Sunday, June 19, 2011

Morning Mountain to Rover Creek Traverse

It's been two years now since I started trail running. I've slowly worked my way up with some mileage, so I can start dreaming of venturing out into some incredible terrain that just beckons my call...The 61km Earl Grey Pass is definitely my next big objective for the summer, so I figured I better start cranking up the km's to make sure I feel confident. Not wanting to bother my usual running partners with a big run that I wasn't really sure how far I was going to get, I set out with my faithful companion Neo (I do have to write a future Blog about the privilege of being with your dog in the backcountry)
I started up the Silverking trail to Giveout FSR on another gloomy day that seams to be the norm this season :( - that said; it was a perfect running temperature.
The first hour and a half climb felt so easy and relaxing I just wanted it to go on forever. Only my breathing and Neo's panting broke the wonderful silence.
No fresh steam, but still warm, this bear scat was only 10 minutes old i figured...I'm actually getting good at guessing...Neo is my early warning system though, so I wasn't too concerned.
Up Up and away I could see the highest point on the run in the distance. I knew I'd get to the snow line eventually, but it amazes me how low it still is being June 18th!
I only had to run through the snow for 30 minutes or so, but it felt extra dreary as it started raining on this section.
I was pretty excited to feel the short lived sunshine as i started my big descent toward the 49 creek drainage.

Hit 49 Creek and started my next ascent up the May & Jenny road to and old trail that crosses the valley and connects into Midslope FSR. Lots of wind fall, mud, snow and spring run-off creeks to run through, but loved every minute of it...
I was hoping this was the last valley to cross ( you can see the road where i was heading in the top middle of the picture below)
First view of the valley bottom below. The air was now warmer and it was sunny once again. I knew this last 1'800 foot decent was going to hurt as i was now getting pretty tired.

I think we both feel the same here at the end of the run- pretty damn happy!!...
All told it was just over 5 hours of running the 44km route with 4'000 feet of climbing and 4'800 feet of descending. I think I'd prefer to run it the other way next time. This route would make a great mountain marathon race or just to train for a 50km ultra. It's relatively close to town and even has cell coverage for a lot of it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Silverking Loop

It's nice to be able to just run out the door and not have to venture off all the time.
After too many weeks of hills, I mish-mashed together as mellow of a 21km run as i could think of- the Silverking/Stanley trails, with a few hidden gems thrown in.
Although i do have some lofty goals for latter in the summer once the alpine clears out, it's nice to tapper the "Big Sunday" runs once and a while so I'm not hobbling Monday at work!
As usual, we had sun and rain (the hail waited for me to get home this time) all in the same day. One good thing with this weather is the incredible lushness and smells out on the trails. The above photo is a wonderful section of ferns- Liz thought she was back in the North shore of Van.

I love this mossy section of the trail approaching Cottonwood Lake.

Town to town this 21km loop only has 2,200' of gain/loss so makes for a great introductory trail run. It also helps those of us- such as myself who've succumed to smashing there toes on roots or rock and have to lay off those steep descents for a few weeks.

I thought getting away from Mt. Bike racing would alleviate those nasty falls, but i think i take more abuse trail running!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fry Creek Trail Run

This past "Big Sunday's Run" as they are coming to be know, included four of us Nelson folk along with the ever keen Kaslo contingent for an incredible run of the Fry Creek Trail.

The run is an out and back- although can be done as a loop if you wanted to run down the Kootenay Joe road. We ran in the 12.5km rolling up trail to the back of the valley to a point where it starts it's major ascent to connect to the old 4wd track, then followed the the rolling down trail back to the car for a wonderfull 25km trail run.

Fry Creek Canyon looking across Kootenay Lake

The creek was ragging as the spring run-off was in full force. It actually provided a lovely natural air conditioning effect to make for a great run on a warn sunny day.

Bill Harbord ripping up the trails :)

Smiley Liz seams to be enjoying the meadow, the sun and the run

Lex and the dogs squeezing through the trail

It's hard to believe all the work that went into building the trail as it followed quite a tight canyon where the old time miners must have carved it right out of the rock.

We only crossed one big slide, that looks like brand new, along the trail. You really noticed the temperature difference here as you got a little away from the river.

Doesn't get much better trail running for me than this!

It actually surprised me that there was 3,300' of climbing as you never really had any sustained ascents, but it wasn't a fast running trail either. Maybe because you don't really want to wipe out if you can avoid it...Right Lex!...or maybe just enjoyed the incrediable beauty of where we live.

Not sure what the next organized run will be as Kokanee Glacier Park and 7summits are probably still 6 weeks out...I did run the Pilot Point trails in Crawford Bay last week and they are really worth the effort to get there- so good in fact I just might have to make another trip there soon as I didn't get the chance to explore all the loops...Hmmm next week? :)