Howe Sound Crest Trail V2.0
I ran this trail last Sept with a group of five, just one week after returning from XPD Australia. Not only did I pay for it physically, but it just happened to be the only day in Sept 07 that wasn't spectacular. The highlight of the run was seeing an emergency shelter by a lake, with just under ten km left to go. We had fun, but I did not see a single view along the way and was continually being told how gorgeous this route was and that I had to do it again. Here is the best pic from our 07 running of the trail,
Contrast that with this:
and you can see that we were rewarded for our patience with a late season gem of a day up in the mountains. The route is only 30km, but very little of it is fully runnable and it ends up being a lot of power hiking and, of course, photo opp stops!
Our total time on the HSCT itself was 7hr45m with an additional hour to scramble up and down The West Lion. I think a group of focused runners could pull it off in under 4hr if they packed the camera away and were shooting for pure time out there. Myself, I took nearly 200 pics and struggled to trim it down to just under sixty. Check it out, it's A MUST DO in terms of locally accessible adventure runs!
Eleven days till Mountain Masochist in Virginia, and I haven't felt this good in months...bring it on!