The Storm Chasin’ Blues

Few of us are true weather nerds, but it seems the availability of immediate and targeted forecasts makes it easy to pretend. I like to get up in the morning and see where it snowed. Even though I work in tech, on most ski days all I want from google is a snow phone number.

More often than not, I’ll pick a place where I like the scene or will be meeting people. I’m not locked in to a multi-mountain pass, and living in Montreal, my options are almost unlimited.

Still, every once in awhile, I do get caught up in the fever of prognostication facilitated by social media, weather apps and NWS bulletins. And so it went this past weekend, when I booked a last-minute airbnb close to the currently dormant Saddleback Mountain.

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Sport 400 Charlevoix

The towering new bolted climb first came to my attention when I noticed the announcement of it last summer on EscaladeQuebec. The topic was popping with comments on their social media.

Sport 400 Charlevoix

The cliffs — in remote parts of Quebec — have an esoteric appeal and the website, in French, contributes to that. There is little subtlety in statements like “Biggest Sport Climb East of the Flatirons, Colorado” and the Flatirons are a great point of reference for the 5.6ish Sport 400.

The Sport 400 lived in the periphery of my imagination until a friend set a date to actually climb it. Just like that, we were off, leaving work at 3pm hoping to make the 6-hour drive to Saint Simeon in time to erect our tent before sunset.

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Kaaterskill Falls in Winter

This winter I traveled to the Catskills, to show my girlfriend one of my prime stomping grounds when I lived in NYC.  With two days, I picked Kaaterskill Falls as one of my destinations.

Although I missed most of one day of excellent skiing, driving around the local hills with fresh eyes reminded me of how special these mountains really are, and I wanted to experience them in a new way.

One big hole in my hiking resume has always been getting to the top of Kaaterskill Falls. Anyone that skis Hunter regularly has no doubt seen the throngs clinging to the sides of 23A getting back and forth to the trailhead. I wanted to be one of those people cursing the trail up to this iconic spot.

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