By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: April 12, 2014
Now there is another reason to take the Sea to Sky Gondola besides stunning views and stirring hikes.
Running aficionados will be able to take part in a new race amidst big alpine vistas, deep forests and spectacular rocky perches with the new gondola.
The organisers of the Coast Mountain Trail Series have announced a new trail race in partnership with Sea to Sky gondola.
Called the Sky Pilot race, the event will take place on Sunday, September 21. The course details have yet to be confirmed, but there will be two components, 12 kms and 25 kms.
More information will be available in the spring but the organizer say the 12km run will have a reasonable course profile, what they describe as challenging but runnable.
The 25 kilometre component will be ‘very challenging’ with plenty of climbing involved. The entry fees for the 12 kms race is $35 plus GST, while the entry fees for a longer 25 kms run will be $45. These prices are in addition to the Gondola tickets.
Coast Mountain Trail also organises the Squamish 50 and Survival of the Fittest, a trail run that started last year with a loop from Quest University.
Race organizer Gary Robbins said the race area looks up to Sky Pilot and Mount Habrich and has an alpine feel, with great sightlines over the Howe Sound.
The new race would be a welcome change for those who participate in Squamish races, Robbins said.
The best part of the new trail is that it’s alpine, and the running has an airy feel to it.
“It feels very different than the typical run you will get in Squamish,” he said.
Robbins said he hopes as many as 150 people will be part of the race, which will rival some of the alpine style runs in Whistler and in Revelstoke.
The 25 kilometre race would be a much more challenging, while the 12 kilometre race will be less formidable.
By the next year, the race organisers plan to create a 50 kilometre race, a more challenging route that would be one big loop that would incorporate Habrich and Sky Pilot.
Robbins said he’s confident the race enthusiasts will like this new race.
“There will be much more scenery than people are accustomed to,” he said.
The Sea to Sky Gondola will open on May 16.