Monday, August 27, 2012

Parts of August

Blanket From Begbie

August has been really good to us in BC... nice weather and the beautiful alpine now free of snow made for great adventure opportunities. This blog post is for my friends and family who want to know what I have been up too as they may live too far to know and love to see pictures. For the other people who live in similar playground, I hope this will inspire you to get out there and play and give you enough information to do similar adventures!

August Part 1
After spending 4 days in Fernie doing the TransRockies, a few days back at home to recharge and pack and we were on our way back to Waterton Lake National Park.
It all starts with an idea and that one was in Andrew's mind for a long time...Running/Speed walking to as many summits as we could in 3 days.
     Day 1
From the start, we had to change our route plan from scrambling since it was raining. We started at Red Rock canyon carrying the lightest backpack we could for multi day trip (only bivy, dehydrated food and some warm cloths). We took the trail to Goat Lake and gained the first summit of the journey; Mt Newman. We then carried on the Avion Ridge and down to Lost Lake and Twin Lake. We climbed back up a steep trail to the Col and ridge walked to the second summit; Bauerman.  We carried on towards Lost Peak but we started to run out of time knowing we still had 10 plus kilometres to cover before even getting to the campground. We got to Lone Lake happy to put the packs down and the legs up for a night of rest.
 Day 2
From the Lone campsite, we left our packs behind to reach the first peak of the day; Lone Mt. A nice winding trail took us back to valley bottom and then to a nice gradual climb on a shall rock brough us back to the alpine. We finally gained the summit of Mt. Hawkins mid-day and carried on towards Blakiston but had to reassessed our objective as the distance was greater then what we have anticipated. Back on the trail, we carried on to climb Mt Rowe and bush-walked our way to Cameron Lake. As the sun was setting, we started to climb back up towards Summit lake. 4 kms later, headlamps on, we climbed in the dark a nice sidehill trail to get to Carthew Pass. The bright moon was lighting up our steps as we climbed down to Carthew Lake and finally to Alderson Lake. 1 am,...quite a bit depleted, we crawled in the bivy bags for a well deserved rest.
  Day 3
How often do people sleep in till 11am when camping, I'm not sure, but it certainly was a first for me. After 2 solid days, we did agree that getting back to Red Rock was the mission of the day. Back on the Alderson Lake trail, we covered the distance back to the Townsite in no time. Back to civilization,  Waterton was a complete ZOO... A quick snack enjoying some people watching and we were heading back up a trail towards Crandell Lake. Finally, we gained Red Rock Parkway and decided to hitchhike to avoid 5 kms of paved busy road.
 Back at the car, we unfolded and snacked smiling of the opportunity to take off the running shoes! We drove back down to the Townsite, put the canoe on the water and paddle down a few kilometres to Bertha Bay where we camped on the side of the lake.
3 Days of Waterton

August Part 2
 As it was the first Revelstoke Bike Festival, I really wanted to take part on the Criterium. Since it was only at the end of the day, I decided to zip up the Asulkan Cabin from Loop Brook for a nice morning run. After soaking the legs, it was Criterium time downtown Revy. No time to waste, at 5 am the following day, myself and friend Don Robertson were on our way to Kelowna to race in a 6 hours MTB enduro race. It was only 38 degrees in the heat of the day and the 12.5 km loop was super flowy, very loose and fun! We played in the dust all day and completed 8 laps of the course setting the most laps of the day. I felt a bit stupid mid-day when I was thinking I ran 20km the previous day... but the legs held on till the end fortunately!

Dirty Feet Enduro Race

August Part 3

From Biking to Mountaineering
An other brilliant idea from mister McNab brought us to climb a local landmark but in an atypical way... We left town on our bikes with hiking backpacks and ice axe direction Mt Begbie. The road was the most time we spent on our bike as we started to climb the Rec. trail, it became obvious that we would act as Sherpas carrying our bike all the way to the toe of the glacier. Finally there, we traded the bike gear for mountaineering gear and walked on the glacier till we reached the bolted ledge. After getting over the little exposed section, it was a nice easy scramble to the top of Mt Begbie. Back down, boot skiing the glacier was awesome. As the sun was coming down, we got back to our bikes for some gnarly DH action. I won't lie, I walked down lots of section but it was awesome. Back to the road, we rushed back to hit the Nomad minutes before they closed. 9 hours door to door....what a day!
Ledge Mt Begbie

The Begbie Bike Adventure was followed by sunset ride of Frisbee Ridge with friends visiting. Their facial expression at the end of the ride was worth a million! They were simply blown away by the trail, the views and the alpine flowers.
Frisbee Ridge

August Part 4
Tumbeling Creek
Now onto my brilliant ideas... back to back alpine trail runs. I decided to go hangout with the alpine flowers up on Frisbee Ridge. What a beauty..! Steady climb for 10 km and back down. It was only the warm-up for the next day. Andrew tagged-in to the Rockwall in a day plan! We got to Lake Louise on saturday evening and at 7 am sharp, were running from Floe Lake Parking lot. We gained the lake in just over an hour and got to Numa pass feeding from the beauty around us. Alpine flowers, majestic landscape, wildlife,... We ran down to Numa campsite where we took a first break. Then up we went to gain Tumbeling Pass and back down to Tumbeling Creek. One more climb brought us to Rockwall pass and back down to Helmet Creek. From there, it was easier terrain but the legs were getting a bit fed up with the exercise. 14.6km to the highway at that point, we got told we could not get out at Paint Pot so we went all the way to Marble Canyon to find my well stashed road bike for a total of 55km. A 15 km road bike later with no shammy, no helmet and no bike shoes.... in addition to head winds, I finally retrieve the car! Fresh cold veggies and banana bread have never tasted this good!

Floe Lake
Numa Pass

Tumbeling Creek

Helmet Creek

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