I wouldn’t be Canadian, if I didn’t talk about the weather, and it’s some strange weather we’ve been having this winter, that’s for sure. But the neat thing about rapid temperature fluctuations is that you can get some pretty amazing hoar frosts… and if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know all about my love of hoar frost. It transforms the landscape into a sparkling wonderland that captures and refracts sunlight off ice feathers. It’s probably my favourite thing about winter here. Read More
Alright… I’ll admit it… the weather here has been exceptionally cold lately, with -25C to -30C days (that’s -13F to -23F in American). I’ve always embraced the saying, “There’s no such thing as bad weather; just bad dressing.” But I’ve had enough of it. Even I found it challenging to see the beauty in the hoar frost crystals…. the ice feathers that form on a crust of snow when the air gets colder and colder and drier and drier, and the water is wrenched out of it in a deathly, icy battle. Read More
Bill and I have been married for 25 years now, and we decided to mark that momentous occasion with a special treat: a helicopter tour over the places that we’ve been hiking, snowshoeing, photographing, adventuring, skating, cycling, and picnicking our way through the years.
A helitour would give us a birds’ eye view of some adventurous milestone locations for us as a couple. It is the sense of exploration and adventure… in landscapes close to home and in our travels abroad… that have helped us bond over the years. Those adventures have given us a shared purpose and history, and so they’ve connected us deeply. They’ve helped us parent our children, make strong friendships, develop a few unique passions… and given us a wealth of experiences that have helped us feel ever-so-alive.
Celebrating 25 years while also exploring our old haunts from a new perspective seemed the perfect adventure on a sunny winter day. Read More
There’s been such excitement in the air here, it’s almost palpable. Social media platforms are a-buzz with effusive posts and comments about the skating conditions we are currently experiencing.
It’s a once in a decade occurrence in these parts. Ice forms PERFECTLY… with a mirrored, black surface so smooth you’d think a giant-sized Zamboni had passed over it countless times. Read More
We’re back in Venice now, getting ready to come back home. The thing about being away for so long is that you can settle into a travel rhythm where you do not feel compelled to rush about and see as much as you can. So this time back to Venice we sat at the side of a beautiful square and watched life happen.
There’s no grass to speak of in Venice. It’s pretty much all paved with stone, so the squares around the churches (there are 130 churches on this tiny collection of mud flat islands that make up the historic city of Venice) are the playgrounds and parks of the area. We sat on the rock block of an ancient building’s foundation, worn smooth by the seats of countless people before us, and took it all in.
There was a guitar-playing busker providing the perfect backdrop to the scene, making it feel like we were watching a movie montage. The sunlight was just right: soft and yellow, glowing and warm, making the church bricks redden and gleam. Families were out, friends and neighbours were visiting, people were walking their dogs, and tourists were walking through, some with suitcases in tow and some without, speaking different languages. Not a child went by who didn’t try to chase a pigeon. Some were in a hurry and some were taking it easy. It was a beautiful scene.
Come, sit, like a fly on the wall, on the side of the square with us. Sorry I can’t share my gelato with you…
P.S. We’ve had some fantastic adventures in both Italy and Slovenia, which I will share with you soon. Stay tuned!
We have moved from our base in San Cassiano to a little apartment in the hamlet of St. Linnert, outside the village of Badia. Grounded by some rain in the valleys and snowfall in the rock-filled areas (a little too early in the season, say the locals!), our via ferrata adventures are on hold for the moment. But we’re enjoying this landscape, nevertheless. We’re exploring WW1 ruins, hiking, and taking in the language and culture of the area (while praying for sun and warmer temps!). Read More
This via ferrata, situated near the town of Cortina, represented a long, but very worthwhile day’s adventure up a dramatic peak, the Col Rosa. It is the toughest VF that we’ve done to date. Though it was rated a 3B, it was very unlike the 3B we did at Corvara the other day. This one was full-on climbing for an extended period of time with very airy exposure, most of the time. Read More
One of the beautiful things about hiking in Europe is that there are so many ski resorts in the mountains here that it’s possible to do lift-assisted hiking in virtually every town you come upon in the summer in this South Tyrol region. Doing that, you can then spend the bulk of your time up in the views! (And get strudel at the base… just thought I’d mention it! It’s Germanic Italy here, after all.)
Piz da Lech is a via ferrata that begins near the town of Corvara. Perched above the town, it is easily accessed by taking the Boè gondola, followed by the Vallon chair lift, up to a point on the mountain that is within a short hike to the start of the VF route. It has outstanding views from the top of the Sella group of mountains, with their dramatically-cut stone pillars and deep chasms. The Sellas are mountains that remain hidden from view until you summit up top… and catching a glimpse of them from way up there is so well worth the effort! Read More
The main reason we came to Italy was to do via ferrata. It was something we’ve only done once before, and it captured our hearts and imaginations, so much so that we planned a vacation around it two years later. Back in 2015, on our last day in Arco, Italy, we rented equipment and gave it a go. And we loved it! Oh how we loved it!
In via ferrata, there is an iron cable bolted into the rock. It’s a permanent fixture on the mountain’s skin. Read More
Adventure, for me, takes many forms. If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ll know that it can certainly come from pushing physical limits, scrambling in the mountainous landscapes I love. But it means more than that for me. I want to see and to explore difference… life lived in contrasts brings out the sense of adventure, and a deeper appreciation of the experiences we have in this world. Read More