Document type : vocene
Date : 2015-11-18
Description : VOCene #24 2015
Content :
Varsity Outdoor Club
VOCene #24, Nov 18 2015

** In This Issue:

** Special Features
* High-def cameras for everyone!
* Meru showing
* Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant

** Recent Trip Reports

** Upcoming Trips

** Message Board Highlights

** Ms. Manners

** Special Features
* High-def cameras for everyone!

The VOC has recently been offered an employee's discount on high-definition camera orders from Lens & Shutters. The more orders the better, we need at least 5-10. Talk to Carly Peterson about it if you're interested.
* Meru showing

The VOC is proud to present a showing of Meru, a climbing and mountaineering film which even non-climbing friends of mine seem in awe of. Get your tickets in advance before we run out! Proceeds from Meru go to funding the Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant.

* Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant

It is 7am, late November and the sun hasn't quite crested over the horizon. The
ground is covered in a thin film of frost. The climbing party arrives at the base of
the climb, and its members are questioning whether they should wait a bit for the
temperature to rise and the rock to warm before starting the ascent. But in Neil
Mackenzie's mind, there is no doubt about it - after all there is rock to be climbed,
isn't there? So he leads up a thin crack and begins placing protection as he
ascends. Halfway up, he reaches the crux and slows down. He yells down hesitantly
to his shivering belayer: "I can't quite feel my fingers ... It's pretty chilly up here!
Eeh well, I suppose I've got no other choice but to continue up!". And so he does ...
Neil Mackenzie had a true passion for the outdoors and always had an eye out for
adventure, whether it was skiing, surfing or climbing. The more obscure an alpine
objective was, the greater it tickled his enthusiasm. From his youth's stomping
grounds in the Scottish Highlands, he expanded outwards exploring the alpine
regions of Europe, North America and Japan. On all of these trips he brought with
him his infectious enthusiasm, his watchful eye and of course, a dram of Scotch
whisky! When the going was difficult, Neil invariably took up the sharp end of the
rope and would courageously find a passage to safety. He had dreams of exploring
the more endless glaciated wilderness of BC's Coast Range for years to come. He
inspired adventure wherever he went.
Elliott Skierszkan

We, his parents, want to keep Neil’s memory alive in VOC by awarding a grant to a
suitable applicant or applicants who can demonstrate a wish to seek adventure or
training in physical outdoor activities, preferably in Scotland, and help them to
achieve their objectives. The funding for an adventure will be divided - part funded
by VOC fundraising, part by The Neil Mackenzie Trust, and part by the applicants
Margaret and Angus Mackenzie

Neil Mackenzie was one of the VOC's most talented members, and one of its most enthusiastic and capable teachers, until his tragic death in January 2015 on Mount Joffre with Stephanie Grothe and Elena Cernicka. To preserve and honor Neil Mackenzie's memory, Neil Mackenzie's parents and the VOC are working together to provide a grant for any VOCer planning really cool outdoors shenanigans somewhere in the world. The preference is for climbing in Scotland, but any self-propelled outdoors adventure which you couldn't do without this grant is fair game. If you have a big idea for a trip somewhere in the world, but particularly in Scotland, you might want to apply for this grant. Full details are here: . Deadline for submissions is January 29, 2016.

We look forward to reading the applications!

** The Usual Suspects

** Recent Trip Reports
* The annual Brew Hut debacle ( apparently went really well.

** Upcoming Trips

11th Annual Jared Stanley Memorial Lecture · Wednesday, November 18th (
In January 2005, Jared Stanley, a UBC student, passed away while back country skiing on Mount Seymour. An annual memorial lecture was held for the first couple of years after Jared's death, but as many of Jareds friends and colleagues left UBC running the event became more difficult. One year the VOC decided to adopt the lecture series and every year since, the VOC has hosted the Jared Stanley Memorial Lecture: this year's will be the 10th installment. While Jared wasn't a VOCer, he's the sort of guy that probably would have ended up knocking on the VOC's door at some point, so we sort of adopted him and the lecture.
Jared's family, Anna and Bob Parton, fly out from Texas every year to attend the lecture and speak a little bit about Jared. The Partons are great speakers and great people. In previous years, after learning about SPOT devices from our guest speaker, a Search and Rescue team member, they promptly went out and bought the club a three pack of the devices because they felt that if such a device had existed back in 2005, then maybe Jared would still be with us. Much like the VOC sort of adopted Jared, the Partons sort of adopted the VOC.

The Partons memories of Jared will be followed by a talk given by Richard Riquelme, a tenured guide and AIARE avalanche instructor working for the American Alpine Institute in Bellingham, WA; often regarded as the #1 guide service in North America! For further background on the American Alpine Institute and Richard's bio, please follow these links: and

This is an interesting, emotional, and insightful event for members of all experience levels we encourage everyone to come out and bring your friends! The more the merrier!
This is open to the public, not just club members.
Date and time: Wednesday, Nov. 18th, 7:00 pm
Location: ESB (Earth and Ocean Sciences) Room 1012

About American Alpine Institute
The American Alpine Institute (AAI) has been spreading the Spirit of Alpinism since 1975 as a pioneer in teaching technical climbing, mountaineering, and leadership.
With guided climbs and instructional programs in 6 states and 16 countries, AAI offers courses that cater to all skill levels and in all backcountry disciplines (from rock, ice, and glacier climbing – to avalanche hazard assessment, extreme skiing and split-boarding - to technical rescue, and guide training).
With the mission to grow its clients into self-sufficient alpinists, AAI continues its tradition of teaching skill mastery and self-leadership, an approach that contributes to AAI’s extraordinary record of safety and success in the great mountain ranges of the world.
AAI is the longest accredited guide service in the U.S.  Jon Krakauer has termed in "North America's best all around climbing school and guide service."
Information about American Alpine Institute courses and guiding can be found at (


Very Very Completely Beginner-Friendly Ski Day Trip! · Saturday, November 21st (
Never skied before? This is the trip for you! I'd like to head up to Red Heather for the day on Saturday to give telemark skiing a whirl, and I'd love some fellow soon-to-be skiiers and/or tele-curious folk to join me! It will be a day of low expectations, epic face plants, and good laughs.  No pretrip for this one, we will organize rides and answer questions via email faff.

Seeking Snow at Taylor Meadows (ski trip!) · Sat. Nov. 21st - Sun. Nov. 22nd (
Howdy folks!
It's been dumping snow in the mountains and it's high time to go and ski it!
Saturday morning we will hike up to Taylor meadows with skis and tents in/on our packs and set up camp. That should leave some time for exploring skiing options on the snowy slopes above Taylor Meadows in the afternoon.

Sunday, depending on the group's ability and on conditions, we will head up above Taylor Meadows and ski off the shoulder of Black Tusk, or Panorama Ridge before heading down to the cars.
Anyone is welcome to join. However, expect to hike about 800-900 m of elevation gain before we find enough snow to put on our skis. The total distance is 7.5km to Taylor Meadows with 1050 m of elevation gain. If this is your first such trip, expect a workout! Experience backcountry skiing and winter camping are assets – expect winter conditions up there!
I am hoping at least a couple of other experienced backcountry skiiers with avalanche training/experience can join so that we can help less experienced folks along. The trip is capped at 2 car loads. If we get a good number of experience folks coming along, I'll consider opening it to more people.

The pre-trip meeting will be at 5:30 PM outside of the clubroom on Wednesday (the 18^th). Later, at 7PM, there is the Jared Stanley Memorial Lecture which I will go to, and I encourage you to attend as well, so we’ll have about an hour to sort out trip logistics.

Day trip ski touring at Elfin Lakes or Taylor Meadow · Sunday, November 22nd (
I have not been in the mountains lately. Now I got a new pair of skins for my skies and I'd like to go to a day trip ski touring on either Red Heather (Elfin Lakes) or Taylor Meadow. Apparantly, it is good snow up there.
I cant do overnight, that is why I'd like to do it quickly just for Sunday. Depending on the avalanche condtion, we will decide what slope to hit. It will be an early leave and comeing back late. But we will not ski in dark.
I am not sure if this trip will be beginner frindly or not. You don't need to be a strong skier, but you need to know how to ski, have AST-1 or equivalent.

This trip is just for me to get out, try my new skins and have some fresh mountain weather. Dont expect a big ski day! Some truns...

Super Beginner-Friendly Garibaldi Lake Day Trip · Sunday, November 22nd (
Heading up to Garibaldi lake this Sunday for the purpose of avoiding insanity.
This is a super easy, super low-commitment day trip, in which we'll hike up to the lake with no real agenda to frolic in the snow, jacket-toboggan, and ignore responsibilities.  Since it's only one (relatively easy) day; this is beginner-friendly, hangover-friendly(ish), and definitely 'let's bring stupid things into the mountains'-friendly.
Some of my suggestions are:
Cafeteria trays
Car door
Pool floaties
Note: You can use all these things to slide down snow slopes if you try hard enough.
As far as I know, there should be a decent amount of snow at the lake.  We can hang out up by there for a couple hours, have lunch, come up with plans as we go (open to suggestions for mountain antics), and probably aim to get out of there at a reasonable time.  There's another VOC group that will be up there this weekend doing serious ski-things; we will wave at them as they ski by.
Since this trip is pretty last minute, if you want to sign up after the pre-trip meeting (Thursday night), just shoot me an email and we can try and arrange something!  Also don't hesitate to message me if you have any other questions.


Meru. Avalanche Canada / Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant Fundraiser. [ Film ] · Tuesday, November 24th (
Get stoked for the VOC annual outdoor film showing. This year we are showing the criticaly acclaimed alpinism documentary film Meru, winner of the Sundance festival's Audience Award for best documentary. Tickets will be on sale in the clubroom for 10 dollars and for 15 dollars at the door. Location is Norm Theatre in the Old Student Union Building


Beginner Friendly Brian Waddington Hut Ski Trip · Sat. Nov. 28th - Sun. Nov. 29th (
The VOC's Brian Waddington Hut ( is a magical place, one of my favourites in these mountains. The plan is to visit the hut over the weekend, on skis if possible, and everyone is welcome.Here's the gear list ( , and you'll need to bring all of the personal items on it (except the tents, obviously). This is a fantastic resource ( for figuring out what/how to pack. Helmets are highly recommended for skiing through the trees. You can rent ( skiing/avalache gear for free from the club as long as you give back with your time.
The trip will run whether there is snow or not. Or whether it rains or not, within reason.
Is this trip for you? As with most trips in the VOC, "beginner friendly" doesn't necessarily mean "easy", but rather that people will be friendly to beginners. No experience is required to come, but some experience is probably required if you don't want to suffer. Suffering is usually fun in retrospect though, so it's up to you. We'll travel about 9km and gain 1010m of elevation to reach the hut. As a comparison, the Grouse Grind gains 850m over 2.9km. The switchbacks before the hut are quite steep, and other trips, such as those to the VOC's Brew Hut, will have easier skiing. But you can always walk down if have to.
This trip will take place on the traditional, unceded territory of the St'at'imc ( people. Here's the map ( I used to figure that out.

Intro To Ski Falling at Red Heather (Beginner Friendly) · Sat. Nov. 28th - Sun. Nov. 29th (
Have you never been on skis before?  Never winter camped? This trip is for you!
Red heather is a wonderful place to learn how to ski because it has very moderate slopes. However, skiing for the first time is challenging (especially if you are tele skiing) and learning in powder conditions makes it even more difficult. If you come on this trip looking to learn how to ski,  you should not expect a successful experience, but you should expect to have fun. Falling into powder is almost as satisfying as skiing through powder.
We will be camping at red heather (although not in the hut). It will be cold but if you come prepared then you will be warm (no promises). If this is your first time winter camping that is ok, I will go over the basics at the pre trip meeting.
We may merge with the brew hut trip depending on the interest

** Message Board Highlights
-Matt Kennedy (,115282) is looking to buy some BD Viper Ice tools, if anybody knows anybody.

** Ms Manners
Ms Manners is the VOC's resident expert on mountaineering and outdoors etiquette, and answers questions from VOCers once a week in her advice column, here. Do you have a question for Ms Manners? Email the VOCene editor and it will be forwarded on to Ms Manners, with a reply posted the following week.

Hey Ms Manners,

I hear the skiing season's here!

Stoked to Ski


You're right-the skiing season is here, and way earlier than it was last year (arguably, last year it never quite arrived). We've gotten all kinds of precipitation, so now it's time to get outside, discuss the weather forecast, the avalanche forecast and maybe any recent Avalanche Canada blog posts ( , cautiously evaluate skiing conditions, rehearse various avalanche rescue scenarios, test safety gear, dig pits, practice first aid and casualty rescues,
and (if there's any time left in the day) make some turns!

It's not my thing, but I can see why some people might prefer resort skiing, where part of the ticket cost subsidizes people who do all of the above for you. That, and the snow-making machines, though hopefully we won't need those this year.

Be safe out there,
Ms Manners


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