Sunday, May 4, 2014

Trip to eternity

Photo by Spring McClurg

Adam Campbell says “mountain running and alpinism have increasingly begun to overlap. At the forefront of both activities is the desire to set daring objectives, cover terrain and distances inconceivable to most, to overcome fears and to push our bodies and minds to their limits.” 1

With the big melt this week and rain in the forecast, plans to cover Horseshoe Bay to Lynn Valley on the weekend were reassessed.  I was apprehensive about Cypress Bowl and First Lake. Anticipating angry slush, precarious snow bridges over lurking creeks, followed by erratic blow-down in the Hollyburn and top Chute areas. Recent reports of such conditions swayed me toward a Plan B for Saturday.

Regardless of spring mountain conditions, “daring objectives” were in the works, and Adam Harris had something in store for us...

Double double

This week was the start of double-double, in preparation for my two key races. A ‘double’ is two workouts per day and ‘double double’ just means this happens on consecutive days. And so on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I did two workouts per day (and loved it). I’ve also just learned about “Marathon Mondays” but let’s save this story for another day, eh eh.

Tuesday. 5:30am, this is where we park (okay for a couple of hours, but don't tell)

Mountain Highway at dawn

I was amazed by how many were keen to run on a gravel road up the mountain at 5:30 in the morning. Peer pressure? … “I have to do this, others are doing it” Curiosity? … “this sounds like a horrible idea, I should try it” … At any rate, call it zeal or bravado, I was grateful for the company.

Sounds fun? Tuesdays, 5:30am sharp. Meet at Mtn Hwy gate. We start together for a 10-12 min warm-up then each run at own pace, various distances (10-20k+), pick any return route (mtn hwy or trails). Follow me on FB for the roll-call every Monday.

Saturday. The gang, soaked and cold on Lynn loop section of trip-to-eternity run.
Sarah Carter, Dan Stein, Adam Harris, myself and Jackie Muir - Photo by Spring McClurg

Distance, elevation and difficulty – trip to eternity

Adam Harris proposed a point-to-point route from Grouse to Deep Cove effectively weaving together the most  joyous string of trails on the North Shore. Our intention was to keep the group small and well-matched in fitness and agility so that we could move relatively quickly.

Saturday. Can't get enough of straight ups and twisty downs?
Sing a song like Dan the "mountain eater"

Dan summed it best: the run was "tonnes of fun”. The vibe was giddy and hilarious, all smiles all the way – even when the weather turned hostile, ironically hailing hard at the exact moment we were running on the only stretch that was not under tree coverage. We were soaked, muddied, frozen instant. Fortunately, the sky cleared and the air warmed long enough for us to remember only the high-points of the day at the end of our run in the Cove.

Saturday. Sarah pulling the front, I said "someone put a harness on that girl",
but Adam said "you can't curb that kind of enthusiasm" 

Saturday. Ya, we're silly, so

Sounds fun? Here (Strava) is what we did: From Cleveland Dam parking lot, weaving up side trails, onto Baden Powell to Cascades, up Bitches Brew and Per Gynt > Down 7th Secret, Crinkum Crankum, Kirkland and Upper/ Lower Griffen to the Baden Powell > Lynn Headwaters Short loop, Lynn Headwaters connector to Gazebo > Down Homestead to Fishermans, up Bottle Top, power lines, and Dales trail > Down Mushroom Trail to the Baden Powell and finally cutoff to Baden Powell off of Seymour highway down to Deep Cove. 28.9km with 1600m elevation. 

Yup. So now I’m gearing up for 5Peaks Golden Ears next week, then a bit of taper for Sun Mountain 50mi the following week-end. After that, I’ll be raring to go explore and alpine run with the gang (doing something? count me in!).

Saturday. Ken at the back (haha sorry buddy)
making a guest appearance for a couple of hours.

Also on Instagram

Next up: Athlete interviews for 5Peaks Golden Ears and my race report

1Canadian Running Magazine, Trail Issue 2014: Volume 7, Issue 3, pages 48-51

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