Lady Mac – Part Two – the Summit

IMG_6178
Lady Mac (centre), as viewed from the Highline Trail – Photo: Canmore Runner

It had to be done. I’ve climbed Lady Mac several times since my first, chilly and icy ascent in January that I wrote about here. For time or weather-related reasons, i’d only ever managed to make it to the helipad, a still challenging 8km out-and-back with close to 1,000m of elevation. Then, one July morning, I found myself with enough time (and fantastic weather) to make it to the summit. And it was spectacular. I also came to appreciate that those responsible weren’t messing around when they named the last few hundred metres to the summit “Knife-Edge Ridge”. Continue reading

East End of Rundle: Short, steep, spectacular

IMG_7121
East End of Rundle (left) – Photo: Canmore Runner

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.

Continue reading

Lady Mac – Part One – the Helipad

FullSizeRender 11
The Three Sisters from Mount Lady MacDonald – Photo: Canmore Runner

One down (well, almost), three to go (sort of).

Mount Lady MacDonald, elevation 2,606m and one of the four peaks that make up the Canmore Quad, the others being Mount Grotto, Ha Ling, and the East End of Rundle. An 8km out-and-back and really quite challenging. It put the whole prospect of attempting the Canmore Quad at some point in the future in a new, more frightening, perspective. Continue reading

The Canmore Quad. Oh. La. La.

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.”
Continue reading

The Powerline-Loki-Highline Whammy

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. Continue reading