Friday, February 22, 2008

The BEST Recovery Run Ever

Well....after a most enjoyable weekend on Orcas, I really didn't think things could possibly get better, until I went for my run today!! It made me realize how exceptionally fortunate I am to live where I do. No, I can't go for runs year round in green forests of moss and fern....but I get to run in Banff National Park!

About five weeks ago, Keith and I went in to Skoki Lodge for my birthday. It is a backcountry lodge located in one of the most gorgeous corners of the park and we had such a great weekend. While we were skiing in to the lodge, I said to Keith: "Ya know, under the right conditions, I could run this in winter!!" Well.

We have had a gorgeous weather week here, clear and sunny and no snow. When I woke up this morning and looked at the forecast and saw the sunshine, I knew today was my day!! And what a day it was:

Looking back at Mount Temple

Just me and my shadow following the skidoo track up to Boulder Pass......

I got lucky and got a lift up the Lake Louise Area Ski-Out, which meant I avoided a 4km steep, boring slog. The lift just made my day, because it meant I could definitely make it to Skoki and get to enjoy more time in the high alpine! People come from all over the world to ski and hike at Skoki, because it is that special. In winter, it is a fairly challenging ski for most people. You have 2 passes along the route and you start with a gradual climb up and over Boulder Pass at 2345m:

Why do they call it Boulder Pass?

Then you get to descend a little ways and cross a frozen lake.....the snow was perfectly packed so I could actually run without sinking to my neck. But if you stepped off the pack you sank. Deep. I only had to dig myself out a few times!

Bookin' it across Baker Lake

Then you climb Deception Pass - elevation 2474m. From the pass it is a big steep descent all the way to the lodge at 2165m. Phew! Then you eat some cookies, turn around and do it all again!
The cookies were REAL good.

UP! UP! UP! Looking towards Deception Pass

Looking back from Deception....I came from there!

At the lodge, they were surprised to see me. I don't think they see too many runners in February. I also ran into two Park Wardens on skis who were VERY surprised to see me! I walked with them and visited for a bit....they were having a great day in the sun and taking their time.

When I reached the top of Boulder Pass coming out, Mount Temple was there to greet me. From there it was a nice 8.6 km cruisy descent back to my car. What a day!!


Mike said...

Leslie, When you told me about running into Skoki in the winter I thought you were crazy. Now I know that you are crazy but you were also right.
Looks like one of those absolute classic days..
Great photos too.
I had a wonderful day at work while you were running this :)

Leslie said...

Somebody has to work! We can't all keep the Leslie princess schedule of Mon through Thursday in work world. It was a classic day, but it would have been even more fun with friends - so I will have to drag you out and do it again!

Deanna Stoppler said...


Leslie said...

It was out of this world!

Journey to a Centum said...

So, did you run into God while you were out stomping around in the heavens? What an incredible day!

I can't wait to get up there this summer to enjoy all that scenic beauty!

Trail Scat

Backofpack said...

Wow, that was one stunning run! Lucky girl.

Journey to a Centum said...

Skoki Lodge looks really cool! I think Michelle and I will need to plan a run up to the Lodge when we are in your area this summer.

Trail Scat