Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ready? Set...GO!

New race season, new objectives and same dreams.... skiing skiing and skiing some more! After a few months of training in the cold rainy weather, it's now time to enjoy gliding on the white fluffy stuff! Finally recharged from our 4 months Euro adventure  last winter including 24 days of racing, I could not be so stoked for the start of the 2013-2014 season.
The Calendar is going to be busy again but passion and motivation as drivers will make it all happen! 

With that, this is the official launch of the season and a slightly rearranged blog. I take the opportunity to introduce new sponsors for this year! 

I could not be more excited to represent a company that makes training so much easier! 
The Suunto T6 has been my best friend since 2008. The Ambit 1 & recently Ambit 2 are now the "go to" tools to record accurate informations and keep track of mileage, training and adventures!  Checkout their full range of products :
Vega has gained in popularity over the last few years since providing healthy, quality fuel not only for athletes but to general public as well. From the "Sports" category, to daily smoothies and shakes, Vega is clean, green and plant-base nutrition made easy. For a full list of products, visit:

Revelstoke is so lucky to have Helios as a super physio clinic. Their professional and friendly staff & therapists always go the extra miles to fix the parts that need some love! The clinic also offers unique Holistic Nutritionist services, Pilates and circuit training classes... basically all you need to be a healthy and happy athlete! Visit their website or call for an appointment today:

-A big thank you to G3 Genuine Guide Gear for ongoing support since 2008!
-An other big thank you to Rab clothing for keeping me warm & dry through the 4 seasons! They have been amazing support since 2009! 
-The local shop Skookum Cycle & Ski  has been helping in reaching summer and winter goals since 2010... then more importantly, they have been mounting my crazy strange race gear with great care! 
-Thank you also to Smith Optics for pro deals on stylish sunnies and super extra performing goggles.  
- Thank you to Dynafit for helping the National Ski Mountaineering Team

Happy season and happy skiing! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fall Ski Mountaineering Camp 2013

Glaciers, Lake and Mountains feeding the run!

Usually the Fall Ski Mountaineering Camps are a good reason to get together, catch up, share some stories, laughs and share winter plans. This year was all of that and even more. Thx to Stano Faban and Eric Carter, the boys added Training back in "Training Camp". 

The camp started with a nice tempo walk/run to the 3 Chiefs in Squamish. It was a great way to catch up with familiar face and meet new ones and also get the blood nicely flowing. We were blessed with really nice and warm weather so the Chief adventure was followed by a nice dip @ Alice Lake Provincial Park. From there, 6 of us headed to Callaghan Valley Access Road to do a hot session of Roller Skiing. The blistering sun of september made us want to do an other mandatory stop to Brohm Lake on our way back to Squamish just to cool down and also get the legs ready for the next day's adventures! To finish the day nicely, Stano did an inspiring presentation of his recent trip to Kyrgyzstan and China.

On the saturday, we drove into the fog to Cypress Access Road for a short Time trial on roller skis up to Cypress. From there, we had a quick lunch and then we ran/Hiked to the top of West Lion to go back down to Lions Bay. While getting higher, we found ourselves above the fog layer and surrounded of a sea of clouds. It was quite unique and beautiful. Post Run, we gathered again to attend a very interesting presentation about Fuel for Endurance Athletes from professional coach Bjorn Ossenbrink at the Escape Route in Squamish. 
Road from Cypress, Ridge Running

Summit of West Lion with Birthday Boy and Nick

On sunday, we started the day with a great wake-up workout at Challenge By Choice. J-F made us sweat and move with a Cross-Fit type workout. Having our legs all warmed up, we headed to Rundle Creek and ran/hiked towards Black Tusk. Unfortunately, a thunder storm rolled in forcing us to do a smaller loop then anticipated. It was still great to run in the alpine and enjoy the view of glaciers and peaks of the Coast! 
Angry sky direction Black tusk

A big thank you to Eric and Stano for putting this all together! 
Thank you to supporting sponsors and to Escape Route for hosting the 2 presentations. 
Full report on:

Part of the gang!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mt Robson Marathon and Playtime in Valemount

El Brita view from Zeberman Col

Stomach butterflies, excitement and healthy anxious stress...oh yeah, that's what race day is all about... with time... only a few months I almost forgot what it feels like to stand at the start time of an event!

After a long season of ski mountaineering racing overseas this past winter, May was nothing but recovery. Deciding to have a different focus this summer and not jump into an other season of mountain bike racing sure was a difficult decision but it brought me to focus on a slightly different discipline and objective. Why not run a marathon? From having done the half version of the Mt Robson Marathon last year and having ran the incomparable Berg Lake trail a few times, I knew this would be a fabulous idea.

Like any other objectives, the road that leads to the main goal is what makes the experience so enjoyable but standing at the start line of the Marathon with familiar faces, frantic energy and laughs, I knew all the training and prep reminded me how much I missed those feelings. 3,2,1 go and off we were all 70 plus runners heading for an amazing adventure up to Berg Lake.
Each one of us had a slightly different story over those 46 kms but all can probably say that the landscape was what kept them going when the muscles were starting to scream for a bit of a break.

Still had enough energy to make a funny and none flattering picture!

From the Visitor centre, 2 kms of road had the pack already nicely spread. Then about 8 km of double track brought us to the bridge just before Kiney Lake. From there, it was the start of the single track undulating along the beautiful lake shores. After the half marathon turn around point, a long traverse on the flat brought the runners up the first longer climb and short descent to Whitehorn campsite. From there, a little rest and we were up against the 4 km Empress Fall climb to gain the plateau where stunning Berg lake rests. Travelling along the lake before the turnaround point was at times challenging since the view of Mt Robson and it's glacier were taking the focus away from the task ahead. Gaining the Warder cabin and hitting the turn around point personally gave me a second wind and from there, hydration and consistency were key. A smile filled with pain and gratitude crossing the finish line, it was great come to a rest and enjoy the beautiful views, the sunny afternoon and recover for the next adventure.

For full results of the race, check out:
They  have not been published since there has been some slight trouble with timing.
I was really pleased with a 4:16 and 3rd women overall for a first full Marathon.
Congrats to all the people, old and young who came out to race.

About 10km to go Mt Robson Marathon

After a good sleep-in, some great recovery food and social breakfast, it was time to head to the hill again in order to fill our hunger for quiet times in the mountains. Andrew McNab, Reiner Thoni & myself headed south of Valemount to gain a logging road part ways up our objective. A bush walk  and ridge walk later, we started to gain the subalpine and finally the alpine. An easy scramble brought us just below the  headwall of Zeberman... Even from the col, the views of the glacier behind the face and Kinbasket Lake laying in the valley below were breath taking. From the Col, we scrambled to the 2630m summit and recharged our soul of mountain energy.  Walking all the way back down, I was soaking in the moment while the boys were busy catching up. Just feeling grateful to be in the mountains, smiling with the movie of the past days playing in my mind and dreaming already of the future adventures to come!

Forward and upward Zeberman Adventure
Andrew Holding the Sky
Kinbasket Lake from Col
Zeberman Col
And the summit...
The unique Reiner

Alpine Beauty

Red Mullet Andrew
Having a moment in the Alpine

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Standard Peak & Walk in the Park

Sunny long weekend = Nice adventures!

On the to do list was Standard peak which is an additional 20 km to the already fabulous Keystone Standard Basin  Mountain Bike Alpine trail.
What an amazing day to be in the Alpine!

Following was a hike/run in Glacier National Park. The objective was Mt Sifton but due to a few factors, we made it to the Col Ursus Major/Sifton but still enjoyed an other beautiful day under the sun!

Last few Steps up the Standard

The objective Bike almost from the top of Standard Peak

Frenchman Cap in the Horizon

View from Standard Peak

Standard Peak views down the valley

Ursus/ Sifton Col view

Not a bad place for a snooze... ohhh boys!
Mt Sifton 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Solo Mission in remote Assiniboine

Magog Lake

Since the beginning of the summer, I have been thinking about heading to this very unique zone. It seems like summer is unfolding very quickly and seeing the window of opportunity becoming narrower as the weekend come and go, I decided not to let the lack of partner stop me from feeding my hunger to discover a new territory. The original plan was to run from Mt Shark to Sunshine but since the flood, the Sunshine road is still close so I came up with an alternative plan which was a great compromise.

I started the journey at Mt Shark Parking lot on the Mountain Bike with as small as of overnight pack as I could.  I left my bike in the forest 6 kms later at the limit of the Provincial Park then proceeded to run all the way to Assiniboine Pass and to Magog Lake Campground. In just over 3 hours, I was already in this very outstanding landscape. I quickly set up a very minimalist base camp and took a light running pack to pursuit the exploration. I ran up to Sunburst Lake and continued down to Elizabeth Lake. From there, I climbed up the Nublet and had to keep going to Nub Peak to get a 360 degrees view of the area... pretty breathtaking I have to admit.
Back down, I headed to the lodge just to meet the welcoming lodge manager Claude and Annick and visit the amazing facility.
Back at the campsite to my less luxurious shelter for the night, a crazy thunder storm rolled in. 15 minutes of down pouring rain later, I was hoping my stuff had stayed somewhat dry. People's tent were flipping, leaking... but amazingly, Integral Design keeps everything nice and dry!

When the morning came, the sunrise over the mountain was quite a wonderful and unique sight to start the day. After breaky and packing everything, I dropped my heavier bag at the Naiset Huts and went for a nice run to Og Lake and the Valley of Rocks. Backtracking staring right at Mt Assiniboine in an open Alpine Meadow made for a really enjoyable adventure. Back at Naiset, a quick lunch and off I was up Wonder Pass. The view down to Marvel Lake from that point just keeps on getting better and better and you approach the lake. The trail on a side hill just above the lake just kept on going and going all the way to Bryan Creek Trail. From there, it was 7 km of character building and weight training back to my lovely bicycle which I was very happy to find. The journey was not over yet as there was couple of steep steady climbs to gain the starting point but it was all part of the adventure.
What a mission and what a great feeling to cover  just over 75 km in such a beautiful setup. The distance does not register when you mind in just busy sinking in the beauty. This is certainly not the last trip up there!
Start of the journey... shaving weight
First sight, Assiniboine Pass
Sunburst Lake
Sunburst Lake
Magog Lake from Nub Peak

 Weather Rolling in from Nub Peak
Summit Views

That's what happen when you go light...
Good morning, Magog Lake

Og Lake coming from Valley of Rocks
Home of Grizzlies, Wonder Pass
Assiniboine from Wonder Pass
Marvel Lake
Marvel Lake backdrop

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Yoho Running Traverse

Burgess Pass & Emerald Lake

So many time I drove through Yoho National Park and wanted to stop and discover it's beauty but never had the chance to. Finally this weekend, Andrew McNab and I did a run traverse that was very scenic and enjoyable through this breathtaking National beauty!

We started the adventure just outside of Field on the Burgess Trail. 52 switchbacks and 900m later, we started to see why this plan was a fantastic idea. Actually the climb was not so bad with flat sections between each zig-zag, the gain of elevation was quite manageable and the flats gave us time to find our breath back!  From the top of Burgess Trail, we started to run towards Yoho lake on a gradual descending trail which was ways above beautiful Emerald Lake. The side hill alpine rolling terrain made for fast travel in the alpine. The surrounding landscape all the way to Yoho Lake was simply stunning. A quick dip in the lake and off we were to climb to Yoho pass and gain the Iceline Trail. This amazing trail brought us just under amazing glacier and above the alpine vegetation with views of the spectacular Takakkaw Falls.
We ran all the way to Little Yoho and the Stanley Mitchel Hut. From there it was down all the way to Laughing falls and a flat 2 kms along the Yoho River.
Back at Takakkaw Falls Parking lot, I changed gear and jumped on my road bike (previously dropped) and rode the 16 km back to the car to complete the loop. It was such a great way to finish the day and not a bad way to allow the for the legs to recover from this 33km run traverse.  Pictures are worth 1000 words!

Burgess Pass down to Yoho Lake

Yoho Lake

Andrew on the Iceline

Run towards Little Yoho

Not done yet...!
Switch Gear down the Yoho Valley Rd