Sunday, September 20, 2009

The B.U.T.T Project - Revisited

Snow in the mountains this morning...Not quite sure how I feel about that just yet.

With TransRockies behind me and the trail running season coming to a close, it's now time to start thinking about winter and plan for the upcoming cross-country skiing season. With the Olympics just around the corner, it's going to be a nutty winter...

Although my mind may be thinking ahead, my body is still in trail running mode, and after a few weeks break to recover from TRR, I've been thinking of a few 'small' running projects that I'd like to tackle before the snow finally arrives.

Fall running in the mountains is amazing - definitely my favorite of the seasons. Last year, my partner in crime was (Head injury) Bob, who was trying to finish his book - Mountain Running in the Canadian Rockies. I'm not sure how many days we spent tracking mountain trails in the high alpine but every single one of them was a mind blowing adventure. With Bob's book completed and about to hit the street...I'm feeling a bit of 'Bob' withdrawal.

The final kilometres leading into Mt Assiniboine Lodge during a run with Bob last fall - a little chilly on this particular day...

About a month ago, a few of the local trail runners got together to tackle a fun project: the
B.U.T.T (also check out these photos/reports from Mike). If you're familiar with the Rockies, you'll be able to picture this run (see above map for reference - thanks Mike!). This crew spread the fun over 5 days, running the route in this order:
Day 1: Galatea (parking lot on Hwy 40) to Buller (parking lot on Smith-Dorien hwy)
Day 2: Mt Shark to Assiniboine Lodge
Day 3: Assiniboine Lodge to Sunshine Parking lot
Day 4: Sunshine to Hawk Creek (via Healy pass, Whistling pass and Ball pass)
Day 5: Rockwall Trail - Floe Lake (parking hwy 93 South) to Paint Pots (near Marble Canyon)
This is a massive run, covering over 170km with something like 11 passes over 2,000m. With lots of terrain, and full on wilderness, it has 'adventure' written all over it.
So the big goal will be to revisit the B.U.T.T project, and cover the terrain in 2 days! I'm a little nervous at the daily distance, but very (very) excited...

Over the next week(s), I'm going to re-familiarize myself with a few of the sections to get an accurate time breakdown so I can plan my food/energy accordingly. Off the top of my head, I figure the route can be broken down into 2X 10-12hr days, not an easy feet considering I've never run more than 9hrs straight (
Mt Shark to Sunshine Parking via Assiniboine - 65km - last year with Bob) - yikes! Weather will be another concern to keep in mind as the light snow on the mountains this morning reminds me that time is ticking...

So that's the plan, I've got a bit of running to do to get up to speed, but feeling confident I can get it done - But regardless of the outcome, I'm definitely going to enjoy my time in the mountains and soak in some amazing scenery before the snow flies for good.

Anyone up for an adventure?


brendaontheRun said...

nice one ... that'll be an adventure! Let me know if you need an aid station setting up en route as I might be able to tie it in with one of my runs. Don't wait too long to do it though; the days are definitely getting shorter.

mrC said...

Sounds like a fun adventure Phil. Fall in the rockies is my favourite time and place too. I'd love to join you on some of those trails but teaching is back in session for me. I wish our holidays were mid August to mid October instead! Make sure you put lots of pics up for us wet coasters..

Keith Iskiw said...

That is just sickly awesome! I'm tempted to pack my things quit my job in Ontario and move just at the hint of the type of running your planning. Truely awesome!

Mike said...

That's a big challenge for sure. I think the Galatea to Sunshine is do-able in a day but I can't imagine doing Healy/Whistling/Ball and all of the Rockwall in one day (I'm guessing that's the plan). If anyone can do it though it's you so go for it!
I ran the Rockwall September 29, 2007 in calf deep snow so you'd better get on it pretty fast :)
Make sure there's a couple of cold beers in the fridge for when you get home.
Let me know if you have any logistical questions, it's definitely an amazing route and if the weather is anything like it was today you'll be smiling the whole way.

rumon said...

Damn, I'd love to join you, mate. Perhaps by next year I'll have this heart back in order and be ready to go.