Interesting documentary on The Barrier between Whistler & Squamish

The Barrier which holds up Garibaldi Lake.
Source: Wikipedia

This 20 minute documentary from QuestU students explores the geology of the west coast of British Columbia, specifically the area known as the Sea to Sky corridor.

The doc focuses on The Barrier, a 300 meter tall, crumbling lava dam retaining the Garibaldi Lake system and some of the hazards it brings.

Beyond the Barrier takes a look at how living below this hazard can change the way we see ourselves as humans with respect to the power of nature.

Check it out.

More cool Photos of the Barrier

source: mountainnerd.wordpress.com
source: mountainnerd.wordpress.com
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Learn more about the Squamish Emergency Program

Proposal for a Squamish Obstacle Course Trail

I moved my blog to craigcherlet.com – You can read the most recent updates on this post here.

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Update: The Squamish Chief did a write up on our proposal. Check it out.

With the popularity of activities like Crossfit, Parkour, fitness bootcamps and races like the Tough MudderThe Warrior Dash and the Spartan Race, more and more people are interested in taking part in obstacle course type races. Both of these races have taken place in the Sea to Sky in the past. Tough Mudder was at the Whistler Olympic Park and last year the Spartan Race took place at Brennan Park in Squamish. Both these events have great turnouts which tells me that people love to run obstacle courses.

A few nights ago on a walk around the Squamish Oceanfront with my family, the idea struck me that a permanent obstacle course in Squamish would be a great asset to the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada. So, I’m taking on the task of proposing the idea to see what others think.

Updates: I’m adding detail as I go so this post will be updated as new ideas come forward and as the concept evolves so check back again later.

If you like what you see, have some ideas to add to it or have a question, please leave a comment below this post or reach me on Twitter. This is just an idea at this point to gauge interest.

Overview

The proposed Squamish Obstacle Course Trail would consists of a trail equipped with obstacles or stations distributed along its length for exercising and physical fitness training. The course could have various circuits between 5km and 20Km with 15 to 20 obstacles or fitness stations. Runners could start at the official start, possibly the adventure center or anywhere on the course. They could run a short 5km circuit or the full 20km course. A similar timer like the what is used for the Grouse Grind could be used to help runners keep track of their personal times and a leader board could be posted in the Adventure Centre.

Trail Map

The course could follow existing trails in the Squamish area focusing on the area from the Oceanfront to Brennan park community center.  The following is a proposed trail map with potential obstacles/ training stations in red. This is just a proposal at this stage for illustration purposes. More research and community involvement would be needed to determine the exact trail, number of obstacles and obstacle locations. proposed trail map

Proposed Obstacles and Fitness Stations

The proposal would include 15 to 20 obstacles or fitness stations placed on the designated trail circuit.

Here are examples of the types of obstacles and fitness stations that could be setup on this course throughout Squamish.

Slackline

The slack-lines on the Oceanfront are a great example the types of obstcles t to this course.

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Hand held Zipline

This is the simple zipline, low to the ground that requires that the person hold on with their arms to bridge the distance. Could be created as the image below or between two trees.

zip-line-playground-21675477

Wall Climb

wall

Cargonet Crossover

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Teetering Traverse

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Balance Beam

balance

Monkey bars

monkey-bars

Ladder climb

ladder climb

Rope climb

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Rope Scramble

rope scramble

Tunnel Crawl

tunnel

Over under

over under

Balance Beam

baqlance beam

Tire chase

tires

Tire flip

tire flip

This is just a sampling of possible obstacles. There are many different obstacles and fitness stations that could be used on this course. Here are obstacles from the Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, The RAID race and the Warrior Dash.  They could be made out of the natural timber and the terrain of the surroundings. What would you like to see?

Benefits

  • The obvious benefits are the health benefits of the people that would use the trail and the obstacles fitness course.
  • A fitness tourism attraction for trail runners from Vancouver and the lower mainland
  • Local Boot Camp programs could use the course
  • Crossfit athletes could use the course for training
  • A yearly race could be created for this course
  • People could train here for races like Tough Mudder, and the Spartan Race.
  • Potential revenue source for Adventure Centre through Timer

Would you support this?

Sources & References

New trail running shoes

I finally bought new running shoes and had a chance to take them on a good trail run this past weekend in Squamish. I’ve needed new ones for a while now as my current New Balance runners have to put it bluntly; died.

I bought the New Balance MT10 minums shoes and I couldn’t be happier with them. These shoes are minimalist barefoot shoes which are a little different from what most people would consider running shoes. If you’ve never heard of minimalist barefoot shoes, they’re a bit of a paradigm shift from the typical raised padded heel shoes.

I was introduced to barefoot running a few months ago by a colleague that started running in barefoot running shoes and he loved them. The whole concept intrigued me as I love being barefoot. In the summer, I try to be without shoes as much as I can because it just makes me feel more connected to the earth. I even remember a trip I was on in Central America where I hiked all kinds of jungle trails without shoes on as it just gave me a better sense of control and traction on slippery, wet, muddy trails. It just feels natural to me. I started to do my research and learn all about barefoot running.

For the past half century, we’ve been led by a common misconception that cushioned, padded sneakers are better for us. Science now tells us that this thinking is wrong and that we need to re learn the skill of running and use our feet the way they are designed to work. There is a lot of great information out there if you are a runner that is interested in learning more. Just Google barefoot running!

I almost bought the Vivobarefoot Breatho Trail shoes for $90. I had ordered them back in May but they never came. I finally got a call from them telling me that they were out of stock and that I would have to wait till July so I bailed on the Vivo’s and bought a pair of New Balance MT10 minums shoes from the store on Robson in Vancouver.

I read this reviewthis one and this one and then saw the video below of pro mountain trail runner Anton Krupicka. I figure if this guy does what he does in these shoes, they are more than enough for me. All the reviews were very positive with most people saying that the shoes feel like slippers and that they are a great shoe for transitioning from padded shoes to barefoot shoes.

New-Balance-Minimus-MT10As the literature states; The New Balance MT10’s are a trail running shoe built for the most aggressive trails but designed with lightweight breath-ability.

Its fitted, odor-resistant upper lets you go sock less on top while the rugged Vibram® outsole provides the protection needed for running on trails. The shoe is also very light at only 175 Grams (6.2 oz).New-Balance-Minimus-MT10-2

Here is a quick snapshot of the features.

  • 4mm drop
  • Anti-Microbial treatment
  • Barefoot friendly internal construction
  • Flexible overlays in optimal areas
  • Lightweight and extra-durable, the Cushion-Pushin’ EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate) midsole rewards and supports your feet with the ultimate cushioning system, keeping feet cozy while offering unmatched resilience.
  • Lightweight mesh upper

I’ve gone for two trail runs since I got them and i’m loving these shoes.

Both runs are on my home trails in Squamish where I generally run on logging roads and dual use mountain biking trails.  You can check out my latest run on Strava.

Related articles

Squamish Days & Logger Sports

This past weekend in our town was the 56th annual Squamish Days and Loggers Sports Festival.

Squamish Days is a weekend long festival that includes music & art events, children’s activities, a parade, wacky bed races, a 10K run, pancake breakfast and two world class Loggers Sports Shows. The logger shows are very cool with competitors from all around the world competing in all kinds of unique logging events like chainsaw chair carving, Axe throwing and tree climbing just to name a few.

It’s a great family event and all this logging and forestry stuff it reminds me of this little vignette from the 70’s called the The Log Driver’s Waltz. If you’re in your 30’s and 40’s and grew up in Canada, this one should be familiar to you.

New Google Maps is Awesome

I love maps. I love how I can explore remote areas of my town and other parts of the world. Google is in the process of revamping it’s Google Maps app for the desktop. There is a new search box and the entire map is now interactive. Clicking anywhere will focus the map on that location and show you helpful things, like related places and the best ways to get there.

It now gathers all the imagery of a location into one spot, making it easy to explore your world from every angle and more and more it’s starting to behave like Google Earth, my primary desktop exploring tool.

Here is a screenshot of Squamish using the Google Maps. Try it out for yourself.

gmaps

13 videos to show why Squamish is the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada

Squamish is named the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada for good reason. You can participate in dozens of great outdoor activities from skiing and snowboarding to kite boarding and paragliding.

Here are 13 videos to give you a taste of whats out here.

1) 24 Hours of Squamish Radness

2) Garibaldi Provincial Park – The Great Ranger Experience

3) Splitboard TV Mount Garibaldi 2011

4) Kayak-Squamish Whitewater Paddling

5) Kiteboarding in Squamish, BC

6) Rock climbing in Squamish

7) Mountain Biking in Squamish

8) Hiking in Squamish

9) Bouldering in Squamish

10) Dirtbiking in Squamish

11)Snowmobiling in Squamish

12) Squamish, BC – The Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada

13) Paragliding off the Chief

Kite boarding the endless wave of the Alaska tidal bore

I love kite boarding. It’s an amazing sport that allows you to dance with the wind.

This video here is of Robby Naish, Kai Lenny and Kevin Langeree on a trip to Alaska where they play on the endless wave of the Alaska bore tide. Looks like a lot of fun. Alaska is definitely on my bucket list for both a kite boarding trip and a heli snowboarding trip.

Tidal bores are very cool and only occur in a few places in the world. They can be bad for ships trying to get through them but great for things like kite boarding, kayaking and river surfing.