This year started off with lots of fun and promise, as reported in My 2017 Year in Review Part 1. More wonderful adventures were had, but I certainly did not meet all of my goals, especially because my European climbing trip involved a lot more hiking and less climbing than initially planned. In May, I began my 4 months of medial leave from my thesis (details and contemplation found in "What Am I Doing with My Life!?!"), and was able to focus more on my mental and physical health for a while, which was much needed! Especially because now I am dealing with foot surgery which has a 4-12 month recovery period (blog post here about the progress one month out). Details of some of the events I did during this time are below.
I decided to sublet my bedroom and share my roommate's bedroom for May, especially because she was mostly gone for the month. I also spent much of my time pet-sitting for Jess again. The snow lasted for a long time this year, allowing for skiing late into the month. On May 7th, my friend Lia and I went for a ski day up at Red Heather to test out our bodies and then met up with the VOC crew in the evening to camp with the Son of Rock group.
May 12-18, Sarah, Gabe, Erin, Sasha and I headed down for a road trip in the Olympic Peninsula, doing the Enchanted Valley Hike, The Ozette Triangle Hike, and many site-seeing activities. The whole trip was a wonderful hoot!
The May long weekend was a diverse weekend, involving skiing at Seymour Saturday morning (skinning up and skiing down) and going to the beach in the afternoon, a fully day of volleyball at Locarno Beach on Sunday, and climbing in Squamish on Monday, facing some horrendous traffic on our way out!
On May 23, I picked up Nicole from work downtown and we headed to Squamish for an evening ascent of Rambles and Diedre (5.8).
Photo credit: Nicole Barrette
On May 27, I helped instruct at the VOC's Intro to Mountaineering weekend at Mount Seymour, where we taught basic skills and principles for snow and glacier travel.
Photo credit: Heather Filyk
On May 29th, Glen, Meg and I did the Table Mountain Circuit near Baker, and it was a beautiful day! I was stoked to be getting skiing in so late in the year!
For my birthday on June 2nd, I had a wonderful beach party with volleyball, t-rex times and many wonderful friends.
On June 4, Shell and I went up Centurion (sport, 5.10c) after deciding that the apron was too wet. Shell was the brave one to lead the 5.10b and 510c (and that 5.10c is a doozy!), while I lead the rest. We ran into two of our friends who were right in front of us in line too!
From June 5-12, Sarah and I went to Haida Gwaii to both help our friend Roseanna with research, and to explore Haida Gwaii via hiking. The research and the hiking brought us to many beaches and mountains.
From June 14-22, I went to Alberta to visit my family and enjoy hikes in Waterton and Canmore (Ha Ling Peak) areas.
On my last weekend in Canada before heading to Europe, On June 24-26 I went sailing locally near Vancouver.
On June 30, I flew into Venice where I had a day and a half to myself before I met up with Jake to start our Europen Buds Reunion Adventure in the Dolomites, doing via ferrata, climbing and hiking from July 1-9th.
Jake then went back to Manchester for his graduation from his Masters of Physics, and I went to Vienna to visit my friend Fangwen, pursuing a PhD there. We had a wonderful few days of exploring the city and going to shows. It was so nice to see her!
Jake and I then met back up in Ljubliana, Slovenia on July 13th, where we spent a few days in the capital before heading to Triglav National Park for a few weeks of hiking (see trip report here). Slovenia is stunningly beautiful!
For our last week in July, we decided to head to Croatia and see Zagreb (the capital) and Plitvice National Park, which is stunningly beautiful but immensely crowded.
Jake flew back to Manchester, and I flew to London on August 2nd. I spent an entire day seeing sites in London, especially museums, before meeting Jake in Manchester on August 4th. I also watched a live performance of "The Kite Runner", which was amazing!
Jake and I had a wonderful day in Manchester, before heading North to meet Nicole in Scotland.
Nicole and I then spent 3 weeks in Scotland (trip report here) on the Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant, with Jake joining us for the first 2 weeks and Mark for the last week. We explored the Cairngorms, Reiff, Glencoe, Kilchoan, Mount Suilven and the Isle of Skye, as well as checking out the Fringe festival in Edinburgh. It was an amazing trip!
On my way back to Manchester, I stopped by the Lake's District and went for a small hike and checked out the cute community of Ambleside.
Before going back to Canada, I spent a few days in Manchester and went to Pride with Jake, then spent one last day of exploring London and met up with my friend Ada at the airport, on her way to London and my way home, for breakfast.
On our first weekend back (Sept 2-4), Nicole and I joined the VOC crew up at Brew Hut for the VOC Centennial, but we first went up Western Harlot (5 pitch, 5.9) in Squamish to make up for our insufficient climbing experienced in Scotland due to rain. The trip to Brew was wonderful, with beautiful views and good company. We scrambled to Keg on day 2.
Photo credit: Nicole Barrette
Photo credit: Nicole Barrette
The weekend of September 10th, Katie, Dmitri and I attempted to go up Mount MacFarlane for the night, but got rained out Saturday and decided to turn back shortly before Pierce Lake. We were gone from noon to 4 PM, and all the vehicles on the parking lot were broken into at this time.
I went to uninterrupted.ca under the Cambie Street Bridge a few times, which was amazing! I would highly recommend for future years. They project images on the bottom of the Cambie Street Bridge and follow the salmon life cycle and spawning journey.
On September 23-24, Else, Kelsey, Roseann and I had a girls trip and did the Howe Sound Crest Trail. Kelsey and I both utilized our bivys and were stoked! It was a beautiful weekend, and wonderful trip, but on the way down, my knees gave out for the last time and the others had to help me carry my less-than-full 35 L pack because even that was too heavy.
After this trip, I took a prolonged break from hiking to rest my knees and focused mostly on climbing. October is also a very busy month for me, involving TAing a field school in the Okanagan for a week, and marking for 2/3 of the subsequent weekends.
We had a surprisingly dry October, and I was able to get out climbing October 28-30, taking the Monday off to learn a love for slab climbing with Eric at AMO Wall near Shannon Falls. On the Saturday, Kate, Brody and I went up Sacrilege (3 pitch, 10a in Chek Canyon), and I spent the day cragging in the Smoke Bluffs Sunday.
In my last week before my foot surgery on November 10th, I manically finished my marking for the Grasslands field course and attended the Eco-Evo conference in Brackendale Sept 3-5. After the conference ended, I met up with Eric Justin and Will to climb in the Smoke Bluffs Sunday for my last Squamish session.
On Wednesday, November 8th, Julie and I took a half day off and hiked up Hollyburn for my last hike before surgery.
On November 9th, I took a break from work to go on my last beach walk before my surgery.
The rest of November was spent convalescing and cuddling with my two new foster kitties, Hobart and Maggie. Such sweethearts!
December 1st was my second foot surgery, which was then followed by another week of being sick and recovering. During the recovery, I have been working on painting, blogging, ukulele, Spanish, board game nights and my thesis. One of these days I will write a blog about my research...