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Rubble Creek Trail Race
Sep 23, 2007
By Heather Macdonald

Stories Rubble Creek in September

Spectacular Rubble Creek Trail Race

Oct 7, 2007
By Heather Macdonald

This may be the most spectacular race for scenery in the Vancouver/Whistler area. It travels through Garibaldi Provincial Park outside Whistler, from Cheakamus Lake trail and Helm Creek trail through Black Tusk Meadows to Rubble Creek.

At the casual end of "low key", this race had no race bibs, you could start when you were ready to go, there's no aid stations, no race markings along the way, and the timing is approximate. Due to the remote nature of the route, you had to be self-sufficient with water and fuel and had to be ready for changing weather.

On race day September 23rd, the temperature was 4 C (nippy) when we started out. We crossed Cheakamus River and started climbing Helm Creek Trail. When we left the forested area, we could see ice crystals on the edge of the trail and hints of mountains to come. They didn't disappoint.

The unflagged trail was easy to follow through meadows which changed from lush forests to cinder moonscapes.

We stopped to take pics and stand in awe. No wildlife sightings other than whiskey jacks.

It was cool but the sun warmed us up. (Yes, Peter and Jill, you were right about the views and insisting I should do it.)

When we came out in Taylor Meadows, we met the ranger who asked us to stay on the main part of the trail, not the smoother more fragile part to the side. This meant sloshing through sticky mud for a short ways. Mud balls dried on my socks!

Back into the forest, we started on a long descent to Rubble Creek on steep switchbacks. We could hear the river but didn't seem to be getting any closer to it. My toes were feeling it but my quads were okay. Several people fell on this part and later shared stories about mangled fingers and scrapes. (We wouldn't be trail runners if we didn't have stories about falls!)

At the Rubble Creek end, we weren't alone; there were lots of hikers coming up toward us. There was even a high school trip of teenagers laden with camping backpacks asking how much further they had to go. Always positive, Cheryl told them about the upcoming views (ha).

Brunch and awards were in Whistler at the Cinnamon Bear in the Hilton. For $12, you could help yourself. We stayed for the awards and all came home with a prize.

I would recommend this race for its views and runnable trails. Comparing it in difficulty, I found it more difficult than Iron Knee and less difficult than Dirty Duo. Note: a 4-wheel drive vehicle is best for getting to the Cheakamus Lake parking lot trailhead.