Friday, August 26, 2011

Tor des Geants

Well, it's time for another big adventure and this one will take me to the Italian Alps. I signed up for Tor des Geants back in January and it's a race that has somehow come around very quickly.

Banff, like the rest of the northern hemisphere, had a very long winter and I still have to do a double-take every time I look at my calender; is it really the end of August already? It feels like summer has only just begun.

Tor des Geants is a multi-day mountain race which ran for the first time in 2010 but is a race that filled up within days of opening this year. I will be on the starting line with 499 other people who will all be hoping to get to the finishing line in one piece! The course is 330 km in length and you get 150 hours to complete it. There are some life bases en route where you can get a shower, food and sleep so I'm hoping to be able to get some shut-eye during the week but am not counting on it. When I ran UTMB last year, I was shocked at how steep it is in the Alps so I've got a pretty good idea of how long it takes to cover a small distance and how challenging this course will be - pain is definitely in the forecast!!!

My only goal is to get to the finishing line without too much long-term damage but if the body blows up on me, then Plan B is to sit back in a gelato shop and watch the world go by - now that's an attractive idea. Maybe I should just skip the race and go straight to the gelato shop!!

Anyway, wish me luck! I'll let you know how I get on after I've hobbled back home.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Images from a week in Jasper

I raced the Iron Leg 50 miler last weekend and then took a week's holiday and spent it running in neighbouring Jasper National Park - what a blast! I ran on lots of new trails and also did my old favourite, the classic Skyline Trail. Together with the race, I managed to rack up about 300km so was pretty happy with that as I felt great at the end of the week.

Fryatt Valley

Fryatt Valley from the Headwall.

A very misty Sulphur Skyline

We don't usually have a lot of mist here so this was fun.

Whistlers summit overlooking the town of Jasper

Mt Edith Cavell.

The Tonquin Valley

A moose!

The view from Wilcox Peak

The view from Bow Summit.
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Sunday, August 14, 2011

A quick fastpacking trip into Floe Lake

It was my birthday on Wednesday and I decided on a spontaneous fastpacking trip into Floe Lake to celebrate.
Floe Lake is part of the classic Rockwall Trail and is easily accessible from the 93 South Highway. After a couple of hours of climbing up and around, you step into the beautiful and quiet Floe Lake area. There were quite a few campers already set up, fed and hunkered down in their tents for the night. I'd gone in straight after work so didn't expect to see too many people up and about but I still had quite a few hours of daylight left and sat on the edge of Floe, eating my pre-made dinner and just marveling at how easy it can be to "get away from it all".
I had a pretty good night's sleep and was up super early to pack everything up, make some hot coffee and then boogie back down the trail to my car where I had my office clothes waiting for me. After a quick wash and change, I was back on the highway and at my desk by 8.35 am what a great start to the day!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Helen Lake

Exploring beyond Helen Lake

Isabel Lake
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