Showing posts from October, 2007

Digging a Hole (to China)

When I was a kid, somebody told me that if I dug a hole in the ground deep enough, eventually I would dig all the way to China on the other side of the Earth! I thought about it, but it seemed like it would be an awful lot of work. So instead, I tried to dig a hole big enough for my sister to fall into.

These days it seems like China is doing some digging... digging themselves into an embarrassing hole.

Today Prime Minister Stephen Harper officially met the Dalai Lama, the exiled leader of Tibet. Good for him, and I hope they had a nice chat. The Dalai Lama is a Nobel Peace laureate, was recently awarded the United States Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, is an honorary Citizen of Canada, and has met with countless world religious leaders and heads of state. He has tirelessly campaigned for peace and maintained a pacifist position in the face of brutal political, cultural and religions repression of Tibet by the Chinese government.

China has protested rather loudly. But the world h…


Hi. After the last post I got a couple of emails. One was asking about plastic bottles, particularly the Nalgene plastic bottles, and if they're safe for drinking water. So I decided to look into that a bit.

Apparently the colorful, hard plastic Lexan bottles by Nalgene (and other manufacturers) are polycarbonate based and they do leach harmful chemicals into the water, especially if exposed to heat and/or sunlight. These bottles can be identified by a recycling symbol with the number 7.

The disposable plastic water bottles are made from polyethylene teraphthalate (PET) and identified by the recycling symbol 1. They're often marked "do not refill" because they are known to release toxins into the water in increasing levels as they get older. The molecular formula for this compound is (-CO-C6H5-CO-O-CH2-CH2-O-)n, where C6H5 is a benzene ring. Benzene is known to be a carcinogenic substance.

Here are a couple of links for more information:…

One for the Planet

Today, it turns out, is Blog Action Day, where bloggers around the world are encouraged to blog on the environment. And it turns out that as a climber, I have an interest in the environment because of what I've seen in the mountains.

It's easy not to care about the environment. For most of us, environmental issues don't affect our day to day lives. In some places, if you go on about "the environment", people look at you like some kind of kook. Growing up in the 70's, there were lots of environmentalists around making noise, but in general they were treated like a bunch of weirdos. In my upbringing, there was a certain stigma attached to environmental issues. You still encounter this today even in young people. A lot of people just don't want to be worried about the environment.

I just posted a bunch of photos from my last trip to the Canadian Rockies. I started doing technical mountaineering in the Rockies in the mid-90's, starting with Mt. Temp…

Take Stock

Well I've uploaded just about everything worth uploading from my summer vacation pictures.

Other than posting pictures, I've been rebuilding my porch. As for sailing, the season is coming to a close and I'm sure I'll be writing about haul-out and winter boat projects soon.

But not before the Turkey Trot! A fun Thanksgiving Day race where the goal is to have everyone cross the finish line at the same time, a boisterous bevy of boaters, booze and ... birds. The winners - however they're chosen - each get a frozen turkey. Gobble gobble!

Going Home

Climbers' silhouettes against Mt. Odaray , Yoho National Park, B.C., Canada

August 2007. Photo by Darren DeRidder.

Fresh Snow

Mt. Hungabee, Yoho National Park, B.C., Canada.

August 2007. Photo by Darren DeRidder.


Climbers on Mt. Odaray, Yoho National Park, B.C., Canada.

August 2007. Photo by Darren DeRidder.