Sunday, September 16, 2012

Frosty Mountain Trail Run

Saturday was the Frosty Mountain Trail Run which has three events: 50km, 27km and 13km. It is held at Manning Park - one of my favourite parks in all seasons! Craig arrived to carpool with us at 6:45 am. It was a beautiful morning, not a cloud in the sky and a warm one too. The fun car set off determined to get there on time this year. (Last year we were late!). Craig and I convinced Neil we had time to stop at Tim Hortons in Abbotsford for some coffee and breakfast for Craig. We arrived in Manning Park with plenty of time to spare. It is about 200km and takes us aprox 2 hours from our house. Last year I think we had the start time wrong.

 All three of us were signed up for the 27km. Neil's legs were still a bit tired from his 20 hour outing last weekend so he was quite fine to hang with me for the journey. It is a tough trail run which goes up to 9,000 feet with a net elevation gain of 4,000 feet. This year near the top of the climb there were a few people not doing very well - headaches, vertigo, nausea, exhaustion - get down as fast as you can were my words of advice. We moved swiftly over the top stopping just for a brief moment to enjoy the incredible views. Once over the top it is very rough and takes you down a steep scree slope. Eventually the trail becomes runnable and it is a nice downhill all the way to the finish. Gottfried does a great job of hosting this event in such a beautiful location with plenty of food and prizes. We always enjoy hanging out on the grass at the end relaxing in the tranquil of Lightning Lakes in the shadow of the mountains.
 Working my way up...
 Reagan White on his way up - WOW it really is super steep!
 I made it!
 Heading back down...careful!
And the highlight of the day...Craig came first in his age category (50-59) ;-)
He was also recognized for the only person to do every Frosty event for the last five years. The prize for first place in his age category was a bottle of Gottfried's wine with a label on it that says Frosty Mountain Trail Run - 1st! That's a keeper!
Today we did a 3 hour bike ride on the Pitt Meadows dykes. It was another spectacular and warm day. 29 degrees out our way.
 From 9,000 feet to sea level along the Pitt Meadows Dykes.
 Plenty of boat activity in the Pitt River.
Nice Ride!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Day of Crewing for Cove2Cove

This weekend Neil had been invited to participate in a small group adventure travelling from Porteau Cove to Deep Cove totalling 82km on rough mountainous terrain. I'm sure there will be a report of the journey from one or several of the participants - this is just a few highlights from a crew's view of the day. The real stories lie with them!
The Start at Porteau Cove
After waving them off I passed them on the Sea to Sky Highway where they were running to the trail head.
After seeing them off I met up with Wendy and Craig for a Bag of the Suicide Bluffs via Dog Mountain in the Seymour Area. It was a very warm and humid day.
Craig telling Wendy about the Cathedral trip.
Craig on the Top of Cathedral!
Wendy and I at the top of one of the Suicide Bluffs. Craig was in a hurry as he had a 4 pm commitment. We did our best to move swiftly to prevent him from being late!
View from the Cypress Mountain Lookout on the way up the mountain for our first crewing spot.
Another view from the Cypress Lookout - the sun is starting to set for the day.
Here's a couple of photos of the terrain they were travelling on. The Lions.
On the way from the Lions to Unnecesary Mountain.
Fuzzy photo, but the lights from the Day Lodge from the crew spot at Cypress.
The bugs were horrendous early on but once the sun set and I soaked myself in Deet they settled down. I was joined by Spencer who set off to meet them along the trail. I was alone in the dark for a bit with a pile of food/aide. Of course my imagination ran wild as I start hearing and seeing bears in all directions! I called Helen - where are you? I was pleased to be joined by Michael followed shortly by Helen.
Runners with head lamps approaching Cypress at aprox 9 pm. Their spirits were good but 2 of the seven decided to call it a night. It had been a very warm day and very little water along the route and some were quite dehydrated. Next crewing stop Cleveland Dam.
We had a nice gathering of crew at Cleveland. Wendy arrived first after me and very kindly did a Pizza and water run. Although we were not expecting him as we heard he was tucked up in his bed, Ean joined us after riding the Grand Fondo from Vancouver to Whistler earlier in the day, Wendy, Helen, Adrian and Michael, Ean and I all gathered with anticipation of the arrival of the runners. They runners arrived in good spirits with the expected level of tiredness after travelling for more than 12 hours on a very technical trail. The pizza and ice cold Gatorade never tasted so good so they all exclaimed! Michael's ice cold Gatorade, slightly diluted hit the spot. One of the runners decided to stop here. Now they were down to 4! Neil was one of the 4 remaining who carried on with an expectation to finish in Deep Cove Sunday afternoon. We waived them off from Cleveland around 12:30 AM. It took us a bit of time to clean up, pack up the gear and send out some email updates before departing for our beds. 
Julia and David kindly offered me a bed instead of driving back and forth to Maple Ridge. Glenn offered for me to join him to bike in 10 km to provide aide at LSCR at 7 AM. I was looking forward to the 20 km ride. I set my alarm for an early rise but didn't really sleep well - checking my iPhone for messages. I was a little worried knowing the rough terrain they were about to undertake in the dark. I met up with Glenn at 6:45 AM after a quick trip to the Lynn Valley Starbucks. Glenn had 2 bikes ready to go and he was pulling a wagon full of aide supplies including a few special treats.  

We set off and had been riding for about 10 minutes when my cell phone rang - it was Neil. Cell reception was scarce and it took a few tries to connect but I could make out that they were stopping at Lynn Headwaters and Glenn and I were not to ride the 10km in (they would not be there!) They caught us just in time as we were about to enter an area of no cell service for hours. Glenn and I retraced our ride back to his house, enjoyed a coffee with the family as they awoke and then proceeded to Lynn Headwaters to pick Neil and team up as they made their way out from Norvan Falls. As we drove in the parking lot Neil came running in like he had just been out for a morning run (not the 20 hours he had just completed!) The others appeared looking pretty good but the group decided they had all had enough. They completed 61 km in 20 hours - testament to how hard of a journey they had just completed on very tough terrain! Well done everyone - another great adventure for all!
The final 4 (Ryan, Neil, Ken and Jacquie) at the waters edge in Deep Cove.