Don't let the distance fool ya - the Climb is a short but steep burn from start to finish. Yes, you do have the luxury of taking a chairlift to your start - but you still get the humbling honour of running the steepest and most gnarly sections of the course.
Before we get into it, one of the most important aspects of this race is ensuring you’re heading up the gondola in a timely manner! It takes a good 20 minutes to ride the chairlift to your start line. You’ll need to make sure you're on the chairlift no later than 3:30 pm. The Blood runners start from the bottom of the chairlift, and the Climb begins from the top.
The Blood course passes directly past the top of the Catamount Chairlift - basically across your start line on the Kicking Horse service road. For about 500 m you're on the road before commencing an abrupt climb...just to get the blood pumping right off the bat. It then gets even more aggressive and hurtles up Show Off, a winter alpine run that is directly below the gondola. The incline is REAL. It’s rocky. It’s a reckoning.
After Show Off, at tower 15 of the gondola, runners hit a beautiful single track known as the CPR Ridge Trail. This will take runners directly under the Gondola to the top of CPR Ridge and over to the summit of the mountain and top of the Gondola. The last 250 m will be reasonably flat, so plan to stretch it out with a big sprint... or not! The finish line is the encore, as you'll find yourself at the summit of Kicking Horse mountain. Bask in the 360-degree views reaching deep into the Purcell Mountains, across the Columbia River Valley and back to the Rocky Mountains. Relax and cheer for the other finishers before you head back to the bottom on the Gondola and refuel with a nice big meal to Conquer day 2!