Salomon Adventure Challenge Thanks to Tara Rolston for photography
Hope, British Columbia
May 3, 2003
Summer Adventure Racing Begins in Hope
Set amongst the steep, misty mountains of southwestern British Columbia, the first summer Salomon Adventure Challenge of 2003 descended on the small town of Hope. Many of the 18 teams were returning for more after last year's race in Penticton and came from as far as Calgary, Alberta to experience Canada's fastest growing adventure racing series.
A few curious heads turned as a procession of competitors walked through town to the official starting point of the race at the junction of the Fraser and Coquihalla Rivers. At this point of the season, the spring run-off from the melting snow in the Rocky Mountains has caused the flow of the Fraser to reach speeds of up to 8 km/h. This was quite a nice feature of the opening 19 km paddle and all teams made incredible time in this section - Team Mission Rackishites of Mission, BC, JDExtreme of Chilliwack, BC and On-Fire of Calgary, AB were the first to complete the paddle in only 1.25 hours (AVG speed of over 15 km/h!). This was an incredibly beautiful session and a great way to kick off the race.
Teams' bikes were a 3km trek away but a stream crossing and the Deer Creek Valley had to be negotiated first. Depending on where teams decided to ford the creek, it could prove quite challenging. Team Salomon and Give'er of Vancouver worked together in this section and crossed the stream arm in arm after picking a somewhat challenging route. Team Three Stooges of Burnaby, BC made excellent time en route to the bikes and moved from 7th to 1st.
Continuing northwest past Deer Lake and into Sasquatch Provincial Park, teams reached another transition to trekking after a quick, 3km ride. Unfortunately for Team Mission Rackishites, they got themselves turned around and climbed northward to the snowline before realizing their error. Oh well, the view up there was absolutely incredible!
Moss Lake, an elevated body of water about 260 metres above CP3/TA3, was the next destination on foot before having a myriad of route options of descending off-trail down the other side of the pass to Hicks Lake. As in any Salomon AC, it wasn't speed that necessarily ruled the day in this trek as much as it was decision-making. Local team Hope Reckers jumped from 9th to 6th and Team On-Fire of Calgary moved from 7th to 4th showing off their skill with map and compass - or maybe they're just mountain goats!
At the final CP before the finish line, the start of a 24 km ride back to Hope, Team Three Stooges led by only 6 minutes over Team Whole Hogs of Chilliwack, BC - the race was on. Unfortunately for Team Whole Hogs, a flat tire ended any hope of giving chase. However, Team We May be Short… dug deep on this ride, featuring a 8 km descent out of the mountains before the long road back, and had the second fastest time in this section. But, it was not enough to usurp Team Three Stooges as they cruised to victory and earn FREE ENTRY to Salomon AC Kimberley Alpine Resort on July 26th, 2003.
In the end, 17 of 18 teams reached the finish line at the Hope & District Recreation Centre and many stories circulated about the thrilling racecourse while scarfing down the post-race pasta meal.
See you in Bark Lake!
TOP TEN RESULTS
For Full & Detailed Results and an entire Team Listing CLICK HERE!
||5 hrs, 18 min
||5 hrs, 50 min
||We May Be Short...
||5 hrs, 53 min
||Shake, Rattle & Roll
||6 hrs, 6 min
||6 hrs, 7 min
||6 hrs, 18 min
||6 hrs, 21 min
||6 hrs, 28 min
||6 hrs, 41 min
||North Vancouver, BC
||6 hrs, 52 min