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"I very rarely end up climbing with women. I try and encourage women I know. There are women climbers out there--the U of R has an outdoor club and there are a lot of women there who climb," says Jones.
For Jones, the point of climbing is not for a crazy boost of adrenaline or for taking risks, it's simply an opportunity to spend time in the mountains, doing something enjoyable.
Semple echoes her point.
"The general impression in the public is that it's a bunch of adrenaline junkies trying to kill themselves or come as close to it without actually doing it. But I don't know anyone like that. It [climbing] just feels good," says Semple.
This year, Semple attempted a full season of ice climbing for the first time, and he finds it exhilarating, though he emphasizes that he is a beginner.
"Ice is exciting. The Canadian Rockies is possibly the best place in the world for ice climbing. Few places have the number of routes that you find here," says Semple.
Just the texture and beauty of the ice is enough to make ice climbing rewarding, adds Semple.
"It's a surreal environment because you have these waterfalls that you can see the motion in the ice--that it's coming down and it hit that rock and it splashed over and now it's frozen there. It's really really beautiful the way the ice forms and the all different colours, says Semple. "Because it's often cold and wet and your hands get cold and your toes get cold when you come back and eat a burger or have a beer it's the best burger you've ever had in your life, and it's the best beer. In fact, there's quite a few ice climbs named after beer because you really appreciate normal life."
There's bound to be some danger in dangling high up above the surface with a tenuous hold on slippery ice, but Semple said that most of the time, accidents are a result of poor judgement, rather than random acts of God.
"This expression is valid for any activity--you only get good judgement from experience and you only get experience from bad judgement," says Semple. "There's been a couple of times when things have been potentially dangerous."
For instance, three weeks ago Semple broke his finger. He was ice climbing and the climber ahead of him knocked down some ice, which hit his finger and broke it.
Semple says that on the surface it seemed like a random accident that could happened at any time, but that it was entirely his fault because he should have seen the potential for that situation.
During the summer, Semple and some climbing companions were stuck in a storm high up on a mountain for fourteen hours. They weren't prepared; they had no sleeping bags, so to keep warm every hour they would do push-ups and jumping jacks. Despite the desperate situation, Semple still appreciated the nature around him.
"It was long but spectacular. It was around Jasper and there are no cities or towns. The stars were so close and the sunrise was amazing," says Semple.
Semple talks of subjective and objective dangers. Subjective dangers are those that you can control like the condition of your gear. Objective dangers are those like falling rock, falling ice, and avalanches which you do not directly control. Even so, Semple says that climbers are also responsible for objective dangers because it's a choice whether or not you put yourself in certain situations.
"It's always tragic when someone dies in an avalanche, but often they make the conscious decision to go into avalanche territory," explains Semple.
As of now, climbers do not need any special certification in order to climb. Semple says that sometimes people may do things that are too difficult for them, but that making decisions is the most important part of climbing. Semple doesn't let the accidents of others faze him.
"I don't think fear is a stop signal, I think it's a caution light it doesn't mean you should stop going where you're going it's just a tool that says, hey, watch where you're going."
To start out, the beginner can buy guide books about different routes and join the Alpine Club of Canada for $32.00 (www.alpineclubofcanada.ca). In Canmore, you could hire a someone to take you out from the Yamnuska Mountain School (www.yamnuska.com).