Page 56 - The Chapka 2016
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  (with no mountaineering experience whatsoever) took offence to this and in 1997 the mountain was named ‘Ha-Ling’ Peak.
With our stout hiking boots (trainers) and lunch packs (crisps and coke) in our rucksacks (shopping bags) we set off to imitate Ha Ling’s endeavours. Passing several signs that warned of the bear threat, and several cautious packs of bell clad, pepper spray touting tourists (we figured that six soldiers screaming and sing- ing would do the job as well as pepper spray), we ascended in about three hours. Having fed our crisps and coke to the chip- munks atop the peak and debated the various merits of BASE jumping off the 600ft sheer wall back to Canmore, we again surf- descended the shale to fresh dips in the glacial Spray river.
Meanwhile our road cycling colleagues had had a marvelous day. Having donned enough spandex to make Christo Javach- eff green with envy, they undertook the uphill challenge from Canmore to Banff. Again relying on what was fast becoming a Royal Lancer tradition of ignoring sound Canadian bear avoid- ance advice, they set off ill equipped little thinking they would encounter a grizzly fiend. They did. Major Davis has never been known to cycle so fast and so hard, “It’s actually a bear!”.
The mountain cyclers, led by Lieutenant Luke, did what moun- tain cyclers do best, which is of course spend several hours cy- cling uphill for several minutes downhill. Canmore hosts an annual mountain-bike competition, Rundle’s Revenge, an inter-
nationally renowned event. So the gnarly bikers had access to some of the best downhill in the Northern hemisphere. With temperature over 30 degrees it is no surprise that a lot of them ended up in the Saskatchwan River (on purpose) to cool off.
Several hundred miles downstream from the rock bouncing, mountain hiking, bear avoiding enthusiasts in the Rockies, Bro- keback mountain aficionados took to their spotty multi-coloured pinto mounts and headed off into the prairie for the Saskatch- ewan river crossing. The south-east corner of the BATUS train- ing area has been reserved as a natural park where ferruginous hawks, burrowing owls and pronghorn are abundant. The area is rich in the history of its Indian ancestors and white settlers. We would never claim to be as innovative and expeditionary as these brave men before us, but for a little moment, dwarfed by the towering buttes and hoodoos, with the clink of bits and creak of leather work, we could but imagine.
Overall, Exercise Yamnuska Lancer was the perfect example of adaptive planning and determination to really exploit opportu- nity. It embodied the very finest of British Army Adventurous Training in that it was challenging, enjoyable and resulted in soldiers who had felt they had to think a bit further than they do normally and, at times, were a bit further outside their comfort zone than they were used to.
Not a bad location for a quick swim
 Cliff-hanger – Lance Corporal Peabody on his way to rescue two stranded climbers

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