July Volume and Assiniboine Bliss

Mount Assiniboine rising early in the morning and dressed in pink
The recent monsoon that ripped through the Bow Valley and destroyed many homes and infrastructure has passed, but the effects will be felt for a long time to come. The Haig Glacier camp in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park that cross country skiers have been using for centuries (maybe only decades - but it's a legend) to access snow in the summer, was inaccessible due to washed out roads, trails and bridges. I was definitely bummed out that we wouldn't be taking in the French/Robertson vistas and high altitude air, but the Bow Valley offered up some amazing weather and training opportunities to complete the necessary volume hours in July. The Alberta World Cup Academy women took to the trails, roads and mountains in our backyard to piece together long days. 4 hour rollerski/run combos were a popular menu item on the recent training plan and we are fortunate that there's plenty of surrounding terrain that we were able to mix it up and keep it fun. Highwood Pass, the Legacy Trail (which reopened in record time!!), Bow Valley Parkway, Moraine Lake Road, Vermillion Lakes, Mount Norquay and Minniwanka Loop. We mixed and matched these routes to piece together solid training, all within striking distance of Canmore.
Trail destruction towards Cascade Mountain amphitheatre. A common sight in the Bow Valley these days, but the trail crews of Banff National Park and Kananaskis Provincial Park have been the Santa's elves of the backcountry. Working over time, fueled by candy and the Christmas spirit to get things back in working order. Much apprectiation!
Valley of the Ten Peaks from the top of Sentinel Pass. I can't wait to go back in the fall to see the larches!
Alysson enjoying the descent. Decent!
Happy chicas in the mountains
Some friends of mine enjoying the pavement on Hwy 40
Mount Rundle and Two Jack Lake. Another great cruise through BNP
More running in the mountains. Joined by special guests Kate and Stephanie! Mt.Ball and Shadow Lake in the background. This run took us from Vista Lake over Gibbon Pass to Shadow Lake Lodge, and out to Red Earth Creek. Solid 29km day in the mountains.
Minniwanka Loop. Tasty pavement and delicious views Cred: Peter Collins  

My first Cutthroat on the fly rod! Enjoying a morning off with my brother et co. at Rummel Lake
Our Haig replacement camp in the Bow Valley was a great success but I was definitely needing a break afterwards. For me, my peace of mind comes when I am with good friends, good food and in the mountains. Hello, Mount Assiniboine Lodge. I took the short helicopter ride in from Canmore to Assiniboine Provincial Park last week to be reunited with one of my favourite places on earth. I was headed to work as a housekeeper at the lodge, but this really feels more like a vacation than it does work. I am more than willing to change a few sheets, chop vegetables and serve guests in return for the delicious cooking of the Assiniboine kitchen, good company and mountain air. Plus a few dollars in the parched amateur athlete bank account never hurt. The change of pace and scenery really allows me to clear my head and keeps me grounded.

My first day at Assiniboine looked a little like this on top of Windy Ridge. I love that I can visit the same places in the mountains time and again, yet the weather and conditions offer a different experience every time. Call me a hippy, but it's magical.

Taking in the view on Nub Peak. Photo Cred: Clio!
Blooms on blooms. Mountain flora was going off!
These are the days that your thoughts run clearest. Mt Assiniboine and Sunburst in the background.
 After fueling up on the wholesome Assiniboine cooking and fresh air, I'm back in Canmore to tackle another training block. We will be doing some baseline fitness testing this week on the rollerski track at the Nordic Centre as well as on the rollerski treadmill at the Bill Warren Training Centre. We are so fortunate to have access to high end facilities right at our fingertips. Here are a couple of shots from a recent photoshoot with Peter Collins and Buff Canada. Alysson Marshall, Dasha Gaiazova and myself are excited to share some of the new product line available at buffcanada.com. The most versatile and practical apparel investment you will make! Thanks to Buff Canada for your continued style on the trails and support behind the scenes. I would also like to thank Shades on Caribou for the new Oakley sunnies. I didn't think it was possible to make the mountain views even better!
Pinksberry Original Buff

That's the end of my babble but thanks for checking in and hope to see you on the trails.