Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Mystery Traverse

As a part of the Raid The North Extreme, a 5-7 day adventure race being held in the Kootenay's this year, I was out checking some of the route that will form part of the race. The race is all back country using map and compass only and is comprised of trekking, Mt. biking, canoeing and ropes. Teams of 4 are given coordinates from point A to B on a topo map and you find your way there, travelling 18-22 hours a day until you complete the 400km-500km course!
Because the course is not reveled until the day before the race, to avoid teams from checking out the route, I can't disclose the location for another week until the race starts. What I can say though, they are up for quite a reward as some of these valley's are remote and pristine, littered with old growth cedars, snow capped peaks, and no logging or mining roads. That said; no reward is handed to you on a silver platter, as they must perservere through long sections of mind f**king bush whacking to eventually be rewarded with mind blowing vista's!!
I lost count how many rivers/creeks we had to cross. This was the only one we didn't have to get wet on.
The cedar forest was amazing although littered with devils Claw
The Alder was relentless, many times down to a crawl on our hands and Knees. There were sections that took us 2 hours just to go one km.
We would break through the Alder onto these little rock islands of mental reprieve for 30 seconds only to put our heads down, literally, and go right back in.
It's amazing how much snow is still up there, although we carried snow shoes, running shoes seamed just fine.
It took my friend Chris and I 12 hours going hard to complete this section through the mountains, which forms only a small portion of the race course.
For you trail runners out there, getting out into the mountains on a big off trail day of hiking, I find does wonders for your mental strength and physical endurance, without being hard on your body. Definitely helps get you ready for those bigger running objectives/races and should be added to your training.

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