The Piolet de Obscure Badge
The first Piolet de Obscure Badge goes to the Antiques Roadshow climbing area which can be found in Rock East – an old and interesting slab climbing area that has been unearthed.
Our second inductee for a Piolet de Obscure is the ice route long forgotten in the Sheep River Valley, a grade 2+ tribute route Bobesque. Described briefly in the Ice Waterfall Ice book of 1988.
Our third entrance : The Quaite Slab Line. This slab surely gets a curious wink for obscure slab climbing, unfortunately we can’t give more details of the route but who put it there? The bolts are 1980s old and appear to have a line – the question is if bolts continue after the slight vegetated area up the slab? Park as for Quaite Valley along Hwy#1 and hike the road toward the real sport cliff of Alphabet Crag. The slab is obvious on the left about half way to Alphabet Crag.
#4 One of many Jasper locations including Tekarra Lodge, was used for the 1993/4 German produced TV show Destiny Ridge. It was a busy two summers back then when it was decided to use Jasper as the location of this short lived woodsy drama about outdoor life in Canada. The opening scene that shows the sign Welcome to Destiny Ridge was shot just at the top of the hill south of Wabasso Campground.
#5 The Piolet de Obscure goes to the Ord Road Boulder in Kamloops, BC – since being born in Kamloops and growing up there, I likely threw a few beer bottles at this rock during my teenage years in the 80s. From the Westsyde Road/Ord Road intersection, drive west down Ord Road about 4.2k and you will see it on the right below a crumbly cliff, about 30 feet from the road.
#6 – a fond memory many of us have is seeing Burl Ives as the singing snowman on those old claymation Christmas shows, but did you know he shot an album cover at Moraine Lake?! The boulder he is sitting on can be found in Bouldering West.
#7 – Does anyone recall this culinary obscurity that was demolished around 2004? The Mountain Mecca Cafe, a once classic Calgary pre-mountain getaway breakfast stop which sat near where the current city free carpool lot is just west of the Stoney Trail interchange. Amazing trucker-sized homemade cooking, mountaineering photos adorning the walls, colourful grassroots interior, live jams with such classics as The Co-Dependants whom even recoded a live CD inside this fun bergundy trailer-restaurant. The yellow line around the place in the photo is after it had burned and closed down for good. RIP.