Page 55 - The Chapka 2016
P. 55

 Sports and Adventurous Training
Exercise Yamnuska Lancer – the OPFOR go Adventuring
In the book entitled ‘1001 Places to see before you die’ (avail- able from any Army Library) Banff National Park, Alberta, comes in at number 10. Which is pretty high considering the other 991 places include the highest waterfall in the world and the Amazon Jungle, to list a few. So we are incredibly lucky each time we go to Alberta and BATUS to be able to take some time to explore the Rocky Mountains.
Thus, under the esteemed leadership of Lieutenant Luke, Ana- ni-Isaac, Jibb and Clarkson we drove the 500km from Suffield to Banff to undertake some mountain biking, road cycling, hiking and horse riding. Mount Yamnuska, sometimes referred to as Mt John Laurie by the locals in recognition of the Indian political activist John Lee Laurie, stands at 2,240m above sea level, al- most double that of Ben Nevis, and has a single slab rock face of almost 500ft making it extremely popular amongst the climbing fraternity. With slightly less ambitious aims for the mountain we took the back route and over the course of eight extremely hot hours we scrambled up the face. Of course, much like any mountain, we failed to appreciate that the getting up is (liter- ally) only half the challenge and the most difficult phase is the descent. Faced with 800ft of sliding, sifting, shifting shale, we decided that a fast approach was the best approach; cue eight
wildly out of control soldiers surfing down the face of the moun- tain kicking up huge clouds of dust and leaving bewildered tour- ists in their wake as we rocketed past startled, tooled up amateur mountaineers on all fours desperately clinging to static outcrops of rock that were not flowing like water beneath their feet. A five hour ascent was matched by a 90 minute descent thus comfort- ably proving Naismith’s rule.
The next day, having rested the night in Canmore, the mountain- eering heart of Banff National Park, we chose the controversial Ha Ling Peak, 2420m, to climb. Ha Ling peak has a very modern history to its title. Until 1896 it was named Beehive Peak until a Chinese cook from the Canadian pacific Railway was bet $50 that he could not complete a Canmore-summit-Canmore round trip in less than 10 hours. Duly bet, the cook set off at 7 o’clock and – having planted a flag made of his shirt atop the mountain – was back in time to cook lunch. There were doubters, and de- spite the very shirt off his back, he was required to climb it again which he so did with party of said doubters, again completing the feat in less that 10 hours. The peak was re-named ‘China- man’s Peak’ in his honour. Sadly, such is the gnawing rot that is political correctness, a Chinese Calgary based business-man
More gym time needed

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