There’s nothing I love more than adventuring in the backcountry, whether on a destination run like a double-crossing of the Grand Canyon , a circumnavigation of Mt. Rainier, or something closer to home. While I try to travel fast and light, there are some things I won’t leave home without to make sure I’m also being safe.
Our local North Shore Rescue has a great list of the 10 essentials, but do the same rules apply to trail runners? Let’s review these items first and then I’ll tell you a little story.
After getting injured during the race last year, my goal for the 2015 Diez Vista 50k was nothing short of redemption. For me, this would mean improving my time by at least 5 minutes to finish well under 5 hours and, if possible, to finish in the top 5.
Heavy rains in the two weeks leading up to the race resulted in flooding along the West side of Buntzen Lake, forcing the closure of a key trail and the floating bridge used during the race. The hope had been that BC Hydro, who maintain the trails around the reservoir, would be able to restore water levels in time. But in the days leading up the race, the organizers had to make the difficult decision to re-route the course. This would make it close to the rerouted course from 2011 after similar flooding, with the addition of one other trail that had since been opened which would allow us to avoid a section of paved road.
I’d never finished an ultra feeling like I had really left it all out there and, given the last minute course change adding almost an extra 3k and more elevation, I decided to throw my splits out the window, caution to the wind, and to run with heart instead of head.
The Annapurna Circuit is a trek in central Nepal that climbs to an altitude of 5,400m through Thorung La pass, one of the highest trekking passes in the world, below peaks that rise 6000-8000m in elevation from the Annapurna Range.
We attempted to complete the trek in about 15 days starting mid-December of 2013, when the shoulder season promised much smaller crowds but with it a risk of deep snow that early winter can bring to the Pass.