Sunday, August 2, 2009

The B.U.T.T Epic - Day 1

Day 1 - Kananaskis Trail to Smith Dorrien via. Galatea Lake, Guinns Pass, Buller Pass - 20km
I and I, In the sky
You make me feel like I can fly,
So high, elevation!


On Monday morning, the Banff Ultimate Trail Trash Epic began with a group of 5 happy, excited trail runners. I was pretty thrilled with the group of friends that were joining me for this 5 day running adventure. Later in the week, we would have the bonus of other friends joining us to infuse some fresh legs and energy into the group.

It was fun to have Bryon along - as a first time visitor to the Canadian Rockies it was fun see the mountains through his eyes. He was a kid at a candy store. It was also great to get to know Angela, as we hadn't spent any time on the trails together before. As for Mike and Miles, well they are always my favorite people to spend time with on the trails!




Team B.U.T.T with The ASS: Mount Assiniboine and Lake Magog

Day 1 was to be our shortest day, with only 16km but we decided to do a bonus loop to Galatea Lakes. That added another 4km. The lakes have a high alpine feel to them with the rugged, rocky grey rocks and cliffs that surround these pretty turquoise lakes. What a nice surprise, as I had never been there before.
Galatea Lakes = Pretty

From there, we retraced our footsteps to the Guinn's Pass junction and started our climb upward. On this section of trail we got treated to an incredible show of wildflowers. I had hoped that the B.U.T.T would be well timed to see the wild flowers in all of their glory and our timing could not have been better. The Flower Show was in full effect and we got 5 days of prime flower viewing!

I hadn't been to Guinn's Pass before and had forgotten just how beautiful and immense the mountains are in that area. The mountains there are frickin' huge! Does that sound silly? But they are. Big grey behemoths.

In the photo below, Buller Pass is the little snowy patch in the middle. It was cool because you could see exactly where we were going. And when we got there we could see exactly where we had been! I love that.

The cruise out from Buller Pass to the Smith-Dorrien was sweet: nice runnable winding single track all the way out. A little storm chased us off the mountain and when we got to the car it was turning drizzly, grey and windy. Keith was there to greet us with a box full of post-run treats to enjoy a little tail-gate Party. For such a short day, this day was hard work with 3 substantial climbs. We soaked our legs and drove into Canmore where Miles cooked us up a BBQ to wind up Day 1. Nice.