Spray river loop scenic 10 miler.

Here is a quick look at the spray river loop if you were interested in an easy , scenic 10 miler.

On the rear end of the Banff side of Rundle, behind the springs is the spray river trail. Cross the bridge behind the springs and as soon as you see the first patch of green for the golf course turn right into what looks like just trees. Behind the trees you ll see a trail and if you fail to find it that way then as soon as you cross the bridge stay to the river side as the trail follows the river.
The bow falls is seen before getting to the bridge to left of this photo. This view is called the million dollar view if seen from the rear of the Banff Springs hotel.

The trail goes up hill slightly and you will pass a bridge, but you can keep going.
Cross the second bridge , not this first one for 10 mile loop to start heading back towards the hotel on the other side of the river. If you cross this bridge like Paul is then you will cut the loop short by 5 miles. Great if you fancy a quick run or if your doing speed work.

Scenic as you like.
This is Gemma crossing the second bridge to turn right afterwards to head back down stream.
What a great place to be! Soft snow under foot and the freshest air to breathe. Cascade in the background.

50k Rundle loop challenge

We set off at a reasonable hour of what was a fresh morning in the Rockies. We headed out at a modest 8 minute mile unknowing what distance the loop was and that the complete journey could lead us up thousands of feet in elevation. The run had not been documented anywhere and the correct distance and elevation climb was difficult to work out. We started out at the North Face store on Banff Ave and headed south of the Banff Springs golf course to join the Rundle riverside trail. The trail was amazing, extremely technical and had that unique wet, fresh smell to the forest. You feel and you 'are' totally in the wild. Eventually after 10 miles the trail starts to climb as you head towards the Canmore Nordic centre. You know your there as you join the nordic skiing trails and you know your gaining elevation as the temperature drops and you begin to feel the crunch of snow beneath you. 

The first sign approaching the Nordic centre. Still quite a few miles of x country trail before getting close.
 Leaving the national park and below taking a quick fuel stop.

 Above you see Paul Wathan who runs for 'The North Face' passing through the Nordic centre.
 More enjoyable single track. What we all can agree is the best and most fun type of trail to have the pleasure to run on.
 We decided after the 16th mile that we felt great and we should try and complete the loop although this meant running UP the spray grind road. This is used for the annual Spray drag race which is held every October for the world championships. Throwing this hill in the middle of an unplanned Ultra marathon may have been ambitious, especially without poles and especially at the 8 minute mile we were still maintaining.

 We really slowed the pace down here as we knew we were committing to the entirety of this thing! We finally made it to the top of mountain road and continued on the gravel track to the start of the goat creek trail. We were excited about getting back on the trail, but we were in for a slightly disappointing surprise.

 The trail was deep in snow!! Not the nice dry kind that you can run in!! It had started to melt causing slush and sticky mud, making running much tougher than it should be. The Snow really took its toll on us and I think the pace we maintained didnt help either! We hit marathon distance in under 4 hours, which considering terrain and elevation was amazing.

We suffered and begun to struggle into 49k as we were beaten to death by the mud and snow and so we walked the last few hundred meters to the Springs and felt pleased that we had completed something so random and challenging. We had completed the loop in 4:22:27 to be precise with 4300 climbed! Job well done and wonder if there is a record time? or is this it?

A road trip!

 Picked up Adam from Calgary and showed him about Banff!
 Getting on the Canadian vibe!
Good friends re-united. Get loose.

Kristens fault we got smashed last night, now to road trip!!

 Next morning after A wild night out including bands and jugs we set off..
 First lifts..

 Hiking for some freshies!
 Absorbing the fresh air of the Rockies before dropping..
 Pretty grim nose grab out of the up pipe and we re on our way to Fernie to see Charlie!

 Radium, BC
 Last time Id been here was riding a bike.. Long road.
 We arrive in BC, and there appears to be no snow?
 Draining the good guy...
 Mighty Sunfire still killing it after 30,000k for $1000. Below is Fairmont hoodoos.
 Hey ladies sorry but we re taken.. Fun times in Fernie as usual!

Bad move at the end of a big night.

 Approaching trains.. get off the tracks time.

 Munch! Bloody good day!

Day 3;

 Despite there being no dump at Fernie we rode and it was amazing fun still. Blue skies and some sections of powder still! Fun times riding with Adam and Charlie.

 Charlie doing some blipping
 Adam searching for fresh in the trees. There was some to be had! Not masses, but enough for pleasure.
 Fun people.
 Head R back upto Banff and get some kip before hitting the Lake again and staying with Lee. Defo more winter in Alberta. Thats what we needed so thats what we d get.
 Canal flats
 Big dog. ?
And back towards the winter!

Day 4:

 Ready for travel.
 Also ready for departure. Round 2.
 Lake Louise.
 Putting down the good stuff!
 Healthy living.
 Vis better on frontside.
 Draining the big guy.
 Its always winter in Lake Louise! Yay for Alberta.
 This guys getting some issues receiving am radio.
 The Lake, clearly still winter.

 We went out the stables bar for trivia night and I failed.

Retards. Back to Lees to play pass the Dj.

Day 5:
We awoke to a big dump. Not poo, but snow.

 The car had a bit of fresh on it so we knew the alpine was gonna be epic.
 So we had to decide to drive to Kicking Horse where it was also supposed to have dumped, but we could stay at Lake Louise where we know its going to be amazing?

So we risked it and typically the further we got away from the Lake the less snow there was, this seems to always be the way.

 BUt when we got up there was at least 20cm. Waist deep in the steeps! Win!

 Deliberate gayness. Recreational euro look.
 The best freshies!
 Sign snowed in! Who cares where it goes!
 Must try to not fall off any cliffs.
 Beautiful British Columbia!
 Words cant describe how satisfying a beer is after an epic day shredding pow.
 T shirt weather? not really, but getting there in BC.
 Truckers town.
 Weird Diner.
Day 6:
 Day 2 at Kicking horse and another dump! Wetter than yesterday but good up top.

 That way!
 Steep and deep!
 Adam likes to bring a bit of the Bow Valley with him everywhere!
 Cheeky Melon
 Trying to see!
 You cant get that camera down!
 NObbly knees and sexy swimshorts after a 2 hour drive through rogers pass to Revelstoke. Pass was closed due to avalanche, but we made it through.
 Adams PBR sweat pit
 Owning the Jacuzzi
 Then out in Revelstoke
 Uh oh. always a great idea, probably mine! Vodka shots!
 Time for sleep.
But wait! A nightclub!

Day 7:

 Revelstoke mountain resort and a good 20cm again up top! Gonna be a great day!
 The visibility looks bad but it was only bad in spots.
 I left my goggles all wet from yesterday in the bag so they were permanently fogged, Adam had same problem. So the day started off tricky.
 Adam Locked shredding the pow.

 Gondola took us through 3 sets of cloud. Big elevation at Revelstoke.
 This what happens when you wear sunglasses.
 Short hike later in the day for some more fresh tracks.
 Ghost trees.
 We got a nice line just in time before another front hit.
Time to drive all the way back to Banff!! at least 4 hours, hung over from 2 nights and knackered from 7 hours riding powder. Gonna be tough.

 At about 3 hours we headed into Alberta and as expected we went from cold to freezing and heavy heavy snow. So bad there were cars pulled over . We broke trail on the high way between 40-60kph. Terrifying driving conditions. Completely blind.
 Creeping along the shoulder. Hazzards on, although no one overtook and no one in front.
 Happy to be alive!!
 Needed a beer after that.
 Well we may as well go out for another?

Southsea boys re-unite!

Day 8:

 After over a weeks riding and partying we needed a big breakfast. Mels.
 Mt Norquay for an evening session!
 Mrs Elk happy to see some grass.
 Minging f/s nose slide

 Ben throwing down some b/s ollies
 Adam Fryatt giving it large
Hat selection.

Day 9:

 More snow!
 Thought we d hit up our local hill!
 Powder day!! again.
 Descent dry ALBERTA snow!
 Southside chutes!!!
 Pillow munching powder.
 Beacon time! Lets hit the dive.
 Had to give him a run down on the old beacon and how to save my life.
 To enter the hike you must pass the gate, only opening with your beacon.
 Adam took us to galaxy ridge.

 I think there was a reason this was closed. Oh yeah the snows literally peeling off it.
 After the bit in the top right of this photo above> it was immense. Blower powder. All the way.

 You know you ve had a good days shred when the Ptex comes out later. Fixing Adams board.
 'Can you give me some frickin privacy please'

 Ben and rum!
 Shawn and me off to the Karaoke and rave.
 Cool down.
 Selecting a song for karaoke. Cyndi lauper of course.
 loose! St Patricks day
 A skills was playing.
A skills.

Day 9:

 We woke up to another powder day!! even better coz we went to the Lake and there was no-one there!!! ridiculous. This is me ollying the fence. Despite the big night last night riding was on! I was on such a hype. Sooo good.
 Lines in Ptarmigan chutes.
 Glades of powder to be lapped. And no one to share it with.

 And then the sun came out!!! BIg day!!!

 A day like that deserves celebration so we all went to a punk gig. The Real MacKenzies.

 This is what happens when I buy a drink for everyone.
 My face after
 Oi Oi

 Full out mosh pit!! hell yes.
 After a big night out we went out.

Day 10:

 So we got up pretty haggard and as we got to the Lake they opened the backside!! We didnt ride it yesterday as the front was so good. So AGAIN>POw day!!!
 Ben joined us on another spanking day. Not only was there a foot of fresh but it was bluebird.
 Getting ready to drop the north cornice!! epic lines. drops, cliffs and powder galore.

 Lake Louise's finest log cabin bar.

 The actual Lake.
 POW in maintenance chutes
 Ye ol nut cracker.
Adams birthday too!