Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Grrrrreat Week!

Last weekend, Iris and I did the "backyard tour" of Sulphur Mountain: a loop from my house up and over the mountain. Along route, we encountered a Scottish man who vocalized his appreciation of my backyard trails. In his lovely lilt and rolling his R-r-r's to the extreme, he exclaimed: "It's a Grrrrrrreat day!" It sort of became my theme for the week. It's my new favorite expression, complete with rolling R-r-r's.

There were runs up Sulphur Mountain...

A few glorious runs up and around Tunnel Mountain with full spring-like-sweaty-base-layer-warm-temperatures:

....and the earliest ever running of the "key exchange" run from Lake Minnwanka to the Ghost, a 35km point to point run.

The "Exchange"

This trail is always the first to dry out in Spring, but this year it's happened a full month earlier than usual. I lost track of how many times I said in disbelief: "I can't believe this is dry". We also had fun naming mountains - afterall, everyone deserves to have a peak named after them!

Iris's Nipple

"I Can't Believe This Is Dry."

We dusted off the Bear Spray and enjoyed a "Grrrrrrreat Day" on the trail. Keith was out of town and had some serious FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) as there were 4 lovely ladies who joined in for the run. Miles was happy to fill in as the token boy.

Miles and Suzy

Devil's Gap

Banff Trail Trash

To round-up the grrrrrreat week, Keith and I enjoyed a day running into Skoki yesterday. Mother Nature was kind to us on this day, as we started our day with a few very cool wildlife sightings. We saw a bald eagle who was migrating through enjoying a pit stop. He was sitting in a tree checking out the view with the back-drop of Castle Mountain off in the distance. I didn't get a photo of him.

Castle Mountain

Then we drove to the Skoki trail head via the 1A highway, hoping to catch a glimpse of this big boy:

This photo was featured in this weeks local newspaper - this large male Grizzly Bear had been spotted on the railroad tracks along the 1A. We were hoping to catch a glimpse of him and we did! Our view from the car wasn't as clear as this image, but one thing we could tell: he was a big boy. It was also the earliest time of year, that I have ever seen a G-Bear.

Needless to say, we were already excited before we even reached the trail. It was a good way to start our day! The snowmobile trail in to Skoki was in great shape and as we made our way up Boulder Pass, we saw something really cool and really rare. We followed the tracks of a Wolverine for almost half a kilometre, all the way up the pass. I've only seen Wolverine tracks once and it a few years ago, almost in exactly the same place. Evidently, there's a big ol' wolverine who lives in the rocks of Boulder Pass!

We cruised in to Skoki in about an 2.5 hours - I left Keith at the lodge to socialize with our Skoki friends and did a "bonus lap" up Deception Pass. I'd be lying if I said it was easy, but it sure was fun. The wind was blowing and there was a full on white-out at the top of the pass.

Deception Pass - on a better day!

Sweet Temple Mountain

Knowing that there will be plenty more snow and storms coming in the next few months, I'm enjoying the spring-like running while I can. It's setting up to be a good year on the trails, if this week was any indication. It was a Grrrrrrrreat week!


JeffO said...

That is some SERIOUS gurl-butt!!!! It's ALMOST enough to make this avowed solo-act reconsider. Butt if you'd have shown the bare essence of 4 fem-moons, it probably would have worked.
Nice pix, as usual. You're thawing out faster than us. Too many storms dragging Gulf moisture up into our mountains.

Leslie said...

That's why you're Loose Screw JeffO, the Trail Bum! You're clearly an Ass Man, JeffO.

HappyTrails said...

We LOVE Grrrrrrreat weeks, along with grrrrreat trails - gotta love first dirt of the season, right??? Looks like you had an awesome week! Please stay away from mister Gbear PLEASE!!!

Had a question for ya - looks like every one in your photos is sporting Salomon shoes - We've been eyeballing the XT wings for a possible new shoe - have you run in that one, and if so, how are they?

Hope you have another spectacular week!

Danni said...


JeffO said...

@Leslie - You got me pegged!

@HappyTrails - I've been running in XTWings. I like them except for one thing... they rub my pinky-toe too much. All Salomons seem to have a bit narrow toe-box for me, but I have wide toes. XTWings seem to be narrower than most Salomons. They also have a thicker heel than most. I prefer a flat sole. Nothing beats the Salomon laces, though. I have 6 pairs of Salomons.

mrf0rd said...


Unknown said...

I think the trail drying out a month early is karmic re-payment for the bad luck of flying to southern california to run in a blizzard in March!

Leslie said...

Hey Happy Trails - love my Salomons. Started using them 8 years back for Adventure Racing and have been using them exclusively since. They fit me well and when their wet, they drain and dry real quick. Been using XA Pros and all of their versions for those many years, graduated to the XT Wings, but still prefer the old Pro 3D for fit and feel. I don't get blisters.

Hey XXL! Congrats! So exciting you are heading to Trans Alps. You'll have the summer to ramp it up - there will be lots of "walking with purpose" up and down some gnarly-big-assed mountains and lots of "click-click-click" of hiking poles on rock. By yourself a Speedo and some Gaiters and you'll fit right in with the Euros!

FUNNY, Michael! It may of been cold in Southern Cali, but it was still tropical for me. :)

Anonymous said...

Love the bear!

Brian said...

Great post. Good advice on shoes (I just bought a pair of wings and forst time out was great); love the girl butt; really love the wolverine tracks - sadly they just found the body of the only known wolverine in Michigan (the Wolverine State!)

Meghan said...

I have so much to catch up on!

First, I'm thinking global warming has arrived to Banff!

Second, is that key exchange representative of every single ultrarunner within a 200k radius. Good griefs a lot of runners.

Finally, and most importantly, WOLVERINE TRACKS? Do you know how effing rare that is?! You need to go stake out Boulder Pass. Or install a motion sensored camera. Or, or, or!

Happy day to you!