This run takes you from Alice Lake Provincial Park to downtown Squamish on a route that is ~95% pristine singletrack through PNW rainforest.
The route is defined by two major climbs and a second half that is more challenging than the first. After leaving Alice Lake, there is very little terrain that is flat.
You'll enjoy spectacular views, high quality trail, and a hug from Gary Robbins if you finish!
The race starts on easy trails through Alice Lake Provincial Park. The forest here is a fern-filled wonderland, so be sure to take a look around as you are warming up on the soft trails. The first climb is a set of steep switchbacks as you leave the park and head to higher elevations and the first aid. From the top of the climb, continue running on mostly flat trail through to Aid 1 at 8km.
From the first aid station, there is a long, false flat on gravel road to the base of Galactic Scheisse
where you'll start the longest climb of the day. Expect to take 1.5 to 2.5 hours between aid 1 and aid 2 as you tackle the long climb and technical descent on the other side.
From aid station 2, there are 5 kms of rolling, mostly downhill and fun singletrack which take you into the party at aid 3: Quest University. Quest is also nearly the halfway point.
Leaving aid 3, the climbing starts almost immediately along a couple kms of gravel road then back onto singletrack as the climb heads up on switchbacks. This climb is not the most prominent, or steepest, but seems to go forever as there are a few flatter sections along the way before the trail continues to head farther up the mountain. Finally, you'll reach the top 8 km later, and head downhill 2-3 more km into Aid 4.
From aid 4 there is no more flat terrain until the last 2 km of the race. There is a small 100 m climb, then a long descent, which turns upward again on the climb up mount Crumpet. This climb is roughtly 300 m and nicely graded. A long gentle descent takes you into the final aid station at farside.
From aid 5 to the end, there are 2 more significant climbs of around 200 - 300 m of elevation. The first of these climbs is immediately out of aid station 4, which will enable you to take it on with some rested(ish) legs. The section between the climbs rolls gently downward for 3 km then turns upward for the final climb up Mountain of Phelgm. The final climb starts soft and progressively increases in grade with some short, punchy steeps which feel a little harder than usual on your tired legs. The summit finally comes after a final steep section, and is indicated by a wooden viewing deck. Take a moment to enjoy the view if you aren't in a rush. Otherwise, start the steep descent off the mountain of phlegm, which evetually levels out through Smoke bluffs and onto the final, and flat section of the course to the finish line.
This course is fantastic. If you are fit and motivated, then it is 95% runable. For the rest of us, this is a nice mix of running and power hiking.
Technical descending and powerhiking skills are an asset on this course.