Thursday, July 31, 2008

Catch me if you can!

Off to Jasper for a run and then the thriving metropolous of Grande Cache for Death Race. At the Death Race, I plan on doing a little running, a little cheerleading and a little socializing. Yiihaw, I'm off! Catch me if you can....and good luck to all of those competing and supporting in the Death Race this weekend. My buddy Steve, his lady Brenda and of course, the Mighty Duo of Eric and Michelle. There are lots more of you I know soloing, so safe journey to you all on the trails this fine weekend!!


A few more G-Bear footy prints for your viewing pleasure....enjoy!


Monday, July 28, 2008

Why Do They Call it Fastpacking??

Why do they call it "fastpacking" when it is so slow??

This weekend, a change of pace.....3 lovely days of backpacking with Keith, Anna and Stew. I enjoyed some quality time in the woods with a few of my favorite people. The starting point was just a twenty minute drive from our house here in Banff.

As for the question, some more thoughts on backpacking/fastpacking in a post in the near future! But for now, some great photos to share! We will let the photos tell the story.

Day 1 Sunshine Village Parking Lot to Egypt Lake Campground 12-13km

The sprawling meadows of Healy Pass. This year the flowers are really late! They still haven't peaked yet for primo flower viewing. Still another week, or even two.

Keith pointing to all of the cool spots where we like to go ski touring in winter.

Descending from Healy Pass with Egypt Lake and Scarab Lake in the distance.

Everyone loves Anna Collins!!

Day 2 Egypt Lake to Ball Pass Junction plus a trip toBall Pass 14-15km

Rise and Shine Princess!!
Climbing up to Whistling Pass

The Guardian of Whistling Pass

Descending from Whistling Pass

Postcard Perfect - Haiduk Lake

Ball Pass

After hours battles Us Vs. The Mosquitoes

Day 3 Ball Pass Junction to Shadow Lake, Gibbon Pass toTwin Lakes, Arnica Lake, Vista Lake to Highway 93

"There's a Storm a Brewing"

We Are Not Alone.

Shadow Lake

Climbing to Gibbon Pass

Gibbon Pass

My Kick Ass Fu-Manchu

British Girl

My honey and I. Lower Twin Lake

ABL - Another Bloody Lake
Vista Lake

3 Day Old Sweaty Stinky Hikers With Frosty Mugs!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Return to Skoki - Summer Edition

Aaaaaah. Skoki. Cozy Historic Lodge. Turquoise Lakes. Larch Trees. High Alpine Goodness.

Some of you may remember my forays into Skoki this past winter, back when the scenery was still jaw dropping, just whiter and fluffier.

Here's a couple of pictures from winter and summer. Play along and see if you can spot the difference!!

See the difference?? Notice how the little things have changed? Like snow and pink panties? But really, the scenery hasn't changed at all. It is still there, it is still awesome and it is still immense.

I just got back from a really, really, really good weekend at Skoki Lodge.

I took 180 photographs and I could have taken a lot more! The scenery was almost overwhelming. Everywhere we ran, just when you thought it couldn't get any better you would crest a ridge, turn a corner and BOOM!! An assault on the senses. Turquoise lakes, rocky outcrops, high alpine meadows and peaks as far as the eye could see!

On the first day, my buddy Miles and I ran in a long way on a trail, very well removed from anything. We ran for 30+ kilometres in the backcountry of Banff National Park and saw nobody. Zilch. Zero. Molar Pass was lovely and we had the place to ourselves!

Keith ran in to Skoki via the slightly shorter but just as scenic route and we rendez-vous'ed for dinner time. Nothing like ending up at a historic cozy lodge at the end of a long running day!! The feast on the table and my husband waiting for me were the icing on the cake.

After a good night's sleep, our second day evolved into a 2 part epic. In the AM, we scrambled up Fossil Mountain and ended up on top of the peak. Wow. I felt like I was on top of the world standing on top of that mountain! Keith was pretty excited to be there, too.

We headed back to the lodge, enjoyed some treats (can you say Jam and Brie on a home baked carrot muffin?) and then headed out for out afternoon run. Miles, Keith and I ran in to Merlin Lake on a sweet highline trail that was carved out of a big scree and rock slope. It was very cool and the lake was awesome. Actually, awesome is quite an understatement. It was stunning.

While we were lunching by the lake and admiring the view, Miles looked up to Merlin Ridge and says "We could tag the top and still make it back for 7:30 dinner."

So we did.

For the last day, we thought it would only be fitting to scramble up Skoki Mountain. When I was up on Merlin Ridge, you could see the mountain sitting in the middle of the valley and it really was calling to be climbed! After breakfast, we scrambled up, tagged the top and enjoyed some more time on top of the world. When we got back, we enjoyed a second breakfast packed up our gear and headed out for the scenic tour by the Skoki Lakes, Zigadenus Lake and Mytosis Lake.

After a plunge in the glacial fed lake, we climbed up and over Packer's Pass and ran all the way out and back to civilisation. But that's O.K. I live in Banff!

What can I say? I love where I live. One things for certain, I am going to continue to live, play and enjoy life in Banff National Park for a very, long time.

What a fantastic good time. Thanks for sharing in a weekend of fun Keith and Miles!