My photo
Squamish/Whistler, B.C, Canada
This Blogtography is not a shameless self promotion but a way to keep in touch with folks and share my experiences of what I see and do through the eye of the lens. I feel fortunate to play a part in stoking people to get out and explore and find their own experiences no matter what they are. It really inspires me to capture a moment in time and tell a visual story. Quote- "If I only scrape a living at least it's a living worth scraping for ! " ( Dark Side Of The Lens)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

BC Bike Race


This past week I shot the British Columbia Bike Race.   http://www.bcbikerace.com/
An epic 7 day mountain bike race from Victoria B.C to Whistler B.C. Some of the best singletrack on the planet was the highlight of the event.
More Later...Here are a few images from the last 4 day's. 
If you stumbled onto my blog and raced the event and would like to purchase an image, e-mail your race number to me and I will send you a preview to view.
Cheers,
Chris
chris@christie-images.com








Queen Bess Waddington Range B.C












Copy and paste the links on your web browser to view   http://www.blacksmithadventure.com/
                        
http://www.vimeo.com/1392667?pg=embed&sec=1392667

Early May I had minor surgery that was supposed to put me out for a month.. 4 day's after I was sitting on the couch with an ice pack and I got a call to go up to the Waddington Range of British Columbia and photograph a ski mountaineering project that Jack Hannan and Jon Johnston from Pemberton had been eyeballing.
(Aerial image from this site--  http://www.pbase.com/nolock/qbesschilko  )
I called my surgeon to get the worst case scenario if my stitches blew out in this remote region. I likely under stated what I was doing but never-the-less his word was promising that nothing catastrophic was likely to happen so I decided to go. My partner Julie on the other hand just looked at me and shook her head.. Not much sympathy here!!! 
I knew I would not be-able to ski but was confident I could climb with my camera bag and get some images of the attempt.
Before I knew it I was standing at the base of Queen Bess after a 8 hr drive from Squamish and a 40 minute Heli flight from Whitesaddle air west of Williams Lake.
The route looked in perfect shape so Jack and Jon did a quick recon on arrival and then prepared for a 3am wakeup to have an attempt on this unskied giant.  
I felt like I just fell asleep and my alarm went off.. time to go to work.. I prepped all my camera gear/crampons/ice tools and took some shots before climbing above our camp to get some images of the the boy's climbing the face.
They quickly skinned to the base of the 4000 ft face and started climbing up the sustained apron to the upper headwall. It took about 4hrs of pushing hard in good winter snow conditions considering it was early May. To their disapointment they found rotten snow on unskieable  60 deg blue ice on the upper wall that held amazing spines that was the lure of the route.
Disappointed they safely turned around and shredded the lower face. A perfect case in point to climb objectives to have  good understanding of snow conditions. A heli drop on this summit may have had different results.
Safely back at camp Jon and Jack looked for an alternative route and skied off of the ridge south of the main peak. A small consolation prize but a very aesthetic line none the less.
Everyone vowed to return to try again when condition are favorable..

Cheers,
Chris.
(Oh Ya, 3 weeks after the trip I returned to work and " My stitches popped.. I had to go back to emerg....)


Rhapsody and Floyd 1st Ascent WI4+ @ 8 pitches






Got a call from Bruce Kay the other day to join him on a project he had in the North Joffre area. I'm alway's a little apprehensive when BK calls, an epic is usually on the menu.. He must have been pretty far down his phone list cause I had hardly swung an ice tool on anything steeper than 50 deg in the past 2 years. Anyway, Before I knew it we were heading up the drainage towards the wall and I started to wonder what I had signed up for. The route was waaaaay bigger than he had suggested.

(outlined in Red in image, green route was next weeks epic) The snow ramp to the 1st pitch of ice was steeper than anything I had skied this year. Bruce took off like it was nobody's biddness and 40 feet out with no gear, started to get hammered with spindrift from 1000 feet up.

 It lasted about a minute at a time and breathing was super difficult not to mention the ice cream headache from having half the mountain stuffed into your helmet. After some time BK climbed the 1st pitch and I started off.


Stupid hand, buldging calves and screaming barfy's quickly became reality  . The route consisted of blue ice, Snice, ( mix of ice and frozen snow) sticks were pretty good with sparse protection. 

The cruxes were usually overhanging sugar snow with no gear in sight. A BK speciallty and he is so damn casual about the whole problem. Anyway the route ended up going a 1st ascent at 8 Pitchs, WI4+ with a few mixed rock moves thrown in.. We simu climbed the last 3 pitches with constant heavy spindrift.. I was getting clobbered by his leftovers.. Pretty dry mouthed the whole time. He forgot his headlamp and we topped out at 8pm in the dark not knowing the way down.. Crossed a 400 foot 45 degree hanging hanging slab for more pucker action above our route (Bruce Named it "Fools Traverse, anything but bomber avy condish-- Fergit it !!) and found a fairly easy snow ramp down to the bowl and another 30 minutes to our skis. Images of the climb were shot from the hip as the walls of snow coming down were pretty pant ****ting.and I was already multitasking untangling frozen ropes and dodging bullets... Left the truck at 8 am returned at 10pm. Not bad for 2 chocolate bars and chewing on ice to stay hydrated..

This route is a real gem.. Peeps travel half way round the world to find something like this, and here it is in our back yard.. A steep, committing alpine route with little avalanche hazard other than the approach and the Fools Traverse..

Till next time...