Jenny Tough

Run the Rockies – mountain range fastpack #5

Jenny Tough

Run the Rockies – mountain range fastpack #5

Hiking Collection by Jenny Tough



00:00 h

545 mi

79,900 ft

Mountain range number five in my long-term challenge to fastpack across a mountain range on every continent, this Collection follows my journey across the Canadian Rockies.

The Canadian Rocky Mountains were meant to be the final range in my challenge, but due to Covid-19 I had to switch plans around. The Caucasus, a mountain range at the intersection of Europe and Asia, had originally been on the cards for 2020, but that expedition has been put on hold for another year.

The other mountain range traverses that I've completed so far include the Tien Shan in Asia, the High Atlas mountains in Africa, the Cordillera Oriental in South America and the Southern Alps in Oceania.

Since the parks re-opened in Canada, where I was based this year, I had the green light to safely go ahead with the run across the Rockies. As I grew up in there, exploring along the route has been a little different than the other ranges! This was the place that I learned to love the outdoors in, so along the way there were many wonderfully familiar sights and peaks.

I divided the run into seven stages, typically ranging from a few days to five or so, where I needed to be totally sufficient between resupply towns. In my pack, I had a bivvy system for sleeping, as well as my stove, food and layers for the varying mountain conditions.

Before embarking on the challenge, I knew that this would be tough, even if in parts familiar. Sure, the Rockies can be absolutely beautiful, but equally brutal in places.

In previous years here I've got caught in terrifying thunderstorms, run into snow in July, weathered awful swarms of mosquitos and had my fair share of trail tumbles too. In fact, out of all the mountain ranges that I faced, this 950 kilometre challenge was the one that I was most fearful of.

On The Map


Tours & Highlights

  • 63.1 mi
    -- mph
    10,250 ft
    10,800 ft

    This was my first segment of my challenge to run the length of the Canadian Rockies, the fifth mountain range in my bigger project to run across a mountain range …

  • 134 mi
    -- mph
    19,450 ft
    18,925 ft

    On the second stage of Run the Rockies, there were some long (but faster) fireroad segments, mixed with some incredible high trails with wildflowers and snowy peaks!

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  • 34.7 mi
    -- mph
    4,150 ft
    4,300 ft

    This was a slightly easier segment, following the Goat Creek trail into Banff. This was a really incredible journey for me as I grew up around here, but haven't been home in over a decade!

  • 59.2 mi
    -- mph
    9,000 ft
    8,275 ft

    This segment is what I looked forward to while planning the trip! Straight from Banff town centre through some of the most beautiful trails in the park, finishing at famous blue-green waters of Lake Louise.

  • 107 mi
    -- mph
    15,050 ft
    14,425 ft

    This stage was not without mishaps and struggling! Lots of fallen trees made the trail hard and very, very slow.

    I first tried another way through Takkakaw, which didn't work out, but it was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been!

  • 115 mi
    -- mph
    17,225 ft
    18,550 ft

    No less than six brutally hard passes, intense remoteness, dangerous rivers and washed away bridges... This stage was pretty mega, but the views were some of the best I've ever seen in the Rockies.

    I strongly advise against the Maligne Pass segment. The bridges are washed away and the water levels far too dangerous. I honestly thought I was a gonner!

  • 32.1 mi
    -- mph
    4,775 ft
    775 ft

    I spontaneously summited a mountain (mostly to get out of bog and away from mosquitoes) to spend the night, and realised after a magical starry evening and beautiful sunrise that my journey across the Rockies had come to an end.

    I got everything I needed out of this, and I'm ready to go home and dry my feet. It was a wonderful finish to this journey, slightly emotional, and I couldn't have asked for a better finale!

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    545 mi
  • Duration
    00:00 h
  • Elevation
    79,900 ft
Jenny Tough

Run the Rockies – mountain range fastpack #5