In the whole month of February, I went outside to play on 5 of the 28 days – this dismal count was due to being sick, and also being a bit down. So instead I spent some time with the treadmill (224km) and kept to my bed. My 5 days were spent as such: my running partner and I did Glenmore Reservoir and Fish Creek, I walked to and from the grocery store once (yes, I’ll say that counts, ha!), and the other two days I finally got out to the mountains.
Since it’s been a while I just wanted to keep it simple. Friday after work J and I headed to Cave & Basin (C&B) with T, T who is filming some footage for a journalism school assignment, which will be a 3 minute feature on me & my running goals this summer! I don’t know who would really want to watch anything about me. If you do watch, and the footage makes the cut, you will be able to tell that the running parts from Friday night are totally staged. I’m not even dressed for running. It was icy under the bumpy snow so my footsteps are teeny tiny. I probably look a bit in need of clothes that fit. Anyway I don’t look or feel the part of a hard-core athlete. Or of any sort of athlete.
The evening was fantastic though. Crisp and sharp and fresh with a dusting of new snow. Perfect. I was reminded of why I love the mountains.
Since the filming took some time, by the time we hit the junction to Sulphur Mtn it was nearly sunset and about a half hour later, dusk came and the moon lit up the snow. We decided to turn around and headed for a dinner of beavertails (all), coffee (J and T), hot choc (me), sandwiches (J and T), and cranberry cheesecake (me, for tomorrow) in Banff. Of course during coffee we talked about everything and all the distance trails we want to do this summer and created an epic to-do list.
Breakfast of champions, cranberry cheesecake. Saturday morning I headed back to C&B the “birthplace of Canadian National Parks”. The frost from the sulphur pools was incredible! And the rare view of the garter snake at this time of the year made me feel like I’d received a favorable message from the Headmaster of Nature, or something like that.
The Sulphur Mtn junction is only 2.7km from the trailhead. Then you go up up up steadily along a now unmaintained1950s road 5.8km. The road was built to service the Cosmic Ray Station and was used until mid-1970s. So unlike most other trails, it’s wide and open and the switchbacks are few but long. There’s a view of the Sundance range and the lakes and its attendant mountains pretty much the whole way up. Unlike the gondola route on the other side of Sulphur Mtn this side is fairly quiet.
I did think about taking the gondola down and then looping around on the road. But decided to retrace my route back.