ANOTHER CLIMBING JOURNAL: British Columbia, canADA, 1999

While cleaning out my office, I came across another of Doug's climbing journals. We kept a journal for each other when we were apart. (Also see Robson journal 2002 and Alberta 2005.) This one is fairly tame. The parts that strike me the most are the casual mentions of grizzly bears, no food for two days, and "Bloody fingers and blistered toes. All of us are idiots to pursue this activity."

The [notes in brackets] are mine.


Objective: Mountaineering. Rock Climbing on Sunny Rock

July 25th - Sunday

It is snowing. It was the best, it was the worst of times. We are sitting in the tent at 8,000 feet, weather sucks. Gives us a chance to go back in time.


July 22 - Thursday Morning

Bob arrives in Woodstock CT at 4:00 a.m. Doug B and Ed stay over. The Suburban takes us off to Manchester, NH. Flight is on-time, body bags too heavy - had to readjust. [Note: "body bags" were the ginormous brown canvas duffles he used to pack his climbing gear]

Fly into Chicago to have a beer, then fly into Spokane. Upgrade rental car to a Ford Explorer. Spokane = urban sprawl, pawn shops, strip joints, liquor stores. Our kinda place.

Drive through Idaho and cross the border. The guards say "What - no guns on any of you?"

Drink Kokanee beer. Doug B says "We have ice axes to beat off bears - we don't need guns."

Eat at Shenanigans Bar in Cranbrook. Split a "jug" of beer.

Crash on a grassy knoll outside town. Bugs are awful. Rains during the night. Cool breeze and sunny in the morning.

July 23 - Friday

Wake up and drive 47 kilometers on a dirt road to Bugaboo parking lot. Met two guys from New Hampshire - Paul and Gary - nice guys. They carry up 5 liters of wine for us. Naturally they get 1/2 of the load. Both teachers/counselors, age 48 and 52. Pretty accomplished.

Pack out at the car. Each pack weighs 80+ lbs., can't lift the pack. Had to sit down to put mine on. 3 hour walk up to the Conrad Cain hut. At times use cable handrails and up a 30 foot ladder. Bob yells "Bring up another load of shingles!" [Note from Bet: Doug had just finished roofing our barn himself. Lugging shingles up to the roof was no easy task.]

Got to Kain hut about 1:00 p.m. Sunny, hot and pretty tired. Some Aussie kids present. One of their party has a dislocated shoulder and a helicopter arrives to bring him out. The hut is gorgeous - hydropower electricity, heated, running water from a sink. Tent sites are one hour and 1000 feet above the hut. Ranger recommends the tent sites (4 days x 5 Canadian x 4 people = $80 Canadian = ~ $50 U.S.)

Slog up to the tent sites - beautiful view. All are beat. Dinner = shells plus peanut butter and bread plus red wine. Crash pretty early. Bob and Ed play cards. Doug B reads. I sleep through it all.

July 24 - Saturday

6:00 a.m. wake up really sore. Ed's calves hurt, Doug B's shoulder sore. Doug B and Bob sore backs.

Doug B makes scrambled eggs and bacon bits. Mountains are beautiful. Nunoutahs [?] stick out - Bugaboo Spire looms in the background.

Head for "East Post" spire. Gain the ridge crossing snow. 1 rack, 2 ropes. Ascend 4th/3rd class ridge wearing double boots. No real problem. Top out and Doug and Bob throw a rope off the summit - top rope a crumbly crack. From the East Post - descend to a rock wall. Bob leads up a sloping crack system - does a nice job on a climb "more difficult than it looks." [Note: I assume this is a quote from one of the many guide books Doug poured over while preparing for a trip.]

Back down to the tent sites to a round of applause from NH people. We put on a show. Wine/cocktails and yuks - then it starts to rain. Make a dinner of chicken terriake - pretty good. Sleets on and off through the night - one clap of lightning and thunder.

July 25 - Sunday

Bob and Ed head back down in the snow storm to the hut. They are going to get a long range weather forecast. Doug B reads as I write this journal. My toes are cold. 2 inches of snow is on the ground, freshly fallen.

It is Tuesday now - at lunch, the boys settle in to have a salad at the Hostel. We are in Lake Louise and heading into Aberdeen and Hadoo Peak. Laundry is done. Meet up with the NH guys - amazing - small world. Meanwhile, we go back in time....

July 25th - Bob and Ed come back from the hut. Rangers say "Get out now." We do - we find out later 20 cm of snow has fallen. Good thinkin....

Get out and drive to a Canadian campground. All of us are beat up. No legs left. Have dinner in the Mad Trapper. The Trapper Fries were excellent. Crash at the camp site - drink the red wine, yuk it up.

Up at 6 a.m. Head to Mt. Steven. Doug B wakes up - shoulder is really sore. All are pretty beat up. Ed, me and Bob head for Mt. Stephen. Mt. Stephen is this limestone summit of huge proportions. Doug B needed rest. Me, Bob and Ed head up a tedious scree pile to get to a limestone head wall with a cable.


It is Wednesday now, 5:30 p.m. Just got down after an overnight climb on Mt. Aberdeen (10,000 feet.) I am in the sauna room with Bob and Doug - Ed is showering. Man do we stink.

Anyways, we left Lake Louise yesterday (Tuesday) bright sunshine about 3:30 p.m. after a lunch. We hiked 3 hours and biveyed up on scree on the shoulder of the mountain. No food for two days. Got up this morning at 4:00 a.m., slogged up the scree pile then technical through ice to gain the glacier and topped out in the col about 10:00 a.m. Submitted about 11:00 a.m. through mixed climb. Beautiful views. A great mountain. Long hike down through scree piles. Grizzly bears are present.

My shower is done and I feel good. Bet, I'm drinking a Kokanee beer right now - tastes great.

Blodd (oops, Beer Alert) Bloody fingers and blistered toes. All of us are idiots to pursue this activity. I am so hungry right now. I have not eaten food since yesterday (except for a Nutragrain bar.)

Go to dinner with the NH guys - lots of yuks. Campsite is illegal near ski area.

Thursday evening

IN a campsite on "top of the world" Trying to get out of paying $12.00 Canadian. Didn't do too much - rained all day. Went to Roger's Pass - a disappointment. We then drove a few hours to a shot spring. Sat in it and sweated. A few people around - smelled like sulfur. Plan on driving to Spokane tomorrow.

[This list appears at the end of this journal. I don't remember the explanations he provided me with when he got home, but I'm sure there is a complete story behind every one.]


  • "No I'm Bonokis! No I'm Bonokis" [A take on "I'm Spartacus!"]
  • "Let's go here because there is a good selection of beer." "What do you mean we always buy Kokanee Beer?"
  • "Bob cracks himself up with his own bad jokes."
  • "Get outta my way toots."
  • "See what happens when we actually try to pay for showers."
  • (posting at the hot spring) "NO nudity. No alcohol." Well, we are two behind already.
  • "Go down the wrong way - we will get the last campground site."
  • "Yack foods." "Overwaiten Groceries" [I'm guessing these were the names of grocery stores.]
  • "They take the bone out of your head."
  • "Why would I lie." (Fight at campground)
  • F*ck you, eh!


CLIMBING JOURNAL: Alberta/British Columbia, Canada, 2005

[This journal is in the same notebook.]


August 15 -> 24

  • Morro Mountain
  • Charlton Mountain/Malign Lake
  • Woolley/Diadem Mountain


  • Dale J
  • Jim S
  • Bob P
  • Doug Z

Day 1 - Monday

Bob and I fly out of Providence, meet Dale in Minn, Jim in Calgary. It is raining and cold in Calgary. Head up the ice fields parkway. Stop in Lake Louise to get a few supplies - murky weather. Continue on to Mt. Edith canal [?] area. Jim booked two nights at a hostel.

At hostel about 7:00 p.m. It is a primitive hostel. The dog bites Dale in the butt.


We wake up at 5:00 a.m. Wake everyone up in the bunks. It is raining. Go to Jasper. Meet a climber who was at Robson - sat for days. Robson is not in shape. [Note: Doug and his buddies made multiple attempts to summit Robson over the years. All ended in defeat or disaster.] All told, at least four people died on it this year with maybe just one party summitting. <15% make it to the summit. It is a 3000 meter climb, rivals Everest.

We decide to do a scramble in the rain to some peak I cannot remember. But we take a wrong trail and hike to the summit of Mt. Morro. It is in the fog. We then chart by compass and bushwack down the mountain, hoping to hit the trail. Well, this turned into an epic!! We down climbed a 1,000 foot face. At one point, Bob went through a difficult section. Jim and Dale down climbed to a 5th class section - we had no rope. I said "No Way!!" I sat for a long time - Do I go up? Do they get a rope? Finally I get the nerve to try Bob's route - it was ok. Certainly safer than D & J's route. It is pouring out now. We all get down and follow a neat stream out to the car in the rain.

Go to Jasper, drink beer in the laundromat. Then back to the hostel.


It is raining. Drive to Maligne Lake (boat cruises, canoe rentals). We want to do Mt. Charlton but cannot see anything. The cruise people actually gave us a free boat trip out to Spirit Island (they had extra open seats) on account of the bad weather. It is a pretty corny thing, with the announcers saying things like "Stupid canoe paddlers go in circles." "The honeymoon paddle - gaze at each other." Mary Schaeffer rode side saddle."

We get back and ranger says nothing is in shape - bad year of weather. We sit/stew in cafeteria. Finally we stick with the plan.

Rent canoes - paddle for two hours down Maligne Lake and set up a high camp on the moraine below Mt. Charlton. Eat a freeze-dried dinner, crash and up at dawn and climb Mt. Charlton (10,300 feet.) It is beautiful clear weather and the conditions of the climb are perfect (it was below freezing all night - 20 degrees F.) Gorgeous views - could see Robson summit.

Come back down, avoiding the serac hazards and get to camp. Spend the night in high camp - run out of fuel so we make up dinner (salami, etc.)


Get down to the canoes, eat breakfast and paddle back - 2:15 minutes. My shoulder held up. [Doug had dislocated his shoulder playing softball.]

Drove back to Jasper and get a motel room, eat dinner out. Weather is still good.


Wake up and buy prussiks in town. Eat breakfast and head to the Columbia Ice Fields area. [Doug must have gotten distracted or busy and didn't write any more about this trip.]



In the same notebook, I found my own handwritten journal to Doug from 1999 (the year we were married.) I was commuting to Long Island for work at the time, leaving Monday mornings and coming back Friday nights. I think we were apart for two full weeks when I wrote this. Here are a few excerpts from what I wrote (surrounded by lots of blather about work, the stock market, wedding planning, things breaking, the weather, etc.)


Wow, an hour after we hung up and I miss you. ...


You're off! I don't envy you getting up at 4 a.m., that's for sure. Looking forward to going home, although it will be quiet without you.


I'm watching a dopey movie where the wife wants to work and the husband won't let her (this was in the 50's.) Another one's husband won't let her wear pants. The good ol' days.


You called! It was great to hear your voice!


We had a storm and it blew over a picture of you climber guys and broke the glass and frame. Scared me - sure hope its not an omen of you getting hurt! I really don't know what I would do without you....


I want my new oven. I promise to love it as much as my new dryer.


I practiced wearing my wedding ring today. I like it!


[After I found a funny note from Doug with some chocolate in the pantry.] You are hilarious! Life with you will not be dull!


It's your birthday today (I think?) Wonder what you did today to celebrate? Wish I was there to give you a big kiss, hug, etc.

I went into work and got into a fight with Human Resources 10 minutes later. They are worse that useless. I was getting really steamed, and then guess what? 12 gorgeous huge red roses in a vase came through my door! They're spectacular! You are awesome, absolutely awesome. I can't believe how wonderful you are. (Yes I can be bought!) What did I ever do to deserve you? You're everything I want and are sooo good to me, it just amazes me. What an excellent thing to do. Especially on a dreary Monday with a long meeting-filled week looming before me, and not seeing you till Saturday night. You're the best. This was definitely worth waiting for. I hope you never take me for granted because I really just love this, and it was a great surprise. I love you!


Man on man, I am one lucky woman - I have you, no financial worries, my health, a dog and part of a goat. Who could ask for anything more?




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