried staying closer to the creek just incase i had missed the trail - but there no trail. In a few places i could see a few footprints but nothing much. 20km took 8 long hours, not my fastest run ever.
Panorama Mt Ball in the middle (with the glacier)
Me with Mt Ball Hell (Huffier Creek in 2015) One hot dog
1st August 2015
Yamnuska and Goat Mountain Traverse
Ran this with Ian MacNairn on a very hot day, we started early at 7am and finished at 1.30pm. We really started to feel the heat as we came down the final ridge. Stupendous view on this beautifully clear day.
Looking back at Yam Ian Scrambling up Peak 9
Yam in the distance Looking toward Mt Heart, its starting to get HOT!
Calgary Foodbank - Charity Golf Tournament
A friend of mine Nathan Ashcroft is organizing a golf tournament for the Calgary Foodbank, a great charity to support. I'll be taking a team and donated this picture as a prize.
18th -26th July 2015
Sierra Nevada Mountains, USA
Just spent a week with the Adventure Science team, http://adventurescience.ca/sierra/index.html on a continuation of the Fossett files - locating aircraft wrecks in the Sierra Nevada of Northern California and Southern Nevada. Had a great week of backcountry running, hiking and camping in some great spots with an awesome bunch of people. Found some wreaks, got some great material for future paintings and Adventure Science had its first engagement! Congratulations Helen and Tim.
Lake Alhoa Sunset over Echo Lake
Plane wreckage for 1971 crash In Yosemite
Louis descending Helen and Tim - Engagement
28 June 2015
Ran Grotto Mountain ridge (the ridge on your right as you drive west on Highway One from Dead mans Flats to Canmore) with Simon Donato of TV's Boundless show. Saw sheep, marmots, views of Mt Assiniboine, the Bow Valley from the top. Great day.
Simon and I Assiniboine
24 June 2015
Turbine Canyon Run
Ran with Ian and Eric up to the Alberta high altitude summer training camp at the base of the Haig Glacier in Kananaskis Provincial Park. Fantastic day and lots of future pictures.
Ian and Eric on our return Ian at the French Glaicer
22 June 2015
Thrilled to have my work exhibited at the Feather-Gallery in south west Calgary. www.feather-gallery.com
Sunset Castle Mountain
Eisenhower Tower at Sunset
20th June 2015
Attempted to run the Mt Shanks ridge with Simon and Ian. Soundly beaten by a storm at midday, but thats life in the mountains. The video charts our day