March 12-14: Sulphur x2, Heart Mountain & Lady Mac

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Overlooking Banff’s Massive Range from Sulphur Mountain’s upper gondola terminal

 Last week ushered in springlike temperatures in the Bow Valley, allowing me to strip off the leggings and try my hand at a couple different — variably slushy or icy — front range mountains.

The week began with my first time doing repeat runs up Sulphur Mountain (37km, ~2000m vertical) and my first outing wearing shorts this season! I’ve long seen Sulphur X2 as a fairly gnarly training day but both climbs were super easy and neither was any worse than the other. The stellar weather also let me to test out gear donated by Lululemon Athletica Banff for my go at Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc’s CCC this summer. Loving the superlight fabrics of the Metal Vent Tech and Surge Short, closest thing to running in a loincloth possible. And running in a loincloth is my life goal 😐

Looking over the top of Mount Lady Macdonald at a huge drainage notorious for flooding the town of Canmore last spring.

Thursday and Friday after my Sulphur repeat, I had some spare time to run/scramble — and I really just can’t help myself — so I hit up a couple of dry, windblown front range peaks. Thursday consisted of a 6km/800m jaunt up Heart Mountain bordering the prairies; Friday was a 10km/1250m ascent of Mount Lady Macdonald overlooking Canmore. Although free from deep snow, I found the trails on each incredibly icy due to recent melting during the day and freezing during the night. The clear, slick water-ice emphasized the dullness of my Microspikes and my need to seek out a file and sharpen those bad boys up. Goddamn shoulder seasons, first gnawing apart my YakTrax and now dulling my Microspikes…

All in all, last week I did four mountain runs in three days, back to back to back (to back). I ran about 53 kilometres and ascended over 4000 metres. Like I said, when conditions are prime, I just can’t help myself.

Ridge leading to the true summit of Lady Mac. Might give it a couple weeks before I give this a try…
Witnessed avalanche control on the east end of Mount Rundle while paying for coffee in the drive-through.
March 12-14: Sulphur x2, Heart Mountain & Lady Mac

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