The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal


Calgary indie radio show host shifts focus from the airwaves to his health

Thumbnail2It's Halloween, and Internet radio host Bill Laplante is broadcasting his show Big Bill's Indie Underground live from the Blind Beggar Pub. The broadcast marks the one-year anniversary of the show's official launch party.

Costumed attendees are flooding the Beggar for the 2013 Halloween Monster Jam, several of whom beeline it to Laplante, who is sitting just to the left of the stage, his long hair hanging from under his trademark black bandana. Behind an array of headphones, microphones, a mixer and a laptop decked out with the logos of several local bands, Laplante is in his comfort zone.

Many at the venue are musicians who have been guests on Laplante's local radio show. They've had their songs played, voices heard, engaged in serious discussions and told tasteless jokes, which Laplante says is the show's norm.

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.