Steve Swenson leaned conspiratorially closer, his black hair, bright eyes and slim frame belied his years. ”Don’t believe a word Raphael says, he’s the biggest sandbagger in Canada.”
Sat in a large brown leather chair a few days later, looking out of the Canadian Alpine Clubhut window – Canmore and the weighed down pine and the snow strata ledges of the Three Sisters glittered in the afternoon sun. Three Coyotes, thick winter fur – red and black and puffed, slinked past the window. They missed nothing. They saw everything. ‘Crafty buggers,’ I thought, and then as an afterthought I wondered if Slawinski was Buddhist? He would certainly return as a Coyote.
The Maul was recommended by Ian Welstead, Ian climbs with Raphael and no-doubt some of the craftiness is rubbing off, although to take the sandbagging biscuit, Raphael did say, “Oh yes, The Maul, it’s so good I’ve done it twice.”
Greg Boswell and I climbed the Maul yesterday, fifteen hours car to car, after one day of preparation on the walk-in through the thick pine and deep snow. One chopped rope, a flounder from the summit in the dark with deep and slightly risky slopes and a whole load of wild climbing later we have decided Coyotes are fluffy and friendly to look at but possibly not to be trusted.
Thanks Ian for the suggestion and Raphael for another great adventure.
For a full description of the route, Will Gadd’s site has it here