Monmouth Canyoneering, Broken Ankle, and Being Searched and Rescued

The day has started off really well, we got to Squamish early, got the gear ready, put on our wetsuits, and were ready to cross the river to reach Monmouth Canyon. The river crossing was fairly easy. We put all our bags into a cheap inflatable boat, and we swam beside it, letting the current of the river take us 1 km downstream where the trail to the top of the canyon began. The hike up was steep and fun! Definitely not a place one would want to be falling from!

Once we got to the top, we took a quick break to get organized, had a few bites to eat, and commenced our way down the canyon!

The Monmouth Canyon is a beautiful place! Most of spots like these are hidden from a normal day to day person, so it feels amazing to be able to go explore them! We rappelled many different waterfalls, some involved cliff jumping, some sliding and jumping. The water was freezing, so even with our wetsuits we were always trying to stay moving to keep warm.

The day was amazing, until on one of the rappels, I have slipped, hit the wall, and let go off my “break” which led me flying down 15 feet onto the rock bottom. Right away I felt something was wrong with my foot. I looked at it and it was dangling sideways. Right away I knew it was screwed, I thought maybe I have just dislocated it, and I tried to ‘pop’ it back together with no success. So now, the challenge was to get out. I didn’t want to waste much time, so I crawled out of the canyon, with help of my friends found a stick, and slowly was making my way down the mountain. Meanwhile my friend got a hold of search and rescue, once we found the most suitable spot for helicopter extraction (there wasn’t much), we called in our coordinates and waited for search & rescue to arrive.

It took over 2 hours for search & rescue to figure out how to extract me due to the difficult location. Meanwhile I was slowly going under a mild hyperthermia. I was contemplating just to make my way down myself while I was still somewhat able to before the sun went down. But before that happened we were notified that the search & rescue have found a spot to extract us and are sending help our way. When they have arrived and stabilised my foot, I felt all the energy came back to me and I felt super excited to get rescued! The helicopter ride was awesome! And perhaps was the only upside of having broken my ankle. I want to thank the search and rescue team for rescuing me, and also to my friends and team members that helped me get out of the canyon safely!

Out in the Squamish Hospital, they took good care of me quickly. They have had to reposition my foot before putting a temporary cast before I get my surgery, so they put me in a semi-conscious state that made me go on a super awesome mental trip! The next day I was moved to Surrey Memorial Hospital where I waited 4 days until my surgery, I didn’t enjoy the waiting part so much, I would have had to wait more but luckily I had a nurse friend that was able to pull a few strings to get me in a little quicker. Thanks for that!

Here’s a couple videos from that day. One has made the Right this Minute internet show, (my second time getting on that show lol). Here’s the link.

Kelowna Trip – Bouldering & Indoor Surfing

Awesome trip we did to Kelowna over the weekend! The first day we were bouldering at Boulderfields, very cool area with lots of bouldering problems. Camped there over night, and next morning drove to Pebble Beach for more bouldering. Before heading home, we stopped at an Indoor Pool that has a Flowrider. It wasn’t very busy so we had lots of indoor surfing time to ourselves!

Copper Cove Climbing

Wednesday after work, met up with one of my good buddies at Copper Cove where he was working on his routes. Coper Cove is a beautiful area right by the ocean, the only downside of it is the necessity to coordinate the climbing with the tides (it’s a difficult access on a high tide). I wanted to try out the new routes that he has set up and spent many days cleaning “Contortionist” (5.10d-5.11a) and “Di-rectal dysfunction” (5.10c). That day I felt pretty good about myself and decided to jump straight into a harder climb and ascend it right away without trying it out under a top rope first. But it turned out that I had a false sense of confidence and the climb kicked me right in the arse! It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be and I ended up cutting my finger and it took my concentration that I needed from finishing the ascent, so midway I felt defeated and gave up. My buddy finished the route and I climbed it under a top rope, and what I have realized is that I was only one move away from passing the hard part, and the rest of the climb was super easy! I will have to come back to finish my ascent and try the other routes in that area! Either way, it was a fun evening and great to catch up with my buddy!

Coper Cove - My buddy rappelling from the top

Coper Cove – My buddy rappelling from the top

Ascending "Contortionist"

Ascending “Contortionist”

Traversing after the tide came up...

Traversing after the tide came up…

Rock Climbing at Skaha Bluffs

Had another great weekend filled with activities! Woke up early Saturday morning and made my way to Skaha Bluffs in Penticton. Out there I met up with a friends friend that was out climbing with a climbing group. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the place was packed! Every wall that we passed was occupied, luckily Skaha Bluffs is a big area, so we just had to hike further to find some walls to climb on. We found a few fun wallls to climb on, some more challenging then others. I feel that my climbing ability is slowly starting to come back to me after a long break of not climbing, and I’m starting to appreciate climbing once again!

We climbed the entire day right till the sunset, at that point I was tired, dehydrated and super hungry! After a nice meal I made my bed in the back of the car. There was a rainstorm during the night and  it made it perfect for an awesome night of sleep! Haven’t had such a good night sleep in awhile!

Leading one of the easier climbs as a warm up

Leading one of the easier climbs as a warm up

Skaha Bluffs

Skaha Bluffs

Warm welcoming bed :)

Warm welcoming bed 🙂

Deep Cove: Rock Climbing / Freediving Evening Session

My buddy invited me to go outdoor rock climbing in the evening after work, so decided to take a break from my regular training routine and go to Deep Cove to Rock Climb and Free Dive. Felt great to change things up a bit!

After my climbing session, I decided to go explore Grey Rocks Island not too far away from the area where we climb. The island isn’t very far from shore, so it was a real quick swim to get to it. I was a little nervous not to get hit by a boat that could have been ducking at the bay, especially after the sun went down. The area itself was really cool to explore! Tons of crabs came out as the sun was down, it must be there mating season since I caught a couple in the action, hope they didn’t mind me being a spectator J. I will have to come back to this area to explore more!

Climbing at Deep Cove

Climbing at Deep Cove

Climbing at Deep Cove

Climbing at Deep Cove

Grey Rocks Island

Grey Rocks Island

Ready to go Explore Grey Rocks Island!

Ready to go Explore Grey Rocks Island!

Great Weekend of Rock Climbing, Windsurfing, and Freediving

Here’s one of my dilemmas: I love to catch up on sleep on the weekends, but at the same time I love to take a full advantage of the day. The two don’t go hand in hand. On Saturday I decided to compromise my beauty sleep for a day full of fun! Got all my gear ready the night before so as soon as I woke up at 5:45am I was out the door on my way to Squamish!

We started our day with climbing at Murrin Park. It was still chilli in the morning, but as soon as we started climbing, the clothing layers were slowly coming off. The whole morning we were glancing at the wind charts, and by around 1pm, the winds picked up high enough for us to head over to “The Spit” in Squamish to windsurf. It was my first riding session this season, and it was amazing! The wind conditions were just perfect for my level, it’s been awhile since I had my share fulfilled windsurfing!

As the winds slowly started to die off, we got all our gear packed up, another decision was waiting to be made: What do we do next? It was 6pm, we still had two and a half hours left of daylight, so why not go back to climbing! We climbed pass till the sun went down into the night! At that moment I was thinking: What a great day it was!

The next day, I decided to sleep in until 8:30pm. Being super sore from the day before, I wasn’t too prompt at leaving the house. My first stop was at the drop zone in Pitt Meadows, I was hoping to get one skydive in before I head to Squamish to windsurf. Unfortunately they didn’t have a load available any time soon for me to get a ride to altitude. So I decided to meet my buddy at his place where I met his roomies, and fortunately I came at the right time when they were making breakfast, I was served the best salmon egg benny ever!

After having my appetite filled with delicious food, we were on our way to Squamish! Unfortunately the winds weren’t as great as they were the day before, so I decided to leave earlier and go to Porteau Cove to freedive.

The freediving session went great. It was my first time freediving at that wreck diving site, the wrecks aren’t too deep (40 to 70 feet), but it’s still a little further than my comfort level. I got scared a couple times, specially freediving by myself and knowing that if I pass out underwater there would be no one to save me. It’s a little scary feeling to be dropping towards the darkness, everytime I keep on reminding myself to stay calm and not panic, it will not help to panic but only get you into trouble.

One thing that I found was interesting is having a couple murky layers underwater. The first time I dived, I had one of the layers confused with the bottom, later to realise that it was just the end of the murky layer underwater, and I still had to dive deeper to get to the bottom. Unfortunately I couldn’t record any videos because my GoPro froze right when I was already in the water (so couldn’t take it apart to get the battery out for it to restart).

Overall this week has been awesome! Looking forward for more weekends like this!

Rock Climbing at Murrin Park

Rock Climbing at Murrin Park

Windsurfing at The Spit

Windsurfing at The Spit

Trying out different gopro attachments

Trying out different gopro attachments

Windsurfing at The Spit

Windsurfing at The Spit

The Spit in Squamish

The Spit in Squamish

View from our second climbing spot: Smoke Bluffs

View from our second climbing spot: Smoke Bluffs

This wall is called Neat and Cool at Smoke Bluffs. My partner second to rappel down after setting up a top rope.

This wall is called Neat and Cool at Smoke Bluffs. My partner second to rappel down after setting up a top rope.

Climbed until dark. Was a peaceful feeling!

Climbed until dark. Was a peaceful feeling!

Climbing The Sky Walker At Shannon Falls, Squamish

Around noon on Sunday, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do that day. I called my friend, Salvador, and he told me he was on his way to Squamish to do a multi-pitch climb. I decided to join him and I got everything ready as quickly as possible and decided to join him and another friend for the day of climbing adventure! It has been ages since I had been climbing, so my friend and I agreed that I wouldn’t do much work like leading and rope management, I would just concentrate on being the camera man (which I really enjoy doing anyway).

We got to Shannon Falls in Squamish, found a spot to park the car, got ready and made our way through a hiking trail that lead to the start of the climb. The climb is called “Sky Walker,” (5 pitch trad climb) and it wasn’t a very difficult climb, which was a good way for me to get back into climbing.

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We started our climb a little late, around 3:30pm, and we were expecting to get back around 8pm. Since there were 3 of us and my friends didn’t bring all the gear necessary for that type of climb, it took us a bit longer than we expected. The sun started to go down while we were finishing the 3rd pitch, and we still had 2 pitches left to climb! We hadn’t prepared ourselves very well, we only had one head lamp, we’d run out of water and we ate all the snacks that I’d taken. So we were really hungry, thirsty, and trying to hurry to finish the climb before it got dark. Our rope was barely long enough, but luckily we were able to combine the last two pitches into one. Once we got up to the top it was pitch black. We were very satisfied with the climb, and enjoyed the moment of being at the top in the darkness while we got all our gear ready for the hike down. It felt really peaceful…

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The hike down took a good 30 to 45 minutes, after which we finally got back to my car. Unfortunately my day wasn’t over, my friend dropped his keys down the cliff during the climb. So I had to drive all the way to his house to get the spare keys, and back to his car. Which meant another 2 and a half hours of driving. I felt like a zombie the next day at work. But the experience was worth it!

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