The folks I climb and ski with are less like clients than they are friends. Many have been coming out for years and it is always a bit like a family reunion when they show up for their annual trips. Read on to meet some of “the family”!
Grant on Terminal Peak during the first enchainment of the Rogers Pass Horseshoe
Grant Carnie is a special case! We did our first climb together in 1999 and since then we have climbed over 50 different peaks.
Grant grew up in Calgary, Alberta but now lives in Denver. He has been climbing since he was 14 years old. By the time we met, all of his old partners had fallen by the wayside but he was still as motivated as ever. Every year I look forward to our climbs, which are usually big alpine days in the Rockies. We’ve shared many an adventure together! Some of our highlights have to be the northeast ridge of Mt Bryce, the first traverse of the Rogers Pass Horseshoe, and the Frontier Ridge of Mont Maudit in the Alps. Here’s what Grant has to say:
“Mark has always been confident, safety oriented and extremely knowledgeable concerning all aspects of the climb. Mark has a real passion for his profession and is proud of being a world class certified guide. I recommend spending time with Mark by enjoying a range of mountain adventures. On a personal note I want to thank Mark for his assistance in helping me climb again after having a disc removed from my lower back, six months after the operation he had me climbing and enjoying big Canadian peaks.”
Brian is the fittest senior I know. Every year this Calgary resident comes out once or twice and cranks! It can be climbing mountains in the summer or big days skiing in Rogers Pass in the winter – he is always having the time of his life while being as agile as a mountain goat.
We’ve been doing stuff together since 2006. Often we will do a scramble in the summer (often accompanied by his wife Ada) and several days of ski touring in the winter in Rogers Pass, at backcountry lodges, and in the Rockies. We’ve climbed Mt Temple and Mt Whyte together, and were once turned back on My Lefroy in a raging summer blizzard! Connaught Creek in Rogers Pass is one of Brian’s favourite places to ski.
This self-named group has been coming out every season for years. The ringleader is Kirk with regulars Chris G, Chris U, John, Wally, Kurt, and Buck being joined by a varying supporting cast of characters. Each year we choose a new backcountry lodge to ski with Sorcerer Lodge being one of the favourites.
These trips are often the most memorable weeks of the ski season for me. Lots of laughs, great skiing, and awesome eats supplied by our chef Theresa!
Lori lives a few blocks away from me in Banff. She usually comes out for a few days mountaineering or rock climbing every year. Lori grew up in Jasper with a mountaineer for a father so has been climbing since she was a kid.
Her annual goal often centres on an iconic peak in the Rockies. Our highlight trip has to be Mt Assiniboine, which we climbed with Lori’s husband Mike and fellow guide Sarah in 2008.
Eric and Felix on the Bugaboos to Rogers Pass Traverse
These two Banff locals are hard-core. We have skied the entire Great Divide ski traverse together, from Jasper to Bow Lake. We completed this project in 2011, dividing the traverse into three sections over three separate seasons. The last trip was the kicker – with Erica we found a new high route through the northern section of the Great Divide, passing over 11 cols and in 8 days.
In 2009, Eric, Felix, Erica and I also skied the Bugaboos-Rogers Pass traverse. I hope we get to do more trips together in the future! I’ve got some plans for them…