Monday, February 6, 2012

Spectacles, Testicles, Wallet, and Scotch

I'm tired. It's 11:30 on Sunday night, I have a heat pack on my neck, and the weekend is done. Looking forward to going to sleep. But first, the action of the last 2 days. 

The climbing club hosted (for the umpteenth time) the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. Although there's not a lot of responsibility I have for that I nevertheless seem worked by it. We had a packed theater both nights... which is excellent. It's great to see it has such a loyal following in Fredericton. The 700 tickets practically sold themselves. Lots of friends of the club, and lots of personal friends. 

My only real contribution to the work is acting as the local emcee. I've done it before... and it fell again as my responsibility this year. I think I give off the impression that I like public speaking but... truth be told, I don't. I just deal with it. I write notes but forget to look at them. I worry that I ramble. I forget the important things and I sweat over screwing up people's names. It's difficult... speaking to an audience of 60 friends plus another 300 strangers. But it's done now, and I suppose each time it's a good experience for me.

The films this year were quite good. The paddling films were really good. Enough to make me want to try it. But hell, I hear it's sketchy and I'm probably already invested in too many sports. If anything was inspiring to me it was to try and take my photography up a notch. There are some damn fine photographers / cinematographers  out there in the world! They seem to come out of the woodwork for this festival.

To unwind today I went climbing. Cold air, strong sun, and snow. It was a well-cut winter day.

Two weeks ago we had a January rain. The temperature hit about +8 and it poured. Since then the sun's been strong and lot of ice that was weakened has been lost. Hayes falls, protected in the shade of the woods, is pretty durable and I'd heard that it was formed up. I don't think I'd be any more generous in my description than that: formed-up... but beggars can't be choosers. 

Brian, Graham, and the Hayes falls snowfield.

The main falls were led on all sides. The ice was like cauliflower and Styrofoam. That's were there was ice. Half of the pitch was nothing more than a snowfield. It's been hiked in snowshoes before without tools and I think it could probably have been sent again today but a crafty and skilled hiker. 

The pillar in the woods was a different matter. That ice was so dense it was like climbing a car's windshield. Swing at it and you either bounce right off or shatter it in every direction. I led the line but got mentally spanked... and took on several screws. It turns out I don't like pulling on badly fractured ice. But who does?  Not sure who it was... but thanks to whoever brought the Scotch today. Well timed, and appreciated. 

Spotted a pocket of icicles growing some fractal snow crystals. 

And the highlight of the day: without question a drop-in from Jill and Marcelle... wandering through the woods... dog in tow. Sorry you missed the climbing... let's make sure you get in on it next week.  

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