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Secret Spots: Multi-sport athlete Nick Elson's favourite running spot in Squamish

Runner, skier and climber extraordinaire Nick Elson has a lengthy resume that includes accomplishments in many many sports. As a runner, he has won the Squamish 50 and the Canadian Mountain Running Championships. Twice! As a climber, some of his ascents include Cassin Ridge on Denali, the North Face of the Eiger, and new routes in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. 

Elson moved to Squamish, B.C. to pursue climbing, but eventually returned to running. Instead of roping it up the sheer granite face of the famed local landmark The Chief, he spends many days scampering about on the other side of the mountain lapping tourists on the hiking trails.


Photo: Tourism Squamish | Explore Squamish

“The trails on the Chief tend to be quite steep — in fact on most of my ‘runs’ I do a fair bit of hiking going up. In the forest, the terrain is characterized by lots of roots and rocks. Below the summits, the forest gives way to open granite slabs. The standard trails are very popular with hikers but there are a number of more obscure trails that make it possible to avoid the crowds. I often run on Slhanay. A peak connected to the Chief that is much quieter.”

POST RUN FUN: In addition to living large on The Chief, some of Elson’s other favourite areas include “Crumpit Woods, Alice Lake, and the area above Quest University.” Elson also recommends local restaurants “Mags 99 (Mexican), Essence of India, and Oryzae and Sushi Sen. Capra Running is a great local trail running store.”

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