Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Red Bull's Divide and Conquer adventure race

Registration is now open for Red Bull's Divide and Conquer adventure race:

Mountain Run
The start line will rise at the incredibly scenic Cleveland Park on Vancouver’s North Shore with The Lions, the most iconic peaks in BC's lower mainland, as your backdrop. But hang onto your breath – you’ll be gaining elevation almost immediately. The stats alone will get your heart racing, with almost 6,000 feet of climbing and a near double ascent of Grouse Mountain. Yes, you’ll be climbing Grouse, on foot, twice, and not even on the much more straight forward Grouse Grind.

Let’s not forget to mention that you'll be navigating the legendary technicality of the North Shore's Baden Powell trail, and the only relief we present you with when you're not climbing, will be a leg thrashing descent. But you're going to love us when you stop to appreciate that you're travelling through a west coast rainforest paradise.

To keep things interesting, you’ll run past the remnants of a 1954 F86 fighter plane that mysteriously met its fate one foggy night on the slopes of Grouse. Not to worry though, we won't test your own navigation skills, just your ability to push hard and suffer it out until you reach the top of the Grouse Mountain ski area, where you'll be rewarded with sweeping vistas over all of Vancouver below.

Mountain Bike
The mountain bike section of the Red Bull Divide and Conquer will be challenging both physically and technically - so sharpen your skills and bring a good set of lungs. The course will start with a five km section of fireroad beginning at the top of Grouse with a slight downhill grade on a gravel road allowing for closely bunched groups to work together or separate themselves with a little effort from those chasing.

Entering the first singletrack on Mt. Fromme the technical games will begin. Following that some technical climbing along the Baden Powell will bring the riders back for one of a series of significant climbs up the Mountain Highway, an old access road and popular local training spot. These climbs will give the riders an open connection to the legendary trails of the North Shore. Here we will add to our initial descent with a number of newly reworked trails giving speed and flow over the natural rock and root that defines the North Shore.

Those who have the courage to race full throttle for this entire course both up and down, will experience a truly balanced course for a true mountain biker.

The door is open for any bike to win; it could be a 4, 5 or 6 inch steed, but the pilot who wins this segment will most certainly be an All Mountain stallion.

The Capilano River’s rushing waters descend from the Coast Mountain Range, cutting a deep bedrock gorge with walls rising to forty metres in places. This challenging, washing machine of a river will keep you focused as you pass through coastal rainforest and into Burrard Inlet and the finish line at beautiful Ambleside Park, looking out to Stanley Park and the Lion’s Gate Bridge.

Divide and Conquer kayakers will put in with a seal launch off the rocky riverbank at the Capilano Salmon Hatchery in the shadow of the imposing Cleveland Dam. Water levels are high and reliable in June, and can reach class IV, but can also fluctuate quickly, depending on the dam and Mother Nature.

Paddling the drop and pool Capilano River is an unforgettable and challenging 10 kilometer plus read & run course, that will transport you far from the urban environment that surrounds it. The run offers a variety of small feature playspots ranging from the occasional surf wave, to the odd lateral spin/cartwheel pourover.

But kayakers should watch for other users headed upstream – Chinook salmon up to 45 pounds are likely to pass you in the opposite direction, watched closely by hungry bald eagles, herons and osprey perched on the rocky walls.

This is an enchanted canyon and should only be attempted by those who can handle its powerful spell.