I’m not really one for new year resolutions. However, in keeping with an earlier post, looking back to look forward, I have resolved to focus more this year on running in pursuit of adventure and discovery rather than racing, intervals and hill repeats. This is not to say that I won’t train and race. On the contrary, Ms. Canmore Runner and I have signed up for the Broken Goat 50K in July and i’m very excited at the prospect of hitting the trails in Rossland BC. However, I don’t want racing to be all that I focus on this year. I want some adventure.
Mount Bourgeau – Truly Epic
Mount Bourgeau. Altitude 2,931m, named by James Hector in 1860 after Eugène Bourgeau, a botanist with the Palliser Expedition. First climbed in 1890.
125 years and countless hikers and runners later, Canmore Runner puffed his way to the summit in the great company of Mike Fitzpatrick, coordinator of Canmore Trail Culture and Mount Bourgeau alumni. Continue reading
The Cory and Edith Pass Loop: Pure Awesome
Last week I had what easily ranks as one of my most epic running experiences to date – the Cory and Edith Pass Trail Loop, just outside Banff. What’s more, I ran in the great company of Mike Fitzpatrick – “Fitzy” – the founder of Canmore Trail Culture (find it on Facebook!), the local trail running group and the subject of a future post. 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.”
The Montane Traverse Trail, on the east side of the Bow Valley, is another spectacular run. Starting at the Cougar Creek trailhead, it climbs steadily and steeply in parts in the first 2 kilometres. But after that, the trail stretches out into a rollercoaster of a ride along largely technical single track with tree roots, twists and turns, and the occasional rocky creek bed to navigate. Continue reading
If you go down to the woods today…
…there’s always the chance of a big surprise, like running into a bear. This, along with running in very sub-zero temperatures, is the other major adjustment i’ve had to make running in Canmore. 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.
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
Winter is awesome
One of the big adjustments i’ve had to make running in Canmore is running in the cold and snow. And I mean really, really, really cold and very, very snowy compared to what i’m used to. Continue reading
So, what about those trails?
As I said not so long ago, as trail running destinations go, Canmore is exceptional. The number and variety of trails is truly incredible, all set against the most stunning of backdrops. The trails present all manner of possibilities and challenges depending on what you’re after. Continue reading