Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lunar Calligraphy

This is the moon over Welsord last night.

I apologize for the lack of posts lately. I have been home from Labrador for the last week, and while I have had a good time, not much blog-worthy stuff has gone on. I spent the week , working, with some climbing, biking, movies etc.. thrown in. I head back to Labrador tonight for another month. Our Internet connection in camp has apparently been fixed so I will try to post more often.



Thursday, July 26, 2007


This is my new home in Central Labrador.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The fun is over

It's been a great week-and-a-half , with lots of climbing, puttering around the house and general R&R. Tomorrow however, it is back to work. I am starting with a new company, doing Uranium exploration in Labrador. Not as exotic as Mongolia, but it sure it will be a good experience as well. I'll be in Goose Bay by 12:30 and then getting into a float plane to camp an hour later. I should be home again around August 23rd.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Because style matters

Famous Welsford hardman, let's call him "Mr. Cave Fister", seen here simultaneously falling and pulling on gear. Just one more example of the decay of ethics in modern rock climbing :-)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

minee naiz

dakhin uhlztlah bayartai!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Halfway home

Hey all, I am the airport in Seoul on the stop-over from hell. I got in this morning at 3:00 am and I am only flying out at 6:00 pm tonight. Thankfully they have a "Transfer Hotel" within Incheon Airport which is very civilized. You can rent a very nice room with bed and shower in 6 hour blocks. It is all within the security-cleared zone so you don't have to leave the airport to get a few hours sleep. I snoozed some and now am just killing time until my flight.



Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Counting the days..

I am leaving camp in 3 days! I'll be in UB until the 9th and then on my way back home. Looking forward to seeing everyone again!

I have been in the field almost 3 months straight, way too long for maintain sanity. I'll be home until the 23rd and then off to tropical Labrador...



Friday, June 15, 2007

Horse Racing

We went to a mini-Nadamm festival to watch the wrestling and horse races.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Mongolian Natural History Museum

Not exactly the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, but they tried... The dinosaur colection is actually quite impresive, but it is an extra 5000 turgirks to take pictures in the palentology "wing".

Friday, June 01, 2007

Women's and Children's Day

Yesterday was Women's and Children's Day in Mongolia, a national holiday. In honour of this occasion the guys took-over in the kitchen so the girls could have a day off. Our camp manager cleaned the gers and Robin and I clean the toilets. We also a bags of goodies for everyone's kids and ice cream for all the ladies at lunch (a big treat in the south Gobi!).

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Who you lookin' at punk?

Camels get a certain evil look in thier eyes, just before they lob a great-big, green wad of phlem at your face.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mining the wrong away

We paid a visit to a local, small-scale gold mining/processing operation. Locals work small open pits in various parts of the southern Gobi, mining gold-rich (poor?) quartz veins. They truck their ore to a primitive diesel-powered mill like the one pictured above. To extract the gold, they use mercury. The waste rock, replete with visible beads of mercury, just gets dumped-out onto the desert. In this case, the dump site is about 2 km away from an oasis with an artesian spring. Not good…
The open-pits themselves are very dangerous; one girl in our camp lost her brother last year working at one of these sites.
Some industries like farming, tourism, small-scale manufacturing etc…should be encouraged at a local-level. Mining is not one of them. If you want to protect the environment, leave mining to large corporations which can (in theory) be held accountable for the land they use and the people they employ.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

TB scare

One of our guys started coughing-up blood, so we sent him to a nearby clinic. They suspected tuberculosis based on his symptoms. He was immediately shipped-off to UB for tests. Myself and about six other people in camp also had coughs, sore throats etc.. It was a tense 48 hours as we waited for the results. Everyone with a cough had to wear a face mask and no one was allowed to leave. The tests came back negative today, no TB just a bad chest-cold. I have never been so happy to have a cold before….

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Trailer Park Ger

Somehow I ended up with the crappiest ger in camp this year. I am not sure what I did to deserve this honour. Maybe bad Karma for sending that snake to it's maker last year.


Friday, April 27, 2007


I survived the trek across the Gobi again. I got to do some of the driving myself which made the trip seem much faster. Avoiding potholes and camels provides some mental stimulation.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Human Misery

According to the Lonely Planet guide to Mongolia, in the mid 1990's up to 6000 children lived on the streets of Ulaan Baator. They survive the -30 degree winters by living in the city's sewers with their underground heating pipes. Malnutrition, syphilis, scabies and lice are endemic. The problem is better now, but still exists. I have had children as young as two or three begging me for money. Now when I see a grown, able-bodied person begging on the street in Canada, I find myself lacking sympathy.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

2007 field crew

Our crew for this year went out for Mongolian BBQ (no goat) tonight. Oyut, who is pregnant, decided that "the baby" needed a sundae...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

back in the Bayangol

Hey all, I made it back to Mongolia. The trip was long and uneventfull. I tried to update from Seoul, but the blogger screen came up in Korean and I couldn't get anything to work. Going to bed now...

Monday, April 16, 2007


Hey Everyone,

I am off to Vancouver today and then back to Mongolia on Wednesday. It's been nice to be home for the winter but it is time to go earn my keep again. I'll be back around June 7th.



Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bitter and disappointed...

It's April 3rd, and this is what we woke up to. It must be because I had the summer tires put on yesterday.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Red Rocks 2007

Warning: Contains profanity inspired by getting stuck at a hanging-belay, behind a party with a snagged rope.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Back Home

Hey Everyone,

Thanks for all the great comments. It's nice to have finally finished.

Vegas was great but we got stuck on the way there, in Portland/Boston for 3 days because the snow storm. The trip was a little shorter as a result, but we still got some great climbing in. I'll post some pictures soon.



Friday, March 16, 2007

Rock Doc

Hey Everyone,

I successfully defended my Ph.D. today. The defence went really well but I am glad to have it over with! Thanks to everyone who has supported me over the years, I could not have done it without your help.

If anyone needs me, Mal and I will be in Las Vegas all next week, getting drunk (we might squeeze-in a bit of climbing as well...).


Monday, March 05, 2007


I just got this e-mail from Jason:

"Hello Everyone. Just thought I would let everyone know that Nancy and I welcomed our daughter Brooke Isabella Bourne on Sunday, March 4th at 9:33pm. "

Congratulation Jay, Nancy and familly! Looking forward to seeing the pictures.


Saturday, March 03, 2007

Skill testing question



Name these cleverly-disguised climbers...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Disco never died

Erika truned 6, so we had a party...