trail run the West Coast Trail

Wanetta Beal just ran the West Coast Trail in 19 hours and 13 minutes. … As far as she and Parks Canada staff know, she’s the first woman to do the 75-kilometre route in less than 24 hours — instead of the usual six days.


“I knocked it off my list of things to do in my thirties,” said Beal, 35, of Whiskey Creek. “I feel like if I can do this, I can do anything.”

(via FART)

The men’s record is Frank Wolf and Kevin Vallely of North Vancouver, 10 hours and 13 minutes. “They set it on 24 July 1997, 10 days after finishing first and second in the North Vancouver Kneeknacker Race. The time measurement is from Bamfield Trailhead to the end of the trail on the west shore of the Gordon River. It includes all stopping time, including the wait for the Nitinat Ferry. This is a good and fair convention for measuring the time of future runs.“

Chilco Mountains hike, Idaho

Conner and Dave Adlard look down on their cabin home from atop Chilco Mountain between Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene. (Close to Athol, specifically.)


This was their first trip up the mountain.

We carried on “jiking” (running the flats and downs, walking the ups) to South Chilco Mountain hoping for a good view of Lake Coeur d’Alene, as promised by our guidebook. We never did find that vista.

The view of Lake Pend Oreille was FABULOUS, however.


We hiked in from the trailhead at the junction of Forest Roads 332 and 385. Moderate difficulty. About 9mi return to South Chilco Mountain summit.

Views from the closer (2mi) Chilco Mountain top were better. We will give the further South peak a miss, next time.


more photos from our hike on flickr

bear attacks trail runner

An incident in the Canadian Rockies opens once again the debate on whether to “play dead” when being attacked by a bear.

A trail runner attacked and bitten up to eight times by a black bear near Lake Louise serves as a chilling reminder of the dangers the public face at this time of year when sharing space with wildlife in the mountain parks. …

D’hamers, a Belgian who has been living and working in the Lake Louise area for more than a year, was no stranger to the 10-kilometre Great Divide Trail, regularly running on the decommissioned stretch of road.

She was running alone on the closed stretch of Highway 1A between Lake Louise Drive and the Trans-Canada Highway when she came face-to-face with the animal around 6 p.m.

The 23-year-old initially began backing up, but when the bear followed her for about 100 metres, she decided instead to lay face down on the ground, according to Morrison.

The attack is unusual, he said, with the last bear mauling in the Lake Louise area taking place in 1995.

The plan to play dead backfired as the bear continued to approach her, sniffing and licking the back of her legs and eventually biting her multiple times on her upper legs and back.

“The young lady showed considerable wherewithal in that she realized her strategy wasn’t working early in the game,” Morrison said. “Playing dead is not recommended in most situations.”

D’hamers jumped back to her feet, yelling aggressively at the bear and continuing to back away. After nearly 30 minutes of D’hamers reversing, yelling and waving her arms, the bear finally retreated. D’hamers continued the final few kilometres back to the main road, where she flagged down a Parks Canada warden. …

Calgary Herald

(via A Trail Runner’s Blog)

larger original – flickr – jvh33

hiking Stone Mountain, Georgia

I heard the best hike close to Atlanta was Stone Mountain.

Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis

Some say this is the largest exposed granite ‘stone’ in the world.


Started with a climb 825ft (251m) to the summit.


Continued with a 5mi (8km) trail run around the varied, pretty base of the rock.


I made good time as I was desperately late trying to catch a flight at the airport.

all my Stone Mountain photos on flickr

Powerline Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

Another GREAT Kauai hike with an unappealing name. (Like the Swamp Trail.)

follows a 13 mile electric transmission line maintenance route and ends near the Keahua Forestry Arboretum in the Lihue-Koloa Forest Reserve. This is a dry-weather, all day hike. …

Steep, eroded, slippery at saddle. …

Hawaii Trails

If you have only one vehicle, do as I did, starting at the south end (Arboretum). Hike to your turnaround time. Then backtrack. (Most of the hiking guidebooks recommend the out and back itinerary, in any case.)

That’s my rent-a-car parked on the DRY side of the river. In Hawaii you don’t want to drive a rental on to a beach or hunting road. Or across any river.


The start of the Powerline Trail is not all that inspiring:


But very soon you — like every hiker before you — will be scanning the interior mountains hoping for a clear glimpse of the highest peaks.


That’s perhaps the most consistently rainy spot on Earth. In 3wks it did not clear once for me. The summit of Mt. WaiÊ»aleÊ»ale gets 460in (11.7m or 12.87yds) of liquid each year.

(Rare clear photo on

Even though you are hiking on a rough “road”, the pristine jungle scenery ensures that every hiker leaves happy. I loved it.


On the drive back to the coast, stop at gorgeous Opaekaa Falls:


There’s actually a scramble to the base of the Falls. I’d had enough already, and simply enjoyed the view from above.

See all my photos from an afternoon trail run on the Powerline Trail.

my Alakai Swamp trail run in Hawaii

I like the route Lonely Planet Hiking Hawaii recommends for Alakai Swamp:

Kalalau Lookout trailhead > Phea Lookout > Kilohana Lookout. And back.

That’s maximum bang / mile, I think.

It’s a brilliant hike, too, by the way. Don’t be deterred by the name “Swamp”.


OK, it’s a swamp. But it’s so weird and unexpected after the sunny, hot coastal beaches, that I was instantly won over. Many hikers are. For some it’s their favourite hike on Kauai.

The highlight is not the swamp. Not pounding miles of boardwalk in my running shoes.

Some come specifically to see indigenous Hawaiian flora and fauna.

But for most, the highlight is the drop dead gorgeous 4000ft vista looking over Na Pali (The Cliffs). One of he great lookouts in the world.


see all my photos from this hike on flickr

learn more – Alaka’i Swamp Trail – Trailspotting

Mountain Hardware Scrambler day pack

I’m giving a mixed review to my new $55 day pack:

Weighing only 10 ounces, the ultra-lightweight Mountain Hardwear Scrambler is the perfect approach bag to stash in your pack. Ergonomic S-curve shoulder straps and a removable EVA back panel make the Scrambler comfortable for peak ascents and long day hikes.


* Removable EVA pack panel adds structure to the pack …
* Self-healing, silicon-coated 100D Cordura …
* Front bungee web for external storage and load compression …
* Top access with draw cord closure
* Doubles as sleeping bag stuff sack


larger image and details on WinterFix

Pros: Weight, size, appearance. I really like the look. (Mine is black.)

For day hiking, actually, it is perfect for me. But for trail running or scrambling, it is too unstable without a hip belt. While running, anything near the top of the pack shifts left and right too much. The straps loosen too easily under vibration. And the position of adjustment buckles rub against my biceps at times.

Other reviews: Trailspace

Durability is a real question mark. It may not last long if I use if I continue to use it for trail running.

Prevent Ankle Sprains on the Trail

My chronic ankle sprain has not hindered in years, but I’m considering specific trail running shoes in future.

From the Sierra Trading Post blog:

An Ounce (or Two) of Prevention

So here’s the damage control. If you have a weak or dysfunctional ankle, you can reduce the likelihood of injury, and re-injury, by taping, bracing, stretching and strengthening the joint in question. If you’re planning on taping your ankles, see a physical therapist or an athletic trainer who can show you how.

Ankle braces are easily found in your local drug store and can effectively fortify vulnerable joints.

Another ankle-saving consideration is in selecting the proper shoes. Jason McGrath, USATF Level 2 Track Coach, decorated ultra trail runner, and shoe expert suggests trail-specific shoes that are neutral and low to the ground. Most running shoes suitable for pavement are well cushioned; however, a thick midsole means that your feet are farther from the ground, causing less stability and increasing the probability of rolling an ankle. McGrath also warns strongly wearing “stability” shoes, common on the road-shoe market. These shoes contain medial posting, or a separate material lining the instep that prevents overpronation of the foot. When running on uneven terrain these shoes place more stress on the physiologically weaker lateral (outside) portion of the ankle, making it more likely to roll. In the meantime, you will also want to add ankle strength and flexibility exercises to your workout regimen.


Trailrunner Mag: Prevent Ankle Sprains on the Trail

documentary – Wonderland Trail in 24hrs

The Wonderland Trail is one of the best hikes in the world. Circling Mt. Ranier in Washington State normally takes 7 days, 6 nights for experienced hikers.

But in a day?

The Wonderland Project is the name two friends gave their shared goal: To run the Wonderland Trail, circumnavigating Washington’s Mt. Rainier, in a single 24 hour push.

Ultramarathon runners Skye Thompson and Zac West forged their friendship into a critical partnership over two years of training, but things took a bitter turn at mile 60, when one runner was forced to drop out.

In a difficult decision, the other decided to push on alone. Join us in watching the story of their partnership in the face of an immense physical and emotional challenge and their record-breaking attempt at the Wonderland Trail.

The DVD is available at

Click PLAY or watch it on Google Video.

(via the TV page.)

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