When Doug went on climbing trips, it was often to remote locations without cellphone reception. (Plus we didn't have cellphones back in the day.) So we each kept a journal and wrote to each other day. I suggested this because I knew we would both forget what went on during the time apart, and I was very interested in knowing.

Last week I found one of Doug's journals. It was from a disastrous trip to Mt. Robson in 2002 with DB and BP. There were two pictures of me tucked inbetween the pages.

I think what he wrote offers a glimpse of what it's like to be stuck in a tent for a looong time...and how simple, heroic, funny and loving Doug was. When I read it to my mom, she asked "And what part of that was fun?"

Most of this website is my words (other than his sayings.) I wanted to include some of Doug's. So I'm going to share what Doug wrote, verbatim (although I can't reproduce his adorably sloppy printing.) I hope he would not mind.


Tuesday, 06/24/02

Kahonce toast at B's. Saw N at Post Office. Poor b*stard. Met Jim Badge 37 out of Hope Valley RI - gave us US military rations for trip. Plane delayed. They now want 2 picture ID's to Canada - I had a passport. B & D no problem out but airport fined $5,000 if they can't legally get back. Empty plane - we slept. Landed 11:00 p.m. - Dogs sniffed wasabi peas in the pack - grilled all three of us in U.S. immigrations - thought we were going to the G8 summit.

B does battle with Avis. Get car - drive in Calgary. Sleep at ski jump and get rousted by Security - please go. Landed at horse trailer park for 3 hours. Off to hostel at Lake Louise for breakfast. Uneventful drive up Ice Fields Parkway - to Jasper. All business. Oops - saw a grizley (sp) bear foraging.

Opened the bar at Jasper 11:00 a.m. for 2 rounds before shopping for provisions. Comparative wine shopping and Styrofoam cooler. Checked in with Ranger. 5% - 20% success rate on summit Robson.

Yellowhead Helicopter check in - then to Valemont for hotel, bar, food and packing. Met Luke the Prophet and the one armed man.


Woke up at 5:30. Sh*t, shower, shave, off to Yellowhead. D drove car to trail head and gravel pit pick up. B and I weighed in and met Greg the pilot. Flew us to D but he wasn't there at first. All hook up. Fly in to the extinguisher.

Humped gear to a glacial oasis - 2 times and set up base camp. Relax and gear up for the trip in.


Up at 3:00 a.m.

Glacial travel at 5:00 a.m. Full packs up to Resplendent Col at about 10 a.m. Worked through crevasses - all getting tired and cramping.

Starts to rain and get to dome in whiteout conditions. In tent 2:10 p.m. and not a moment too soon.

Rehydrate and cocktail - all exhausted.


Snowed all Thurs.. night - 6" of snow and blowing. Rested comfortably.

Wake up and eat Nutrigrain bar - D & B read a little. I slept on and off. Snowed all day with freezing rain sleet. D dug a latrine - filled up with blowing snow. Winds howl all day all night.

B & I play D in a game of chess. D wins. Start my book on "tracking." D has a George Custer book. B has a book on religion and creationism vs. science.


Snowed all Friday night. Same pattern today. B gets a radio station that calls for clearing later today. I.e., another day tent bound. Tent bound all day except for about 2 hours when we move the tent ~100 yards further from the Kain face. Played crazy "8's," some cocktails etc. etc.

Note to Bet:
I love you and miss you dearly. Keep looking at your photo - doesn't help either. This mountaineering tests all parts of me. Physical, uncomfortable, hot/cold, boring, happy, sad, tired


Whiteout conditions continue. It is about 9 a.m. and this represents 67 hours of storm - all are getting a little bored. This book on tracking is pretty good - on p.87 now. Poptarts and oatmeal for breakfast. Radio says sunny in Edmonton. 6:30 p.m. partial clearing. The hopes go up. Can't go any lower. Tent is buried - dug out 4 times today. Played 2 games of chess, read and chit chatted. Tough stuff.

Note to Bet:

It is Sunday evening. Doing well, just tough to keep my spirits up. Tons of snow and naturally concerned about climbing conditions...and...descending conditions. 4 days of storm is pretty tough but remember you married a tough guy.... Things are lightening up. Hopefully at minimum I can move around and stretch. Having shrimp pasta tonite. I hope all is well back east - ducks, goat, dogs, home and especially you. I love you dearly. - Doug


Sh*t! Sh*t! Sh*t! Stormed the worst yet overnight - this makes 5 straight days of blizzard whiteout conditions. We have given up any sane thoughts of getting to the top. There has been so much snow, sleet, ice, freezing rain that avalanche conditions prevail. It is so bad we are going to have a terrible time on the descent. The crevasses will now be covered in snow. We still must not leave the tent because we cannot see 5 feet ahead of us. Could get off route etc. Had Poptarts and coffee and cocoa for breakfast.

Note to Bet:

Hope you are well and not computing too much...i.e., stop and smell the roses. Us here well you know - same ole same ole. What a f*cking disaster! If we had scheduled our trip say 3 or 4 days earlier in June we would have summitted for sure. On the way in to Camp 1 were 2 days of clear summit and outstanding snow conditions. We just can't win.

Every few hours we have to shovel snow away from the tent because we get buried. Got stuffy last nite because we got covered in snow. Missing you greatly. - Love, Doug

Monday a.m. (cont.)

Did prep work packing just in case the weather broke. Had some pepperoni. Worked on my harness and jumars for possible crevasse rescue. Just killing time now.

Monday p.m. (cont.)

Over 100 hours of storm - can't make it out and down today - we are all pretty down and out. Packing up tomorrow for daybreak 4 a.m. Some boredom stuff follows --->

[hangman, tic-tac-toe, a word scramble with lots of swear words and "motel" "beer" and "pool"]

Note to Bet:

I miss you and can't wait to talk to you. We plan on off the glacier tomorrow and then 13 mile walk out to the car. The next page is upside down.

[A map showing the Kain face, camps, crevasses, rock bands, double crevasses, huge crevasse, technical Serac wall, crevasse too wide to jump and x - deep, high point - steep - glacier]

I hope all is going ok with you - nothing broken I hope - at least till I get home. Ha ha. I am tired and going to bed now. I love you always + always. - Doug

Made it down to the Ranger Station and camp site - grueling descent down the glacier. B fell into a crevasse on the Robson Glacier, D twisted his left knee. Get off the glacier back to original helicopter camp. Re-group and walk to Berg (?) Lake and campsite. Wildflowers abound. At campsite the boys are quizzed by all (we are the only climbers among many hikers.) Meet Mark a surveyor and a big family group. We share kielbasa with them - a Big Hit. Met SE a New Zealand kid.


Wake up next morning for the 20 km walk out to the car. Takes 8 hours of grueling loads. I swam at Kinney Lake and we saw giant avalanche. At the car we go to Intervale and get a hotel, sauna, movie (Patriot) and dinner.

Thursday (4th of July)

Yikes - get to motel room and all can't walk. Take a sauna and chow down. Watch Patriot and crash.


Wake up and can't walk - sore calfs. B has a blister and limps.

Eat breakfast and then we go to the Ranger Station. We find out that we stayed the longest on the dome without a rescue.

Drive to Jasper. Do the laundry. Drive to Banff - eat pizza and get a campground.


I seem to be off a day. Hike 6 kilometers to a glacial turn.

Go to Interpretive Session - A"cat"amy awards in campground - Lynx, bobcats, cougars. Wake up - B has a blister - blowing money - decide to pack it in.


That was the end of the journal.


In the summer of 2011, B attempted to bring some of Doug's ashes to the top of Mr. Robson. Another disaster. Read more. I think that mountain is cursed for them.


The second half of the journal is filled with my silly cartoon drawings of our camping trip to Prince Edward Island. E.g., Fire Fiasco, with a drawing of cranky Doug pouring gasoline, a box of matches, tour books of places we were not going to get to, free wood, Cheese Nip box = small plume of smoke. And a note about how Doug brought 2 T-shirts with holes in them and 3 pairs of underwear for a 15 day trip.

We had so much fun together.

He made everything fun.

I miss him. We all do.





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