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.


Danni said...

Funness and gorgeousness!

Dom Repta said...

looks awesome. Now it is on my list of todo's!
Stumbled upon your blog. going to try and hit the trail in the next few weeks.

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