I've been very busy at work, so it looks like the couple of hikes I did at the end of September were the last hikes for the summer season. I did Cascade Mountain - 3006 m (very popular hike in Banff, elevation gain: 1325 m) and Castle Mountain - 2766 m (elevation gain: 1400 m), known for a number of "classic" climbs on the south wall (I did a couple of them around 10 years ago). Nothing too difficult, but it was fun.



I don't have much luck with the South Ridge of Mount Andromeda (3450 m). This time, I had to turn around at the upper part of Athabasca Glacier due to the huge amounts of fresh snow covering crevasses, and avalanche hazards.



Below are a few pictures from my latest hikes with friends. First, we reached the summit of Mount Indefatigable (2670 m, elevation gain: 1000 m) near Kananaskis Lakes, and a week later Mount Tyrwhitt (2874 m, elevation gain: 650 m) near Highwood Pass.



Canada Day long weekend:

My plan was to spend a night at Kananaskis Lakes, get up at 2 am, drive to the Columbia Icefield, and try to reach the summit of Mount Andromeda (3450 m) via the South Ridge. Well, ten minutes after leaving the campsite in Kananaskis, I had a collision with a rather large deer. The deer was fine, I was fine, but my car ended up in the junkyard ...shit. After such a nice beginning, I decided to buy a lot of beer and stay at Kananaskis Lakes doing nothing (Shona and Felix joined me). Well, that's not entirely true because I had to move my ass from time to time to turn over the big pieces of a cow I had on the grill.

Happy Canada Day !



Mount Cory (2802 m), located in the Bow River Valley just north of Banff, Alberta, is known for an interesting rock formation. The "Hole in the Wall" cave (19 m high and 30.5 m deep) is located in the upper portion of the western side of the mountain. The hike to the summit of Mount Cory is not technically difficult but rather strenuous (1400 m elevation gain).



Nice, relatively short and not overly difficult scramble close to home, Mount Baldy (2192 m, 800 m elevation gain) in Kananaskis, with friends. The weather was good, the company excellent.



Exciting news! We recently welcomed a new addition to our little family! After much discussion, we decided to get a dog and we now have a little bundle of Boston Terrier joy, who goes by the name, Felix. I took a couple of weeks off of work to get him settled and we've managed to work out a nice routine. Luckily, Andrzej is able to come home for lunch so he's not alone for more than a few hours. We are kennel training him and, so far, things are going really well. He's been pretty easy to house train and the only thing he's been chewing on are the wood floors and pillar. But we got some bitter apple spray and that works like a charm. He is such a character, we're totally in love with him and are looking forward to lots of adventures with him in tow.



Years of brutal military regime and isolation left Paraguay as one of the poorest countries in South America, and avoided by tourists. Stroessner is gone and the country is starting to change. It's going to take years before Paraguay catches up with its neighbours but things look good. If you are already in South America don't hesitate to visit the country. There are interesting things to see and people are very friendly.



Iguazu Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Parana. Together, they make up the largest waterfall system in the world. The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu. The Iguazu River rises near the heart of the city of Curitiba. For most of its course, the river flows through Brazil; however, most of the falls are on the Argentine side.

The name Iguazu comes from the Guarani or Tupi words "y", meaning "water", and "uasu ", meaning "big". Legend has it that a deity planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipi, who fled with her mortal lover Taroba in a canoe. In a rage, the deity sliced the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall. The first European to record the existence of the falls was the Spanish Conquistador Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca in 1541 (from Wiki).



Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital, is a major city along Montevideo Bay. After chaotic and sometimes overwhelming Buenos Aires, it felt like a relaxed and sleepy small town. The city revolves around the Plaza de la Independencia, once home to a Spanish citadel. This plaza leads to Ciudad Vieja (the old town), with art deco buildings, colonial homes and landmarks, including the towering Palacio Salvo and neoclassical performance hall Solis Theatre. Montevideo has consistently been rated as having the highest quality of life of any city in Latin America.



Buenos Aires is a city full of contrasts. Spectacular European architecture, and mud and plywood shacks in “villas miseria”. Always busy Parisian-style coffee shops, and homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks. Cosmopolitan and easy going feel, and years of brutal military junta and permanent economical crisis.

The city is very popular amongst tourists (2 million visitors a year) and has a lot to offer. The most popular tourist sites are found in the historic core of the city: Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada, Congreso de la Nacion , City Hall , Catedral Metropolitana which has stood in the same location since colonial times, and the Banco de la Nacion Argentina building.

Since the 19th century, the city, and the country in general, has been a major recipient of millions of immigrants from all over the world, so Buenos Aires is considered one of the most diverse cities of the Americas.



I just got back from another trip to South America. I travelled through Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. I had a wonderful time. I think Buenos Aires is one of the most interesting cities in the world.

The highlight of the trip was a mountaineering expedition to the summit of Cerro Aconcagua (6962 m), the highest mountain of the "New World". Yes, I did it! On February 11, I reached the summit.

More pictures here.



A very busy weekend. Skiing at Sunshine Village, one of the most attractive ski resorts in Canada, and my personal favourite plus quick hike to the summit of Mount Yamnuska (2240 m, 900 m elevation gain). The name Yamnuska is derived from a Stoney Nakoda word meaning "wall of stone".