squamish climbing & a general update

climbing-2I know it’s cold in the rest of Canada, but Vancouver has been having a balmy winter! Last weekend, my roommate Nathan and I went up to Squamish for my first/his second climbing day of the 2014 season! In January! This is nuts! I decided to forgo skiing (possibly not the best year to buy a season’s pass…) and enjoy the 10 degree weather. It was lovely climbing and getting back into Squamish.

climbing-0 climbing-1 climbing-4We climbed 4 different “Squamish 100” cracks and I was equally rusty at all of them. It’s an entirely different type of climbing than the climbing in New Zealand. I even got to try a 5.11c crack called “Crime on the Century” which I was not very good at. It was lots of fun!

climbing-3Here’s a picture of that climb:

crimeofthecenturyI am not that good. Nate did it quite well though on top. He’s an awesome climber.

Other then that, a general update:

– House: I am living in a house with 4 other people (all working): Nathan, Josh, Leena & Edvin. They are all really nice. I’m not really sure how long I will be staying here because…

– Lauren: Applied for a Working Holiday visa last week and is on the waiting list. He finished his application in 9 minutes and apparently that means about 200ish on the waiting list. I hope they change the system soon. Anyway, he’s still planning on coming in March or April. YAY!

– School: I am taking: Project Management, Management Science, Business Communication, Managerial Economics and International Business. Even though this only adds up to 16 hours of class/week, it is a mad amount of work and I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up. When you get to upper division business classes, every class has a group project, so I have 5 different team projects with 14 different people that I don’t know. Scheduling nightmare. THANK GOODNESS Scott gave me a smartphone because there a ton of apps that make group projects way more efficient.

It seems like the workload also has kazumpled in my classes, but each component is worth less. Like I have a massive Management Science assignment due next week and it’s only worth 3%? And I have finals that are the size of normal finals but are only 20-30%? I am not used to this. Most Biz classes at SFU are based on rank, not by grade, so I just have to do better than the rest of the students in my class….

I am so thankful for Bell High School English department and Mom and Dad’s pre-preschool Excel training because that takes a load off of two of the classes. I am rocking at my writing class so far!

My schedule is insane. I’ll give you a sample of this week:

  • Monday: 9-12 Class in Surrey, 12-1 Transit to Burnaby, 1-2 Int Biz Group Meeting, 2-5 Class in Burnaby
  • Tuesday: 8-9:30 Homework, 11-2 Class, 2-5 Homework, 5-6 Class, 6-7 Office Hours, 8-10:30 Int Biz Online Group Meeting
  • Wednesday: 8-9 Study, 10-11:30 Proj Mgmt Group Meeting, 11:30-12:30 Rec Meeting, 12:30-1:30 Fitness Class, 2-5 Class, 6-8 Outdoors Club Meeting
  • Thursday: 9-11 Work, 12-1:30 Proj Mgmt Group Meeting with Charity & Venue, 4-5 Business Communication Group Meeting, 5-8 Class
  • Friday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_XaIuw6K6Q

Unfortunately they are starting roadworks at SFU in a few weeks, and that’s going to add on 20-30 minutes on to my commute. Grrr. /rant over

– Work: Luckily, I’ve only been working between 0-4 hours a week and that seems totally okay. I got offered some contracting work with my old non-profit job, but we’re still working on logistics and fitting it in.

– Ontario: I am going to Ontario soon to visit friends/family. I am starting in Kingston and then to Ottawa. I am excited but I have about seven hundred things to do between now and then and while I am there. That’s ok.

Ok that’s all for now. I have done some interesting stuff, but I’ll have to blog about it later.

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whistler day 6 & 7

WHISTLER-0Day 6: (run of the day: Blackcomb Glacier)

The day before school re-started I managed to convince Kat that she should go watch the skeleton races going on so I could also go skiing (hehe). The day was pretty mediocre – some of the iciest skiing I have EVER been on. I decided that I was going to try skiing down the Blackcomb Glacier this day. It’s at the top of all the Blackcomb lifts and in-bounds, but you have to do a short 3 minute walk up the hill with your skis off to get to it. Because of my intensive ski-walking training in NZ, it was no problem (pant pant). It wasn’t the greatest conditions but I could see that on a powder day, it would be amazing!! I cut the day short because I wanted to get home to finish unpacking and because every muscle in my body hurts. Climbing and skiing are super duper tiring. My hips, ankle and fingers especially.

WHISTLER-1Day 7: (run of the day: Chunky’s Trees with Lisa & Phillip)

A few of us went up to celebrate Lisa’s 22nd birthday and it was INCREDIBLE!! In 24 hours, Whistler got 63 cm of powder and it was amazing!!!! The lines were absolutely massive (the line for the Creekside gondola went all the way over the bridge to the Starbucks), and stayed huge all day as not much of the mountain was open but it was all really worth it. We did a day of tree skiing and we all felt the thigh-burn of powder skiing. I love skiing with other people because you get to try so much more terrain and go places you haven’t been.

I’ve been finding it tricky to take good photos. I always find an excuse not to bring my camera (won’t fit in my pocket, will get wet, etc) and then don’t even take pictures (snowing too hard and it’ll get damp, my hands are too cold, having too much fun). Not sure if my pictures will improve or not.

2013 & 2014

A lot was done in 2013! It was an amazing year filled with new friends, old friends, travelling, climbing, new adventures, learning and lots of food experimentation.

I think it is also my fittest year yet. Even counting my lazy days in Fiji where I used the heat as an excuse not to exercise, I feel like I’ve gotten stronger and improved my cardio (slightly). A big moment was when I did my first pull-up!

I lived in many places: Wanaka, Christchurch, Suva, Christchurch (again), Vancouver!

I worked in many places: Mountain View Backpackers, Lakeside Hotel, Ernst & Young, Hume Doors & Timber, Vancouver Cliffhanger, Pacific Community Resources Society and 2 day-long jobs.

And I tried many new adventure activities: backcountry skiing, traditional climbing, backpacking, scuba diving, surfing, caving, outdoor bouldering, ridge walking, paragliding and participated in my first bouldering competition.

I am lucky to have had such a good year.

My most challenging goal for 2014 will be to climb the Chief in Squamish. I want to be able to switch leads, and not just follow. My other goals are a bit smaller, but numerous (Kat says they are boring): climb at least once a week, concentrate on my studies, climb at Smith Rock (Oregon), go to the US, venture farther east in BC, get a promotion at the climbing gym, volunteer once a week for at least 3 months, outdoor lead a 5.10d, get hired as a TA, win a scholarship, get a good co-op job and eat more naturally (I’m thinking once a week I am going to try to not eat anything that is made with prepared ingredients – but not sure if this is the best strategy).

Oh! And finish up/make a Fiji/NZ travel journal.