By Karen McColl
Mountain Running in the Canadian Rockies, written and published by Revelstoke resident Bob Walker, is now available locally from Valhalla Pure Outfitters on Mackenzie Avenue. Mountain Running includes more than 60 routes ranging in length from two-kilometre sprints to 85 km ultra-marathons throughout Canmore, Banff, Kananaskis Country, and Kootenay National Park.
Walker lived in Canmore, Alta., for seven years before moving to Revelstoke with his girlfriend last fall. In between powder days last winter he worked at the computer — designing and compiling his book, which he self-published under his own company, Edelweiss Books.
Mountain Running differs from a hiking or a pure trail-running guide.
“This is more like adventure running,” Walker said. “While some of the routes are trail-only, there are others that include options for scrambling, route-finding, orienteering, canyoneering, and even glacier travel. It’s really all about having fun in the mountains”.
All the routes include GPS tracks which can be downloaded from www.mtnrunning.ca and which show the runner the entire route relative to their location. GPS tracks can be loaded onto electronic mapping software, a GPS, or even Google Earth.
He describes Mountain Running as covering the ‘best of’ what the Canadian Rockies have to offer and says it includes routes not found in other guide books. When he started running in the Rockies in 2000, Walker was always looking for ‘hidden gems’ that fell under the radar of most guide books.
“If I was planning a 30-km route I would need to read 10 pages from two different books just to find the right route. (Mountain Running) includes all the information you need, but none of the extra fluff.”
While researching for his book during the summer of 2008, Walker ran all the routes he planned to include, sometimes two or three times. “At one point I was running 200 kilometers a week. All I did that summer was run. It was great.”
In addition to its recreational opportunities, Walker was attracted to Revelstoke for its laid-back atmosphere and its strong sense of community. Last spring he started Revelstoke Tree Care, a business that gives him a lot of flexibility and time to play in the mountains. When asked about the possibility of a mountain running book for the Revelstoke area his response is secretive. With a sneaky smiled he said “I have lots of ideas, but everything is top-secret.”
Karen McColl is a public relations consultant in Revelstoke. She can be reached at 250-837-7898