As president of the Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society (PRPAWS) I'm happy to be able to report that we are nearing completion of the first of 8 shelters we are building at regular intervals along the 180-km-long Sunshine Coast Trail (SCT) at Fairview Bay. We will need a few more work parties to put the finishing touches to it, but the roof is up and the loft will sleep at least a dozen people right now. Use is free.
The Fairview Bay shelter is located 4 km east of the Saltery Bay ferry terminal on the southern section of the Sunshine Coast Trail, which follows the shoreline and then rises 1300 m to the summit of Mount Troubridge. That's 50 m higher than the summit of Grouse Mountain, never mind the snivelling grind. After a scenic 42 km you come to the finish at Eagle River below Lois Lake. (Only 138 km to go to the far end of the SCT at Sarah Point in Desolation Sound). We call this southern section the Troubridge Trudge. It's a Marathon with Attitude, because it's not some flat and paved half-morning sweat, but a marathon with a mountain thrown in. Fabulous views and long stretches of old growth are part of the deal, if you ever look up from your toes.
Full description of the SCT, including the Troubridge Trudge, is going to be published in the 3rd revised edition of "The Sunshine Coast Trail" guidebook on December 5, 2009. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information, or see if Mountain Equipment Coop has them in stock.
The 17th Annual Marathon Shuffle (29 undulating kilometres with excellent, runnable trail surface) will take place this coming April 25, 2010. It's a Sunday, so you can get to Powell River on Saturday, run on Sunday morning and catch the ferry back home to the city.
The old record (3:59:20) co-set by the swift-footed Ean Jackson and John McGrath was eclipsed by local speed freak Kevin Sigouin who shaved off an hour (2:57:13). No, that's not a misprint. And he didn't use a helicopter to cheat. He says he'll beat off any challengers come spring. Chew on that. You will be welcomed.