Done Like Dinner

I don’t usually look forward to tapers, but this time around I am ready.  I’ve been doing a really good job of beating myself up over the last few weeks and my legs are ready for a break.  Also, my house is a mess and it could use some TLC.

This past weekend was my last weekend of heavy training so I wanted to make it count.  For Saturday’s long run I recruited Leo and Bruce to join me for a run into Assiniboine.  The route is relatively flat and incredibly scenic after the first 10km so it met all the requirements for a good long run.

Unfortunately it was stupid hot so the pace wasn’t quite as steady as I had planned, but the cloudless sky, endless wildflowers and deep blue lakes more than made up for it.  The relaxed pace meant that I didn’t feel at all guilty when we took a 30 minute break to drink a beer at the base of Mt Assiniboine.  Beer is $7 from the Assiniboine Lodge, but it is the best $7 you’ve ever spent.

Pics in random order:

Cooling off at Big Springs

 

So many Indian Paintbrush, I was in heaven 🙂

Marvel Lake – no filters on any of these pics

 

Near the top of Wonder Pass

 

On top of Wonder Pass, looking towards Alberta

  

Best beer ever

Top of Wonder Pass, looking towards BC

 

The snow was a life-saver!

 

Cresting the switchbacks, Marvel Lake below

  
  
I followed up Saturday’s run with a solo outing in the Highwood area.

I didn’t have the best planning for this  run/hike:

I slept in, didn’t research the route before-hand, and began my run during the heat of the day.  I chose my route by perusing through the Kananaskis Trails app on my phone.  A loop route was outlined from Mt Lipsett to Mist Mountain.  The trail was 10km-ish with lots of elevation gain, exactly what I was looking for!

I found the trail for Mt Lipsett easily, but it soon veered off from the map on my phone.  I spoke with some hikers who assured me I was on the right trail so I ignored my map and just followed the obvious trail.  The route up Mt Lipsett is very gentle with long switchbacks so I found myself running up the mountain instead of the power-hiking I was expecting.  As I climbed, more and more wildflowers began to appear.  With each switchback a new colour would dominate.  It was amazing!

It was hot and I was dripping sweat.  I had brought nearly 2 litres of water but I drank most of it before I reached the summit of Lipsett.  Thankfully there were a few snowdrifts to help me keep my cool.

Red, followed by…

 

Pale yellow, followed by

Bright yellow and purple, and my first patch of snow!

 
    

Summit view on Lipsett

The adventurous portion of this outing happened when I turned to head up to Mist Mountain.  There was no visible trail but I decided to trust the map on my phone to help me find the way.  Long story short, Mist Mountain is a VERY big mountain (10 075ft above sea level) and the route that I wound up taking was very scrambly.  An hour or so later, I finally reached the summit.  It was well worth the effort.

The route down was straight forward on good trail.  The entire outing took just over 4hrs for 16km, and I accidentally got above 10 000ft for the first time this year!

Sorry, these pics are in reverse order:

Down route through the snow, which I’m sure was much easier than the scree

 

Awkward selfie on the summit

Mt Lipsett looks like a small hill below.

 

I scrambled up that for an hour. Route finding was ‘interesting’

 

Looking down on Lipsett from just below the scramble section.

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