Local Motion - New Brunswick

Welcome to Local Motion where we celebrate hiking, biking, rock climbing, paddling, skiing, and exploring in Southern New Brunswick.

January 27, 2010

Wilderness First Aid Course Dates Winter/Spring 2010

TAKE THIS COURSE!


Wilderness First Aid training is worth every dollar.  This year, skip the new backpack and spend that money on this course!

Not only could Wilderness First Aid training save your butt when things go wrong, it will give you the self-assurance to travel farther and better enjoy the backcountry. 


I've taken both of these courses from Blair Doyle. Most recently, in November, I took his Wilderness First Responder Course. I learnt so much and I think you will too.

Plus I have my own agenda for pushing these courses... I want more trained people in the woods so that someday when I bang myself up, there are people around who can help  :)

If you work with people outdoors or spend serious amounts of time in the woods or on the water you should check out the dates for the 8-day Wilderness First Responder courses. There's even one coming to New Brunswick in May.

For more information see below or go to the website.




Red Cross Wilderness Remote First Aid
 - offering wilderness reality checks 1996 -






 Wilderness and Remote First Aid
 Public offerings Winter / Spring 2010:
                                               Feb. 12, 13, 14. 2010

                                               Mar. 12, 13, 14, 2010

                                               Apr. 9, 10, 11, 2010

Cost:   WRFA: $195.00 + HST
       Advanced WRFA - $250 + HST - optional - consists of extra day / evening added on to the above dates

Where:  Halifax Regional Search and Rescue Base
               Lakeview, N.S.(off Cobequid Rd. in Sackville, N.S.)

Contact to register and get course particulars:

Blair Doyle  (902) 222-0868 - Email: adventure@eastlink.ca

or online at: www.WRFA.ca where you can check out additional dates and courses or focused sessions.

Completion of the course will give you an Wilderness Remote First Aid certification and Standard First Aid certification - CPR level C recognized in the workplace in N.S. WRFA exceeds the Standard F.A. workplace requirement. Internationally Red Cross is in 181 countries. With alot of outdoor employers WRFA is a job requirement.





Wilderness Remote First Responder


February  - Acadia University, Wolfville, NS
May - Camp Glenburn, Saint John Area, NB *** Sign Up NBer's!!

Cost:   $550.00 + HST

More details here: http://www.wrfa.ca/WRFResponder.html

This 8 day advanced program is the most complete and challenging wilderness medical training you can engage in. The WRFR level is designed for Outdoor Professionals who will be managing wilderness activities resulting in advanced medical response. Besides understanding the use of medical gear in the wilderness environment, the program establishes solid rescue interface practices, pharmacology limitations, and students will manage a remote overnight long-term care dilemma.

January 26, 2010

Biking to go Ice Climbing



Crampons, check;
Ice axes, check; 
Harness, check;
Bike....check!
 
There's nothing quite like biking over a frozen river to go Ice Climbing in January. This was a couple weeks ago on a sunny day in January. My friend Cory lent me a mountain bike with studded tires and we left  from his house in Quispamsis to go ice climbing for the day at a crag called Mount Misery on the Kingston Peninsula. I'm pretty envious that Cory can bike right from his back door to this excellent ice climbing area.


Cory biking on the Kennebecasis River with Mount Misery in the background.

The highlight of the day was leading a mixed route that was just put up this winter, "When in Doubt Deck". It starts off under a gnarly rock overhang with just tiny patch of ice to hook you crampons on. Powerful reaches lead to desperate ice ledge that you could swing a pick into, thank god, but then you have to pull an awkward mantel to get onto it. The route then follows technical rock before finishing on fat vertical ice. We were lucky to have our friend Steve join us to take photos. Below is a photo he posted on the local climbing forum.


Graham on the overhanging start of When in Doubt Deck
  (Photo Credit Steve Adamson)

Mixed climbing is such a wonderful combination of rock and ice climbing and it even has its own unique movement. It was my first experience mixed climbing and I'm hooked. This opens up a whole new world of climbing to me. I'm looking forward to lots of more Mixed Routes in our area.

local motion new brunswick graham waugh saint john moncton fredericton sussex rothesay bay of fundy kennebecasis mixed climbing ice climbing biking winter adventures

January 25, 2010

Albuquerque, Oakland, Calgary?

 
Last week I added this application to my blog that shows where readers are located on a world map. You can see it part way down this page on the right hand side. When I added it I was thinking that it would be interesting to see where readers are from in New Brunswick. Well some certainly are from this province but what's grabbed my attention were the readers from Albuquerque, Oakland, Calgary, and Bermuda among other places. I'm not a technowiz and a I don't understand how the mapping program works though I assume its based on computer IP addresses. That's the extent of my knowledge. But the map must be somewhat accurate because there are points in Shediac, Harvey, Kedgwick, and Saint John, as well as other Canadian cities. Perhaps if any of you understand how this mapping program works you can fill me in with the details.

Now this map of readers has given me lots to think about. Why would someone from 1000's of miles away be interested in this blog about doing stuff outdoors in Southern New Brunswick?

Well I've got a hunch that it's not just any ol' person from Albuquerque or Toronto reading this blog. And, although this blog may seem to be made for locals, when I started it over a year ago, part of me was doing it for the person in Calgary and Toronto.

Because I think the truth is that these readers in Albuquerque and Oakland are actually New Brunswickers far from home. Or at least they've got family roots here.

Why do I say this? Cause if I was in one of those places I'd be doing the same thing. Whenever I've been away for long periods of time I've missed this place. And during those times I went online and searched for exciting outdoors stuff to do when I got home to New Brunswick. If you look hard enough you'll find some things online; there is information out there scattered around dozens of websites. Unfortunately a lot is missing and no where online can you get a good image of what this region has to offer. So this blog is my small contribution to the online pool of information for the homesick. I hope it helps remind you of home and I hope it gives you the urge to come do some exploring here.


And so to all the folks who are pining for New Brunswick, whether you're in Toronto dreaming of your ultimate paddling trip or listening to the hum of a ski lift in Colorado, I say "Good luck in your journey and when you're ready to come to NB; your enthusiasm and outdoor experience will be put to good use, creating backcountry ski runs and portage routes that we all wish were already here".


You can always leave me a note or send me an email if you'd like to comment on the blog or to ask me about anything outdoors related in southern New Brunswick.

I'll leave you with a couple photos that I took along the Fundy Footpath last summer. 


Encountering a Cloud Forest on the Fundy Footpath



A waterfall drops into the Little Salmon River Gorge
after a summer thunderstorm
new brunswick hiking backpacking canoeing skiing snowshoeing sussex saint john moncton adventure outdoors local motion graham waugh rock climbing ice climbing whitewater

Sign Up Now for "Ice School"!




"The UNB Rock and Ice Club will once again be hosting their annual Ice School on the weekend of February 13th and 14th. This is a great opportunity to try out an exciting new sport. The school consists of two full days of instruction covering safety and technique with a very low ratio of students to instructors. The club provides all the technical equipment for the weekend and absolutely no prior climbing experience is necessary.

Interested people can register at the UNB climbing wall in the L.B. Gym during our normal climbing hours. An information session will be held at 7:00 on the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 9th at the UNB climbing wall. Attendance is required for all those who register.

For more information please contact climbunb@gmail.com and see the information package attached. Bring your sense of adventure!"


 see poster below-

 --------

This is a great opportunity for anyone eager to learn a new winter sport and a new way to enjoy our winters. I would highly recommend jumping at this opportunity to learn ice climbing in a safe and enjoyable environment.

And hey, you can't beat the price at $50 (for non members)  for a two days of ice climbing instruction. Seriously. I challenge anyone to find a more affordable ice climbing course in North America.

It might come as a surprise to most people but there is actually fantastic ice climbing in New Brunswick  due to our unique geology and climate.  Many winter sport depend on good snow conditions - skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing, snowman building, even pond hockey requires just the right ice conditions. Fortunately, there are enough ice climbing areas in New Brunswick that there is always one you can climb. Some are shaded and resist the melting temperatures while others get brilliant sun and are perfect on cold days. Ice climbing can take you into steep ravines in the Fundy Highlands or up exposed cliff faces above the Kennebecasis River, and perhaps best of all to the Fundy Shoreline where you can climb steep ice off the beach.




January 11, 2010

Saint John Seeking Public Input on Bikeway Development

This message has been circulating around the biking community in Saint John. What a great opportunity to  get your voice heard! I'll be attending the North End presentation on Tuesday Night.


---
Hi Everyone


 Saint John is conducting public meetings about bikeway development in the city this week and we need people to attend! The more cyclists in attendance the more we are considered seriously for funding.  There are meetings scheduled for each of city wards, so please try and attend one that fits your schedule. The info is as follows:


You are invited to attend these sessions intended to allow for input from residents and landowners in developing an active transportation network within Saint John, over the short, medium and long term. A key focus of the plan is the development of new trails and bikeways to link key origins and destinations within the community.


The City and consultant are seeking Public input regarding priorities for future trail and bikeway
development.


Formal presentation to begin at  7:15pm.


Monday, January 11, 7 -9 pm
South End Community Centre
210 Wentworth Street


Tuesday, January 12, 7- 9 pm
North End Community Centre
15 Victoria Street


Wednesday, January 13, 7 -9 pm
Hillcrest Baptist Church
76 Lancaster Avenue


Thursday, January 14, 7- 9 pm
Forest Glen Community Centre (Theatre)
651 Westmorland Road

The link to the city's page is as follows:

http://www.saintjohn.ca/article-details.cfm?ArticleID=0A58C9C0-EF90-546B-0EA2DC37029B3156

January 10, 2010

What do you Call your Snow?



On Friday my friend Lucas calls me to suggest we cross country ski in Corn Hill the following day. That night I call my parents to quiz  them about the snow conditions. It sounds pretty good although after a 15 minute conversation with each of them, I'm still a bit puzzled. It sounds crusty but ok-ish. Over the years my parents have become pretty adept at describing snow conditions but its still a struggle sometimes. And I have to hand it to them. This is not any easy task.  The English language has a real shortage of snow words. Obviously the English didn't invent skiing.

---
We've only got a few specific words to describe snow in English "soft, sticky, hard, crusty, fresh, powder, corn" for example. With these words in our repertoire we can fumble through most scenarios and get creative "well its sticky and soft but in some places you break through the crust and underneath its powdery". What a headache of adjectives. And snow character depends on a slew of factors such as how it fell, wind, melting, daily temperature, age, and whether a track has been set. It's usually different in the woods than in the open and changes throughout the day. Imagine there was one word that could, in just a few syllables, communicate that there is a light crust above a base that is dense. And that with another word you could explain that its icy in the usual places (i.e. around evergreen trees), or windblown in the fields. Could there be a word that explains how your edges will perform on the descent?

Now describing snow may not seem particularly important for Southern New Brunswick. Afterall this isn't the Arctic and we don't have a mountain snow affect. But I would say snow language is particularly important in our region....because it varies so much! We ride a weather rollercoaster all winter long thanks to competing weather systems. As well, the snow conditions will be different from Hampton to Sussex and again when you go into Waterford. Distance from the Bay affects weather and so does the hills. It may be subtle but  elevation affect snow falls around here. Higher areas in the Fundy Highlands are significantly snowier than the Kennebecasis Valley (Just look for the snowy ridgelines as you drive along the Transcanada to Saint John).
--

I discuss the conditions with Lucas. The consensus? Let's go for it.

We drive out to the Corn Hill on saturday morning, meet up with the rest of the gang and find a bumper  crop of snow in the fields. There is just a very thin crust on top with loose snow underneath. Once a trail is broken you can glide on cold powdery snow. The conditions are good. Even the beginners in our group are ripping it up!

The downhills are fast and the flats are effortless. A few of us take a 3 hour loop through rolling fields and forest. Searching out some good descents before turning back, face to the wind, for a bitterly cold ski home.

So I wish that I could describe the conditions in a few simple words but I can't. All I can suggest is to be curious. Take the time to learn the quirks of your own local skiing areas. Armed with this local knowledge maybe together we can create a new vocabulary for snow conditions and in the process improve our understanding of the natural world.

Drop me a line and tell me how you describe your snow.


 
Skiing along the stream in Coyote Valley

 
Before the Steep descent into the Marr Valley

graham waugh cross country skiing new brunswick local motion sussex saint john moncton corn hill skiing

January 8, 2010

A venue for one another in 2010: Outdoors - By Vernon Woolsley

 

So I'm just playing editor on this one. The story comes from my friend Vernon Woolsley. When I heard about Vernon's New Year's Eve experience, I knew I had to get his story on here. What a wonderful way to start the new year. There's nothing better than a winter getaway in the wilderness. Enjoy.





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A venue for one another in 2010: Outdoors

Three couples sharing a getaway far inland from where the forest meets the Bay is a pretty remarkable NYE scenario.

Our assemblage trekked from the Village of Alma on the Bay of Fundy to a riverside cabin on skis. And when the Gregorian calendar rounded the bend, we found ourselves under a blue moon perched atop an ice flow on the river rocks. Gorgeous.

Lit by the moon, the gorge walls opposite the river told us of the descent from the highland we’d just made; careening down forested fingers of land to the river delta where we would overnight. It was in this river bend I’d swam with the Salmon 20 years ago, when the species at risk wasn’t nearing receiving additional river buffer protection. We may not get away with igniting sparklers here in 2011.

We’re 8km from where we began our adventure. The landscape is sweet to the senses, a rewarding place to meet following the journey. We skied from a point up gradient in Alma that made for more of a coast on the way in, while the consumables like large pots of hot food remained full – or untouched back at the starting point. Being risk takers, my partner skied on unproven hand made bindings, and I towed a hand made pulk (towed sled) into serious remoteness. We’d brought savory dishes and libations a plenty, but it was the conversation and sense of place that was most stimulating. It’s the kind of scene where you could really enjoy getting storm stayed!

The turnaround days that are the holidays demand this kind of outing. Still now, a week later, I’m benefiting from the coincidence of energies during the experience. Had we hit up a social club, our bodies would be sore and marked in less character building ways. And we’d be talking about how many numbers 2010 can be divided by. Interestingly enough, our year of the lord is divisible by 6 (the number of people in our group), and by 3 (the number of couples), not to mention 10, 5, 2, and of course 1. 

Clearly things bode well for us this year!

Right. May 2010 bring plenty of kick and glide, and a thriving outdoor ethic!

Vernon Woolsey
Alma, NB 








January 4, 2010

Snowy day of Ice Climbing

On Sunday my street wasn't plowed and the snow continued to fall.  I thought I was going to be trapped in Saint John for the day. But Peter, Steve, and Cory came by and we sped off into the snowstorm to go ice climbing in Welsford.


The warm, wet snow continued to fall as we snowshoed up to the cliffs off Cochrane Lane. The last hill through the boulderfield was fun, as we slipped and balanced our way through knee deep snow that hid ganite lumps.

Waterfall Wall, has a few ice routes and a couple mixed routes when the conditions are right. The left and middle routes were thick enough to lead. The ice was soft and super sticky making it easy to stick our picks into. From the top of the wall it was a beautiful sight looking out over the snow covered crag.






 Snow covered cliffs and the resident horses

 
Belaying in the snow


Climbing the thin ice on the left.

graham waugh local motion new brunswick ice climbing welsford saint john outdoors adventure

January 2, 2010

A Good Start to Winter

Hello out there!

Winter has started with a bang in Southern New Brunswick. I have already been out cross country skiing a handful of times in Corn Hill and even once in Stanley,  a couple evening hikes to Green Head West Saint John, and a day of ice climbing in Parlee Brook near Sussex. (Plus a not so local trip to Quebec's Gaspesie for Ice Climbing).

Cross Country skiing conditions have been perfect inland this year with a solid base covered by a thin layer of softer snow. On Christmas Day the conditions were ideal and I hit the backfields with gusto, covering more ground than usual and finding a new route linking some great backcountry skiing around Corn Hill.

Right now we're getting hammered with another big snow storm. You'll have to be quick to enjoy the powder as warmer weather is on its way. Ski conditions should be alright though, if the temperatures stay around Zero for the rest week as is forecasted. It's the kind of conditions that'll make you wish you had wax-less skis for the sticky midday snow and metal edges for the crust that develops each night.

Here are a few of photos from my December. Drop me a line about how you've been getting outside. I always love to here from others playing in out great big backyard.




Peter trying ice climbing for
the first time at Parlee Brook





Jane enjoying a Boxing Day ski in Corn Hill


My old wooden skis





Hiking on Green Head in West Saint John



Snow Covered Spruce on Green Head



Descending by headlamp after a day of ice climbing
on the Gaspe's Coast. In the background 
Mont Saint-Pierre rises out of the St. Lawrence