Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The B.U.T.T Epic - Day 5

Kootenay National Park - The Rockwall Trail - 55km

And if the night runs over, and if the day won't last
And if your way should falter along this stony pass
It's just a moment - this time will pass

The Rockwall Trail in Kootenay National Park is pure Canadian Rockies. It's a 55km of sensory overload and every time I run it, I am truly, deeply, profoundly stunned at the magnitude and power of the scenery. I *heart* these mountains and this place!

We ran, we saw, we conquered. The company was divine and the scenery was inspirational. New friendships and new trails. So much FUN!! The B.U.T.T Epic was everything I hoped it would be and some. It was the run of a lifetime! I'll leave you with these photographs and hopefully, they will inspire you to get out and invent your own adventure.

Thanks to Mike, Angela, Bryon, Miles, Iris, Ian, Jen, Katherine, Sean, Keith and Meghan for joining me on my adventure. A special thanks to Keith and Meghan for helping make it happen and joining in the fun. The B.U.T.T was indeed Epic!

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day 4 - The B.U.T.T Epic

Day 4 - The 3 Pass Epic - Sunshine to Highway 93
Healy Pass - Whistling Pass - Ball Pass
Distance: 35Km
Something is about to give
I can feel it coming
I think I know what it means
I'm not afraid to die
I'm not afraid to live
And when I'm flat on my back
I hope to feel like I did

On Day 4, we finally awoke to that perfect blue sky day. We also had the extra bonus of having Iris, Katherine and Jen join us for the day. It gave us all a little extra enthusiasm and energy, and I think we all shared a pretty darn perfect day of running in the mountains. The day was just awesome, in every way. It was a day for livin'!!
The B.U.T.T (thanks, Jen. T!) I love how everyone is ignoring her.

Before we new it, we had emerged from the forest of Healy Creek and popped out into Healy Meadows. This was the same section of trail that Mike and I had been post-holing through, only 5 weeks earlier! This time, it was looking a whole lot different in the meadows.


Healy Pass is a place I have been many times and one of those that I never get tired of. It's one of those places that you want to scream "I'm the king of the world!" at the top of your lungs. On this day, we nailed it on the perfect day for seeing the wild flowers in all of their glory. It was floral insanity. We descended off the pass with enormous grins, dancing down the singletrack.
After topping up our water, we grunted our way up to Whistling Pass. On the way, we decided to do a "bonus loop" to Scarab Lake. I had run by many times, but never took the side trip to investigate the lake. What an awesome surprise! It was a perfect little alpine lake, surrounded by shear rock walls with deep snow still hanging on. Mike was pretty happy with the bonus loop. It was a good call.

On the top of the pass, we lollygagged not wanting to leave and it was warm enough to relax and enjoy the views. We met a super nice couple from Banff on the pass and visited for a while. Folks from Banff are good people!
Lollygaggin', Whistling Pass
We flew down the other side and descended to the gorgeous Haiduk Lake, where Miles and I jumped in for a refresher. Our screams echoed off of the rock walls, that lake was c-c-c-old! We cruised through the Whistling Valley, enjoying the slight downhill grade and the beautiful day.

I was surprised when we hit the junction for the last and final pass, Ball Pass. The day had flown by and I didn't want it to end. Well, the day was hardly over- the pass took about 40 minutes to climb up and the downhill on the other side was over 10km long and dropped a full 1000 metres! Ball Pass is a treat: a rocky, craggy place of immense boulders, larch trees and marmots, featuring a beautiful hanging glacier clinging to Mount Ball. It's impressive.

The 10km downhill sure was a sweet way to end the day, as was the soak in the creek to make sure we could get out of bed the next day and do it all again. We rolled through more rocks and flowers and entered the final stretch: a 5 year old forest fire burn of black trees, new Lodge Pole Pine growth and glorious Fireweed. It was a stunning blend of black, green and pink.
The biggest surprise of all was to find my friend Sean Meissner of Sisters, Oregon running up the trail to join us! What a great surprise. Sean was on his way to the Death Race and stopped by to visit us for the night in Banff. It was great to see him. After the soak in the creek, we had a big feast: a nice tailgate party to wind up a perfect day.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

TransRockies 2009 - Team Banff Trail Trash

For those of you who didn't know, I will be going to the TransRockies Run in Colorado this year. It will be my 3rd year participating in this awesome event and this year, it is going to be extra special. In a week, I will be driving south with my hot, studly new running partner. His name is Keith and he is my husband! Oh yeah, baby! Banff Trail Trash is going to rock the TransRockies and it's going to be capital, F-U-N.

I hadn't given it much thought and all of a sudden, it is HERE. I had a look at my last year's post and was reminded of just how much fun I had! It really was a special week for me. Beautiful trails, new friends and good times. Here's a few of my favorite photos from last year's edition of TransRockies:

Banff Trail Trash

Little girl with Big Man

Feelin' the Love


Happy Runner Girls

Rockin' the Trails with Meghan

It's going to be a brand new adventure for us and I'm pretty excited and proud to be running this race with my honey! It's going to be a whole heckuva' lot of fun. TransRockies is always a good time - I'm looking forward to it all: the running, the scenery, the socializing, the eating and hanging out at camp. There's nothing like a week at running camp to wind up a great summer! I can't wait for the adventure to begin.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Yoho! Yoooooooo-ho! 3 days in Yoho!

A few quick notes Post-B.U.T.T-

Who knows when the heck or if I ever will get my story and pics up on the rest of the B.U.T.T Epic. So, I am going to borrow a note from my friend Mike's blog who described our week to perfection:

We covered something like 170 kms including 11 passes over 2000 meters.
We saw osprey, bald eagle, marmot, pika, moose, frogs, ermine, mountain goat and the cutest baby gophers you could ever hope to see.
We ran through dense, wet jungle vegetation, over bare rocky passes, through sweet meadow singletrack, into burnt forest, through endless meadows of incredible flowers and over crazy boulder fields. We met a few hikers along the way but for the most part it was all ours.
Apart from a few minor scrapes we all came out of it in one piece and with the same stupid ass grins all over our faces.

'Nuf said! The story, the photos are all over on his blog.
Mike's photos are amazing, the boy has talent!
Now moving on to this weekend....

It was time for a little quick escape to Yoho. It's August already and I still hadn't managed to get up to my favorite campsight at Takakkaw Falls. It was time!

I packed up Friday morning and headed out. I was all set up at the campground by mid-afternoon and absolutely had to get out for a late afternoon/early evening run because the weather was gorgeous! A couple of hours later, I found myself up on the Iceline Trail, surrounded by glaciers pondering the universe all by myself. It was rather surreal, stunning, stupendous, spectacular, awesome, memorable and magical. It was one of those moments where you just look around at the scenery around you and go "Holly F*@#K" as you shake your head in disbelief at how amazing mother nature is and how anything can be that beautiful.

The next day, Mike and Angela - the lone BUTT finishers - came up to join for a long run of "Yoho in a Day". Another sweet day. We did a reverse figure-eight and hit the Whaleback to Twin Falls, back to Stanley Mitchell, the Iceline to Yoho Lake for a well earned swim and then the big descent back to the trail head. Yep, Yoho in a day. I slept well in my tent that night.

Yesterday, I was still feeling good so I decided to go long again. I climbed from Tak Falls, to Yoho Lake - did the Wapta Highline to Burgess Pass, descended down the 40+ switchbacks to Emerald Lake, jumped in, ran the shoreline and climbed the entire distance back up to Yoho Pass and Yoho Lake. Phew. Grand finalee descent back to camp, packed it up and called it: One Sweet Weekend.

***Yesterdays' solo run: Wapta Highline/Burgess Pass:

My Sweet Campsight for 3 days

***Saturday's Run with Angela and Mike: "Yoho in a Day":

My morning coffee.

Takakkaw Falls (as I was descending from Yoho Lake to the valley for the 3rd time in 3 days.)

I don't do much video, but here is a clip I took while running on the Iceline Trail. Enjoy!