No Category selected Trail Run/Hike: Abbot Pass

    Trail Run/Hike: Abbot Pass

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    By: Magi Scallion

    If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, check out Abbot Pass in Rogers Pass (British Columbia). The trailhead is located very close to the summit of Rogers Pass, at Illecilliweit camping area (just to the west of the crest of the pass).

    The trailhead has plenty of parking, bathroom facilities, and also a place to purchase a park pass. Although you don’t need a pass to drive along the TransCanada Highway in the Park, you do need one to park at any of the sights. It’s totally worth the $8-$15 you’ll spend for the day and it helps to keep the park running.

    The trail is very well signed so you should not have a problem finding your way – just make sure you read the sign at all of the trail junctions. Once you get into the hike/run about 20 minutes you’ll see that there really are not many junctions so it’s just getting into a good rhythm and going!

    The trail is approximately 5 km long… but has a LOT of elevation gain. We were able to run parts of the trail but it was certainly more comfortable to do at a brisk hike/walk. We all had hydration packs of some sort and some snacks to get us through. The total time for the group of cross-country ski national team athletes I was with was approximately 3 hours, so this could easily take up to 5 hours if you go a bit slower or take more frequent breaks.

    The trail is in fantastic condition. We did the hike in mid-September and there was still a small patch of snow on one section; residual from last winter. Thus, you can expect some challenges if you do the hike any earlier that mid-July. There is a short-cut route (which we came down) that avoided the snow patch, but also avoided some of the really neat views.

    Once you get above tree-line the views really open up and you can see down to Rogers Pass and further into the Selkirk Mountains. It’s beautiful terrain. The trail ends (there is a sign that says “End of Trail”) at what appears to be a summit, but you can continue along (boulder hopping) for another 10 minutes or so and get some more views. There appears to be further trails in the distance, but they’re apparently not accessible so not worth trying to get to.

    We ran all of the way back down to the cars – it only took about 30 – 45 minutes. That said, our legs were very sore for a few days after so it might be prudent to take a slower pace on the way down if you’re not used to downhill running! Once you get back to the parking lot there’s a nice mountain stream to “ice” your legs and the cafe at Rogers Pass sells delicious sodas and other treats for re-fueling!

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    Born in Nova Scotia and emigrating to British Columbia via Ontario and Alberta, Magi has been running the entire way. Primarily defined as a cross country ski racer, Magi has competed nationally and internationally in that sport. The highlight of her career was competing in the World University Games and the World Cup races in Canada in 2007. Cross country skiers rely heavily on running for cross training and Magi has become an accomplished trail and mountain runner, representing Canada at the World Mountain Running Championships in 2005 and the winning numerous national championships medals.

    Today Magi runs for fun… and it’s a lot of fun! Epic mountain runs, city cruises with friends, and more keep her happy and occupied outside of work and school.