The 5.14 Family, and the Babysitter's Club.

Back in September 2012, Colin and I had made a trip to the Canadian Rockies on relatively short notice. Colin wanted to do some alpine climbing with local Rockies bad ass Jon Walsh on the weekends, and I wanted to go sport climbing during the week days. We spent 2 weeks in September climbing in perfect weather.

So naturally, when we were making plans for our return to North America after wintering in Patagonia, we decided to try out a season in the Rockies. It helped too that our good buddies Ken and Laurie who live in Canmore, had offered us a place to stay in their giant house. No true dirt-bag would refuse free accommodations for a month.

Allow me to introduce Ken, Laurie, and one and a half year old Rhys -- the 5.14 Family! Seriously, most people flounder in life with a full-time job, a baby, a spouse, and a hobby. Not these guys. Both Ken and Laurie crush it at work, then come home and crush it as parents, and then go out on the weekend to crush it as, well, crushers! Amazing.

On April 27, Colin and I arrived to Canmore and began settling into life with our new, incredibly gracious, roommates.

Living with a Toddler Lesson # 1 -- lock the door of your room before going to bed because the toddler will soon learn where the new visitors are staying, and that they are fun to visit at 6:30 am when he is in full play mode!

The weather was in top form when we arrived, so we managed to get in an awesome day of skiing near Lake Louise. Then, Colin did some more skiing with Jon Walsh, and I went mixed climbing with my new buddy John Freeman. I intended to take my beloved brand knew Nomics for their inaugural lap on, are you ready for it...Musashi. Having never really mixed climbed before, this route, rated M12, was completely beyond my comprehension! I could not really do a single move, and I scratched up my new tools. Crap! John on the other hand, got painfully close to sending. Next year John, for sure!

Finally, Colin and I conceded that the weather really was perfect for sport climbing. When in Canmore, do as the Canmorians, and go sport climbing. In fact, in the last twelve days, I have climbed ten of those! And, at this very moment, I am putting heat rub on my aching biceps about every hour.

For good measure, I've gotten the chance to relive my pre-teen dreams and play babysitter to Rhys  -- did anyone else out there obsess over the Babysitters Club series -- while Ken and Laurie got out for some much needed freedom. I changed a diaper for maybe the second time in my life -- it was a horrifying experience. I also surprised myself at how easily those nursery rhymes like "The Old Lady that Lived in a Shoe" came back to me? Some how, when you are desperately trying to put a small child down for their afternoon nap, your flight or fight response is to start gargling forth every cutesy nursery rhyme you never thought you knew -- just hoping and praying that small child will fall asleep like they're supposed to.

Living with a Toddler Lesson # 2 -- don't worry, in the heat of the moment, when you're freaking out because the toddler has tears welling up in his eyes, you will be able to easily regurgitate every nursery rhyme your mother ever told you.

I can confirm that after two days spent alone with this little boy, no harm came to him! And, I think, he even had a little fun. At least, from his incomprehensible toddler language, I think that's what he told me?

For the remainder of our time here, while the 5.14 family went about their lives at full tilt, Colin and I got comfortable with the hour long sport crag approaches. We also made some great new buddies, and reunited with some old ones. Get this, I finally got the chance to hangout with one of my heroes, Will Gadd. He even offered me a Red Bull! How cool is that?

And now, for the best part -- the photos. Enjoy...

Colin embracing the Rockies ethos by riding a mountain goat -- doesn't everyone in the Rockies ride a mountain goat at one time or another?

Colin and Rhys getting to know each other. Well, maybe Colin just getting to know Rhys.

The 5.14 mom, Laurie.

He looks like he's having fun, right? Rhys and I hanging out at the park during our day together.

Me skinning to the top of Mt. Fairview above Lake Louise.

Me on the summit of Mt. Fairview.

Colin on the summit of Mt. Fairview.

Colin on our boot pack to the top of Surprise Pass.

Me about to ski down the other side of the pass to Lake Louise.

Me ripping it up like I was a "powder gangster".

Skating across a frozen Lake Louise to the Chateau. Believe me, the tourists sure loved that one!

Now for something completely different! The ice that guards the entrance to the Cineplex, home of one of the most famous mixed climbs in the world, Musashi, M12.

Melon the dog, joined us on this adventure.

Here's John trying to send on Musashi. He got painfully close  this go!  This is pretty much the craziest climbing I've ever witnessed.

And now for some "sports action".

Amelie climbing perfect limestone on the upper walls of Bataan.

Colin lost in a sea of pockets.

Your's truly trying to send one of her projects. She fell on the last moves before the chains. Jeez...

...right before that dang blasted fall!

Colin climbing at the Lookout.