Madagascar and South Africa Photo Teasers…

Since it seems I reallllllllllllllly like to wait until the dust from adventures realllllllllllly settles, which is usually the amount of time it takes for bones to heal or 6-12 months  (which ever comes first) I’m going to wait a tiny bit longer to report on my latest adventure to South Africa and Madagascar. Travelling in these places places blew my mind. ‘Nuff said.

Please let these few pictures provide subsistence for the inquiring souls out there:)


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The Nose. A fine distraction from reno land.

We moved over the granite, meticulously but keeping pace. Travelling upwards smoothly and carefully in the warm sunlight of an early October afternoon. We chatted about boys, work, winter plans, pausing our conversation once in a while to focus on a move or turning our heads to admire our oceanfront town of Squamish. A solo evening lap on the Chief was a perfect way to unwind after a few weeks straight of remote work away from the rock.

Earlier in the day I had come back into cell range after two weeks of private catering work in the North Harrison region.

I texted Hannah, “climb Chief?”


Hannah and I had previously shared our thoughts of climbing the Nose to each other and had played with the idea of teaming up but we hadn’t yet made the daydreams into a concrete plan. Our meeting to climb the Chief was in a way a meeting to discuss business. Eventually somewhere above the enchanted forest the conversation turned to the Nose and the time came to commit. We planned on late October. I would be just finishing up 6 weeks straight of work and Hannah just finishing a rope access course and subsequent work. It was ideal in the fact that neither of us would be in top shape, but both of us would be thoroughly ready to let loose some of our pent up energy.

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Hummingbirds and Dirty Highs in the Waddington Range

Team Smiles. photo: Kinley Aitken


Kinley! photo: Jasmin Caton

Sarah! photo: Kinley Aitken

Jas! photo: Kinley Aitken

I received the Facebook message from Jasmin sometime in March.

“Do you want to climb in Waddington this summer? You, me and Sarah?”

I was deep in daily life at my winter job as cook and ski bum at a ski touring lodge in B.C’s Chilcotin Mountains. It was about the time of year when the skiing had been epic week after week, the days getting longer and the mind just recently had been tickled with thoughts of the climbing season that was just around the corner. Although I was in no rush to stop my daily work/ ski/ sleep/ repeat schedule, my mind easily drifted back to memories of the range almost 9 years ago. I remembered surprisingly little of the daily details, but I could almost see the endless granite ridgelines, feel the gorgeous splitter crack systems and hear the constant thunderous icefall from the toes of all the hanging glaciers. The raw feelings of hanging out in such an intensely wild and beautiful zone came back quickly.

“Yes.” I typed back and pressed send, smiling to myself.

I had visited the range as my first alpine trip. The group had consisted of five bad ass boys and me, a so-called alpine virgin. After twelve days during that glorious August I left the range having sat atop 3 summits under perfect blue skies.

With that one Facebook message, the seed had been planted and I couldn’t help but daydream of heading back into the Wadd. This time however with three ladies and decades of climbing experience between us, the possibilities were endless… had anyone ever had a pedicure atop Sunny Knob, done yoga poses atop any of the Serras or had a pillow fight to decide who would lead out the next day?

Fast forward to mid July, Jasmin Caton, Sarah Hart and I were poised and ready to leave as soon as the weather looked steady. We were well aware that, with the late start to summer the alpine had not really had a chance to heat up and were all interested to see what the range had in store for us. We had objectives that we were all psyched for but agreed to see what conditions the range was in before zoning in on just one.  We were stoked to have a late addition to our trip. Firefighter, photographer and all around great guy, Chris Christie. I am not sure if he knew what he was in for hanging out with three chicks for two weeks but I was reminded by my male friends a mans perspective of the opportunities,  ‘Taking pictures of three chicks getting sweaty and then cuddling on tiny bivy ledges, only to come back to camp and bathe in freezing water and then laze around camp in boy shorts… ” Hmmm, alright. Noted.

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Hello out there…

Welcome to my new web page. High demand and encouragement from many has finally outspoken my own (unexplained) deep resistance to creating a personal/ professional/ creative website/ blog whatever you would like to call  it. After coming up with countless reasons for myself why I didn’t want to blog, (time, who would want to read it, i don’t want to be just another blogger, my grammar sucks.. etc.) I finally began to ask myself what wouldn’t be positive about blogging. Being a Taurus.. (i.e- extremely stubborn) I began to realize that blogging and creating a little Kinley spot on the world wide web was kind of an exciting prospect.

For family, friends, clients and beyond…  to share my professional services, document my personal adventures and photos as well as provide myself with a reason to write! Journaling on paper has proven to be an activity that I try/ wish/ attempt to do but hasn’t yet become something that I do even semi-regularly. Editing and sharing my photos on the other hand has brought me much satisfaction as well a creative outlet. Looking back over years of adventures in my photo library I think of all the stories and little moments that have gone with the images. To think of 5, 10, 30+  years down the road with hopefully many more adventures to come… how nice it wold be to look back and read of the minute details and stories that make the memories so rich.

So… Mom, Dad, Geordie and all of you’s who regularly ask me…

“where have you been?”

“how was Australia, Waddington, Whitecap… etc..?”

“are you back for a while?”

here you  go!!