Working our way through the Midwest and then hitting the Rockies in Montana, I must admit it was a relief to spend time again with one of my most sacred friends, just him and I, and let him into my world as a traveling climber and guide. Jeremy was now a success in the airport industry having gained ground at the airport in Jackson Hole and now his current position in Fort Meyers. We'd clearly gone different ways but aside from our friendship, we still shared so many personality traits. A passion for travel was a key pillar of his life and our shared appreciation for different cultures, random facts about people, places, geography, sports and history populated our minds.
The drive became as much a game of global trivia and fact-checking than it was about the road itself. Making good progress, we arrived in Bozeman and were graciously welcomed by Ari Novak & Austin Schmitz into their home. These were two guys I hoped to spend more time with and it was a place I wanted to live in the future. Aside from them, a theme of our drive had been staying with friends I’d met over the years from high school classmates to coworkers to climbing partners. Their generosity had meant a lot to me over the years and it continued as we took up couch space along the way.
Heading up into Canada, the true scenery began. These mountains are of the finest on Earth and though the days of driving were taking a toll on us, the good weather welcomed spectacular views and we were on the edge of our seats. It was the end of the ice climbing season and thanks to insight from Tim Banfield, I was able to show Jeremy what my life was all about. On a cool spring morning we drove the famous Icefields Parkway, peaks of the Canadian Rockies towered all around, still covered in fresh winter snow and with not a cloud in the sky- it was a great day to be there. These mountains, though often unforgiving, represent one of the hearts of Alpinism and are the true kingpin of winter water ice. We parked at "Beauty Creek" and went for an hour hike to a beautiful North Facing ice route that cascaded down classic Canadian Rockies ledges called "Shades of Beauty," a three-pitch WI4.
Jeremy has never climbed in his life, unfortunately for him, it would be hard to get a better combination of ice, weather, and setting in the future. The bar was set high. Kitting him out in gear from Rab and tying him into a Fusion Nano rope from Sterling- we started up the route. Jeremy took to it quickly, though of course showed his first-timer fatigue as we all do. We topped out the route in perfect conditions and relished in our lonesome position. It was a Monday in April and it felt like we had Jasper National Park to ourselves as the snowy peaks stood proud around us and there wasn't a sound, not even the wind. It was safe to say Jeremy now understood why I live this way and that night we smiled together over beers in the town of Jasper.