Ain’t no mountain high enough for Al Hancock

By Curtis J Phillips

Last year the local mountaineer was trapped on K2, the world’s second highest peak, for seven days due to storm conditions.

Nicknamed “The Savage Mountain”, K2 won out as Hancock and the rest of his mountaineering crew, wedged in at over 20,000 feet, eventually had to head back down.

Well, Hancock is packing his bags and heading back to Pakistan and the Himalayas to challenged K2.

You may follow Hancock, who was inducted into the Wood Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 for being the 13th Canadian to successfully climb the seven summits, at

After globetrotting around the world for the last few years with his involvement in the London Summer Olympics, Vancouver Winter Olympics or FIFA World Cup Soccer, the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games have landed Ian Allan as part of their staff.

The affable Allan, one-time athletic director at Keyano College (1991-1998) and Composite Miners’ star athlete, will have plenty of stories to pass on…including the time he played goalie in a field hockey match in South Africa while wearing a Montreal Canadians jersey.

Congrats to Abram Meagher for his great runs at the recent high school track and field provincials.

The Composite Miner running machine placed second in the intermediate boys 3,000 metres with a clocking of 9:11.67 and third in the 1,500 metres behind a 4:15.58 showing,

Westwood’s Idris Ahmed was on his heels with a fourth in  the 3,000 (9:12.67) and fifth in 1,500 (4:20.31).

Let’s go for the triple threat as we mention third Composite alumni who is doing well in the wide world of sports. Gerry Wong continues to make waves in the jet ski scene with appearances down in Arizona.

Also a quick shout out to all the local competitors who headed down Highway 63 for the recent Margaret Logue Northern Alberta Bodybuilding Championships in Edmonton.

With more than 180 competitors at the event, heard that the Fort McMurray contingent of body sculptors did great.

We win. We lose.

Never be ashamed if you are on the end of a lopsided score. We are proud and loud to state our wins but quiet and meek with our defeats. We learn from both.

Last weekend the Father Patrick Mercredi Community High School Trappers boys’ and girls’ rugby teams debuted at the 2013 Alberta High Schools Athletic Association Tier I rugby provincials in Lethbridge.

In round one the girls lost to Raymond 48-0, hit the scoreboard in round two, falling to Lindsay Thurbder 38-5 and were shutout by Holy Trinity 47-0 in the seventh/eighth place game.

The local program is only a few seasons old and in my opinion our girls rocked!

The Trappers boys lost to the host Lethbridge Collegiate Institute 50-0, followed by a 31-5 defeat to W.P. Wagner. In their final game they beat Grande Prairie (score unavailable) .

Mixed martial arts reached a major milestone last week as the House of Commons passed ”legislative framework that removed the prohibition of MMA from Canada’s Criminal Code.”

The update of Bill S-209 was long overdue as it was in the books since 1934.

Sandy Bowman’s MMA crew was in Edmonton last weekend for the King of the Cage: Earthquake card.

Club member Teddy Ash defeated Jason Gorny with a TKO in Round 1 at 2:44 of a 195-pound encounter while teammate Steve Dubek, fighting in a 175-pound matchup, was submitted by Chris Mattock with a Guillotine Choke in Round 1 at 2:04

Standing 6-foot-7, Keyano Huskies men’s volleyball rookie Matt Powell was tagged with the nickname “Tower of Power, Power of Tower,” this past fall.

Well, I may have to come up with a new moniker for Powell, one of the top rookies in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference this past season, as the rumour mill has the Huskies bringing in two foreign imports that stand 6-foot-8 and 6-foot-9 respectively!

Two groups in town promoting the heck out of their respective sports are the Tar Sand Betties roller derby club and the Fort McMurray Rowing Club, Love how the local rowers have a banner posted on the Hospital street bridge reading…”Athletes Wanted.”

Update on the Shawn Chaulk Wayne Gretzky collection which is online at

Last week we wrote that someone had bid $168,209.00 on the Gretzky jersey that had double meaning in that it was the same jersey the Great One wore November 22, 1986 to become the 13th member to join the National Hockey League’s 500-goal club and which he wore right through the playoffs and the eventual hoisting the Stanley Cup as a member of the Edmonton Oilers.

Well, its seven days later and the bid remains the same.

Catch you on the rebound.