Running (trail) 6:30:00  32.0 km (12:11 / km) +1900m 9:24 / km
shoes: Salomon Propulse 2nd pair
Sunshine Village to Healy Pass to Whistling Pass to summit of Pharoah Peak, with Emily, Ruchel, Miles and Stefanie. Unfortunately Carbon is still fighting something, so a big day like this was not a good idea. Chilly at the bottom, we were worried about how much more clothing we would need higher up, but the day warmed up as we went on, and the two layers of thin icebreaker were enough with the warmth generated by the effort. Felt a little tired early in the run but I think that is partly because this is one of these trails where you don't fully give yourself credit for how much you are ascending and working; you notice the angle on the way down.
The trail started getting muddy and then switched to snow cover. The forest was beautiful, all frosted in white, and larches still to be seen with their needles a bit past bright golden and starting to become a burnt yellow. As much as I want to hang onto as much summer/fall as I can for now, the beauty made me look forward to sliding downhill on fat skis :)
At the top of Healy Pass, there are now closed signs on side trails including the one heading to the Ramparts. We believe that once they opened the Sunshine gondola in the summer, the Sunshine meadows was getting overrun and trampled by tourists so they now require you to stay on just the main trails.
From Healy Pass, Pharoah Peak looked like a big objective. We ran down to Egypt Lake shelter (I was noting how much of a climb back up this would be) and then ascended to Whistling Pass. Deeper mud puddles, some good foot soakers. From Whistling Pass, we just scrambled straight up the chunky rocks to Pharoah Peak, with some sketchy footing where the snow cover was about 15 cm or so and would fill in the gaps between the rocks, meaning you would sometimes punch in and risk scraping a shin. No nasty scrapes for anyone and we were at the summit sooner than I would have guessed. Great views from up there, with the whole series of theme-named lakes below: Mummy, Scarab and Egypt. Mummy lake was my favourite, it has such a cool shape.
An interesting experience at the summit. There were 5 people up there when we got there. We thought they were all one group. One guy was in a really pissy mood. He was really put off when he asked where we came from and when, and learned that we had come all the way from the parking lot just a few hours ago. We took the opportunity to have someone take a summit photo of all 5 of us; he took the camera, snapped the shot before we were ready and handed it back to us. He and his buddy then headed down. Ruchel then recognized the other three from when she scrambled Mount Smuts, a rarely done tough scramble, and ran into them on the summit. They were super nice and we had fun hanging out with them. (They took some better photos of us)
Picked our way down the rock, scree and snow, and then ran down from Whistling Pass to Egypt Lake shelter (where I'm sure the grumpy guy was hiding so that we wouldn't pass him), hiked up to Healy Pass faster and easier than I expected, and then got our ear talked off by a sweet sociable older lady at Healy Pass who couldn't stop raving about the Camino trail and hostels in Spain - she had hiked 400+ km of it on one trip recently, and ran from the Pass to the parking lot.
Down at the parking lot, we flopped on the pavement (the Sunshine parking lot is paved now, as of a couple of years ago) and ate chips and drank cold pops that Carbon had packed up for the day, while cars drove around us.
Headed home, and then out to the Bike Shorts Film Fest in Canmore with Carbon, Myka and Amik. Ran into Adam Campbell who was in very good spirits, moving around on two canes with one foot still in cast, and chatted a bit with special guest Olympian Clara Hughes who now calls Canmore home and was letting folks try on her Olympic medals (heavy!).
Total time for the day was 7 hrs 55 min; moving time is a guesstimate.