Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Hello from Kamloops

Hello from Kamloops, BC! Well actually hello from Sun Peaks Resort (50 miles North of Kamloops. Sun Peaks is the location for this years Raid the North 36 Hour Adventure Race. Because we had so much fun in last years race (sans Grizzly Bear bluff charge and the 500 lbs boulder that almost killed us) we are back to see if we can once again bring home the victory. This years team is comprised of Glenn Rogers, Ryan Fleming, a new girl I’ve never met but is supposed to be super duper Patricia Williams, and myself. Note: no actual Canadians. Last year I had 3 of them to race with. The race starts Friday at midnight.. I can’t wait.

No really I can’t wait… so I left Seattle on Sunday and drove to Kamloops in the VW. Monday I tried to climb up through the resorts trails on my bike to the top of Mount Tod at 7,060 feet. But “the man” stopped me. Even after offering to sign the liability waver and promising to stay on dirt roads that no one rides down – no dice, pay up or get out! So I spent the next 4 hours exploring some legal trails on my bike and ended up getting a pretty good climb in and seeing lots of cows (and cow patties). After dinner I ended the day with a short trail run before it got too dark.

Yesterday was more of the same.
Found my way out to McGilivery lake and wanted more. So I followed this forest service road for what seemed like days down hill. After passing through a saddle I could now see on the other side this untamed amazing lake. On the other side of this lake was mountain, with a trail cut into it’s side all the way to it’s top. I was enticed to descent even further to find this trail and climb that mountain. I hadn’t thought about how I was just miraculously going to find this trail once I was down there without the birds eye view. Well I couldn’t. I got to the end of the forest service road and had no idea what to do. Without a map I was lost and had to play it safe. So back up I went for two solid hours of climbing in the heat. No run on this day.. I’m supposed to be tapering.

Today I took care of errands and didn’t really feel like riding or running. I’m trying to listen to my body more, so I took it as a sign to take a rest day. Got my Turner Nitrous setup and dialed in for the race, contacted Geoff Langford (Raid the North race director) about when to help him stuff nuun in the race bags.

Then a little angel came to see me.
A super cool Canadian mtn biker stopped by my van as I was working on my bikes and said “you want a ticket, we’re leaving and won’t be using it”. I’m familiar with this type of activity from years of skiing and biking at Whistler. You CAN’T walk away from that ski area without a 17 year old dude asking to clip your ticket. I usually feel bad for them, and let them get the last few hours of skiing in on my dime – I’m not using it. I know the tickets are not transferable, blah, blah.. but they are damn expensive and I’ve been in brosephs shoes before – hell I’m in them now. With that said I would never ask to clip someone’s ticket. I prefer to skin up, run up or climb up on my bike while they aren’t looking. I’m not using their lift, why do I need to buy a lift ticket? But today, this dude asks me if want his ticket and he hands it to me. Well I can’t pass this up even if there is only enough time for one more run. Now keep in mind this is a freeride mtn bike park, they ride bikes with 6” of travel, in full body armor and full face helmets. Their bikes aren’t meant to be ridden up hill. I have a XC race bike. But I do find a more XC option and have a blast tearing downhill without having to earn it.

Now back at the van I feel like I need more. I decided for a little run, and promise myself I’ll only run to the top of the lift which is a 1,900 foot climb. I now had a ticket if they tried to stop me right? With about 2.5 hrs of light left the resort is technically closed but as long as I take the right trails up, no one will see me. From 4,100 feet I get to the top of the lift at 6,070 in :55 mins. Not bad at a steady pace, but not too much effort, remember I’m tapering. From there I figure I have to go the next bit higher because it’s called the “Top of the World” and the sun is setting and I want a photo from the top of the world. It’s actually the top of the ski resort at 6,824 feet. Another :25 mins and I’m at the top of the world taking a photo. Great, however the second highest mtn in this range, Mount Tod (pictured) at 7,060 feet is right behind me just another 200 feet higher and a few miles away. So I press on for the summit as the sun is setting. The loop I took actually drops to Tod lake first, so the climb was another 500 feet probably.
I get to the top with enough light to take this photo in 2:02, not bad having to navigate and take photos. The way down is where it gets interesting cause it’s getting dark but I don’t want to stop and get the headlamp out of my backpack.. I’m also freaking myself out about Bears. So I ran in the dark for about an hour, whistling to myself to scare the bears away, and singing songs about the trails at the top of my lungs. I made it down in 3:32 – now I’m tapering. Tomorrow, clean the bike up, little run, little ride, meet up with the team – that’s it I swear. Next blog will be about Raid the North 36 hour!

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