September is always a unique time in the Canadian Rockies, the evening temperatures cool just enough to keep the rock frozen in place and the weather settles into a pattern of calm and clear high pressure. Sometimes, the perfect conditions for climbing the north faces.
I usually try and keep my schedule open so I can take advantage of this short window, but most often life gets in the way...the seasons change into winter and dreams of grandeur are replaced with clipping bristlers in the sun at the sport crag. This year things are different.
Earlier in the year, while trying to come to terms with the death of a loved one, I made the decision that to best celebrate the life of Carlyle, was to live by the values that we had shared. Adventure and ultimately alpine climbing was at the core of our shared values. So, I decided that I wouldn't compromise the precious days I had available to climb and that I would take all the opportunities that presented themselves with little expectations. Only the desire for adventure.
When Jason Kruk, a good friend and coastal crusher (but of course no stranger to the Rockies) decided to drive east with an open agenda and some big ideas, I knew that we would be in for an adventure. We met for Java in the Lake Louise parking lot and unanimously decided to go and take a look at the north face of Mt. Alberta. Without disappointment, the north face of Alberta presented us with a grand adventure, steep and technical climbing, big limestone exposure, a caving mission in the middle of the north face and a couple open bivis (man-spooning included).
For the moment, it appears that my commitment to being open to the opportunities that present themselves has become my best outlet for celebrating my life and my dear lost friends.
By: Joshua Lavigne
Camera: Jason Kruk and Joshua Lavigne
El Ten Eleven
My Only Swerving
El Ten Eleven