WOW did we ever luck out with the weather!
It's always a lot easier to host an event when the weather cooperates, and there was no shortage of sunshine on this day.
I've been up to Elfin Lakes about ten times now and this past Saturday was the 1st time that I've seen a completely blue bird day. The six inches of fresh snow and endless views as far as Vancouver Island ensured that no matter what I did wrong, people were walking...running away happy after the event.
We had 21 people show up for the fabulous morning...and a few that decided to sleep in, to which all I have to say is, enjoy the photos!
In stark contrast to last year's event, there were no near death experiences before we started the run. The road to the parking lot was clear the whole way up and I am constantly amazed at how 9 times out of 10 (last year being that unlucky number 10), the snowline starts right at the parking area.
Everyone hopped out, strapped on their snowshoes and headed straight onto a two foot snow base that escalated with each step towards the Red Heather and Elfin Lakes shelters.
I hardly recognized the Elfin Lakes shelter at the 11km turn around point, as it was under about 15 feet of snow and the only entrance was through the second story balcony door!
The sun was shining bright and almost everyone decided to take an extended break and enjoy the mountain vistas and wonderful heat. I have no idea what the temp actually was but when I arrived I was wet and chilled and after 20 minutes my clothes had completely dried out.
Jackson, as usual, took some great photos and video, wrote profanities in the snow (thankfully without urine this year) and talked to himself or anyone within ear shot for the entire run.
Dom Repta, John Dove and I headed out at a pretty intense pace before settling into a groove once past the 5km Red Heather hut, where the continuous climb starts to mellow out a little.
Everyone fell into their own pace groups and right down to the first time snowshoe runner, they all made it up to the meadows for the best vantage point of the mountain ranges on all sides, a 14km return trek.
There was a fire burning at the Red Heather hut and on the return trip I popped my head in for a second to see a few of the participants enjoying the warmth and conversation. I yearned to join them but realized that I'd probably end up getting very comfortable and spending hours there if I sat down...and since I was driving one of the car pool vehicles, I thought it not in my best interest to keep people waiting!
The post race get together was held at my place and everyone brought along some snacks, some drinks and something to throw on the BBQ.
All that showed up to the post run soiree left with a draw prize, including:
-Ryan Conroy and Eric Bayfield with a trail runner subscription.
-Christy Tisdale and Craig Moore with free Yeti Snowshoe race entries.
-Wade Repta with a free lift ticket to Sun Peaks Resort.
-Megan Rose and Ean Jackson with North Shore Athletics toques.
-Dom Repta and Daniel Probst with North Shore Athletics water bottles.
Special thanks to the event sponsors:
North Shore Athletics, best store in the world period!
Trail Runner, best magazine in the world period!
Yeti Snowshoe Series, best snowshoe series in the world period!
Brennan Park Rec Centre (shower passes), best Rec Centre in the world period!
Thank you to each and every person for attending this event. It was my absolute pleasure, once again, to show off the natural beauty of the trail network in Squamish.