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Dear Bow Valley, We


We love your shapely mountains and your strapping evergreens, and the way the sunlight floats and flows down your river. We love your wild side: “Bear in area.” Grizzly or black? (It matters don’t you know.) Elk herd in the back yard? Don't mind if I do! And who could forget the bunnies? Delicious. We also love your really, really cold winter days when the snow sparkles and squeaks underfoot. And how ice crystals form sundogs around your impossibly bright winter sun. We even love when it’s -42°C because we get to say, “It’s minus 42 degrees!” We could do without the late arrival of spring, but you make up for it with generally mild, snowy winters, so let’s call it even.

You know what else we love? Your acceptance and grace under the pressure of our relentless, spandex-clad behinds, riding and gliding all over you. Mostly we love the strength of will and freedom of spirit that lives in you, and how it makes us want to get outside and be in every moment. And how, at the end of the day, we can retreat indoors to warmth and comfort after an adventure has made our clothes damp and cheeks rosy. From us, a heart-felt thank you for the opportunity to live in this valley amongst the animals and other wild things. Sincerely yours, The humans.


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Keith Addy, Dave Busch, Derek Carman, John Coleman, Ryan Creary, Laura Glowicki, Hannah Hardaway, Andrew Hardingham, Tony Hoare, Lynn Martel, Dan Rafla, Kelly Schovanek, Meghan Ward, Andrew Wexler, Niki Wilson.


Derek Moroz, Adam Robertson, Dave Cipollone, Magi Scallion, Cory “The Condor” Keefer, Lynne Robertson, Rusticana, Allan and Camara at Park Radio 101.1FM, Beamer’s Coffee Bar, the Canmore Library, Tom Thompson and Harvest Moon Acoustics, communitea café, Avalanche Movie Co., The Banff Centre, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Canmore Nordic Centre, Valhalla Pure Outfitters (Canmore).










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Cover photo by Hannah Hardaway, Submitted in collaboration with the 2010 Banff Centre Mountain Photography Competition.

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John Coleman likes stuff—lots of stuff. One thing that he likes a lot is human movement. His PhD project, which studies the possibilities of human movement, brought him to the Bow Valley more than three years ago. John has discovered the importance that wonder—as a state of being, an attitude, and a feeling—has for the discovery and enjoyment of one’s self-movement possibilities. He is passionate about helping people expand their personal “I can” and does so as a sports psychologist working with various Canadian national teams, in addition to working at Gaia Collaborative Medicine in Canmore. Dig it!

Derek Carman

was born in A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Winnipeg, Manitoba. He completed all of his schooling there, finishing up with some university at the U of Manitoba in the faculty of Fine Arts. Derek has been drawing and doodling since the age of four and has a diverse arsenal of artistic ammunition, but sticks to the classic cartoon and portrait work and the odd tattoo design for his buddies. When not trying to find time to draw, Derek enjoys spending time with his two children, Teagan and Mackinly and his golden retriever Ginger. He currently resides 30 minutes east of Winnipeg on a small acreage between Ste. Anne and Richer. Some of Derek’s work can be found on Redbubble at

Lynn Martel

left the Montreal disco scene for Banff in the early 1980s to waitress and work retail between backcountry adventures. A full time writer since 1999, Lynn writes regularly from her Canmore home about mountain adventure, people and culture for publications including Explore, Westworld, Gripped and Highline magazines, the Rocky Mountain Outlook, Calgary Herald and the Alpine Club of Canada. Her first book, Expedition to the Edge: Stories of Worldwide Adventure was published in 2008 by Rocky Mountain Books.

Wild sex Dear bull elk, we understand you’re tired. You’ve been fighting

gy The biannual ecolo of mating

and having sex all fall—who wouldn’t be? Having 30 cows to yourself sounds like fun, but we know the kind of stress you’ve been under. It starts out pleasantly enough. You spend your summer hangin’ with the boys, eating willows and getting your photo taken by people with no apparent sense of personal space. The unsightly, tick-induced bald patches on your neck have grown in, and shy of a few liver parasites, you’re feeling fine. Those handsome antlers you’ve been growing since April have topped out at over 30 pounds. Nice rack! But that’s when it hits you. Late August testosterone rolls in like you’ve shot-gunned 100 cans of Red Bull. In fact, those testosterone levels stay around 1,000 times normal for the next couple of months. Suddenly you’re a 10 on the tension scale and super randy! You neck swells. You start peeing in mud and rolling in it. As the musky smell of urine swirls around you, the cow elk start to dig it and hang out. You might as well start threshing bushes with your antlers-turned-erotic appendages, jutting out your neck and curling your lips Billy Idol style. Let out one of those long bugles, which I must say seems a little high-pitched for a guy your size. And while you’re at it, it’s time to kick the crap out of a buddy you’ve been hanging out with for the past eight months. Clearly he can’t be trusted around your girls. Pull all that weight up on your hind legs and try to stab him with your front hooves. If that doesn’t work, try to shove him around with your antlers. Here’s hoping your vegetarian diet has put the pounds on, because lifting and twisting that big rack is going to cost you some serious calories, and you’re far too busy to eat. And now you’ve won the rut. Feeling a little tired from weeks of raising your hooves and throwing that rack around? Too bad! You’ve got as many as 30 females that need some love, so you’d better get to work while the other bulls know who’s boss. Lift that beefy torso, mount those females and make some calves! And watch out—the young males off to the side are trying to sneak a quicky with your cows when you’re not looking. You’d better keep an eye on them. By Christmas you’re exhausted, and here’s the kicker: by the time the testosterone vacates your testicles and you come to your senses, it’s often too late. You’re so low on fat reserves that in this weakened state, it’s possible you’ll starve, or be eaten by a wolf. Many bulls before you have died at the young age of seven or eight, while the ladies go on to outlive you by up to 16 years. I recommend you ditch those antlers, get yourself something to eat, and enjoy a few months of light-headed freedom. You deserve it.

By Niki Wilson

Breaking trail

The life & times of Chic Onward and upward. Chic Scott battles the elements at the start of the Six Pass Route near Jasper. Photo by Tony Hoare.


by Lynn Martel

It was a hard trip. For 19 days and nearly 300 kilometres, Chic Scott and three companions skied with 45-pound packs on their backs, camping at night and melting snow to cook dehydrated dinners over a compact backpacking stove. Starting from Jasper’s Signal Mountain trailhead, the group linked high mountain passes and wallowed through deteriorating valley-bottom snow for 12 days via Poboktan Creek, over the Brazeau Icefield and along Cline River to the David Thompson Highway. Tired, but not yet done, Scott and his partners—Margaret Gmoser (Scott’s friend since high school), Colorado river guide Faye Atkinson and Vancouver-based outdoor photographer Tony Hoare—hitchhiked into Nordegg for a burger. Two days, several showers and a few beers later, they soldiered on for six more days to Skoki Lodge near Lake Louise, where Scott and Gmoser hung up their boots. Hoare, 54, and Atkinson, 49, continued for several more days over Pulsatilla and Mystic passes to finish at Mount Norquay. “It was hard work, from the moment we woke up,” Scott said of the expedition. “We’d rouse from our slumber and things would be frozen, frost on the tent, our boots were cold. Then all through the day we were constantly making decisions. On glacier trips you can often relax into cruise mode, but on this trip every 20 seconds you had to make another decision—ski around this log, over this log jam or take your skis off and climb over something.” Then Scott joked he “should have known better.” The March 2010 Jasper to Lake Louise traverse, which wove through backcountry wilderness east of the Icefields Parkway, was Scott’s 10th major ski traverse in the mountains of western Canada. And he and Gmoser were just months shy of their 65th birthdays. “It was a real adventure,” Scott said. “This was a big trip; it was full-on. I’ve never been so tired in my life. It was as hard as any trip I’ve ever done. Maybe being older was a factor.” A name now synonymous with Canadian climbing history and writing, Scott is a fourth generation Albertan. With his father, Charles F. Scott, being a member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, Chic grew up immersed in amateur sports. By 1961 he was a golf prodigy representing Alberta at the Canadian Junior championships. The following year he discovered skiing and mountaineering, and never stopped looking up. In 1963, Hans Gmoser, an Austrian immigrant who had established himself as Canada’s premier mountain guide and a bold expedition leader (Gmoser later launched the helicopter skiing industry with his company, Canadian Mountain Holidays), left a significant impression on Scott when he invited the young moun-

taineer and two friends to help him and guiding partner Leo Grillmair haul a stove into the Alpine Club of Canada’s Stanley Mitchell Hut in Yoho Valley. “Hans and Leo took turns carrying the frame on their backs; it had to weigh 150 pounds,” Scott recalled. “That night, when myself and Donnie Gardner and Gerry Walsh went to bed—we were 17, 18—we listened to Hans play the zither, and Hans and Leo yodelling.” Mountain life had Scott infatuated. A few years earlier, in 1960, Gmoser (who married Margaret in 1966), and five others had attempted to ski the high glacier route between Lake Louise and Jasper. After enduring storms, avalanches, crevasse falls, lost food caches and group dissent, they were forced to abort their expedition.

FROM LEFT: Donnie Gardner, Chic Scott, Charlie Locke and Neil Liske are all smiles after completing the first ever Great Divide high alpine ski traverse from Jasper to Lake Louise in 1967. Photo: Chic Scott collection.

So in 1967, Scott, Donnie Gardner, Neil Liske and Charlie Locke (later Resorts of the Canadian Rockies’ owner), set out to complete Gmoser’s project. Equipped with Nordic skis and wax imported from Norway, and with carefully placed food caches, for 21 days the four young Canadians travelled the first ski traverse following the Great Divide from Jasper to Lake Louise over high alpine passes and across crevasse wrinkled glaciers. It would be 20 years before it was repeated. “The Great Divide traverse was a pivotal point in the Canadian mountaineering story,” Scott explained. “Up until that point, virtually anything of significance accomplished in Canadian mountains had been done by foreigners—except a few routes on Yamnuska. All the big first ascents, even in the Yukon, had been done by Austrians, Swiss, Brits, Americans, and not home-grown Canadians. For us, there was no doubt in our minds; we were making a Canadian statement.”

For Scott it marked the beginning, as he became a key figure in the first wave of native Canadian climbers to earn their place on the international stage of what, until then, had been a British- and European-dominated pursuit.

Chic Scott and Margaret Gmoser re-energize by the fire after a day of ski touring near (unofficially named) Little Creek. Photo by Tony Hoare.

In the mid-1960s, he’d established new routes on the Rockies’ Ship’s Prow Buttress and Mount Stephen. At just 20, he made the first winter ascent of the Rockies’ 3,493-metre Mount Hungabee, and a year later, 1967, the first winter ascent of 3,618-metre Mount Assiniboine, the Rockies’ most serious winter climb to date. Beginning in 1968, Scott spent seven summers in the European Alps, making serious ascents of the range’s test-piece routes including the Gervesutti Pillar on Mont Blanc du Tacul. During those summers he worked for top British climber Dougal Haston’s International School of Mountaineering in Leysin, Switzerland, guiding routes on Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. During his last summer there, he worked on the climbing safety team of the Clint Eastwood film The Eiger Sanction. Then in 1973, he joined a British team attempting to climb 7,661-metre Dhaulagiri IV in Nepal, and in reaching the 6,400-metre summit of Myagdi Matha, Scott became the first native Canadian to climb a Himalayan peak. Back on home turf, he completed numerous long-distance ski traverses in the Rockies and B.C.’s Selkirks, including the 130-kilometre, 15-day Bugaboos to Rogers Pass high alpine traverse. Then in 1986, Scott’s route diverged. The Calgary Mountain Club, which counted Canada’s top climbers among its membership, was celebrating its 25th anniversary. As president at the time, Scott compiled a beefy scrapbook from newspaper clippings and photos and wrote some historical chapters. Unknowingly, his life’s work had just begun. In 1992 he published his first book, Ski Trails in the Canadian Rockies, followed in 1994 by Summits and Icefields, a dream-list of ski mountaineering objectives in the Rockies and Columbias, and the first of its kind. Then after 13 years of teaching human physiology labs at the University of Calgary, in 1998 he embraced the mountains full-time. While his popular publications established him as western Canada’s premier backcountry skiing guidebook author, it was Pushing the Limits, published by Rocky Mountain Books, that heralded the arrival of Chic Scott, mountain writer. “I never set off to be a writer; it just happened,” Scott admitted. “But with Pushing the Limits, I did set out to diligently record Canadian climbing history. I thought it would take two years, but it just kept growing and growing.”

THIS PAGE: Regrouping on the south side of Elusive Pass. Photo by Tony Hoare.


My whole life has been about promoting the Canadian mountain experience. In the early days, I actually did it; pioneered new climbing routes & long backcountry ski traverses.


10:51:58 AM





By the time the hardcover was published in 2000, Scott had devoted six years to the definitive work, a 440-page, 600-photograph volume covering 200 years of climbing history in Canada, from Labrador’s Torngats to Yukon’s St. Elias to the Pacific Coast Mountains,.





“My whole life has been about promoting the Canadian mountain experience,” Scott said. “In the early days, I actually did it; pioneered new climbing routes and long backcountry ski traverses. I carried the Canadian flag in Europe and in the Himalaya. The theme has always been about our Canadian mountain experience. Any way you look at it—the climbing and skiing, the personalities and characters and the history—it’s just as good as any nation on earth.” Powder Pioneers came in 2005, and last year he published Deep Powder and Steep Rock, Hans Gmoser’s biography. At an age where most are content to prop up their down bootieclad feet by the woodstove, Scott continues to be part of the story. The March 2010 ski tour had been on his mind for years, and had likely been completed only twice before, in 1976 by Donnie Gardner and Larry Mason, then again in the late 1970s. Blessed with great weather—only one snowy day the entire trip—travel was smooth and enjoyable on the high, open windswept passes, but was often exhausting lower down. “In the valley bottoms it was terrible,” Scott said. “We had no rest. We split into teams at the end of the day, one person shovelling out a cooking area, the other shovelling out tent pads. After an hour, hour and a half, we’d have a great camp. Sip of whiskey, off to bed, sleep like a rock for 10 or 11 hours, then up into a cold morning again.” They reached Skoki just in time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. “We ended the trip with two days of partying at Skoki,” Scott said. “It was nice to sleep in a bed, eat good food and be warm. “For me, skiing from Jasper to Lake Louise at 64 was a confirmation that the adventures are not over. I’ve been lucky with hips and knees, but I have also maintained my level of fitness all my life. It’s not easy, but no one ever said that adventure was easy. And there are many good adventures yet to come.”

A National Historic Site

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Canadian Rockies’ Premiere Backcountry Lodge. Enjoy the tradition by cross-county skiing or snowshoeing to a National Historic Site, located 11km from the Lake Louise Ski Area.



Photo by Kelly Schovanek .

know your neighbour


Quee nof create your own life

By Meghan Ward If there’s anyone who can take a bunch of twigs, scrap metal, buttons, old bottles and newspaper clippings and somehow combine them into a genius work of art, it’s Jane Newman. Born and raised in Calgary, Jane’s connection to Banff goes as far back as the day she was conceived at the Timberline Hotel. But fast-forward 17 years to 1977 when she first came to work at Abominable Sports up at Sunshine Village—this is when the mountain bug started its lasting infection. For the most part, she has been in Banff ever since, has raised two children and now walks her dog, Romeo, through her old stomping grounds.

When it comes to her artwork, Jane always loved beading and at some point her creative juices overflowed and she redefined beading forever in the Bow Valley. “I started by collecting items that had holes in them, even rusty metal bits,” she said. “Then I realize I could create holes in things.” Most people take one glance at Jane’s artwork and think, “How did she think of that?” and yet it totally works. And it would seem that her art, or assemblage, as it is officially called, is a metaphor for the life of this outdoors enthusiast. After working on the Trail Crew in Banff National Park in her early twenties, she knew she’d never have a normal job again.

In creating a career, Jane simply strung together the things that she liked in an assemblage of creative enterprises. She works for Outward Bound and the Creative Faculty at The Banff Centre, arranges flowers for a local floral shop, contracts as a freelance artist and performer and owns her own garden design business. This hippie of a lady just screams carefree with her mismatched earrings, comfy but torn wool sweaters, and white-grey hair pulled into a mess of buns and clips. Get to know her and you’ll find she sparkles with enthusiasm and could very well be crowned the Queen of Create Your Own Life.

Tyler Abbott, Jeremy Dean & Gilles Godbout, Icefields Parkway, AB.

Photo by Ryan Creary |

Deer bones in the snow.

Photo by Dan Rafla |

The Trans-Canada was closed for two hours due to avalanche bombing and we were trapped in the middle with dream lines and no cars to hit on the ride away. We rode lines we looked at as kids during road trips to Revelstoke and Golden. A perfect day!

Self-portrait by Andrew Hardingham |

Photo taken in the Purcell Mountains.

Photo by Andrew Wexler |

Canmore native, Eric Hjorleifson, makin' it look easy. Photo taken at Sentry Lodge, B.C.

Photo by Kelly Schovanek |

Freedom in Movement The insatiable spirit of Josh Dueck

By John Coleman Photos courtesy of Josh Dueck

“Being in the air is like suspended animation, an experience where conceived perceptions of time are feels like the world has slowed down. When my movement is aligned and the flow is good, that’s for sure when I’m flying through the air. There’s no better feeling than being as free as a bird! When those things are a bit off, then I do get the feeling of falling or dropping from the sky, which is a less peaceful experience, but it’s exciting nonetheless.” March 8, 2004 is a very important date. On that day a man was born for the second time in his life. This article was written to share a first-hand experience of something that many of us will never experience. But, even more so, it is about the power of embracing life’s challenges.

****** Josh Dueck loves skiing. He says, “An analogy I often use is that freeskiing is an art form for me. The mountain is the canvas, my skis the paintbrush, and I am free to express myself however I want.” Josh has created much freedom in his life through his involvement with freeskiing. Finding the sport in his youth, he created an identity for himself simply having fun moving with friends in snow on the mountain. His enjoyment in, and passion for freeskiing, led to a career in freestyle mogul skiing as a young adult. For the past six years, Josh has been a member of Canada’s Para-Alpine ski team, winning the IPC World Downhill Championships in 2009 and the silver medal in the slalom at the Vancouver Paralympics. This writer has been fortunate to work with Josh as his mental trainer for the past three years. During one session, we sat down with the video footage of a day where things were “a bit off”—leading to the crash that broke Josh’s back. Josh | As you can see, I over rotate a front flip and completely miss the landing. You can tell that the first time my skis hit the ground was on the flats of the transition after the landing. I landed forward and dislocated my back. A basic measurement was made from my peak height in the air to where I hit the ground, and it was over a hundred vertical feet. It makes sense as to why I hurt myself to the extent I did, and I’m very fortunate that it wasn’t any worse. I feel very lucky about that. John | Do you remember much of the jump? Josh | Everything. I was ski coaching and was demonstrating how to do a front flip to my young athletes. I was on the in-run getting to the transition and was going too fast. I needed to throw the skis sideways to stop and I had a split second to do so. Throw them sideways! Stop! I’ll never forget the feeling of knowing I was coming in too fast and that it was a bad idea. It’s too late! I’m going over!

In the air I tried to stretch out the lawn dart as long as I could, trying desperately to stall the front flip so it wouldn’t be a complete disaster. But I didn’t have full extension. I hesitated because I created disaster in my mind, because I knew I was going to overshoot the landing.

****** Hesitation is a derivative of fear, and a natural reaction to primal fear is to gasp, raise our shoulders, and stop. It’s a bracing mechanism for the event, object, or stimulus that is evoking the fear. Simply raising our shoulders causes a sympathetic nervous system reaction that instantly releases a fight or flight reaction in our body, where we tell ourselves that we are under stress. With this primal and autonomic message, a whole host of chemical, neurological, emotional, and physical reactions occur to prepare ourselves to fight or fly. Yet sometimes the fear is so primal and powerful, it ceases our ability to deal with the event. We switch into the “deer in the headlights” mode. For Josh, his experience in the air was far beyond anything he had ever experienced or could have imagined. Being that high in the air, looking down so far, and knowing that he was falling to a flat and immobile earth below, made rational thinking futile.

****** Josh | (Referring to the video.) This is the crux point; had I grabbed my knees and gone for a double I would have easily rotated another front. Or, had I been at this point and really kicked my hips out I would have probably kicked it out to a single. If I had really committed to the trick and set my hips a little more maybe I could have held the trick a little longer and just rotated enough and landed on my feet and broke both my legs. A hundred feet is a hundred feet and I was going to hurt myself, and that might have been a scenario where I broke both my femurs. Instead I just open up and.... And yet Josh kept making decisions, staying present, trying to contribute to the situation. Josh | I saw the ground coming and thought, “Oh man, that is a long way down. I should be on the ground right now and I am probably 15 feet up from the lip. Stretch it out! Stretch it out!" I was still looking at about another 50 feet before I landed to flat, to nothing. So going into the fetal position was a natural reaction. I ended up smashing into the ground in the fetal position and then…my world went black. I’ll never forget the look on everyone’s faces when I regained consciousness. It was probably the most horrifying event of that whole day. I was lying on the ground with my story being told…everything I needed to know was in everyone’s eyes. That was pretty overwhelming for me. I had heard it said before that our eyes are the gateway to our souls, and when something so traumatic occurs, that becomes so apparent and so clear. I could see the fear that they had, the kids that I was coaching. I looked at them and there

were moments where the message in their eyes said they would never ski again. The thing is that the speed I was carrying and the fear that surfaced because I knew I was in trouble led me not to commit to either a single or a double. And I knew that before I left the ground. Doing a single front flip with that velocity and the rotation I was about to set was not a good idea. But ego overrode intuition, and I went for it anyways because ‘I’m the man’ and I can handle it. You know, it is important to rewind a little bit further [rewinding the video] and right there…had I put on the breaks I would have stopped all of this. But one thing that I want to be perfectly clear about is that there are no regrets.

****** Experiencing freedom and experiencing restriction seem opposed. But conversation with Josh and the experiences he shares reveals that they are infused with each other. The word “Freedom” which Josh had tattooed on his belly prior to his accident as a sign of the freedom he found in freeskiing, now rests inches away from a fused and immobile spinal column between thoracic vertebrae 11 and lumbar vertebrae 4. The tattoo now exists as a reminder of the freedoms that Josh has found, and continues to find, in freeskiing. Living Josh | I talk a lot about my passion and my love for movement, my love for momentum, my love for sliding, and my love for fresh air. I also love the experience of the social aspect, the adrenaline, and the outlet for creativity. There are a million reasons that I love to ski...but my driving force to get back on skis was those kids! So I got back up there and it gave me more freedom than I have ever had in my whole life. John | In what way? Josh | Well, I’m confined to a wheelchair. I don’t enjoy how challenging it is for me to get from point A to point B, and that has caused a shift in my thinking. Is it always important to get from A to B? Or is it the process that is involved? Straight out of the hospital, I was always looking for experiences to learn from. If, after the accident, I had gone into neutral, then it could have been a place of mourning and sorrow and disappointment and regret. But thankfully, because of the people I surrounded myself with, I have been able to be that ambitious bullfighter, to find a lust for life and move forward. When I clip into my sit-ski, there is nothing that is slowing me down. I am complete. I am equal with everyone else on the mountain. I get to enjoy that environment freely without any obstacles, without any resistance. Continued

There are a million reasons that I love to ski...but my driving force to get back on skis was those kids!

****** “I was always looking for experiences to learn from.” This mind-set or state of being is like the child’s state of wonder, of being a perpetual beginner. Like Leonardo da Vinci, whose wondering and wandering seduced him to the edge of a great cavern: Urged on by my eagerness to see the many varied and strange forms shaped by artful nature, I wandered for some time among the shady rocks and finally came to the entrance of a great cavern. At first I stood before it dumbfounded, knowing nothing of such a thing; then I bent over with my left hand braced against my knee and my right shading my squinting, deep-searching eyes; again and again I bent over, peering here and there to discern something inside; but the all-embracing darkness revealed nothing. Standing there, I was suddenly struck by two things, fear and longing: fear of the dark ominous cavern; longing to see if inside there was something wonderful. (Sheets-Johnstone, 1999)

transformation is the best way to describe what has happened. Nothing much has changed other than the way I get around. (Josh pauses.) You know, maybe things have changed a little bit. My appreciation for freeskiing has increased. I’ve always had a love and an attachment, to it but my appreciation for that freedom has expanded. And my confidence to explore and to be curious and to not try to force things on the mountain but to let things unfold has increased by just trying to listen to it. Even though it is not physically speaking to me, I just have to be patient, have to be flexible, have to be enjoying it, having fun with it in a non-confrontational way. In a recent conversation, Josh mentioned that his lifetime aspirations have adjusted slightly. They still include sliding down snow as often as possible, both as a national Para-Alpine World Cup athlete, and in pursuing a career in freeskiing. He is no longer ski coaching; however he is life-coaching and using his story in the freedom of movement as a vehicle to inspire others.

Josh | Limitations are a perception of your imagination. I don’t want to focus too much on acquiring a disability. A mobility

I wonder what freedoms we could find and create by greeting each day as a perpetual beginner, to aspire to make the familiar strange, to live in a state of wonder wherein we open ourselves to the tensions of life. Perhaps, like Josh we might gain an appreciation for the challenges, obstacles, and change that life presents, and in that appreciation, continue to open ourselves to falling, flying, and finding freedom.

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Para-Nordic Opportunities at the Canmore Nordic Centre More people with disabilities are attempting Para-Nordic sports every year—Canada’s national teams are showing growth in both results and depth. And, the Canmore Nordic Centre (CNC) is leading the way. As home to Canada’s Para-Nordic ski teams, the CNC underwent significant renovations in 2005 to create more beginner-friendly terrain. Here is a list of opportunities for Para-Nordic skiers at the CNC this winter: *Terrain & grooming suitable for persons with disabilities *Snow ramps for sit-skiers from lodge and parking lot onto snow *Rentals & lessons from Trail Sports (and Rocky Mountain Adaptive Sports Society) *Recruitment & introduction days with Cross Country Canada.Visit for details. *Fully wheelchair accessible facility and bathrooms

Smuts By Andrew Wexler


the Crown Jewels of K-Country skiing

The winter of 2009/10 was considered by many to be the most rugged ski season in recent memory. With layer after layer of buried surface hoar peppering the snowpack like land mines, most people in the ski industry were reigning it in so tight that some guides considered trading in their fat boards for racing snowshoes. By the time mid April rolled around, it seemed that all anyone wanted to do was head south for some warm southern stone. But among the non-believers, there was one man who remained confident that things would come around. This man was my friend and skiing mentor, Chief Ali. “You’ll see buddy,” I remember him saying more than once as I lamented the state of affairs, “Spring will make everything right—you just need to believe.” Like clockwork, big lines in the Canadian Rockies started falling by early May and didn’t stop falling until well in to July. Fortunately, Bow Valley residents did not have to drive far to cash in on the fine spring conditions. Tucked away in our own backyard are two of the most aesthetic road-side ski lines in the region, the southeast face on Mt. Smuts and the northwest couloir on Mt. Chester. On May 11, 2010, Ryan Creary, Ross Mailloux and I gathered for a 6-a.m. coffee session at the Bagel Co. on Canmore’s Main Street. The goal for the day was the beautiful couloir gracing the northwest face of Mt. Chester.

“Hey buddy,” I asked when we regrouped, “How do you turn on that stuff?” After a few seconds, he turned and smiled and said, “You just gotta believe.”

Mt. Chester

Height: 3,054 metres Gain: 1,150 metres Steepest Angle: 45 degrees Time: 4 to 6 hours, round trip Aspect: Northwest Season to attempt: Spring

Mt. Smuts

Height: 2,938 metres Gain: 1,075 metres Steepest Angle: 55 degrees Time: 4.5 to 6 hours, roundtrip Aspect: South Season to attempt: Spring For more information on both these lines, check out And, make sure to consult the Canadian Avalanche Association’s website at before heading out.

After an hour of mellow uphill touring, we crossed Chester Creek and skinned up to the base of the couloir. From here, we strapped skis to our packs, donned crampons and began the long boot pack up. Conditions were perfect—soft, boot-top snow lured us upward through narrow pinches and short sections of ice. About 80 metres below the summit ridge we clipped into our skis, stared out at the southeast face of Mt. Smuts, and began our descent.

By 6:30 a.m., the southeast face of Smuts was glowing pink with the first rays of sun and we silently wished we had left Canmore earlier. But with cold and supportive snow underfoot, we continued upward. An hour and a half later, after climbing a steep shallow section and traversing the exposed summit ridge, we were standing on top amidst one of the finest views K-Country has to offer. Without wasting much time, we clipped in and started down. The summit ridge would be a bad place to stumble and I watched Ali punch confident turns down the firm 55-degree pitch.

Outfit your adventure!

Photos by Jason Billing.

Two days later, I was ripped from my slumber by my alarm—2 a.m. the clock read. I performed the morning coffee ritual like a robot and waited for Chief Ali to surface at the door. By 3 a.m., we were on our way out of town, hurtling down the Spray Lakes Road under a clear, starry night. We pulled over about four kilometres north of the Chester Lake parking Area, at a point directly beneath Mt. Smuts and the Fist. From here, we dropped down from the road, crossed the creek on a bridge, and raced up Commonwealth Creek in firm conditions.

the facts

726 Main St., Canmore | 403.678.5610

Winter’s here, and along with it comes the backbreaking chore of snow removal. Take my word for it, your weak shoveling skills don’t stand up to what Mother Nature has planned for you this season. Here are some tips from your friend Mountain MacGyver to get you going on the right path. 1. Dress for success. Style is at the bottom of my list, and I suggest you take it down a notch as well. Sure, it’s -30°C, but believe me, you’ll be cursing that fancy new down parka when you’re sweating like an elk in about 10 minutes. Instead, think layers. Plaid flannel, earmuffs, woolen mitts, goggles and Sorels will get you where you’re goin’. Forget the fancy scarf, it’ll only slow you down. 2. Get slick. Don’t break your back lifting heavy wet snow that gets stuck to your shovel. Check this out: take a can of cooking spray and coat the shovel before starting. That snow will slide off like Bambi on black ice. You are going to love me for this—you can thank me later. 3. Give‘r, my friends. Dig in and let those shovels fly.

Delicious organic treats & snacks to go!

#109-1205 Bow Valley Trail, Canmore, AB | 403.679.0232


wherever there is  weather Bear hug to Blue for building my favourite mountain bike trail in the Bow Valley. Moose knuckle to the person that stole an eight-year-old’s scooter outside the communitea cafe in August. Bear hug to Em my longest running staff member; I couldn't do it without you. Moose knuckle to the person that did the raindance last summer. Bear hug to the Nordic Centre for all the super rad new trails! Moose knuckle to the jerk in a head-to-toe red Salomon ski suit that told me with a sneer, “Looks like you need more practice,” on my first day ever of skate skiing at the Nordic Centre last winter. Thanks scientist! Bear hug to the powers that be that built the Legacy Trail between Canmore and Banff. Moose knuckle to the yahoo in the J_s Construction truck driving like a test pilot on the #1 westbound for Canmore. Bear hug to Gary for organizing the Canmore Indie Music Festival. You rock! Moose knuckle to whoever left the Legacy Trail at a dead end with no connection to Canmore. Submit your Bear Hug or Moose Knuckle to

Keep your feet warm and dry. Available in Men’s, Ladies’ & Children’s sizes at Two Wolves Trading Company.

108-1240 Railway Ave., Canmore | Beside Starbucks 403.678.9791

rn in Banff A Tiger BoCro ston

Review by Joanna r; A True Story of Vengence & John Vaillant’s new book The Tige e attention lately. Justifiably so sinc Survival has been getting a lot of vely acti that r a rare Siberian tige it’s the haunting true account of kills Russian poacher Vladimir ly itab inev stalks, tortures and ner. It’s a remarkable story and an Markov in a horribly savage man by the Governor General Award equally remarkable book, written ers Spruce. Vaillant captivates read winning author of The Golden with r een hunter and predato by describing the intimacy betw anoia and reality as Markov is par of psychological interchanges in his forest cabin for days by the being pursued and held hostage t iate throughout Vaillant’s brillian tiger. Tension and suspense rad the n whe th rma afte the ked, but in prose, not only as Markov is stal of trackers attempt to find and team a and red ove disc is slaughter s doe more damage. put down the huge cat before he a aware of however, is that this is What many readers may not be rd awa his ted sen en Vaillant pre book that was born in Banff. Wh on the Banff Centre stage at uce Spr den Gol winning book, The t l in 2006, little did he know tha the Banff Mountain Book Festiva it t film called Conflict Tiger tha he would be so drawn in to a rary project. Conflict Tiger won would be the basis of his next lite Banff Mountain Film Festival the Grand Prize that year at the e what was to become an ongoing when Vaillant began to cultivat ha Snow. And so, an old tale took friendship with filmmaker Sas the screen to the page. on new and different wings from

ntain Film and Book Fest at the Check it out at this year's Banff Mou er 7, 2010. Banff Centre, October 30 to Novemb

untry Every LostCroCo ston

Review by Joanna ry Lost Country is a thrilling Steven Heighton’s new book Eve based on tragic events that ve climbing and adventure narrati a number of years ago when took place at Cho Oyu basecamp ing group of Tibetan refugees flee Chinese soldiers fired upon a into en tak ers oth was killed and over a high mountain pass. A nun ling episode into a new tale chil this ves wea on custody. Height mpting to claim a first ascent on about a climbing expedition atte . The characters are masterful: the fictional peak of Mt. Kyatruk leader at the end of his glory an aggressive, selfish expedition litical expedition doctor, and an days, a friendly and seemingly apo er all play a part in keeping a edgy Chinese Canadian filmmak ellious teenage daughter. watchful eye over the doctor’s reb it’s brilliance shines through in The story is crafted from fact but characters when the expedition the drama and conflict between new ethical and political undergoes horribly wrong and takes on es precedence over the climb for tones. The safety of Tibetans tak s are formed, and controversy most of the team, but not all. Rift by ection and surprising actions unfolds with plenty of self refl on ght Hei it. ect exp t ldn’ wou those characters from whom you any e erli und ges llen cha t wha of clearly has an understanding descriptions of wounded group se the ks mar and ion expedit

dynamics with bang-on acc uracy. A gripping must-r ead for mountain folks of all kin ds on cold nights this win ter. This book will also be fea tured at the Banff Moun tain Film and Book Fest at the Banff Centre, October 30 to November 7, 2010.

David Eso & Migratory Words

Local poet David Eso has two new books out for 2010. A Wide Path to the Narrowing Future: 53 Short Poems from a Senegalise Journey takes the reader into the heart of an Africa n adventure by following Eso through daily short poems and his own photography. Polaroid Poetry: A Derail ing Culture Caught in the Act is also made of short poe ms, some of which are as little as two or three words, cov ering travel, politics, sex, lov e, and poetry itself.   Ask ed why such short poems, Eso responded, "I'm trying to resolve the gap between mo dern society and poetry.  Ou r attention spans have bee n whittled down by the mo des of modern media.   Becaus e of their small scope, the se poems are accessible to a modern audience, and yet the task is to cram them, sm all as they are, with as mu ch meaning as I can muster.  A poem of this size must have something to say, and I think poetry can rightly be accused of abusing us wit h meaninglessness in ma ny cases.  This is certainly no time for that." Eso is the founder of Canmore's literary collec tive, Migratory Words, which has published dozens of local writers through annual anthologies that celebr ate participants of Migratory Words' regular writers’ cir cles. This year's collection boa sts 15 local poets and storyt ellers as well as drawin gs by Susanne Swibold and portraits of the writers by Shirley Chinneck. Also ava ilable is a Migratory Words sampler DVD entitled  Poe ts Asking for Exile. The DVD features four poets with pol itical messages, be they env ironmental, gender based, or just an acute concern for our future.   "Poets are the antennae of a culture," Eso said. "In 50 years, the messages on the DVD will be common place, but in this moment, I think the y're worth paying attention to."

521 BANFF AVE | BANFF | 403.762.9292

Town of Canmore

Talkin’ Trash Canmore’s animal proof garbage bins are perfect for keeping the hairy critters out, but are often too difficult for seniors or people with disabilities/ injuries to manage. The Town of Canmore’s FCSS, and Solid Waste Services Departments work together to provide curb-side garbage collection once each week for people who need the help. For more information on Specialized Garbage Collection, contact FCSS at 403.678.7129.

All four titles are ava ilable on Main Street in Canmore at Second Story Books.

boarlledy the couot inrk the Bow Va out & ab

on the Corkboard, To have your event listed contact us at info@highli Some programs are subject to change & availability.

Tuesday FALL YOGA s w/ Tracey Delf ation Centre Canmore Recre c. st week of De Classes until 1 9:30 - 10:45 am . elcome. All levels $12. Drop-ins w Visit www.bala

MONDAY Noon Flow w/ Erin Evans. Explore strength and flexibility in this invigorating & balancing mid-day prac tice. 12:00pm, The Yoga Lounge #200 826 Main St., 2nd Floor above the Book Store $15 drop-in


Cardio Book Camp 6:15-7:15pm Sally Borden, Banff Centre $5.50 drop-in


Run & Pump 12:10-12:50pm Sally Borden, Banff Centre $5.50 drop-in

Wednesday *

Mixed Flow w/ Jen. Have fun in this dynamic practice designed to build heat, endurance, strength and concentration. 5:30pm, The Yoga Lounge #200 826 Main St. 2nd Floor above the Book Store $15 drop-in



FALL YOGA w/ Tracey Delfs Canmore Recreation Centre Classes until 1st week of Dec. 5:30 - 6:45 pm $12. Drop-ins welcome. All levels. Visit

Movie Night…Canmore Public Library 7:30pm. By Donation Open Mic Bruno’s Bar & Grill 10pm-2am Everyone welcome, from spoken word to metalheads. Instruments provided.

Thursday *

Challenge Mixed Ashtanga Yoga with Laurisa. flow of yourself and get into the seamless traditional Ashtanga Yoga. 5:30pm, The Yoga Lounge e the Book Store #200 826 Main St., 2nd Floor abov $15 drop-in

Friday *

CUPCAKE FRIDAY! Every Friday at the communitea café. Featuring regular and our signature gluten-free chocolate with matcha icing. Sweet!

Wednesday *

Yin Yoga w/ Je n. Enjoy a de ep but gentle st retch in this meditative cl ass targeted at releasing our connective ti ssues. 5:00pm, The Yo ga Lounge #200 826 Main St. 2nd Floor abov e the Book St ore www.theyogalou


FALL YOGA w/ Tracey Delfs Canmore Recreation Centre Classes until 1st week of Dec. 9:30 -10:45 am . $12. Drop-ins welcome. All levels Visit


"workshop" New Class! Yoga Lab w/ Nicole. This down and inspired class will help you to break cepts. understand specific postures and con 12:00pm, The Yoga Lounge Book Store #200 826 Main St., 2nd Floor above the $15 drop-in

Saturday LIVE MUSIC at communitea café Show dates, times & cover vary. for details. Check out



Sunday *

Hot Yin at Elevation Hot Yoga 5:00-6:30pm, 101 - 1002 8th Avenue, Canmore. Karma Class - see for more information and complete schedule.

What the elk is that? Photo by Dan Rafla.

Spinning Yarns One Time Events Bring your knitting. This is a chance to share ideas and discuss your favourite book. November 30, 7:00-8:30 p.m . Banff Public Library Check out for details. Festival of Trees November 25-28 Canmore Golf and Curling Clu b A holiday event for all ages! Features beautifully decora ted Christmas trees (up for auc tion), children’s events, sile nt auctions, Christmas gifts, raf fles, entertainment, light displays and a special evenin g event for adults with a buf fet and lots of cheer. Presented by the Rotary Club of Canmo re. For more information, please visit or email sgaren@gogographic

FACTS + DEADLINES Thanks for picking up a copy of this winter's Highline Magazine.

Our summer issue will hit the streets May 2011. If you have a photo, story idea, or advertise ment to flaunt this summer, please contact us at for details.

DEADLINES Photo + Story Submissions April 15th, 2011 Advertising Booking April 1st, 2011 If you would like to have an event, activity or random message posted on the Cork Board, please contact Feeling the love? Or need to get something off your chest? Bear Hugs and Moose Knuckles can be sent to Let 'er rip.



• Avalanche Movie Co. • Sally Borden • Beamer's Coffee Bar at the Banff Centre • communitea café • Safeway • Rusticana • Nester's Market • Fergie's • Elements – Patagonia • Harvest Moon Acoustics IN CALGARY • Public Library Mountain Equipment • • Canmore Recreation Co-o p Centre • Canmore Nordic Centre • Camper’s Village • Out There • Valhalla Pure Outfitters • Elements – Patagonia

New Year's Day, 2010. Photo taken from the top of Mount Mackie near Rossland, B.C. A gorgeous way to ring in the new year. Photo by Laura Glowicki.


Submit your images for this page to Deadline: April 1st, 2011.

WINTER Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park Cross Country Ski

More than 60 km of trail groomed for classic and skate technique New signage and maps being installed!

Family Friendly Rentals, lessons, tours, beginner trails

Orienteering Try ski orienteering for the first time this winter.

Ski Rentals and Pro Shop - Trail Sports full-service ski and bike shop provides expert advice on the purchase of equipment, clothing, and accessories. Service and repairs are offered. Rentals are available.



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Highline Magazine, Winter 2011  
Highline Magazine, Winter 2011  

Volume 3, Issue 1