Sole Sista Summits

Mel and I last joined forces in 2013 for TransRockies, a 120-mile, 6-day stage race in Colorado (race report here). It was a huge success - we had fun, won our category and, most importantly, were still friends when it was all over.

Mel and I atop Frosty Mtn in Manning Park
Since then, life has been busy for us both (mostly Mel; I'm a slacker) and although we've occasionally made vague plans over coffee for another epic outing, we just haven't been able to pull it off.

Between injuries, races, work and family commitments, the best we've been able to manage is a training run together every few months or so. This year, though, we vowed to make it happen and now it is!

We've both been accepted to run the inaugural Ultra Tour Monte Rosa (UTMR), a mountainous 116-km race from Italy to Switzerland with over 24,000ft of elevation gain. And as if that wasn't exciting enough, The North Face Canada has offered to support our efforts.

Race Director Lizzy Hawker on the UTMR course
Over the next few months, we'll be doing some very race-specific training runs to prepare ourselves for this rugged route, and blogging about what we've learned.

One example of something that we both want to work on is using trekking poles. We've witnessed how effective they can be if used correctly, especially in Europe where there are far fewer switchbacks resulting in some very steep, knee- and quad-destroying technical terrain.

Race nutrition is another area that I'll be focusing on as it's always a problem for me and my sensitive stomach.

And we'll definitely be experimenting with various gear and pack options for the race. With a fairly extensive mandatory gear list, it'll take some fine-tuning to make sure our needs and safety are covered for high alpine adventuring, but not so much that we're burdened with extra weight and bulk.

I'll be posting here and you can read Mel's training updates on her blog.

Thanks for following along on this journey with us!

June 6, 2016: Frosty Mountain (Mis)Adventure

Here are some photos from our weekend training run up Frosty Mountain in Manning Park. Full report to follow!