Big Changes…. Big Winter….

Kluane National Park

Kluane National Park

What a season! April came around didn’t let me off the hook ‘till a few weeks ago. It all started with a great recording project in Nova Scotia with musician and producer Colin Nealis. We recorded trumpet for a film score he was working on and after a week, I headed back to the west coast to get my ass kicked with guiding work. I kicked off my season with three weeks of outdoor ed work with St George’s School in Vancouver, then cranked out 530kms of hike guiding on the West Coast and North Coast Trail (let’s be honest, mostly the WCT). Before I could rest my feet, I led a gang of grade 10’s for 4 days in the mountains of Strathcona Provincial Park, and then finally wrapped it up like I started with two weeks of canoe tripping with St George’s School. Ooof! Close to 80 nights in a tent later, my body might never smell the same again ;-).

Rock climbing in Powell River on a rare day off (can you spot me?)

Rock climbing in Powell River on a rare day off (can you spot me?)

Splitter Granite in the Golden Canyon - Whitehorse

Splitter Granite in the Golden Canyon - Whitehorse

But by far the biggest news of the summer was my move to the great north! Back in August, my partner Emma took up a teaching position in Whitehorse. Having only ever experienced winters in places that stayed above zero degrees, I can’t say that I was all that stoked. With less than 4 hours of sunlight in winter and no climbing gym within hundreds of kilometres, I was feeling pretty reluctant about moving up.

I had a week off in early September and figured I should probably go up and visit to see what it was all about. Before I had gotten off the plane, my phone was already buzzing with a request to guide for a few weeks. It must of been a good omen because the good vibes just kept on coming! Five days later, I had climbed 30m splitter granite, hiked in some EPIC wilderness in Kluane National Park, and met up with a francophone outdoor education school (my dream job).

I’m now fully setup in Whitehorse, back in the routine of practicing trumpet, working out, and job working as little as possible ;-).

Concert Announcement May 30th

I’m playing a show!!!!!

For the first time in months, I’m leaving the forest and coming back to the city to play a show! On Thursday, May 30th, I’m going to be playing with my dad at Hermann’s Jazz Club in Victoria.

The band’s going to feature Rob Cheramy on guitar, Dave Emery on drums, Louis Rudner on bass, and my dad, Gord Clements on bass clarinet and saxophone. We just finished our first rehearsal and I can’t tell you how excited I am for this to go down. We’re going to be performing all new original compositions written by my dad as well as a few of my own. It’s going to be a special night because we’re also going to do a live recording of the concert to preserve these tunes for all eternity!!!!!!!!

The music is amazing, the band is fantastic, and it’s going to be a great night! Book/reserve your table asap because tickets are going fast!!!

Tickets 20$/15$ (students)

Doors @ 730pm

Oregon and the Final Tally


We finished our great big USA roadtrip a few weeks ago and are back in Squamish starting up the summer routine.  We wanted to post our final blog update a while ago but I’ve been out guiding little teenagers out in the wild for the past three weeks and haven’t had time or reception to do the necessary computer internet things.

Well, without further ado, here’s our final roadtrip blog post along with some of our top picks of the trip.  Take it away Emma!

Our last week was mostly spent in Oregon, starting off with three excellent days of climbing at Smith Rock State Park. After experiencing the limited hardware on routes at other climbing destinations, Smith Rock was a welcomed change with bolted routes, and anchors at the top of every route. It felt like a beautiful outdoor climbing gym! Smith rock provided us with some top-quality climbs in a beautiful setting. We were also lucky enough to find badass babes Robyn and Claire who let us climb and hang with them! Stopping in at Redpoint, the local climbing store, we discovered $1 pints on tap! They were trying to get rid of the keg and we were thrilled to hand over our dollar bills two nights in a row. Our Smith Rock experience was capped off with a five-pitch climb, Wherever I May Roam. (Olivier here.  Emma killed it, leading all the hard and scary as hell traverse pitches!!!)


After a quick stop in Portland to check out Powell’s Books (the world’s largest independent bookstore) and sample all the food, we made our way back west. The next few days were spent cruising up the coast in search of cool beaches, noisy sea lions, and easy strolls. We’re now home in Canada, and back to the grind. Before we finish this blog series, we’ve got some top 3’s for you!


Top three climbs:

·   Black Magic (Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area): 580ft, 5.8

·   Double Cross (Joshua Tree National Park): 95ft, 5.7+++

·   Phoenix (Smith Rock): 90ft, 5.10a

Top three campsites:

·   Sequoia National Forest, California (free hot spring campsite)

·   Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Area, Utah (Woodbury Road Crags)

·   Willow Springs Road, Utah (near Moab)

 *75% of Utah land is public, so there was no shortage of amazing free campsites. In the end, we only paid for two nights of camping during our seven weeks on the road.

Top three hikes:

·   Fiery Furnace, Arches National Park, Utah

·   Syncline Loop, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

·   Island in the Sky Traverse, Snow Canyon State Park, Utah

 *Honorable mention to the Snow Creek Trail in Yosemite National Park. Beautiful views of Half Dome, but a real slog and we did it in the pouring rain/hail/snow.

 Top three meals out:

·   Burritos in the Mission district of San Francisco

·   NOLA Doughnuts, Portland

·   Lou’s Diner, Las Vegas

Yosemite and the Rugged Coast

This week’s post is brought to you by Emma :-)

Cold wintery Yosemite

A lot has happened in the last week as we’ve cruised through California and into Oregon. We arrived in the incredible Yosemite National Park, full of waterfalls and amazing rock formations. Wanting to avoid the big crowds and expensive campsites, we opted for a backcountry hike up the snow creek trail. The beautiful views of half dome and incredible waterfalls were slightly dampened by the downpour and thunderstorm we experienced a couple kilometres into the hike. After a few hours of hiking and 1km of elevation gain later, the rain turned to snow and we arrived in a winter wonderland, shivering our way through dinner and making our way into sleeping bags by 7pm. The next day cleared up and we saw and heard incredible avalanches on the other side of the valley the whole hike down. 

Soggy and tired, we made our way to San Francisco and had a great time wandering around the city experiencing some of the best Mexican food we’d ever had. Shoutout to Rachel and James who let us refresh at their place and partake in a few spicy games of “Bonanza” (look up this great card game!). 

Just north of San Fran, we stumbled upon the secretive community of Bolinas, a place where the locals have taken down all signs pointing to the town to keep this beauty gem on the down low. I pulled out the surfboard for the first time and that evening caught some live music at the local bar filled with people and free roaming dogs. 


We continued up the coast and enjoyed windy roads through incredible forests, and beautiful rugged coastline. Northern California is home to the Redwoods, some of the tallest trees in the world. We spent two days exploring various parks dedicated to preserving these incredible giants. Although it wall still raining, we went on some incredible hikes, one ending at the ocean with some of biggest waves we’d ever seen. Continuing north, I had a morning surf in Port Orford, then stopped for the world famous hotdogs of Langlois.

We’re already in Smith Rock, but we’re going to save those sweet details for the next post… Stay tuned!

Red Rocks, Joshua Tree, and Sequoia National Park

Top Babe with a big rack. (We climbed one of the walls on the left)

Wow, what an awesome last few weeks!  After the insanity of Vegas, we were excited to start exploring the legendary Red Rock Canyon.  While the climbs we did were amazing (culminating with a gorgeous 200m route deep in a desert valley), we couldn’t help but be put off by the sheer quantity of people clamouring to hike or climb in the park.  By 9:30 on a Sunday morning, the whole park closed down because the park had reached capacity.  Climbing nearby, we witnessed long lines in front of climbing routes and climbers huffing and puffing around who was going next.  For us, climbing is supposed to be a serene and peaceful experience with nature, not a Disneyland crazy town.

Some Canadian climbers on the uber classic “Sail Away”

Four days of hiking and climbing later, we drove on to another climbing mecca, Joshua Tree.  The vibe here could not have been more different.  While there seemed to be more climbers here than in Red Rocks, nobody was in anybody’s way and the sheer quantity of routes available meant that you were almost always climbing far from anyone else.  The beautiful white granitic boulders of Joshua Tree have a long and rich trad climbing tradition and it was a humbling experience to get to experience the rock here (I even had a full-on tearful break down halfway up a 5.6 chimney).  I loved it!

By this point, we had been climbing quite a bit and my finger tips and nerves were shot.  Thankfully, I was able to give my body a break for the next 5 days.  We drove up to LA for a quick visit to Venice Beach (the greatest people watching ever), got washed up at some hot springs and cruised onward to Sequoia National Park.  From the desert heat, it was quite a shock to end up in 2-3 meters of snow surrounded by some of the biggest trees on earth.

We’re now doing some internetting to get on top of things back home and our next stop will be…. Yosemite!!!!!!!

Hello from Las Vegas!

Master chef Dobzz cooking up a hot lunch

Master chef Dobzz cooking up a hot lunch


This week’s blog post comes to you from Emma! Two weeks living in the van and we’re getting into a good routine, figuring out how to best keep things organized and comfortable. I’ve especially liked the challenge of making delicious, healthy, and varied meals with a limited kitchen and no refrigeration. So far we’ve made fried noodles, pasta, stir fry, soup, gnocchi, apple crisp, breakfast burritos, ramen, and quesadillas. No temperature control in the van means only being able to buy a few perishables at a time, and always having a plan for using them up quickly. We also haven’t been eating meat except for the occasional salami treat at lunch.

After leaving the amazing Blanding visitor centre, we made our way on an incredible drive through Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, stopping at the viewpoints and some short hikes along the way. It had been about day ten of nothing but a few attempts of splashing a bit of water on ourselves, when a very kind stranger we had been talking to offered up his hotel for us to take a shower. Feeling fresh, we made our way to Bryce Canyon National Park in sub zero and whiteout conditions. We decided to escape the elements for the afternoon and hung out at a hotel pool. Because of all the snow, we were very limited in what was open at Bryce, so we did a short hike to check out some incredible hoodoos, then moved on to Zion National Park. 

The Hoodos in Bryce Canyon

Bears Ears National Monument

The insanity of Angel’s Landing…. Wayyyyy too many people.

It’s amazing what a bit of elevation can do- going from a metre of snow to t-shirt weather in just a few hours! Zion was somewhat of a “Disney World” of national parks. People everywhere, difficult to find parking, but also incredible sights. We were itching to do a climb here, but the delicate sandstone needed more time to dry. Instead we went for the infamous Angels Landing hike. Like everything else in the park it was busy, but also very beautiful. Dozens of paved switchbacks lead you to a ridge with some scary exposure. The hike itself was not difficult, but the sheer drop offs on either side really spooked me.

Next was St George- the city know for it’s retirees and excellent climbing. Here, we were finally blessed with warm temperatures and dry weather fit for climbing. The type of rock here was so varied- from smooth sandstone pockets, to sharp crimpy holds, to even sharper cheese grater from hell rock. We also spent a day at Snow Canyon State Park and did the Island in the Sky Traverse. Lots of low fifth class scrambling, with a few 5.6 moves and some rappelling on the way down. Over the three mile adventure, we had a bit of a difficult time route finding, especially the belay stations which were painted to match the colour of the rock. 

With cut up hands, blisters, and sore bodies, we ventured to vegas for a rest day. What a strange place. Just walking around the strip was excitement enough for these two bush kids. Of course we went to an all you can eat/drink buffet and made ourselves feel incredibly ill. Now we have $10 left so we’re off to the hotel’s casino… And then Red Rocks for some more climbing!

PS Olivier here.  You’ll be please to know that we won 5$ at the blackjack table on our first hand, and promptly cashed out.  Vegas: 0, Olivier + Emma: 5$.

Update from the grand USA roadtrip


Helllooooo world!  I’m writing you from the small, quaint little town of Blanding Utah.  It’s raining and we’re taking a few hours to hang out at the visitor’s centre to make some breakfast, drink coffee, and do some internetting.

Me, Emma, and Vanie (a 1997 Japanese Toyota Townace mini van) are on a big, 7 week road trip exploring the western US.  Nine days in, the trip has been a mind blowing experience discovering the crazy, weird, and beautiful wilderness of Utah’s desert.


We started in Squamish, and beelined down to Utah over two and half days.  Our first few sleeps in the van were cooollllddd with lows of -10ºC.  We couldn’t believe how winter’y it was around Snoqualmie pass.  As the snow thinned out and eventually disappeared around eastern Oregon, we thought the temperature would start going up (it’s the desert right?), but nope, it was still cold as hell.

We made it to Moab in the dark and set up camp just outside of town.  We woke up the next day to a surreal land of cacti, massive sandstone towers, arches, and really interesting looking desert terrain.  What surprised us the most however was the emptiness and vastness of the land.  The land just goes and goes and goes as far as the eye can see without a hint of human activity.  It was sooooo cool!!!!


Over the next week, we explored Arches and Cayonlands national parks and drove down to Indian Creek to try our hand at the legendary creek crack climbing.  We also climbed our first desert tower!!!!!!

We’re now on our way to Bryce and Zion Canyon, making our way towards St George for more exploration and climbing!  Stay tuned next week for another road trip update :-).

PS We’re pooping in bags!  Human waste doesn’t decompose in the desert, so we’re carrying big old bags of post-coffee poop :-D 

The Coastal Trail Collective is now officially launched!!!!

ctc home.jpg

I’m so excited, stoked, and proud to be a part of the officially launch of the Coastal Trail Collective. I’ve been working since December to develop our website, and today’s the day we went live! The CTC’s website will be the place to go to learn more about logging, get Walbran Valley trail updates, and find Walbran related maps and resources. We also want this platform to be the first step towards being more inclusive.  We want to bring you on one of our trail building trips and we hope this website will get your stoke on!!!!

Check it out!!

Upcoming Jazz Show this weekend (Victoria)

Quick show announcement,

I’ll be playing with my Dad this upcoming Sunday in Victoria at the First Unitarian Church of Victoria. It’s part of the church’s jazz vesper series. We were supposed to play last weekend, but unfortunately had to cancelled the show because of the snow. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it doesn’t happen again ;-).

I’m pretty damn excited for this gig. My Dad’s written most of the music and the band’s sounding really good! It’s going to feature Rob Cheramy on guitar, Bruce Meikle on bass, and Gord Clements (aka Dad) on saxophone and bass clarinet.

Hope to see you there!

Tickets by donations

Music starts at 7pm