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Squamish Scrambler (Winter Edition)

March 14 @ 8:00 am - 1:00 pm


When: Saturday, March 14, 2020, 8:00am

VOLUNTEERS: Looking for TWO or THREE volunteers/groups of volunteers to man the aid stations. This will involve leaving ahead of the main rabble (to arrive at the aid station first), checking them off the list, then returning. You will get CFA points from two hours before the start to an hour after the last person gets back, plus a bottle of Insolent Donkey beer/cider… plus a trash point for having dealt with the rest of us.

– Check-in at Starbucks in Squamish (near Canadian Tire) @ 08:00. Leave 08:15 to drive to trailhead. Start at 09:00.
– If you miss us at Starbucks, drive to the trailhead up at the top of Mamquam Road yourself. See the driving instructions below,
– Good winter tires are mandatory, and it is strongly recommended to CARRY CHAINS AND PUT THEM ON WHEN RECOMMENDED, AND DRIVE CAREFULLY: the road can become very icy and slick at times, especially on the steep sections.
– We will look to carpool – arrangements will be made closer to the time and on the morning of.

– A snowshoe hike/run or ski up to Red Heather Cabin (10km return) or Elfin Lakes Cabin (22km return) high above beautiful Squamish. Spectacular views of The Tantalus Range, Howe Sound, Sky Pilot, and even Vancouver Island on a clear day. Out and back route allows for easy turn around.
– Depending on the snow conditions (organizer will update you a few days before) and your preference, there are “run/hike”, “snowshoe” and “ski” categories. Prizes (men and women) will be equally distributed to all categories. Overall prizes: First place: bottle of Insolent Donkey beer/cider and a subscription to Trail Runner magazine. Second place: bottle of Insolent Donkey beer/cider. Third place: “attaboy”. Category prizes: high-fives.
– There may be a mystery aid station for Frank.
– The organizer reserves the right to cancel the event if the avalanche or weather conditions are excessively high.

NOTE: There will be check-points at Red Heather and Elphin huts. You MUST check-in with the volunteers FOR SAFETY going in and coming out. Failure do so will result in getting -1 points on the leaderboard for your efforts.
– The start will be wherever we can get the cars. This may be at the summer trailhead, or it may be lower (in which case there will be more value for money!)
– From the trailhead parking there is only one trail. Follow it to the Red Heather Shelter (5km one way, ~500m gain). This is the Sport Course turn-around point. Relax by the wood-fire for lunch, or continue for the Enduro Course
– For those hardy and daft souls continuing, climb up to the ridge line and continue on to Elfin Lakes. Follow the orange wands and stay on the marked trail, as this is the safest route through avalanche terrain. Long course turn around point is the Elfin Lakes Shelter (11km one way, ~600m gain).

What to Bring:
– RECOMMENDED: Avalanche safety gear (transceiver, probe, shovel, working brain)… this is pretty safe terrain, but it’s a good habit to be prepared!
– RECOMMENDED: Head torch. Everyone SHOULD be done by mid-afternoon, but a twisted ankle, wrong turn, or one too many shots at Elphin could turn that table…. BE PREPARED
– Cup. This is a CUP-FREE event – you will need your own cup for the “aid stations”.
– $3 per libation at aid stations
– Water
– Lunch
– Warm clothes
– Snow shoes, skis, or microspikes (if the trail is hard enough to run on without snowshoes, it may well become slippery, especially in the afternoon). Snowshoes and skis may be rented from MEC Broadway among other places

Other notes and general disclaimers:
– Garibaldi Park is very strict about NO DOGS
– There are outhouses at the trailhead and Red Heather and Elfin Lakes shelters – these are the only places to contribute to nature!
– As with all CFA events
o It’s not a race (don’t all losers say that?), but we do keep track of your times so you have something to compare to next year, and for the leaderboard points
o This event is not sponsored, sanctioned, permitted or anything else that would qualify it as an official event
o It’s your responsibility to be trained and come prepared for this wilderness event. If in doubt what that means, better wait another year!

Driving Instructions to the trailhead:
– Follow Highway #99 (Sea-to-Sky) north from downtown Squamish.
– Continue past downtown Squamish and past Walmart
– Turn right at the Canadian Tire onto Mamquam. (Starbucks is in the building just north of Canadian Tire)
– Take the third left, go to the top of the hill and turn right, continue through the next traffic circle; at the next turn right, then turn left
– The road will turn to dirt – keep going, but with caution as the road conditions can be poor.
– At the top of a steep hill about 9km from the highway, the main road swings left around some recreational cabins, while there is a smaller road going straight – follow the main road.
– The total distance from the highway is about 14km and climbs 1,000m

Any questions, please post on this event page or contact the organizer!


March 14
8:00 am - 1:00 pm
Event Categories:


General Squamish
Squamish Canada
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