Summer in Canmore: Episode II

Wow! It has been a long stretch in Canmore this summer. My flight out West on June 28th feels like a century ago. I finally flew home to the hot sun in TBay on August 8th. I’ve done a ton of training and I am looking forward to good times on Lake Superior at my girlfriend’s camp relaxing, kayaking, cliff jumping and attempting some windsurf sessions. I’m also looking forward to saunas, swimming and BBQs at a camp my mom rented on West Loon Lake. These have been my carrots at the end of a 6-week heavy training load that I have worked hard to earn.

The first episode of “Summer in Canmore” left off at the end of the NST training camp so I’ll start there. I spent a few days post-camp hanging out at the Killick household, recovering and doing some “light” training. I put light in quotations because 4 days after the camp I was already doing running intervals with D. Kershaw. I was fortunate to be able to join up with Devon, Ivan, Graeme and Brent for some quality training before the NDC TBay crew came out. A highlight was a long run on the Alpine Circuit Trail around Lake O’hara with Devon. The scenery O’hara offers is simply breathtaking. It’s definitely worth a visit. A big thanks to the Killick family for providing me with a place to stay! Thanks to Phil Wood too for letting me borrow his Specialized Epic so I could rip up the Highline Trail.

My mom came out for a short visit and we moved into a room at the Grande Rockies. We drove into Calgary to hit up the self proclaimed “Greatest Show on Earth”, the Calgary Stampede. It’s pricey but they do have a decent spread of carnival rides and I will say this, the evening show was entertaining. From carts recklessly drifting around a dirt track behind purebred horses in the chuck wagon races to the music, dancing, flames and fireworks of the show, there was a lot going on. Another fun adventure was an afternoon hike up Hai Ling (Chinaman’s) Peak. I can definitely see why the short route with a great view of Canmore and the surrounding area is so popular now.

Some pretty exciting stuff those chuck wagon races.

Lots going on in the evening show!

My mom sitting on the ridge over looking Canmore.

The NDC Thunder Bay crew rolled into town on July 20th eager to begin a new training camp. I definitely was not feeling fresh, but the team’s energy and drive motivated me to push through it and keep working hard. We pounded out a few days of dryland training with one hard intensity and one adventure hike around Mount Yamnuska before heading up to the Haig Glacier on the 25th. Since the weekend we were on the Haig was the August long weekend we were fortunate to have one extra day at the Glacier and didn’t run out until August 2nd.

Hiking ain't no game. Here's Harry scaling the cliffside barehanded on a steel chain.

Okay, that image may have been slightly skewed. But it was a solid 40+ft drop from where we shimmied across the cliffside. Here you can see Jimmy in the centre crossing a narrow section.

Chris planking on the summit of Mount Yamnuska. One minute later lightning struck close by and we were on our hands and knees crawling off the summit. Sketchy...

With 7 full days of training at the Haig Glacier we had plenty of time to put in good quality hours on the skinny skis, compete in many Frisbee golf matches, and of course continue with our nightly dessert competition. No surprise this year, the winning dessert was sugar pie crafted from scratch by Harry and yours truly. Also, a big thanks to Rob Rupf from the Canadian Sports Centre Ontario for joining us on the Haig and providing top notch monitoring!

Putting in some kms on the Haig Glacier (photo credit: Eric Bailey)

Harry slaying some strength on the glacier. This was our ghetto version of a cable machine: rope over the chin-up bar attached to a plastic carton with rocks in it. Solid!

Post-glacier our team had two important intensity workouts to make the most of our increased red blood cells. We all pushed ourselves hard and depleted the energy stores and it felt great to finish that second intensity knowing the hard stuff was done for a little while and it was time to rest and recover. The day before we flew out of Canmore most of the team borrowed or rented mountain bikes and ripped up some serious single-track. Big thanks to our guide for the day, Mallory Deyne. She took us on an awesome route that was full of fun twisty downhill sections, some sweet ladders and a few jumps/drops. She even helped me solve the issue of getting the cleat from my bike shoe out of my pedal when the screws came loose. What a gal!

The sky is blue and it’s time for me to pack up for a weekend on the beach at Neys Provincial Park.

Over and Out