Category Archives: trail running

Rundle’s Revenge – The Iron Donkey edition

Rundle’s Revenge – mountain biking a 12.5km loop on Saturday, and trail running the same loop on Sunday. Up at the Canmore Nordic Centre. I did it back in 2012, and completed the “Half Donkey”, with 50km of biking and 25km of running. Apparently that wasn’t hard enough, so the next time round I signed up for the Full Iron Donkey. 100km of biking, and 50km of running. Just on the verge of being impossibly stupid, yet attainable. In 2013 the race was cancelled due to the floods, and I heaved a massive sigh of relief, as I was in … Continue reading Rundle’s Revenge – The Iron Donkey edition

This is what it looks like when you go running when it’s -26oC outside

The sky is gorgeous, clear and blue, and everything sparkles, even the air (sadly not captured at all well by a slightly foggy phone camera, but you’ll have to take my word for it). Your lens fogs up, so you can’t properly capture the misty river, steaming in the cold air, and flowing sludgily with ice. And your breath freezes on everything it touches. During this cold spell we also tried the famous “throw a container full of freshly boiled water into the air and watch it vaporise”. And it really does work!

Ha Ling peak again

A dusk ascent. Directly up via the Grassi Lakes trail, and on along the climbers trail to the pass. Past people wearing inappropriate shoes, who warned me it would be slippery coming back down. I had Yaktrax on though, and was invincible! It’s always a little bit intimidating running up Ha Ling from town – it looms over you so, and seems so high and imposing and improbable Up above Grassi Lakes, in black and white because the light was so low my phone couldn’t actually capture colour properly anyway. A couple of people on their way down over the … Continue reading Ha Ling peak again

Winter begins

SNOW!! SNOW, MAMA, SNOW! Shall we go and ski up that hill? Skiing Frozen Thunder On Saturday it started snowing. And the Moosling wanted to ride his bike to the park. Snow biking – nurture or nature? Snow! Out on a snow biking expedition on Sunday The Moosling tries some powder skiing, while Alex rides around on the Moonlander Then I went out for a run. There were hoards out on the Nordic Centre single track, although Long Road to Ruin was less well trodden than EKG. Our prolonged autumn season is now over for good, and any fun on … Continue reading Winter begins

The Grizzly50 Ultra

A year ago, the Grizzly 50 was my first ultramarathon, the first time I’d run further than 35km, the first time I’d raced further than 21km. In the intervening year I’d run the Frozen Ass 50 (on sealed trails in Calgary in the middle of winter, a terrible idea), and the Powderface42 (held at the Canmore Nordic Centre due to flood damage around the actual route). I’d been signed up for a couple more 40-50km trail running events, both cancelled due to the floods. But by now the idea of running a long way on trails was no longer slightly … Continue reading The Grizzly50 Ultra

The mighty Yamnuska

This was my first time on Yamnuska – it’s one of a few classic local destinations that has been on my list of places to go for a while. I had an afternoon free, and Sarah was keen to come along with the dogs, and so we thought we’d see how far we could go with them. The answer? Not past the chains, but dogs that are happy to scramble a little can definitely make it that far. It was a sort-of trail running day. The running was slow and a little unenthusiastic (recovering from illness, jetlag and three weeks … Continue reading The mighty Yamnuska

The Australia Trip – The Rogaine

It’d been a long, long time since Alex and I had been rogaining. Actually, I just had a look back, and the last time we did one properly on foot was back in May 2002. That was the rogaine that ruined my knees, leaving me barely able to walk for weeks, and in chronic pain for over a year – back in the bad old days before I found a physio who was actually helpful. After that we did a few cycleogaines, paddleogaines and snowgaines together, as well as adventure races. But we never got in another old-style rogaine before … Continue reading The Australia Trip – The Rogaine

A crazy long run

I’d been wanting to do something a little epic on Saturday, but couldn’t decide what. But then I was invited to run along the Rundle Riverside trail from Canmore to Banff. “What a fantastic idea!” I said to myself, “And then if I’m still feeling chipper I could run up and down Sulphur Mountain as well, I’ve been meaning to do that.” It’s been a while since I’ve ridden it, but I think Rundle Riverside makes a better running trail than biking trail. The Canmore end is horrifically rooty. After a while though, it eases off and becomes a very … Continue reading A crazy long run

The amazing Northover Ridge

First of all, a taster of what lies ahead: We’d all been talking about running Northover Ridge for a while. The plan had always been to do it in a day, and finally we had chosen the day. Many folks were invited, but in the end it was just the four of us who made it. Debate began about how long it might take us, what gear we should take, and how early we should leave Canmore. We settled on a 6am departure from Canmore, which crept a little later, and after the one hour drive down to Kananaskis Lakes, … Continue reading The amazing Northover Ridge

Running the Iceline

The cunning plan for the day was to go and run the Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park. The added difficulty was having to take it in turns, so we didn’t have to tie the Moosling to a tree with nothing more than a bottle of water, a toasted cheese sandwich, and a can of bear spray to defend himself. Alex got to run first, heading off at 8.40am from the Takkakaw Falls carpark. He headed straight up onto the Iceline from there. Meanwhile, back at the river we wandered about, threw stones, and checked out the relief map of … Continue reading Running the Iceline

The not-Powderface 42

A long long time ago, Alex and I thought it might be fun to sign up for a 42km trail race together, the Powderface42 in K-Country. The flood had other ideas though, and the race ended up being relocated to the Canmore Nordic Centre. Less effort to get to, but not very exciting when we’d been looking forward to running new trails. After some indecisiveness we decided we may as well run it anyway. The course involved two laps that reached all the way out to the end of the Nordic Centre and back, with a particularly cruel section of … Continue reading The not-Powderface 42

Winter running

Some shots taken while out running so far this year… Out on the Highline Trail, towards Three Sisters Highline Trail again, dropped down to the creek crossing at the Three Sisters end of the trail Leftover Christmas baubles by the Bow River Ahhh, lunch break runs – Bow River again The Highline, after a little wind and sun, everything was a bit debris covered and glazed Running the Frozen Ass 50 in Calgary on Monday – never doing 50km on asphalt again. And actually, a good reminder to actually log some running miles before a long event. The first 25km … Continue reading Winter running

Slogging up Ha Ling Peak

Because doing things the easy way is boring, I decided to try heading up to the summit of Ha Ling Peak on foot, all the way from town. That’s the way it was originally done by its namesake, so I’ve been meaning for a long time to do the full ascent. It would, perhaps, have been easier in summer though. Into the inversion, my ice eyelashes had started to melt The temperature was hovering around -16oC in the valley, so I was really hoping for an inversion. It was jolly cold all the way up to the pass, and then … Continue reading Slogging up Ha Ling Peak

Running in the snow along Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka and the Cascade Fire Trail share a trail-head; and so we hatched a cunning plan where I would run along the shoreline of the lake, while Alex would take Moosling and Chariot and go towing up the Cascade Fire Trail. The plan was to turn around after an hour or so, and be back at the car at 11.30am (so we could then get back to Canmore to watch the finals of the Cross-Country Skiing World Cup sprints at the Nordic Centre). The trail was well-packed to the bridge and beyond,to the high point of the climb up … Continue reading Running in the snow along Lake Minnewanka

The Grizzly50: Where I inexplicably manage to run 50 kilometres

Although I couldn’t really claim to have run all fifty of the kilometres – like most people, I walked a lot of the steep uphills. On a course with 1700 metres of climbing, there were definitely some steep little climbs in there. And I did stop for a bathroom break, and to stock up on food. And to take a photo. But mostly I ran. And ran. And ran. For over five hours. But it was strangely easier than I was expecting. I was assuming there would be soul-crushing agony, teeth-gnashing, and stomach-gurgling, dead legs and embittered spirit. But instead … Continue reading The Grizzly50: Where I inexplicably manage to run 50 kilometres

Out to Citadel Pass

More Autumn running. This time driving up to Sunshine Village around the time of the last bus, and then leaving Moosling and Grandma Moose by Rock Isle Lake, Alex and I ran out to Citadel Pass. Aaaaallllll the way this time. The larches were bright yellow, and there were only two other people on the entire trail. By the time we reached Citadel Pass the sun was starting to hide behind the peaks. On the way home I managed to crash at one point, clipping my foot on a rock, and doing an impressive superman dive onto my chest. I … Continue reading Out to Citadel Pass

Lake O’Hara: The latest in the crazy summer adventures series

Another summer day, another silly plan. This time we decided we wanted to visit Lake O’Hara. We’d been there a few times in winter, but never in summer. Paying for the bus was inconceivable however, so we fashioned a cunning plan whereby we would push the Chariot up to the lake. There we could leave the Chariot, and release the Moosling, hopefully heading up onto some of the higher trails (or just around the lake). Lake O’Hara We ran on and off to cover the 10km up to the lake. Sometimes the Moosling hopped out and walked, other times he … Continue reading Lake O’Hara: The latest in the crazy summer adventures series

Sort of running the Rockwall in the rain

Thanks to the generosity of visiting family, Alex and I had a day to throw ourselves at any crazy adventure we fancied, without the company of a toddler. Of course, the weather forecast threatened rain. We laughed in the face of the weather forecast, and decided to go and hike/run the Rockwall trail anyway. We’d never been on any of the Rockwall trails before, so were excited despite the rather ominous looking weather. The Autumn colours were gorgeous, and the views better than expected as we set off through burnt-out forest and crossed avalanche paths, having left our car behind … Continue reading Sort of running the Rockwall in the rain

The Icefields Parkway tourist expedition

Bow Lake was freezing cold of course, but not so cold a toddler couldn’t demand to have his shoes and socks taken off, and then run in and out of it. Touristing Aunt and Cousin, and photo-bombing toddler Playing on the boardwalk at the Columbia Icefields Centre Running out to Nigel Pass and back again – it’s a 10 minute drive to the trailhead from the Icefields Centre, and then about 14km return with less than 300 metres of climbing to go all the way to the Pass and back. We didn’t quite go all the way, as we were … Continue reading The Icefields Parkway tourist expedition

Elbow Lake – Sheep River Valley – Rickert’s Pass – Mist Ridge

I was dropped off at the Elbow Lake trailhead, and shooed up the trail. The menfolk would be meandering their way up to the lake and back, while I ran the loop all the way from Elbow Lake, through the Sheep River Valley, up Rickert’s Pass and out along Mist Ridge. It was to be a little over 30km I thought, all through the Elbow-Sheep Wildland Provincial Park. I was hoping to do it in under four hours – although with the enormous climb up Rickert’s Pass in the middle of that, there was always the probability of taking longer. … Continue reading Elbow Lake – Sheep River Valley – Rickert’s Pass – Mist Ridge