Friday, September 20 2019 - Whistler Alpine Meadows
Date: Friday, Sept 20, 2019
Distance: 175 km / 109 miles
Ascent: 9,500 m / 31,500 ft
Descent: 9,500 m / 31,500 ft
The WAM 175 km race is hands down, all at once the most stunning ultra in Canada and the most challenging race in the country, in fact it ranks right up there as one of the toughest 100’s on the continent.
175 kilometers of unique terrain, up and down the four major mountains that flank the Whistler valley: Rainbow Mountain, Mount Sproatt, Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain. All while covering over 9500 meters (31,000 feet) of climbing and descent, and skirting no fewer than a dozen alpine lakes along the way, including Screaming Cat, Iceberg, Hanging, Madeley, Jane, Jake, Logger’s, Cheakamus, and more. We’ve even thrown in three suspension bridge crossings for good measure.
This is as much an adventure as it is a run. The course is unrelenting, but it has a high “reward value” in that we don’t have long sections of suck while you’re waiting for the few highlights to present, rather the highlights are plentiful and you’d have to close your eyes to eliminate the beauty of the area from constantly coming at you.
The course is absolutely littered with glacial snow-capped peaks as far as the eye can see, with straight shot, up close views over the jagged formations of Cayley, Fee, Decker, Phalanx, Black Tusk, Rainbow, Wedge, Whistler, Garibaldi, Fissile, Blackcomb, Overlord, and on, and on, and on. This scenery along this route rivals that of the great races in the European Alps, in fact many European runners have already commented on how much more wild and remote this race course is by comparison. Heck, we’ve even got a backcountry heli-dropped aid station at the toe of a glacier that sheds icebergs into an alpine lake! Seriously!
When we designed this course we challenged ourselves with bringing to life the absolute coolest and most aesthetic mountain race possible. “Design a race that we’d travel across the world to run” was our mantra, and we’re proud to say we’ve accomplished this on all fronts.
This race is an absolute beast to manage, but it’s an even bigger beast for the runners to conquer. Even with a seemingly generous 48-hour cutoff in place, more than a few people won’t even come close, oh and by the way, you’re not allowed a pacer. This is a graduate level race, buckle up cause s#!t just got real around here. This is a journey you won’t soon forget.
Distance: 175 km / 109 miles
Ascent: 9,500 m / 31,500 ft
Descent: 9,500 m / 31,500 ft
View an interactive map with elevation profile below.
Note: While the route data through the map below shows distance/elevation to be slightly short, we’re confident you’ll cover the full prescribed distance on the day.
Download a GPX file of the above route by clicking here.
Or, you can view an image of the course map below. You can click the image to open a larger file in a new tab, or download onto your mobile device.
Click map above to download full-size version. Warning – large file!!
Race Day Schedule
|Date:||Friday, Sept 20 2019|
|Start Line:||Meadow Park|
|Finish Line:||Riverside Resort|
Aid Stations, Drop Bag and Finish Line Bags:
All races will have finish line drop bags, which will be under a tent which is not monitored so please label your bag and do not leave any valuables.
175km Aid Stations: there are a total of 10 aid stations in the 175k (as shown on the course map)
175k drop bags at:
AS #5 in Function at “Trash trailhead”
AS #6 in Function at “Cheakamus road crossing”
AS #8 at “Blackcomb Base 2 – Day Lots 6 and 7”
Our aid stations feature all the good stuff courtesy of Nesters Market & Hammer: water, Hammer gel, Heed electrolyte, Coke, chips, fruit, nuts, cookies, soup, pickles, bacon, sandwiches, vegan options and other surprises (each AS is different).
175k Finish: 48 hours
On course cutoffs TBD.
Crew, Pacers and Poles
Crew driving directions are forthcoming.
Crew Accessible Aid Stations:
- AS #2 on Alta Lake Road, at the Rainbow Lake Trailhead.
- AS #5 at Trash Trailhead. Crew will have to park about 700 meters away and walk down a flat service road to access the aid station and their crewing point
- AS #6 in Function at “Cheakamus road crossing”
- AS #8 at “Blackcomb Base 2 – Day Lots 6 and 7”
Pacers: Pacers are NOT allowed in any distance, including the 175km distance due to permitting restrictions.
Poles: Poles ARE allowed for this event. Please be cautious about other runners immediately behind you when using.
Must perform at least 8 hours of trail work between Jan 1st and Sept 1st on the same year as the runner is running the WAM races. In lieu of performing trail work runners can make a cash donation equal to $20 per hour of the outstanding trail hours. For the 175k runners can donate $160 to the Whistler trails (via our Race Roster registration page) to forgo their volunteer requirements entirely.
Important Notes! Ridgeline Events has organized the following trail work days in Whistler and Squamish in conjunction with a number of trail organizations:
Sunday, May 5th – SORCA / Squamish – Another Man’s Gold
Saturday, May 25th – ACC / Whistler – Singing Pass
Saturday, June 15th – WORCA / Whistler – Jane Lakes
Monday, July 8th pm – NSMBA / Bottletop-Mt Seymour
Monday, July 22nd pm – NSMBA / Bottletop-Mt Seymour
Sunday, August 11th – ACC / Whistler – Skywalk Trail Network
Volunteer hours can be performed anywhere in the world, on any trail system and with any trail organization.
Once your trail work is completed, you must have this form completed by August 31st. On Sept 1st anyone with outstanding trail work hours will be expected to make a donation to the Whistler trails via our Race Roster registration page.
There are no physical prerequisites to register for any of our race distances. We trust that you’ve done at least some research and that you know what you’re getting into, and if you haven’t done your research and the proper training you really won’t last long on any of these routes anyways. The 110 and 175 races in particular should not be your first stab at these distances, but that won’t stop many of you from trying, and there’s nothing to say that a newbie couldn’t finish these distances assuming that person respects the distance and performs the necessary training in the year leading up to the race. If you plan to wing it and somehow believe you can just get through these courses on a whim, on grit alone, then you’re just throwing your hard-earned money away, and we’ll happily take that hard earned moula and then list you as a DNF (did not finish) in our final results 🙂
Mandatory Gear List:
Mandatory gear is mandatory at all times. Gear checks will be staged throughout the course and anyone who fails a gear check will be disqualified without question.
a) waterproof breathable hooded jacket
b) emergency bivy (space blankets do not count)
e) toque or buff
f) full length pants or tights (it counts if you’re wearing them)
g) long sleeve shirt (arm sleeves do not count, but it does count if you’re wearing the long-sleeved shirt)
10 Essentials: We encourage everyone to always carry the 10 Essentials for backcountry safety in your pack – whether you’re out training or adventuring on your own or with friends, or participating in one of our extensively marked races, you can never predict what might happen. Learn more about the 10 Essentials in this article by North Shore Rescue.
In our effort to reduce waste, all our races are now cup-free, meaning you’ll need to pack along your own cup for fluids at aid stations and at the finish line. Here are two suggestions: a collapsible cup (available in our merch store), or a homemade version cutting the top off an empty juicebox.
For this race, we will have paper cups for soup for the longer distance Aid Stations.
|Distance||Jan 4||June 20||Race Cap|
- Anyone dropping out up to and including June 1 will receive a 50% refund of entry fees.
- Up to and including 30 days before race day, you can receive a full deferral to any other CMTS event (if not sold out), towards a single other race only. Deferrals are only applicable for one calendar year from the race you transfer out of (meaning the race entry can be deferred to any OTHER race, but not the same race one year later). Entries can only be deferred a single time, to a single event.
- You can move down in distance, but not up in distance. No credit is provided for the difference in entry fee.