Join Sinister 7 Ultra
Crowsnest Pass may be Alberta’s best-kept secret. Located in the southwestern corner of the province, the Pass is nestled into the Rocky Mountains just outside of the Continental Divide. Home to stunning views, abundant wildlife, challenging terrain, and a supportive community, it was only natural to bring the Sinister 7 Ultra to the area.
In the early days, the Pass was a community focused on resources. The extraction of coal and timber drew many people to the area, who then settled into one of the many towns now making up the district. Although faced with many tragedies, such as the Frank Slide of 1903 and the Hillcrest Mining Disaster of 1914, Crowsnest Pass became a well-populated and thriving community. Today the community is made up of the neighborhoods of Bellevue, Hillcrest, Frank, Blairmore, and Coleman. The ruins of former towns, like Lille, stand in testament to the legacy of the area.
The Sinister 7 Ultra is a race that may be greatest challenge of your life. The 100 mile (161km) course will take you through the most rugged, remote and beautiful terrain in Alberta’s stunning Rocky Mountains. With 5,687m of elevation gain across the course, this race will punish those who are not prepared.
The Sinister 7 course is split into seven stages, each featuring a geographic and historic highlight of the area. The race’s name is inspired by the treacherous Seven Sisters Mountain that looms over much of the course.
The first leg of the Sinister 7 crosses the massive debris field of the Frank Slide. Spread over several kilometers, the slide consists of rocks and boulders as large as houses. After the Slide, the route passes through the town of Hillcrest and onto cross country trails to the base of Hastings Ridge.
Beginning at the base of Hastings Ridge, runners begin a grueling climb to a rewarding view. Once atop the ridge, you get a view of the entire valley, including Crowsnest Mountain and the Seven Sisters; certainly worth the punishing climb to the top. There is no time for rest as runners drop down the other side and head towards Blairmore to the finish of leg two.
Also known as "Satan's Sack", Leg 3 is dry, hot, and exposed. This leg of the Sinister 7 has the most Gain and the second longest distance. In return, you are rewarded with stunning views of the mountains atop the Continental Divide. This leg crosses through the haunting remains of the 2003 Lost Creek fire where one feels as though they are on another planet. After passing the burn scar, runners once again climb back into Blairmore for the start of leg 4.
Leg 4 throws it all at you; tough climbs, water crossings, rugged ground and some fast trail. Straight out of the gate we welcome you with a climb half way up the ski hill. While gasping for air don’t forget we also include some beautiful views with some great photo opportunities.
Leg 5 presents some good old classic cross-country running. Connecting runners from the south end of the course to the north end, this leg presents you with a great cross-country style run alongside Mt. Tecumseh. You can guarantee to be hit with big gnarly roots, water crossings, mud holes and just enough climbs and descents to leave you begging for it to finish.
This Leg will try the toughest of racers. Running north on what could be the wettest and dirtiest trail in Canada, runners make their way to the evil climb north of Seven Sisters Mountain. While catching your breath at the highest point on the course, don't forget to check out some of the larger mountains in the area: Crowsnest to the south as well as Tornado and Gould Dome to the north. There is no time for rest as runners drop to the west and make their way around the base of Crowsnest Mountain along trails and numerous drainages. Sure footing is key on this section as you round the southern edge of the mountain and arrive back at the McGillivray staging area to begin the final leg of the race.
The final leg begins with a steep, ugly climb up the base of Wedge Mountain, followed by an incredible single track descent into the Nez Pierce Creek valley. Following another single track trail along the western slopes of Saskatoon Mountain, runners emerge in north Coleman. Be sure to save some energy for the last push to the finish line.
directions_runStart Address: Blairmore,ca
flagFinish Address: Blairmore,ca
Persons may make reservations for accommodations at: http://www.sinister7.com/accommodations.php. Listings are posted for both home-stays and formal accommodations. You may also book campsites near TA2/TA3 and next to the Finish area in Coleman by going to the Camping section of the Accommodations page. The community maintains a campsite in Bellevue, just off Hwy 3, on a first come, first served basis. You can also camp for free anywhere in the forest reserve that surrounds the town. Some racers with RVs like to camp at TA5/TA6.
Post-race dinner and award ceremony.
Between each stage of the race is a Transition Area (TA) where you will be able to access supplies, meet your support crew or relay runner and take a break in relative comfort. TAs will also have some basic facilities such as portable washrooms, snacks, water, and shelters.
Runners are allowed to have a drop bag at TAs. Up to four drop-bags are allowed and they will be placed at the appropriate TAs.
Parking for the start is located at the Albert Stella Memorial Arena, and along the railroad tracks just off of 20th avenue.
Shuttle from Crowsnest Sports Complex to the Start Line: This bus will depart from the host site at 6:15hrs and will drop runners at the start line. Shuttle from Finish Line to TA2/TA3: For any unsupported solo runners who wish to camp near the start line, you may park and camp near the Albert Stella Memorial Arena, which is TA2/TA3. We will have a van available to shuttle these runners back to their vehicles from the finish.
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