Located at the northwestern end of Mount Lawrence Grassi, Ha Ling looms large over Canmore, along with its fellow Canmore Quad peaks of Lady Mac, East End of Rundle and Grotto. At an altitude of 2,407m, it’s the lowest of the Quad summits and with a distance of 3km from trailhead to peak makes for a relatively speedy if technical climb along some switchbacking rocky and root strewn singletrack that eventually gives way to scree followed by a short scramble over rock to the summit. Once there, the views are stunning. Continue reading
Known locally as EEOR, there is nothing gloomy, depressing or otherwise donkey-like about the East End of Rundle. On the contrary, it’s short, steep and spectacular. At an altitude of 2,530m, EEOR looms large over Canmore, along with its fellow Canmore Quad peaks of Ha Ling, Lady Mac and Grotto. The 2.5km trail to the summit (with 899m of elevation) is steep and shaded to begin. But it soon emerges from the trees to reveal spectacular views of the Spray Valley, Ha Ling and – once you’ve scrambled to the summit – Canmore and the Bow Valley. If it’s not on your list of short, steep and spectacular runs, it should be.
The sun was out, the sky was blue, the temperature was heading up towards 20 degrees and my brain was saying “get ye away from this desk and off to the High Rockies Trail”. So that’s what I did. Continue reading
Depending on how much you follow trail running, you might have noticed that there’s a lot of talk about “FKTs” or “Fastest Know Times”. As an article last year in Outdoor magazine put it: “A growing number of trail runners are finding a new way to test themselves, and it doesn’t involve race fees, bibs or finish line chutes.” Instead, trail runners are “enlisting their own stopwatch, navigational prowess, and determination to set trail fastest known times. They pick a route, decide whether they’ll receive help in the form of food or aid along the way, and try to cover the distance as fast as possible.”
This is the second trail running route post. It’s a variation on the previous one described in Hello Highline, a speedy, undulating and relatively short 6.5km round trip starting and ending at Quarry Lake, just outside of town. The Powerline-Loki-Highline Whammy also starts and ends in Quarry Lake. However, it covers an altogether more challenging 18.5km with 600m plus of elevation.
Update – September 2021 – No access to the Highline from Three Sisters Village
Regrettably, as of September 2021, Three Sisters Mountain Village Ltd are not allowing access across their land from Hubman Landing to the Highline Trail (as described in this post). The Highline Trail remains open and can be run as an out-and-back between the East Connector (at the east end of Wilson Way) and Three Sisters. It just can’t be accessed, or exited, via Hubman Landing. Canmore and Area Mountain Biking Association (CAMBA) are actively working on a solution with TSMV and Alberta Parks to restore access to the Highline. This post will be updated accordingly.
It’s no secret, especially if you follow me on twitter — @canmorerunner — that the Highline Trail ranks top among my favourite runs in Canmore. It wasn’t always the case. It was good three months before I ventured up the Highline, once i’d got a handle of my not entirely irrational fear of bears which was accentuated by the fact that I tend to run alone. But once i’d got up there, I was hooked. Continue reading