Document type : vocene
Date : 2016-01-26
Description : VOCene #31 2016
Content :
Varsity Outdoor Club
VOCene #31, Jan 26 2016

** In This Issue:

** Special Features
* Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant-Deadline is this week!
* Journal Submissions
* Call for VOC slideshow presenters!

** Trip Reports
Upcoming Trips

** Message Board Highlights

** Special Features
* Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant-Deadline is this week!

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.
* Journal Submissions

We are now accepting submissions for the yearly VOC Journal. The deadline is (tentatively) Feb 1, so if you've had any crazy VOC-related adventures, now's the time to immortalize them in text.
* Call for VOC slideshow presenters!

Have you done anything interesting outside recently? Maybe gone on a climbing trip in South America somewhere, or summited Denali? Show us pictures! Run a slideshow (or maybe something more live action, depending on how GoPro-y your party was) for the VOC! Everybody likes seeing cool pictures alongside stories of some type 2 fun.

** Trip Reports
-Dmitri and co tackled the Blanchard Needle (July 2015) ( .

-Sebastian, Roland, Vincent and Tianna successfully replaced the Phelix Hut fire extinguishers ( .

** Upcoming Trips

Run Forrest Run! · Fri. Jan. 8th - Sun. Jan. 31st (
This is not your usual VOC trip but an ongoing "adventure" into the deep dark forest of the Pacific Spirit Park. (will renew the trip every month)
When: every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sundays starting Friday (Jan. 8).
Meeting point: University Blvd. + Acadia Rd. (locations will be flexible on weekends)
Time: 7:30 a.m. (Sundays @ 8)
You can drop-in when you like. We jump into puddles. Work up a good sweat. Get lost sometimes. Would love you to join!!

Quartermaster Appreciation Week · Mon. Jan. 25th - Fri. Jan. 29th (
The Quartermasters do some of the most time consuming work for the club. Not only are they in the club room every week, but they also organize the maintenance of the gear. This week is especially trying as there are so many people out skiing. In this spirit, people should show their appreciation by bringing small gifts to the quartermasters. Baked food, candy, poetry and flowers are all allowed.


Slideshow: Bigger Than Us - Vertical adventures in unlikely places, Tim Howard · Wednesday, January 27th (

Whether you just come out of a pre-trip meeting or love socializing, come join us for a wonderful slideshow presentation by Tim Howard, amazing photographer.

Title: Bigger Than Us - Vertical adventures in unlikely places

Tales of epics, shenanigans and exotic places from 10 years climbing and photographing around the world. Locations may include Morocco's Atlas Mountains, big routes in Mexico, and wild parts of Australia. This slide show is guaranteed to make you quit whatever you're doing and go on an adventure!

Location: ESB (Earth and Ocean Sciences) Room 2012

Time: 7:30 PM

Patagonia Sale - 30% off Winter gear · Wednesday, January 27th (

Winter has just begun but retailers are clearing their stocks already to make way for the new Spring colours. That means it's time to pick-up that puffy you wanted for Christmas, instead of the 4-CD "Best of ABBA Collection" you got.

( Takin' the Leap [Lead Climbing School] · Thursday, January 28th (

Do you want to take the leap into Lead Climbing?

This is an evening school held in The Aviary where you'll learn the neccesary skills to take your climbing to the next level. It will also include some prep work to learn some theory to help you become a better lead climber.

The pre-requisite skills are you should have are top-rope belaying, and top-rope climbing experience (Rock 1).

Ideally you should have taken Rock 2 on anchor building, cleaning and rapelling.

* New gear for lead climbing
* Communication
* Lead belaying
* Lead climbing
* Developing your 'Lead Head'
* Anchors Review (time permitting)


The 'Going' list will be choosen randomly from 'interested' list on Jan 21st.

We're good on instructors for now, but let me/Corey know if you want to run this in the future.
Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant 2016 · Friday, January 29th (

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

This award is founded in the memory of our past VOC member Neil Mackenzie. Three awards of up to $1500 will be awarded to individuals or members of a party to pursue an adventure in 2016/2017. The first award recipients will be presented at the end of year banquet in March 2016. Applications are open to members of the VOC to get outdoors and do something amazing.

More details and application forms can be found on the wiki page. (
Burns 'n' Turns · Fri. Jan. 29th - Sun. Jan. 31st (
Don't miss this beginner friendly ski weekend in the tranquility of the mountains. With haggis, music and crude scotch poetry!
The location this year is Mount Brew near Whistler. Brew Hut is a 12 km trek from the trailhead, with an elevation gain of 1244m. A potluck at the hut on Saturday will be followed by an evening of music.  To the musically inclined: please bring your instruments.
Brew Hut sleeps up to 16, and the rest of us will overnight in quinzhees or tents.
Like last year, we'll make a toast to our dear friends Neil, Steffi and Elena, who passed away last January 11th.

Bastard of Frost [Ice Climbing] · Sat. Jan. 30th - Sun. Jan. 31st (

Winter is coming...

We're going on the last weekend of January to (likely) Marble Canyon, outside of Lillooet. Although it’s a ~5 hour drive, Marble Canyon is ideal for learning to climb ice, as the ice reliably forms and top-ropes can be set up with minimal gear. We can also car camp for free and with fires, just a quick 10 minute walk away from the ice! Depending on people’s wishes, we will leave either Friday afternoon, or Saturday morning.

This trip is mostly beginner friendly. You don’t have to know how to climb ice, but camping experience is a necessity, and winter camping experience will help. It will be cold! It is important that everyone brings the right stuff, but, as we will be car camping, I encourage you to bring all of the warm things; two years ago, it was -20 C at night for Daughter of Ice!

At the pre-trip, we will discuss gear, vehicles, and tent/ food groups. You must know how to belay top rope and be experienced TR climber (indoors is OK). I'll try to take people who aren't going on Daughters of Ice but it will be a smaller trip of ~2 cars. Experienced people coming would be great to help out =D I'll need a few more knowledgeable hands. If you have done a Workhike or do one before the pre-trip it'll be favorable to getting on the trip.

Disclaimer: we are not certified guides, just some guy who claims he knows what he's doing. Ice climbing is dangerous, and hazards include falling ice, climbing falls, sharp objects, and the cold.

Ask questions, discuss gear, or spread stoke on the message boards  =D

AST-1 Block C · Mon. Feb. 1st - Sun. Feb. 7th (
The VOC is once again partnering with Canada West Mountains to provide its members with discounted avalanche skills training (AST) courses, with the intent of helping mitigate the risks of backcountry winter activity. This is Block C of three AST-1 sessions
Note: All participants must be intermediate+ level skiers or snowboarders, i.e. able to handle various snow conditions – powder, crust, etc. Individuals who are interested in participating in a snowshoeing based should email me directly (Subject: AST @ [email protected] ( // !function(){try{var t="currentScript"in document?document.currentScript:function(){for(var t=document.getElementsByTagName("script"),e=t.length;e--;)if(t[e].getAttribute("data-cfhash"))return t[e]}();if(t&&t.previousSibling){var e,r,n,i,c=t.previousSibling,a=c.getAttribute("data-cfemail");if(a){for(e="",r=parseInt(a.substr(0,2),16),n=2;a.length-n;n+=2)i=parseInt(a.substr(n,2),16)^r,e+=String.fromCharCode(i);e=document.createTextNode(e),c.parentNode.replaceChild(e,c)}t.parentNode.removeChild(t);}}catch(u){}}() // ), as discounted snowshoeing-based prices are also available for public courses for members ($180).
Course descriptions
Courses must be filled before the course is confirmed to run. Students must provide their own ski or board gear for the weekend and must have avalanche (avy) kits. Avy kits can be rented for a cost from the CWM or can be borrowed from the VOC. Whistler backcountry passes are also necessary, as a portion of the course will take place at Whistler. This is included in the total cost of the course. The fee can be waived if you own a Whistler pass. Up to two courses (2 x 8 students) will be run per session, though more is possible if there is sufficient interest.

A)AST-1 course:
These classes are conducted at a 1:8 instructor to student ratio. Up to two courses will be offered each weekend. Courses will involve one weekday evening informational session followed by a weekend on the hills at Whistler and/or Seymour. This course will emphasize snowpack/terrain observation skills, as well as safe travel and rescue. No prior backcountry experience required, though skiing/boarding competence is.
I’m STOKED/PUMPED/keen/interested, what’s next?
Registration can be accomplished by stopping into the VOC club room during normal gear hours and informing the quartermaster that you wish to register for a given course (pick your date before going!). You must then pay the quartermaster in full (by either cash, cheque, or credit card) to reserve your spot in the course. Once your course is filled up (remember 8 or 16 must go) you will be contacted that the course is confirmed to pick up your avalanche kit. Return to the club room and get your swag and then you are good to go. If you are renting ski gear from MEC etc. it is best to get this sorted well in advance of the class to avoid problems of scarcity.

Once confirmed, there will be no cancellations, refunds or rebooking to a different date but you can sell your space to someone else if necessary.

VOC Journal + Photo Contest Submissions · Monday, February 1st (
It's that time of year again! The VOC is looking for stories for the 58th edition of the VOC Journal.

The Journal is a collection of stories and photos from all of our members during the past year. It's professionally published and all members can pick up a copy! There are a great way to learn more about the club, read great stories, remember the year and practice your storytelling.

But we need your help! Submit trip reports from club (or non club) trips to vocjournal @ by FEBRUARY 1, 2016!! (tentative deadline). Please write "VOC JOURNAL SUBMISSION - YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME" in the subject line include 1) your writing as a .doc or .docx file. Please also submit 2) no more than 5 photos via a dropbox folder link with full sized images (don't compress them or anything!). 3) You must also include your full name, the date of your trip and captions for the photos! This information should be included in the .doc file before the article you are submitting.

The journal will also feature the annual photo contest! The categories are (tentatively) club life, portrait, flaura and fauna, landscape, action and miscellaneous. You may submit photos by emailing vocjournal @ with the subject VOC PHOTO COMPETITION - YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME 1) a dropbox link to your photo 2) a photo caption (in the email) 3) Where and when the photo was taken!

Feel free to send any questions to me at vocjournal @ We are also looking for all the help we can get, so let me know I you want to help! God knows I need it.

VOC Movie Night in the Clubroom · ( Wednesday, February 3rd (

Want to get together with friends and watch a movie in the clubroom? Will this is your chance! Please bring any snacks for yourself or that you may wish to share! We will start the movie around 8 PM and then hang out as long as people are keen for either in the clubroom, or at a nearby pub.

Please vote on the message board for what movie we will watch!
UBC sustainability fair Feb 4th · Thursday, February 4th (

The VOC is also this year part of the UBC sustainability fair! Because respect of nature results in a sustainable mindset ;-)The VOC gets a table on Thursday Feb 4th from 10:00 to 15:00 in the Nest, at the Pit/clubroom level. We are there to promote the VOC and get some additional stoked members.
Come out and help us for an hour or so by standing at the booth and tell interested students about your amazing adventures with the club so far. We will also run an activity, likely table bouldering! Challenge your fellow students to climb around a table without touching the floor. Helping out during the sustainability fair counts as work hike hours (give back to the club for all the benefits your get as a member). You can sign up by editing the wiki page and enter yourself below for the times you are available to help out at the booth. See you there!

Intro to Backcountry Skiing · Sat. Feb. 6th - Sun. Feb. 7th (
Love skiing but tired of icy, crowded, and expensive resorts?

Then look no further!  This trip is just as it sounds, it is an introduction to skiing in the backcountry!  Location will be Fat Dog Creek in Manning Park.  The plan is to go up about 6.5km and tent in the snow, then ski some laps in the area. No backcountry ski experience is necessary, though participants must have spent some time on skis and should be able to descend a blue run cleanly in a resort.  While we will stick to easy terrain, the weight of an overnight pack makes skiing much more difficult, and thus, this trip is not suitable for those who haven't skied before.  Splitboarders and/or snowboarders with snowshoes are most certainly welcome, though I can't guarantee that an experienced snowboarder will be on the trip.  Participants must also have some overnight backpacking experience, and winter camping experience would definitely be helpful, as we are camping on snow.  Some good trips to go on to prepare for this one are Winter Longhike
(  and Tele School ( , for winter camping and telemark skiing respectively.  For what to bring, please refer to the VOC gear list ( under the winter overnight section.
I am also looking for experienced backcountry skiiers (with AST1 or equivalent) to help me lead this trip.  I'll limit the number of participants according to how many experienced people sign up and to how many car spots we have.  If the group is large, I will split it us up and send smaller groups to different locations to avoid congestion.  Questions?  Ask here (,115856) on the associated message board thread :)

Daughter of Ice · Sat. Feb. 6th - Mon. Feb. 8th (
The mountains are capped in white, the city is covered in grey, the rock is wet and cold – it must be ice climbing season!
Daughter of Ice is the VOC’s yearly introduction to the glorious world of swinging sharp things at ice. We are going to have lots of pure type 1 fun! There will be some basic instruction and tips on technique, ice anchors, and plenty of time to practice. Climbing ice is like nothing else you’ve ever done, and this is the perfect situation to try it out.
This year it will be held over the February long weekend at Marble Canyon, outside of Lillooet. Although it’s a ~5 hour drive, Marble Canyon is ideal for learning to climb ice, as the ice reliably forms and top-ropes can be set up with minimal gear. We can also car camp for free and with fires, just a quick 10 minute walk away from the ice! Depending on people’s wishes, we will leave either Friday afternoon, or Saturday morning. Cars may choose to leave at different times, as well. We will return on Monday after two full days of climbing.
This trip is mostly beginner friendly. You don’t have to know how to climb rock or ice, but camping experience is a necessity, and winter camping experience will help. It will be cold! It is important that everyone brings the right stuff, but, as we will be car camping, I encourage you to bring all of the warm things; two years ago, it was -20 C at night for Daughter of Ice!
At the pre-trip, we will discuss gear, vehicles, and tent/ food groups. If you do not know how to belay, or have never winter camped, you must attend the pre-trip. I’m going to limit the number of people going to Marble to 15, or roughly 3 cars, but if there’s lots of interest, smaller groups might be arranged to go elsewhere. If you have experience in ice climbing and winter camping, and want to help instruct, please send me an email, or post on the message board thread!
Disclaimer: we are not certified guides, just people who have done this before. Ice climbing is dangerous, and hazards include falling ice, climbing falls, sharp objects, and the cold.
Mandatory gear:
Climbing gear
*Helmet – you must have a helmet! If you do not have one, you will not go near any of the climbs.
*Stiff mountaineering boots
*Stiff crampons that fit your stiff mountaineering boots
*Climbing harness
*Synthetic base layer (at least one!)
*Insulating mid-layer
*Waterproof top and pants
*Big, puffy extra layer for standing around in the cold
*Gloves, gloves, gloves! Thick and thin, you can’t have too many.
*Several pairs of thick socks.
*Toque, balaclava, etc. – at least one thing to keep your head toasty.
Camping stuff:
*HEADLAMP – if you don’t have one, go and buy one. Remember to bring extra batteries!
*Sleeping bag – rated to at least -10, but warmer is better. IT WILL BE COLD.
*Sleeping pad(s) – Some people will bring a foam one and an air one. Foam ones can also be used as seats.
*Tent (shared)
*Stove/ cooking equipment (shared) – don’t forget the spoon!
*Water bottles/ thermos/ coffee mug/ etc.
*Food (shared) – lots of it, working hard in the cold burns loads of calories!
Non-mandatory gear – if you have it, bring it:
*Belay device/ locking carabiner
*Gaiters – to keep your pants from getting shredded by crampon front points
*Climbing rope
*Slings/ cord/ carabiners – to play around with/ practice rescue stuff/ take up space
*Ice tools
*Ice screws
*First aid kit
*Camera/ GoPro/ sketch book


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