Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Friday, April 16, 2010

British Columbia Pictures

Pictures from April running trips between Vancouver & Whistler. Stanley Park in Vancouver was a great accessible park in the middle of the city with huge old growth trees. It poured on me at Lynn Canyon, north of Vancouver & was my least favorite run of the trip, but I felt rushed, Wren & Jennifer got lost and the trail was flooded. North to Whistler was absolutely beautiful! We had considered cutting this part of the trip because the weather was supposed to be bad, but it was the best part and the weather was great.

I intentionally didn't plan a running route for the day in Squamish because I knew the weather may dictate where I could and couldn't run. Quite a bit of snow at high elevations. Coming into town, there was a huge rock face- Stawamus Chief. Apparently, it's the world's 2nd largest granite monolith. I asked a woman at our hotel where would be a good, picturesque place to get a challenging 2-3 hour run in. She suggested "The Chief." Run? She must've been joking. The Chief tried to kill me.

I woke up before the sun came up and it had just risen when I looked at the park sign. "Let's see, the 3rd peak is the highest and longest trail. That should be the best one. Then, I can add on with other trails." I knew it would be difficult, but sheesh! Trail up is only 1.8K (just over a mile) but has 800m of vertical climb. Math & science whiz Mr. Jeff Wnek tells me that's 26.4% grade. It was also over some very unfriendly boulders and, after I got about half way up, over 2" of snow. I kept climbing & climbing and knew coming back down, scaling rocks in the snow was going to be impossible. I was also running out of time from when I told Jennifer to expect me. I turned around at what I imagine was about 20 minutes from the top and I heard the view from 3rd peak isn't that great anyway. It took me 20 minutes longer getting down than it did to climb up. I ran almost none of this trail. Impossible. Had a great time though!

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