3 months already, sun is back in the valley

It’s really great to be climbing again. It felt like forever during the week long while the weather was bad. What doesn’t feel like forever is the duration of our trip so far. It’s scary that to see that 3 months have gone by since we left Edmonton and that there is “only” 9  months left!

It may not look like it but it was really warm that day!

It may not look like it but it was really warm that day!

There was still a fair amount of snow on the ground in Kananaskis but once we got to the climbing wall, the rock was really hot. It was our first time at Barrier Mountain and it was in fact really nice to climb there. Matt enjoyed the sun and its heat a little too much and therefore got a bit sunburnt in the back. After not climbing for that long, and not climbing anything exposed or harder for even longer, the exposure kind of got to us.  Elaine led her hardest route so far, It’s called “Squeeze Play“, it’s a 5.10d( more like a 10b)  she tried it on top rope first and the next day she sent it. Overall It took us a few days to get back into climbing and to get our heads back in and not get sketched out .

photo 2

Lochlan working a 12a in Lake Louise

We made friends with another couple who are living in their van. They came climbing to Lake Louise with us and we had them over in our van last night. Seems like there’s never a shortage of things to talk about with climbers, and even more so when they share similar experiences “roughing it out”, living in a vehicle. These guys are a going to try and spend the whole winter in their van and we wish them the best of luck. Hopefully the humidity doesn’t ruin it for them. Matt has gone snowboarding with the van a few times in the past and it was a major issue trying to dry out gear or not have frost build up like crazy in the windows simply by spending time in it.

So these guys climb pretty hard and it motivated us to push ourselves more than usual. Elaine is leading more and more and Matt’s endurance is slowly building up. He on sighted “Wicked Gravity“, a classic,  sustained, very aesthetic 5.11a. It came sort of close also on “Purple People Eater“, a technical yet powerful 5.11c, but couldn’t on sight the passage out of the roof. It’s worth mentioning that climbing on cold rock makes it somewhat harder as you can’t really feel the rock too well. It helped too that Matt watched someone else work the route before hand so the beta below the roof didn’t hurt 🙂

Hot dinner.. and free!In our last post, we forgot to talk about the hot “Community Dinner night – Food and Friends“. Well we really liked it and went again last Monday. This time it was Ham and Cheese garlic hot buns with pasta salad, Ukrainian beet soup, and lots of desserts. Last time we had Mac & cheese with meat, barley salad, tomato soup and again lots of desserts to choose from. It’s really popular and people seem to go for various reasons. Each time we go, we get to chat with locals and although you aren’t supposed to talk politics with strangers, it’s hard not to. Besides talking politics, one story that came out was the one of the 80+ years old lady who told us about her backpacking trip to Europe she did in 1949. She had to get overseas on a ship! We were delighted to hear about such an adventure. It must not have been easy to do. It’s not like you could google anything back then!

We found a computer desk in two pieces next to a garbage bin and took the one half and added ourselves some nice shelving right by the side doors. It’s barricading the double doors but is very much helping with maximizing the storage areas and keeping things tidy. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to loose something in the van. We will be making a video at some point showing you what the van looks like from the inside.

This morning is the first time in probably two weeks that we do not wake up with heavy condensation on the windows and on the ceiling. Thanks to mother nature who provided us with a temperature of 10 degrees overnight! We didn’t have to fight over who was going to get out of the sleeping bags to make coffee for once 🙂

We are also going to loose cellphone connectivity pretty soon. Matt ported his number to voip.ms and that means that once that’s done, the phone will get deactivated, at least until we hit the USA. We aren’t sure yet if we will buy a SIM card in the USA. We don’t really use the phone all that much and it appears that you can still dial 911 with your phone, even if there isn’t a sim card in it. Will have to see what’s out there when we cross the border.

Budget!!
Can’t avoid it. This week was expensive! We bought Travel Medical Insurance for 7 months ($1216), Matt bought a new pair of rock climbing shoes ($85), we had two cell phone bills that we had not counted and $70 a month as well for the van insurance. These big items will now come off the total budget to amortize it over the whole trip. As of now we have a budget of $172.50 per week for food & fun. We will update that now on a weekly basis. It’s after we take out the $5000 for the transport budget.

Sept 11 – Sept 17 : Weekly & Totals since we left 12 weeks ago.

Fuel: $80.00 / $2344.76
Food: $70.80 / $877.05
Fun: $20.45 / $738.57

Total for the week without fuel: $91.25
Total with fuel: $171.25
Total of big ticket items not part of weekly budget: $1673.11

Total spent since the beginning: $5633.49
Total budget: $15189.55 (+$29 in empties, we went bottle picking!)
Budget left: $9556.06

M & E

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