The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal

Profiles

How a hiker, scrambler, and trail runner brought his passions together

tomphoto2With less than two years of mountain and alpine running experience under his belt, Tom Amaral has made significant progress in a sport that many have never heard of.

What began as hiking, scrambling and training for ultra-marathons quickly transformed into the niche sport of alpine running.

It all began after a successful summer season in 2012 of scrambling and hiking. Amaral made a trip out to Healy Pass for his last training run before competing in the 50-kilometre Salomon Grizzly Ultra Marathon in Canmore, Alta.

Larry Stanier has made a career out of taking calculated risks

larry 2thumbLarry Stanier relaxes in an oversized chair and nonchalantly speaks about the time he helped rescue two kids off the side of a mountain.

Not the worst he's seen, he says, but with potential hypothermia setting in and them hanging from harnesses, it felt pretty good to get those guys.

To most this sounds like a script out of a movie. But to Stanier, a mountain guide and avalanche expert, this is the simple reality of his day job.

Stanier is personable; he easily laughs, and his humility in what he's accomplished is, alone, something to admire. One gets the feeling while speaking with him that he's hyper-aware of his surroundings at all times.

Philanthropist and adventurer determined to raise $1 million for international children

righttoplayApproximately 20 hours had passed since Martin Parnell and his guides Lau and Kidori began their ascent up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

The air was thin and their extremities near freezing, but they had a schedule to stick to. With nothing but hydration packs on their backs, the next hour would prove not only to be a physical breakthrough, but a mental one for the small group.

On the evening of March 7, 2013, Parnell, along with his guides, reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 21 hours, — a nearly impossible feat. The summit of the highest freestanding mountain in the world is usually conquered in five days.

Parnell became an adventurer with a taste for marathon running later in his life. Having completed his first marathon at 50 in 2003, Parnell says he knew running was something that would keep him busy. "I was never much for sport but I always knew I could run and run and run," he said.

Local artist creates reconstructive tattoo business post-breast surgery to make a world of difference

tattoothumbIt's a quiet afternoon inside Stacie-Rae Weir's studio, Sacred Space. The artist, making herself comfortable at her "second home," leans back in her desk chair. She turns up the metal music she's selected from her sleek apple desktop, acknowledging that it may clash with the intended ambiance of the studio.

The quaint and clean space is calm and inviting, painted with pastel colors and immersed in soft scents. It feels perfectly suitable for healing services. Few may realize the main service is tattooing, specifically for women seeking areola — the area of the nipple that is removed during a mastectomy — reconstructive services.

Weir tucks her bright red-streaked hair behind her pierced and stretched ears, placing her head in her hands. Her colourful arms are a portfolio of art and read the words "luck" and "love" when placed together. She takes a deep breath.