Mountain running is changing/has changed. Skyrunning, trail running, FKTs, fast scrambles, the lines are blurring. Adam Campbell recently wrote about the divergence of trail running, scrambling and mountaineering here. One thing is certain though, however one does it and whatever one wants to call it, it’s a lot of fun and it adds an extra dimension to the activity.

In this style then, Adam Campbell and I embarked on a rapid traverse of the Yamnuska/Goat traverse near Canmore today. We travelled east to west, beginning with Yamnuska, and finishing after a descent from Doorjamb mountain. It was exposed and at times precarious scrambling. We travelled fast and light.  We have no idea what the FKT is, but we travelled quickly today. The route finding was generally easy, but intense focus was required in places. A steady head and climbing savvy helped.

AJ Wainwright, the famous English hiking guidebook writer once spoke of “…..a route to heartily recommend to one’s worst enemy”. This isn’t it, though for a few dicey moments I wondered. It’s a truly aesthetic line. It’s a beautiful high mountain ridge with panoramic views, covering complex and varied terrain. But take care, for this isn’t a beginner’s route. I would hesitate to recommend this to anyone who lacks a modicum of climbing knowledge.

Some trip beta:

Distance 14.55km

Ascent 1641m

Descent 1611m

Time 3h 52m

Details and GPX file are here. Feel free to download, or here 

Clothing: Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra SG shoes, Sense shorts and singlet. Compressport arm warmers. Salomon S Lab Sense Ultra Set pack. Buff. Bonatti WP jacket, in pack. Smith Piv-Lock arena glasses.

Food eaten: zero (carried 4 gels)

Fluids: 1 soft flask H2O. 1 bottle Vitargo S2 (200 cals). Vespa Junior x 1, 30 mins before run.

Technical gear: 30m 6mm Petal cord. 2 slings carried. 1 screwgate biner. 1 ultra lightweight Camp harness. One single 10m rappel was needed - Munter hitch used rather than carry rappel device. Adam carried the rope in his Salomon 20 litre pack.

Topics discussed: FKT rules (see below); good reads - “Kiss or Kill” by Mark Twight, “High Infatuation” by Steph Davis. Future projects. Western States, Transvulcania, Skyrunning, Glencoe. Running power meters - Stryd.

Other details: we propose a new ‘Bow Valley FKT rule' - namely that the stopwatch doesn’t stop until the first swig of beer is down the hatch. We tested this with Newcastle Brown Ale.

Enjoy the photos, and be safe.

Quick - stop the clock