Category Archives: Running adventures

Running top ten lists

Favourite road marathons

  1. New York City
  2. Boston
  3. Valley of Fire
  4. Vancouver
  5. Victoria
  6. San Francisco
  7. Yakima
  8. Winthrop
  9. Bellingham Bay
  10. Whidbey Island

 

Favourite shorter trail marathon and ultras

  1. Fat Dog 50K
  2. Mt Robson Trail Marathon
  3. Frosty 50K
  4. Angel’s Staircase 60K
  5. Beacon Rock 50K
  6. Gorge Waterfalls 50K
  7. Kneeknacker 50K
  8. Orcas Island 50K
  9. Deception Pass 50K
  10. Yakima Skyline 50K 

Favourite long ultras

  1. West Highland Way 95M
  2. Western States 100M Endurance Race
  3. Cascade Crest 100M
  4. San Diego 100M
  5. Death Race 135K
  6. Vancouver 100K
  7. Haney2Harrison 100K

 

Favourite running adventures

  1. Grand Canyon R2R2R: Bright Angel, N. Kaibab, S. Kaibab
  2. Wonderland Trail (over 3 days)
  3. West Coast Trail
  4. Zion: west rim traverse
  5. Mount St. Helens circumnavigation
  6. North Coast Trail, Vancouver Island
  7. Bryce Canyon: south to north
  8. Zion: east rim: all trails
  9. Juan de Fuca Trail
  10. Uclulet to Tofino

 

Favourite Rainshadow Running races

  1. Angel’s Staircase 60K
  2. Beacon Rock 50K
  3. Gorge Waterfalls 50K
  4. Orcas Island 50K
  5. Deception Pass 50K
  6. Yakima Skyline 50K

Not yet done: Sun Mountain; Oregon Coast

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Kennedy Falls

Secret for CFA runners: if you haven’t discovered the west side of Lynn Creek yet, the trails have been greatly improved and marked. East off the first switchback length of old Mountain Highway, the very runnable Big Cedar trail leads to this glorious giant after about 3K. After that, west and uphill and then soon again due north, traversing the slope again, to arrive at the spectacular and seemingly endless cascades of Kennedy Falls less than 1K later. The entire trip is reasonably runnable. In years before, the trail to the falls was a gnarly mess, but it has been greatly improved and flagged.

The only challenging bit was proceeding on from the falls. We intended to go the the next major creek, Wickenden Creek, and then down to Lynn Creek. As it turned out, there was no immediately convenient spot to cross Kennedy Creek (we first tried upslope, to discover a side cascade, but no obvious crossing spot), so we stumbled down the south side of Kennedy Creek before leaping across at a somewhat dicey spot. In lower waters, the exercise would be easy, I suspect. From the north side, we bushwhacked NE, joining Wickenden Creek near its confluence with Lynn Creek. Then an easy and refreshing fording of Lynn Creek, to the east side, and then a short upslope scramble to join the well-trod Lynn Headwaters/Cedar Mills trail. Much recommended.

Running the Wonderland Trail around Mt Rainier

For those who have run the Grand Canyon, West Coast Trail, and TransZion run, and are looking for the next epic trail running adventure, the 93-odd-mile Wonderland Trailaround majestic Mt Rainier is a must-do stunner.

Although some have run the trail in one shot, it would be a shame to miss any segment of its scenery to the dark, and its ten-odd volcanic ridge climbs and descents would make a single running damned hard. We ran it over three days which was about perfect.

We started at Mowich Lake, in the NW corner, closest to Vancouver and Seattle, and we would endorse this start point.  From Mowich, you must make an immediate decision as to the first 9-mile segment: be a purist and follow the formal Wonderland Trail, or take the alternative Spray Park route, which is about the same difficulty and distance, but at higher altitude, taking one through alpine meadows and past waterfalls. We voted Spray Park, and did not regret it.

First campsite: White River (NE). Second campsite: Cougar Rock (SE). Both are excellent, and located near roaring glacial streams which drown out noise and provide a rejuvenating and frigid post-run soak. For the second night, one could continue down just over a mile to Longmire, a major campground.

To praise the epic beauty of Rainier and its environs, and the perfect single-track of most of this trail, and the acres of wildflowers, and the craggy peaks, and the massive glaciers, and the swinging bridges, and the old growth forest, and the churning glacial rivers, and the drapery of waterfalls, and the views of Mounts Baker, Adams, Hood and St Helens in the distance, and the reflective lakes, and the roaming bears and mountain goats, and, and, and, and, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Resources: an useful new book here, and an useful online guide here.

Everyone in CFA and all trailrunners should bookmark the website of crewmyrun.com, run by Matt Gunn, the race director of the Zion 100M. Matt is a great and amiable fellow who organises these epic runs, with shuttle services, logistics, and meals provided. I would heartily recommend his services: this was the first year, and he had the logistics nailed, and made what would be a horrible logistic nightmare into an epic, simple, and fun reality. Scope out his website and drool over the adventures: Rocky Mountain National Park, TransZion, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Muir Trail: wow.

The British Columbia Ultra and Trail Running Record: First and Fastest

It is about time that I updated this list of epic awesomeness: first and fastest running adventures; and milestones of ultra running races (at bottom).

Post your updates, additions, and corrections or send them to David Crerar at jeldac99 ‘at’ gmail.com.

http://www.clubfatass.com/blog/david-crerar/british-columbia-ultra-and-trail-running-record-first-and-fastest

 

This is a project that I’ve been thinking about for a while, and that I decided to put together yesterday as I slopped through the mud of the Juan de Fuca Trail.

In the interests of brevity, I’ll limit the list to trail runs of ultra distance or trails that otherwise feel like ultras due to their elevation change (hello, Howe Sound Crest Trail!).
Please help verify and expand this Record!: send additions and corrections to David Crerar at jeldac ‘at’ shaw.ca.
May this prompt some epic adventures!
 Robbins (& crew Castillo) after 1-day WCT & JDF run

The British Columbia Ultra and Trail Running Record:

First and Fastest

  • * = also the speed record
Alexander MacKenzie Heritage Trail: 420K: Quesnel – Bella Coola
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Baden Powell Trail: 50K: Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver – Deep Cove, North Vancouver (Kneeknacker)
  • 1st: Enzo Federico,  Louis Briere, David Brown, Tom Brown, Gavin Cameron, Shane Collins, Rob Hartvikson, Brendan Kennelly 8:30 (24 June 1989) ##
  • Fastest: Aaron Heidt 4:39:52 (11 July 2009, Kneeknacker Race) ##
  • Fastest Female: Ellie Green­wood 5:06:09 (10 July 2010 Kneeknacker Race)  ##
  • Double BP Trail (Vancouver 100K)
o       1st: Mike Wardas & Randy Hunter c. 21:00 (c. 18 June 2000)
o       Fastest: Ryan Conroy 14:54 (5 June 2010, Vancouver 100K) ##
o       Fastest Female: Carolyn Goluza 17:00 (5 June 2010, Vancouver 100K) ##
  • Triple BP Trail (150K)
o       1st: ______ (___)
o       Fastest: ______ (___)
o       Fastest Female: ______ (___)
  • Baden Powell 100M (Triple BP + 10Miles: back to Mountain Highway)
o       1st: ______ (___)
o       Fastest: ______ (___)
o       Fastest Female: ______ (___)
  • Baden Powell 50K winter mostly-snow traverse
    • 1st: Peter Watson: _________ March 2010 *

Chilkoot Pass Trail 53.1K: Dyea, near Skagway, Alaska – Bennett, BC

  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Cowichan Valley Trail: 47K: Shawnigan Lake to Lake Cowichan  Route
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Galloping Goose Trail: 55K: Johnson Street Bridge, Victoria – Leechtown, Vancouver Island
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Great Northern Rail Trail: 48K: Salmo to Nelson Route
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Hesquiat Peninsula Trail: 50K: Escalante – Boat Basin, Vancouver Island
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Howe Sound Crest Trail: 32K: Cypress Bowl Parking lot – HSCT trailhead near Porteau Cove, Highway 99
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Indian Arm Trail: 70K: Mount Seymour – Buntzen Lake
  • 1st:  Murray Comley 3 days (18-20 October 2003)*
  • Fastest Male: _____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Juan de Fuca Trail: 47K: Jordan River – Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island
  • 1st: Frank Wolf & Kevin Vallely 6:16 (July 2000)
  • Fastest Male: Shawn Nelson 5:28 (_____2009) ##
  • Fastest Female: Carolyn Goluza 6:50 (_____2009) ##
  • Double JDF Trail 94K:
o       1st: Randy Duncan 18:30 (7 May 2010)*
o       Fastest Female:__________
Mount Edziza Provincial Park traverse: 75K: Buckley – Mowdade Lake
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Naikoon Trail: 125K: Misty Meadows – McIntyre Bay, Queen Charlotte Islands
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Nootka Trail: 50K: Ferrer Point – Yuquot, Nootka Island
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
North Coast Trail/Cape Scott Trail: 60K: Shushartie Bay – San Josef Bay, Vancouver Island
  • 1st: Jeff Hunt & Bob Wall 11:00 (opening day: May 10, 2008)*
  • Fastest Male: Jeff Hunt & Bob Wall 11:00 (opening day: May 10, 2008)
  • Fastest Female:__________
North Shore (of Vancouver) peaks (all) in one year
  • 1st: David Crerar July 4 – November 1, 2009 (44 peaks, Bagger Challenge)* ##
Okanagan High Rim Trail 50K : Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park – Oyama (Philpot Road off of Highway #33)
  • 1st: Aaron Heidt 6:12 (7 November 2009)*
  • Fastest Female:__________
Slocan Valley Rail Trail: 50K: Slocan – Slocan Junction Route

  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Stanley Park Seawall, Vancouver

  • most continuous laps (male): __________
  • most continuous laps (female): __________
Stein Valley Trail: 95K: Fraser River (Lytton) – Lizzie Lake
  • 1st: Frank Wolf & Kevin Vallely & Nicky Hastings 30:00 (August 2000)
  • Fastest Males: Pat Walsh, Randy Rankin, Neil Ambrose  27:30 (August 2006)
  • Fastest Female:__________
Sunshine Coast Trail: 178K: Sarah Point – Saltery Bay, Sunshine Coast 
  • 1st: Ean Jackson: 23:50 (3-4 July 2004)*
  • Fastest Female:__________
Trans-Canada Trail
  • longest continuous run (male): __________
  • longest continuous run (female): __________
Vancouver Island: VI Spine: 700K: North Coast-South Coast: 

 

 

  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
Vancouver Island: West Coast-East Coast
  • 1st: ________________
  • Fastest Male: ____________
  • Fastest Female:__________
West Coast Trail: 75K: Port Renfrew (west shore, Gordon River) – Pacheena Bay trailhead, Bamfield, Vancouver Island
  • 1st: ______ & ______ (“two servicemen”: who?) 18 hours (some time before September 1983): ##
  • Fastest: 1. Gary Robbins 10:08 (4 August 2010); 2. Frank Wolf & Kevin Vallely 10:13 (24 July 1997) ##
  • Fastest Female:__________
West Coast Trail & Juan de Fuca Trail: 130K: Pacheena Bay trailhead, Bamfield – Jordan River, Vancouver Island
  • 1st: Gary Robbins 23:40 (4 August 2007)* ##
  • Fastest Female:__________

 

24-Hour Relay (Easter Seals, Central Park, Burnaby)

  • Farthest distance: Glenn Pace 109.2K (20 June 2009) ##
  • Farthest Female:__________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

British Columbia Runner Ultra Milestones*

 

100-time ultra finishers  (and first race and  #100 race names and dates)

  • Ryne Melcher: 140 (June 2010) 1st: Make-A-Wish 25-hour April 1995;  100th: Run for the Toad 50k October 2005
  • Gail Forshaw: 121 (June 2010) 1st: Knee Knacker July 1991; 100th: Diez Vista, April 2007
  • Karl Jensen:  133 (June 2010) 1st: Sri Chinmoy 50M March 1992; 100th: Diez Vista 50K April 2008
  • Gail Bazely: 121 (June 2010)
  • Lori Alexander: 114 (June 2010)
  • Moe Boileau: 109 (June 2010)
  • Brian VanOene: 108 (June 2010)
  • Gilles Barbeau: 106 (June 2010) 1st: Kneeknacker June 1999; 50th: Haney to Harrison 2007; 100th: North Shore Enduro 50K May 2009
  • Ean Jackson: 100 (June 2010) 1st: Ultraman Hawaii June 1990; 100th: New Year’s Day Fatass 50K January 2010

50-time ultra finishers (and first race and #50 race names and dates)

  • Bruce Grant
  • Matt Sessions ?
  • Rob Lang ?
  • Sally Marcellus ?
  • Ron Adams ?
  • Al Harman ?
  • Barry Hopkins ?
  • Rob Grant ?
  • John Machray ?
  • Bill Dagg ?
  • George Forshaw: 82 (June 2010) 1st: Knee Knacker in July 1991;50th: _______
  • Rick Arikado: 1st: Knee Knacker 50K July 1992; 50th: Knee Knacker 50K July 2008
  • Glenn Pace: 1st: Knee Knacker 50K, July 2002; 50th: Frosty Mountain 50K, Sept 2009
  • Neil Ambrose 1st: Diez Vista April 2004; 50th: Vancouver 100 January 2010
  • David Crerar: 1st: Dirty Duo 50K March 2003; 50th: Orcas Island 50K, February 2010

50-time 100-mile ultra finishers  (and first race and #50 race names and dates)

 

20-time 100-mile ultra finishers  (and first race and #20 race names and dates)

 

  • Karl Jensen: 1st: Western States June 1993; 20th: Bighorn June 2005
  • Gilles Barbeau: 1st: Western States June 2006; 20th: Stormy August 2009

 

* Entirely honour system, but recommended criteria and definitions of ultra races (no counting training runs, private runs, flash events, non-race adventure runs, treadmill runs, imaginary runs, splitting a 100 miler into two ultras, pacing duties, almost-there DNFs, long bike rides, watching movies about ultras, etc.) can be found at: http://www.marathonmaniacs.com/faq_criteria.html

Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks: Trail Running Logistical Notes

Many of us have enjoyed the glorious trail running in the Grand Canyon. Further sublime running adventures await nearby, at the cost of a cheap flight to Vegas. They are closer to Vegas, and also more runnable than the Grand Canyon.Zion and Bryce Canyon lend themselves well to a joint running adventure: one drives through Zion NP (about 2.5 hours from Las Vegas) to reach Bryce Canyon NP (about 4 hours from Las Vegas). In other words, they are even closer to Las Vegas than the Grand Canyon.  From the area, Escalante NP, Coral Reef NP, Grand Canyon NP, and Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park are also well accessible.From Las Vegas, the drive is short and simple: NE on Highway 15 towards St. George, then E on Highway 9 to Springdale, at the entrance to Zion: about two-and-a-half hours.  Then through the impressive 1930 Zion-Mt Carmel Tunnel to US89 and E of Highway 12 to Bruce Canyon: 1.5 hours more. I visited Bryce Canyon first, to lessen the final day’s drive back to the airport.

General tip: Buy a National Park Annual Pass ($80) for unlimited access to both parks. It will easily pay for itself over a 5-day holiday.

But if you are stingy:

  • you can access (legally) the Bryce Canyon trails for free by parking at the Fairyland Parking Lot and running into the park.
  • you can readily walk or shuttle into Zion Park from Springdale and then take the inner-park shuttle.

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is famed for its madly coloured hoodoos.  It is a narrow north-south park. The main accommodations are found at Bryce Canyon City, at its north end. Tropic, 10 minutes to the east, has several inexpensive accommodation options.

 

Trans-Bryce Epic Run

For a 40 mile ultra run, run from the south end of the canyon (actually an escarpment) from Rainbow Point (S) to Fairyland Point (N), mostly via the Under the Rim Trail. This epic traverse can be shortened or lengthened by running or skipping the southern Riggs Spring (6.9M) and Fairyland (5.5M) Loops.  The full traverse will bring you up to the rim three times (Bryce Point, Sunrise Point, and Fairyland Point). But the climbs are not severe and the route is generally very runnable (although you will want to slow down to admire the scenery).

After completing the Under the Rim Trail, from Bryce Point, descend into the Bryce Amphitheatre, the famed scenic epicenter of the park. Go down the east side of the Peekaboo Loop. Then follow the sign towards the Navajo Loop. Then take the Queen’s Garden Trail up to Sunrise Point.

Bryce does not have the same extensive shuttle system as does Zion. Unless you have two cars at your disposal, you will want to park one car at Fairyland Trailhead and hire a local person to drop you off at Rainbow Point (Mark 435 616 8767).

 

Shorter runs: Bryce Canyon’s several loop trails lend themselves well to shorter trail runs.  Riggs Spring, Peekaboo Loop, and Fairyland Loop are all superb trail runs of less than 7 miles, and all bring you back to your car.

Note that Bryce’s high altitude (9115 feet at Rainbow Point) means that snow may persist until late May (as it did on my holiday, thus requiring the snipping of the Riggs Spring Loop) and your breath may be short.

Rest Day: For your recovery day, walk the Navajo Loop, returning up via the Queen’s Garden Trail: mind-blowing hoodoo glory. Go early, to avoid the crowds.

Visit Bryce Lodge but avoid its mediocre and overpriced restaurant. A good pizza shop is found at Tropic.

 

Zion

Zion NP requires a reconceptualization from Bryce and Grand Canyon NPs. The heart of the park (with road, lodge, and access to Springdale) is on the valley floor, with the trails mentioned below on the heights above. And the Rim trails mentioned below only follow the valley rim at the end: the greater part of the journey is running to the rim, and then down into the valley.

Springdale is the gateway to Zion, and the only real place to stay.  Springdale is along a 1K stretch of road; almost everything is walkable and addresses are unnecessary.  Springdale has several inexpensive motels, as well as a superb restaurant (Whiptail Grill, towards the north end of the city, near the park entrance) and a good coffee shop open at 6:30 am (the Frontier Lodge, in the heart of the town). Flanigan’s Inn, across the street from the Whiptail Grill, has sports massage treatments.

It is scorching in June, July and August. The best month to go is probably September, when it is less hot, and the Virgin River is low enough to hike the 16M Narrows Hike, mostly waded through the river: one of the most beautiful hikes in the world. When I visited in late May, the river was too high, too rapid, and too in risk of flash floods to permit this hike.

You could readily walk into Zion Park from Springdale, but a regular free shuttle bus will take you there. No cars are permitted in the heart of Zion Canyon (Floor of the Valley Road), but frequent shuttle buses bring tourists to and from the Visitor Centre to and from various points along the canyon.  The system works very well.

Many trails start from the car-free Virgin River Floor of the Valley Road. For remote trailheads, unless you have two cars, you will need a shuttle (Zion Adventure Company 435-772-1001 and other companies). Be sure to pick up the Zion Adventure Company’s superb trail map.

 

 

Zion Traverse Epic Run

For an epic ultrarunning adventure, one can do the 47 Mile Zion Traverse, from Lee’s Pass in the NW to the East Gate in the SE. You can probably book into an early shuttle (at a cheaper rate ($35) than a private shuttle ($70-90)) to Lee’s Pass and run back to the canyon, and then ascend and run back to the East Gate.  Running NW to SE is net downhill, and provides for the less technical and less scenic stretches at the end.

Although the East Gate seems far on the map, you can readily hitchhike to and from East Gate from the Zion-East Gate Junction: there is only one road and most drivers past that point are amiable outdoors types. It is probably illegal to do so, so you received no encouragement to do so from here. In other words, you likely do not need to book a shuttle at the end of the run (a logistical concern that turned me off a Trans-Zion Run but one that turned out to be unwarranted),

The Zion Traverse is impressive, but somewhat artificial, defined by the park boundaries: it requires a long run from the NW, a descent into the canyon, a jog along the road, an ascent of the east canyon wall and then gentle run to the end along the East Rim Trail. Its scenery defies a hell-bent speed run.

A better option is to make one day a west side exploration day, and the other day an east side exploration day.

 

East Side

For the East side, take the shuttle bus from the Zion Visitor Centre to the Junction stop. Hitchhike a ride through the tunnel to the East gate, where the East Rim Trail trailhead is located. The East Rim trail is very runnable: not a mountain climb you might imagine, but a gentle wide path leading to a mesa above the canyon. From there, you can do any number of three trails leading to three different but all spectacular views of the canyon below: (from west to east): Deer Trap Mountain (5.2 additional miles), Cable Mountain (3.6 additional miles), and Observation Point (3.8 additional miles). Do one or all, depending on your pep, and return to the main East Rim Trail to take you back to the canyon floor. From there, take a shuttle bus back to the Visitor Centre.  If you do all of the hikes above on one adventure, it is about 24.8 miles.

Water: In the middle of the hike, at at the junction of the East Rim Trail with the Deer Trap Mountain/Cable Mountain Trails is a spring: as you will pass by this point twice, you will likely have ample water for the entire adventure.
West Side

For the West Side, you can do a 35 Mile traverse from Kolob (Lee’s Pass) back to the Virgin Canyon and park shuttle buses via the West Rim Trail (book a private shuttle to Lee’s Pass) or do a shorter 14M run along just the West Rim Trail back to the Virgin Canyon (book a private shuttle to the trailhead at Lava Point).

You could in theory hitchhike to either of those trailheads but they are far and off the highway, and early morning traffic may be scarce.

The Kolob Traverse is epic, taking you through the distinct zones of the red mammoth Kolob/Verikin Valley, the verdant Hop Valley, the scrubby connector trails, and the sublime highland and canyon-cut trails of the West Rim Trail.

On this trail you should take the extra 1.5 mile side trip to see Kolob Arch, the second-longest arch in the world.

And on this trail, or on the shorter variant of the West Rim Trail, you should climb Angel’s Landing, a vertigo-inducing climb only partly leavened by guide chains.  The views of Zion Canyon are stunning.
The West Rim Trail ends at The Grotto shuttle bus stop. Soak your legs in the Virgin River while waiting for the bus.

Water: It is critical to plan ahead for water on the west side Kolob-Virgin River Traverse. There is no drinkable water in Hop Valley, in the middle of the hike, so you should load up with lots of water at Beatty Springs, just after the crossing of the Verikin River. The next drinkable water is 15 miles away, at Blue Creek, at the head of Wildcat Canyon, near the Lava Point trailhead of the West Rim Trail.

There are several water sources along the West Rim Trail at regular intervals: Sawmill Springs, Potato Hollow, and West Rim (Cabin) Spring.

Weather: The Kolob and Hop Valley trails are unfun mudbaths during or after a rainstorm. The West Rim Trail is almost wholly exposed and should not be run during a lightning storm. Angel’s Landing should not be climbed in lightning or rain.

Rest Day: For your recovery day, hike the impressive Hidden Canyon hike from the Weeping Rock shuttle stop: a chained hike leading to a hanging canyon high above the valley. Hike beyond the end of the official trail to see bizarre red-streaked eroded cliffs and a mini-arch.  The short trek up to Weeping Rock, from the same trail, is also worth the trip.

 

Resources

BRYCE

http://www.irunfar.com/2010/09/trail-running-in-bryce-canyon-national-park.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG-oqbnvYVc&feature=related
ZION

http://www.citrusmilo.com/zionguide/transziontrek.cfm

http://www.irunfar.com/2010/06/destination-dirt-zion-national-park.html 

http://zionadventures.com/ZBlog/znp/go-to-trail-running-routes-in-and-around-zion-national-park/

http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-west-rim-trail.htm

http://www.wildernessrunning.com/index.php?page=pure-zion-2009

www.youtube.com/watch

www.youtube.com/watch

Howe Sound Crest Trail: on the Glorious Fifth (of September)

As a multi-day heavy-pack hike, HSCT is a nasty multi-hump-backed monster.

As a peak bagging adventure artery, it is essential.

As a trail run, it is spectacular. There are few finer trial-running stretches than the single-track swoosh down from Hat Pass to Deeks Lake, past azure lakes, waterfalls, giant trees, and glorious peaks.

One tip: old HSCT goes down, down, down, east of St David Peak, descending towards a lake, and losing and gaining almost as much elevation of would be done via the peak itself). Surely more interesting to go over St David Peak, along the new route? If you are heading N-S, pay attention at the mini-meadow at the foot of the Harvey clearcut (presently a glorious food bar of all varieties of blueberries): the trail splits between the two options (with the St David Peak path, right, being the more obscure one). Heading S-N you also have to be on your toes: at a small tarn, do not follow the dominant (old) path, but look up for a narrow but obvious trail (with flags) heading up.

Lions (L); St James Peak (M); St David Peak (R)

Kelowna Runs

If you find yourself in Kelowna in business, carless, as I found myself recently, you can seek solace in some very decent urban runs. Most of you will know about these already, but I didn’t, so here you are for future reference:

  1. Knox Mountain Park

    About 5 minutes north of the Kelowna downtown core, this hill reserve is covered in trails of various steepness and length, most providing a pretty skookum view of the city, lake, and environs. http://www3.telus.net/fkmp/img/trail_map.jpg
  1. Mission Creek Greenway

    The Mission Creek Greenway trail starts about 30 minutes run south of downtown Kelowna, near the Manteo Resort on Lakeshore Road, and follows meandering Mission Creek. The trail is well marked, with several map kiosks and kilometer markers every half-kilometre. It is a well-groomed 16.5K gravel trail of two distinct characters. The first 7.5K, Lakeshore Road to Ziprick Road, is flat: http://www.greenway.kelowna.bc.ca/TrailmapPh1.html . Phase II, beyond Ziprick Road, is still being polished, and takes you through forests and valleys, and up ridges:http://www.greenway.kelowna.bc.ca/TrailmapPh2.html . It does not take long to feel that you are well out of the city, as neighbourhoods are replaced with farms and grasslands. Pleasant bridges cross the creek and the views are very agreeable.  If you closed your eyes, the Kelowna terrain could remind you of parts of the Western States route. The downside is that if you find yourself at the end of the trail at sundown, as did I, the eastern terminus is a good ways from the city: expect a $30 cab ride back. http://www.greenway.kelowna.bc.ca/