PERFECT PLACES FAR FAR AWAY...
(IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD!)
TAIWAN ON TWO WHEELS THE INFLAMMATION FACTOR
A TALE OF THREE RAIL TRAILS TIP OF THE SAGUENAY FJORD VOL. 5, NO. 3
> DRY GOODS > GLAM CAMPING | FALL 2013 | free | adventuramag.ca
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Content FALL 2013
04 EDITOR’S NOTE 06 FIELD REPORT 10 DAYTRIPPER 12 A TALE OF (THE ALMOST FORGOTTEN) THREE RAIL TRAILS
When our writer first heard that Taiwan was an emerging international cycling destination, he had no choice: He had to see it for himself!
14 TRAINING WATCHES: RUNNING AGAINST THE CLOCK 15 HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT ENERGY GEL 16 WEEKEND GETAWAY Tip of the Saguenay Fjord In a boreal forest in Quebec’s Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, the only connection to the outside world is a battery-operated radio. And even with that, the reception was spotty. 18 Parks: FAR FAR AWAY... (In Your Own Backyard!) 20 LIVING LARGE 22 GLOBETROTTER Taiwan on Two Wheels GEAR 24 Dry Goods 26 Glam Camping: Civilized Nature MIND & BODY 28 THE INFLAMMATION FACTOR Research is showing how inflammation plays a more central role in our health than we previously thought. Short-term inflammation can be a good thing, but chronic inflammation may be a silent killer.
© Ryan King
30 LAST CALL
adventuramag.ca fall 2013 3
SAFETY ///EDITOR’S NOTE
During a wintertime,
powder-seeking stay in the Chic-Choc Mountains a few years ago, I remember Dominic Boucher, the Director of the Haute-Gaspésie Avalanche Centre, telling me that far too many people that head to this wonderful part of Quebec are completely unaware of its dangers. If memory serves, what he said was something along the lines of: “If only you knew how many people come here during the winter without the proper equipment – it’s mind-blowing!” And it’s not only equipment that is crucial: Skiing or snowshoeing on potentially treacherous terrain calls for gear and knowledge. One of the first camping trips I took with the woman that would become mother to my child was during a surprisingly cold spell in late August. To remove some humidity from the tent in the hopes of a more comfortable sleep, I lit a candle lantern that can burn for several hours. Despite my girlfriend’s concerns, I suspended it from the roof of the tent and, fatigued from a day of climbing, we fell asleep. In the middle of a terrible nightmare about being burnt alive, I woke up in a panic to realize that I was living the frightening dream: Our sleeping bag had caught fire. In fact, I initially thought that my butt was on fire, only increasing my bewilderment. The tent was filled with white, suffocating smoke. With my hands and what was left of the sleeping bag, I put out the blaze and opened the door of the tent. The smoke escaped as quickly as I did into the cold night. As I stood there in my underwear – noticing that the night was much colder than I had initially thought – it still didn’t dawn on me that we could have died from toxic smoke inhalation. Once the stupor and emotion subsided, we climbed back into the tent and slept with what was left of the melted synthetic bag, vowing to never again keep an open flame near our fabric sarcophagus. I thought that I was simply reducing the humidity levels in our tent, when in fact I was endangering our lives by disregarding a simple safety notion. Having the right gear is one thing, but knowing how to use it – and the imminent dangers tied to its use – is an entirely different story that can save your life. Recently, a Health Canada study revealed that the materials used to produce certain Mountain Safety Research (MSR) tents, including the best-selling 4 fall 2013 adventuramag.ca
TENT SAFETY PRECAUTIONS:
• Avoid the use of candles or matches inside a tent. • Refrain from cooking inside the tent. Use burners outdoors only. • Build your fire far from the tent, keeping wind direction and embers in mind. • Always put out your campfire before going to sleep. • Store combustibles outside the tent. Hubba Hubba model, didn’t meet Canadian regulations concerning flammability in tents. The Hazardous Products (Tents) Regulations (SOR/90-245) regulates the sale, importation and advertising of tents sold in Canada. The Canadian test for tent flame retardancy (F16) put in place in 2011 is much stricter than the CPAI-84 method adopted by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). After several MSR models failed the F16 test, other manufacturers (Sierra Design, Kelty, etc.) decided to recall similar tents and wait for the improved 2014 styles to arrive in stores. Only for MSR, there are 13,903 tents – sold at various Canadian retailers between June 2011 and July 2013 – that are affected. Although no incident has been reported, these tents
© Steve Elms
can easily catch fire if they are exposed to an open flame. It is therefore illegal to distribute, sell or even give away these recalled products. On our weekend escapades, we often see risky rock-climbing techniques made by people who are tempting fate or simply aren’t aware of the dangers involved. We try to warn them when possible, but I know very well that outdoors enthusiasts tend to stick to their old habits. The life-saving solution? Get proper training. Better safe than sorry! Chris Levesque, Editor @chrislevesque
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LAKE HOPPING ON THE WATERFRONT TRAIL EXTENSION
BY BRYEN DUNN
BY KRISTY STRAUSS
After three years of development, the Waterfront Trail has now been expanded to a second great body of water: Lake Erie. The expansion has added 620 km to the trail, creating a total end-to-end distance of 1,400 km from the Town of Lakeshore (near Windsor) to the Ontario/Quebec border. Riders travel along the shores of Lake Erie, the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair on a network of secondary roadways and connecting bike paths that pass through 27 different communities, each with their own unique charm and character. Windsor has a variety of accommodations and is perfect for day trips to nearby Pelee Island or across the border to Michigan. The municipality of Leamington is home to Heinz and boasts an annual summer Tomato Festival. There are plenty of places to pitch a tent along the way, including provincial parks Rondeau, Long Point and Turkey Point. For those seeking more adventure, there are opportunities for ziplining, kayaking, exploring an underground railway site and a submarine tour. If it’s relaxation you’re after, there are plenty of wineries along the route, as well as a brewery and several fine pubs and restaurants. And since this part of Ontario receives the most sunshine, making a stop at one of the many beaches is a great reprieve from cycling!
One marathon alone can cause 55,000 paper cups to get used and scattered along a race course. But thanks to the new UltrAspire reusable cup, that number becomes zero. The new device is transforming the way runners stay hydrated throughout a race, breaking the water-station tradition of thousands of full paper cups waiting on tables to quench thirst – and then getting tossed. Kilometre after kilometre, you can easily carry and refill your UltrAspire reusable cup at aid stations along the route. Weighing in at only 0.3 ounces (or 8.5 grams), the UltrAspire cup is so light, you’ll hardly notice you’ve got extra cargo. The collapsible design folds easily into a small pocket, and the cup also includes an attachment loop for a clip or carabiner. Each UltrAspire reusable cup is made using BPA-, phthalate- and PVC-free material – making it non-toxic to both you and the environment. UltrAspire is targeting race directors to opt for the environmentally friendly cup, who will typically offer it free of charge to runners and include it when they pick up their race bib. If you’d like to invest in your own, the price is about $6 each, and the estimated shipping charge is about $2 for up to a quantity of five. (If you’re a race director, the UltrAspire is available in bulk purchasing, for quantities of at least 100.)
More information can be found at waterfronttrail.org.
For more information, visit ultraspirestore.com.
6 fall 2013 adventuramag.ca
ECCO BIOM ULTRA QUEST
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ECCO was founded in 1963 and initially specialized in city shoes. Then in 1996, a golf collection was launched and in 2001, the Danish brand expanded its offering with a full range of sport-specific styles. Being a vertically integrated company, ECCO owns factories in Denmark, Thailand, China and Indonesia, some of which are used to treat yak leather, one of the most resistant skins in the world. BIOM TECHNOLOGY
Contrary to many shoes where the sole is glued to the upper, ECCO sneakers are constructed using direct 3D injection, a manufacturing process in which polyurethane is fused with the leather and rubber of the sole. The resulting bond is resistant and supple, giving the shoe a longer life expectancy. BIOM technology is based on the concept of natural movement: no padding or overprotection. To achieve maximum comfort, the brand digitized the feet of almost 2,500 athletes to reproduce a runner’s stride as precisely as possible. From this study, Ecco Biom developed three versions of the same shoe according to speed: marathoner/triathlete, athlete and amateur. There’s one for every runner!
OUR THOUGHTS ON THE ULTRA QUEST
The Ecco Biom Ultra style is designed for trail running. We tested the shoes in extreme conditions: difficult terrain with very steep hills, uneven surfaces and in high heat. They met every challenge by adapting perfectly to the rock, gravel, dirt and sand. Thanks to their firm support, we had confidence and control over movement at all times. The shoe is lightweight, comfortable and breathable, even on long-distance runs or walks. Feeling a light breeze on the top of our feet on a particularly hot day? A pure delight. In terms of quality, this high-end product outshines the vast majority of the competition.
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As a retiree at a younger age than most other non-sporting professionals typically retire, how did this transition go? It’s tough to retire in my early forties, as I still have loads of energy and skills that I acquired over the years. After I stopped racing professionally, the main thing that was a relief was to not spend so much of my life travelling. Although I have many great memories and experiences from this, I’m now motivated to see more of the places closer to home. I still wanted to stay active and healthy, so getting to learn other sports such as Nordic skiing has been fun. I also have a dog, which I couldn’t have had when I was on the road most of the time. I also was able to complete many renovation projects, and spent more time with family and friends.
Alison Sydor Rides Retirement
BY BRYEN DUNN
Olympian cyclist Alison Sydor will be inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame on October 16, 2013, in Toronto, becoming the first mountain-biker inductee. Her career has included road, cyclocross and mountain bike competitions, resulting in multiple metals from her participation in the Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games, UCI Mountain Bike World Cups and the Olympics. After her retirement
When Alison’s not focusing on her new aspirations in life, some of her favourite ways to relax are with a home-cooked meal, red wine and good friends. She also enjoys hiking in the woods with Miss Daisy (her dog), and plenty of outdoor active pursuits with her two nephews. Learn more about Alison at alisonsydor.com. 8 fall 2013 adventuramag.ca
in 2010 from professional sports, she has kept herself busy with a variety of pursuits. Adventura chatted with Sydor to find out about life after her legendary career. What has been your key to success throughout your career, and do you see this same factor continuing as you enter your next phase in life? I’ve always been fairly methodical and analytical in the work I did, and I was definitely lucky to turn a sport I loved into a career. Being able to set objectives and really go after them was important for athletic success, and I still like to follow this ideology. Also, not being afraid to do what I want and not listening to detractors is important. For instance, when I changed from road racing to mountain biking there was a lot of criticism to deal with, but it turned out to be a great move for me in the end.
Since leaving the sport professionally, how has life changed for you in terms of your daily routine? After I stopped racing I didn’t do any sports for a full year, and it’s actually quite easy to stay motivated and on a schedule. It’s just a matter of finding new drives, and then the habits and organization to reach your goals are still just as relevant. Sport involvement is still an important part of my life, but it’s now more about staying healthy and enjoying the social aspects with friends. I eventually bought some Nordic skis and loved being on the steep part of the learning curve for a new sport again. Have you had the opportunity to be involved in any cycling initiatives? I’ve been organizing and hosting a springtime cycling camp for women in the Okanagan region, which came out of a camp a bunch of us former national teammates organized and donated to a charity a few years ago. I also help out as an advisor with a local development cycling team here in Vancouver called Trek Red Truck. Each spring I attend their training camp in Santa Rosa, California, to support the riders and ride with the sponsors. That is a big week of riding for me, and I do try to get in shape before we go so that I can actually ride with the other athletes. What words of wisdom can you give to aspiring youth wanting to ride professionally, or tackle any sport or major goal in life? You really need to enjoy what you are doing. If it’s being forced at the lower levels, then the training and commitment will only be more difficult at the higher levels. If you’re lucky enough to be that one-in-a-million talent, it will show through. I think for me, sport was always about having fun, meeting like-minded people and being part of a group that I could identify with. Though I have no desire to race seriously again, I will never stop being an athlete!
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DAYTRIPPER FIELD REPORT
SUMMER’S END MAY BE NEAR, BUT THAT SHOULDN’T MEAN FAREWELL TO THE OUTDOORS. WE’VE SELECTED OUR FAVOURITE ONE-DAY EXCURSIONS TO KEEP YOU ACTIVE INTO AUTUMN AND BEYOND. LESS THAN ONE HOUR FROM YOUR
HIKING IN SEARCH OF WATERFALLS BY SHELAGH MCNALLY Hamilton is located on the westernmost part of Lake Ontario, where the Golden Horseshoe is divided by the Niagara Escarpment. Large creeks and small rivers spilling over the cliffs have created a network of over 100 waterfalls, and the municipality has been hard at work creating hiking trails to visit them. The 13-km trail from Albion Falls to Devil’s Punch Bowl passes several spectacular waterfalls. Start off at the Red Hill Creek parking lot and follow the Mountain Brow Trail through the woods to the edge of the gorge and the Albion Falls. This 20-metre-high and 10-metre-wide cascade tumbles into the ravine at the southernmost tip of King’s Forest Park. A difficult trail leads to the bottom of the falls, where you can look up into the crest before gradually climbing back up to Buttermilk Falls, a terraced ribbon waterfall with an impressive flow after a rainfall. The path then joins the main Bruce Peninsula Trail, travelling along the escarpment edge, offering stunning views of Burlington Bay and nearby Hamilton. Follow the roar of Felker’s Fall to reach this ribbon waterfall, falling 22 metres over the terraced rocks of the escarpment. The trail briefly opens up into a meadow, passing by a limestone quarry and stretching under a parkway before heading back into the woods to cross over Battlefield Creek. The trail gets more difficult before meeting up with Stoney Creek, leading to the base of the spectacular Devil’s Punch Bowl falls. Created by the Stoney Creek flowing into the escarpment, this three-metre-wide ribbon waterfall plunges down 35 metres into the ravine, past the multicoloured, striated stones of the escarpment. Finish off the hike by climbing the Devil’s Falls Side Trail for a fantastic view – on a clear day you can see Toronto’s CN Tower.
© Hamilton Conservation Authority
Activity: Hiking Level: Beginner to intermediate Season: All season Cost: Free Gear: Hiking boots, poles Other activities: Birdwatching, photography Getting there: Dartnell Road exit off the Lincoln Alexander Parkway. South on Dartnell, left onto Stonechurch Road East, left onto Pritchard Road, then left again onto Mud Street. For more: waterfalls.hamilton.ca; Hamilton Conservation Area, 905-525-2181
OTTAWA THE ARNPRIOR-BURNSTOWN-WHITE LAKE EASY RIDER BY SHELAGH MCNALLY If you’re in the mood for a ride that’s more about scenery than suffering, the 43-km ArnpriorBurnstown-White Lake route makes for a great weekend day tour. This is an easy circuit on a wellpaved road with plenty of opportunities for a break, and it travels through three charming Ottawa Valley communities. The first 11 km from Arnprior to Burnstown is on Highway 17, and since this is also the main route to Renfrew, you can expect some vehicular traffic. At the 11.4-km mark, turn onto Calabogie Road (Highway 508), a mostly forested road that will lead into Burnstown. Just before hitting town (around six km) you’ll pass by the Burnstown beach on the Madawaska River. It’s a quiet spot for a refreshing dip, weather permitting. Burnstown is a picturesque village with a small artist 10 fall 2013 adventuramag.ca
community. Check out some of the galleries, grab a coffee and snack at the Neat Café or have a salad at the Blackbird Café. When you’re ready to move on, you’ll be heading southeast onto Burnstown Road to cross over the Madawaska River, continuing for eight km to White Lake (expect some cottage traffic). Harold Camblin, from the biking group MAFIA (Men Against Flab in Arnprior), recommends taking McLeod Road to get to White Lake. Watch for the exit just off the bridge at Lower Spruce Hedge Road. When McLeod ends at Peggy’s Lane, turn right onto McLachlan Road and follow it to the lake. “This is a nice alternate route that follows the forest with very little traffic,” says Camblin. “It’s particularly beautiful in the fall when the leaves have changed.” Once at the lake, continue along Burnstown Road into White Lake Village. The 129-year-old St. Andrew’s
United Church sits at the centre. Close by is a small restaurant serving fast food, and across the street a general store. Be sure to linger a while at the village beach before following White Lake Road north for 19 km to return to Arnprior. Activity: Biking Level: Beginner to intermediate Season: Spring, summer, fall Cost: Free Gear: Bicycle, water and snacks Getting there: From Ottawa take Highway 417 West to Arnprior (51 km). In Arnprior, cross the Madawska River to Daniel Street. For more: ontariotrails.on.ca/trails-a-z/arnprior--burnstown---white-lake
HOME CITY, THESE DESTINATIONS GIVE YOU SCENIC STIMULI AND LOADS OF CLEAN, CRISP AIR. YOU’LL BE PUMPED AND READY TO GO – AND GO AND GO!
CLIMB THE SENTIER DU CARCAN
BY SHELAGH MCNALLY
Activity: Hiking Level: Intermediate to advanced Season: Early May to first Snowfall Cost: Entrance fee to the park – $6.50 adults, $3.00 children 5 to 17 Gear: Hiking boots Other activities: Birdwatching, photography Getting there: Parc du Mont-Tremblant, by the L’Assomption entrance or the Pimbina entrance. For L’Assomption, take the Saint-Côme exit off Autoroute 31 and Route 343 up to Saint-Côme. For the Pimbina entrance, Route 125 North from Saint-Donat. For more: sepaq.com or call 819-688-2281
TAKES YOU Photo by Garrett Grove © Wolverine World Wide, Inc., official footwear licensee for Patagonia, Inc.
Mont-Tremblant Park is divided into four distinct sectors. La Pimbina is the central sector, where the challenging 14.4-km Mount Carcan Trail lies waiting to be conquered. At 883 metres, Mount Caracan is the park’s second-highest peak. Access to the trail is from the L’Assomption or Pimbina entrances. The first 1.4 km of the trail is deceptively easy as it follows an old logging road slowly being overtaken by nature. Several switchbacks along the way stop the path from becoming too steep, too quickly. The route is well marked in most places and has several side trails not to be missed. The Mont Sourire Trail is about a kilometre, with a vertical rise of 120 metres. It offers a magnificent view of Lake Ouareau as well as tiny Rupert Island and its surrounding marshes. The 5.5-km loop around Lake Carcan steadily drops down to the lake’s crystal-clear waters. You can backtrack to the main trail once you reach the lake, or do the entire route. At this point, the Mount Carcan Trail starts to climb steadily, with the most challenging part in the final four kilometres. The route is often filled with rocks and tree roots, so don’t get distracted! When you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the rugged landscape: valleys awash in green with splashes of bright blue from surrounding lakes. Plan for at least five to six hours to do the route, particularly if you do the secondary loops. The park will provide you with a trail map when you pay your entrance fee.
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A Tale of
THREE RAIL TRAILS © Courtesy
BY MATT COLAUTTI
It has not been the easiest day. First there was the cold morning start under a constant drizzle and a bleak grey sky. Then there was the combination of air conditioning and wet clothes while waiting for lunch at Tim Hortons. Now, with the sun setting after eight hours of cycling, we’re racing to reach town before nightfall. Crunch, crunch, crunch. I focus on the sound of the bike tires on the gravel trail. We round the corner and are treated to another long stretch of damp forest. I wonder if we might just stop for the night and sleep on the trail. We cross an asphalt road and the trees clear. I am flooded with relief when I see the first clapboard house. We’ve made it to Saint-Faustin, just the sort of sleepy hamlet you’d expect to find at the top of a hill somewhere in the Laurentians. The streets are hushed. We pass a small grocery store and a bistro that have long since closed for the night. This is the town that will serve as our second rest stop on the P’Tit Train du Nord, the beloved rail trail through Quebec’s cottage country. We begin searching for a bed and breakfast. Tonight we will most certainly not be sleeping in a tent. Railways have a long history of connecting the expansive Canadian terrain. The early forest industry, the wheat trade and even the settling of much of the country would have been impossible without the iron rails. But transportation and shipping are changing. Largely during the last 20 years, rail ties have been removed from many routes. The results are the mixed recreational paths known as rail trails. They are flat, uninterrupted and perfect for long-distance cycle touring. I’ve chosen to try three of the best, and my first ride has taken me to a busy trail north of Montreal. “This probably isn’t the healthiest food,” says Kendra, 12 fall 2013 adventuramag.ca
pointing to the wrapper of my burger, saturated and transparent from the grease. I nod my head as I wolf down the snack. We are in Lac-des-Écorces, a tiny speck of a town deep in cottage country, dining at a casse-croûte. The few green picnic tables out front are busy. Every once in a while the kitchen window opens up and a woman barks something while depositing a plate on the counter. Cassecroûte fare is greasy, fatty and fast – which makes it an ideal meal choice. Cycle touring is, after all, a constant struggle to consume sufficient calories. During our ride we spot two deer off the trail. On a flat section we are surprised by an enormous owl that swoops onto a tree branch. But Lycra-clad cyclists are the most frequently spotted wildlife. More than anything, the P’Tit Train du Nord offers an easy entry into cycle touring. There is a shuttle bus that carries bikes and riders the 200 kilometres to the northern terminus of Mont-Laurier; the same companies will also carry your luggage while you ride. Campsites, restaurants and bed and breakfasts are signed right next to the trail. The route is even patrolled by uniformed volunteers on two-person bicycles. But it’s impossible to plan for everything. Rolling to a stop on the immaculate streets of Mont Tremblant, we gawk at the expensive cars and nice-looking hotels. I pop into a store to buy some drinks. When I return, the overcast skies have opened up and a heavy, cold rain pounds the deserted streets. We rush into the old train station. Usually these stations have been restored to house shops or cafés; this one, as a testament to the region’s success, has become a high-end art gallery. We choose our favourite pieces while waiting for the rain to abate.
• Accommodations can vary from trail to trail. In Quebec, expect to find a managed campground or bed and breakfast frequently. In Ontario, it may be hard to find hotels in the smaller towns. • Make sure you have sufficient water before leaving a town; often there will be no clean water available between stops. • Double your food expectations and pack many snacks for the road. You will be hungry. • For your first cycle tour, aim for 40-50 km per day, giving you time to stop for a long lunch and arrive at your destination early. • Be sure to pack (and know how to use!) a tube repair kit, a multi-tool and chain lube. • Don’t be afraid to change your plans while out on the ride. The best experiences are often the spontaneous ones.
SAINT FAUSTIN, QUEBEC - “It has to be just up here,” I shout back to Kendra. Based on my bike computer, we can’t be more than a few hundred metres from the shores of Lac Carré. Nonetheless, I maintain a position just out of earshot of my biking partner, in case my reasoning is called into question.
FENELON FALLS, ONTARIO – It’s a perfect day for lock-watching, and a crowd has developed beside the three houseboats moving into Lock 34. One family is digging into Kawartha Dairy ice cream cones. A few couples are positioned at the handrail, staring in fascination at the lock operator standing at the edge of the seven-metre basin. An older couple has brought lawn chairs for the day and have taken up a long-term position in the shade. Uxbridge and Peterborough. Today, both are part of the Trans Canada Trail, the 23,000-kilometre network of trails that will one day cross the entire country. The Victoria Rail Trail represents the vision for all the rail trails in Canada: to get people outside. On a day like today, as I continue north through waterfront yards, the goal seems to be realized. The gravel path is full of people walking, biking and spending time with family and friends. Like the P’Tit Train du Nord and the KVR, the Victoria Rail
Trail is the final chapter in Canada’s relationship with the trains. We may now board rubber tires instead of steel ones, and burn calories instead of coal, but these trails are still serving the same purpose they have for much of the past century: providing Canadians with a means into the heart of the backcountry. I look out at the shimmering waters of Cameron Lake as I leave town. I’m all aboard for the next ride.
Fenelon Falls sits at a once-important intersection of the Trent-Severn Waterway and the Victoria Railway. In the early days of Kawartha tourism, these were the only ways into the region. Today the town is a busy summer vacation spot, and like much of the rail network, a memory of days past. Stretching for 80 kilometres, the Victoria Rail Trail connects Haliburton and the Canadian Shield with the farmland of southern Ontario. At its southern terminus in Lindsay the trail links with an 85-kilometre route between
PENTICTON, BRITISH COLUMBIA – We enter the tunnel at full speed, and I have only a second to marvel at the high ceilings and jagged rock walls before being plunged into darkness. My eyes refuse to adjust. I stay as close as I can to the centre of the path, with my bike pointed forward toward a block of light in the distance. I splash through an invisible puddle, and the sound echoes up to the ceiling. And then it’s over. We emerge back into the vista of Myra Canyon, the crown jewel of the Kettle Valley Railway. Steep canyon walls drop down into wooded oblivion, interrupted only by a single path hacked out of the rock. A line of wooden rail trestles stretches across our line of sight, slowly turning white in the falling snow. Two tunnels and 18 trestle bridges were needed to tame Myra Canyon, the most difficult section of a crucial rail link between Vancouver and the mining regions of the interior. After the line was abandoned, a largely volunteer-led effort brought about the restoration of these trestles. The B.C. government stepped in to repair damage from the 2003 Okanagan fire. In a region with such a range of weather challenges, conservation is a team effort. White fluffy clouds hang in the sky the next day as we get off our bikes and begin climbing Mount Munson. We follow a
dusty path that leads up above the farmhouses of the lower valley. Soon we have a commanding view of Okanagan Lake. On the south shore, we can just make out the giant peach that colours that waterfront of the town of Penticton. When I reach the top, Jess has already taken off down the other side. “I think this is the ‘T’!” he exclaims upon reaching an inclined cement platform covered with white stone. Munson Mountain is not only a scenic lookout, it is also the site of Penticton’s own version of the Hollywood sign. There is indeed much to be proud of in the Okanagan, and much to protect. I run down and stand on the larger-than-life “N” for good measure.
OTHER POPULAR RAIL TRAILS
1. C onfederation Trail, PEI – a tip-to-tip trail across the island 2. G alloping Goose Regional Trail, BC – a forested trail through the suburbs of Victoria 3. T omifobia Nature Trail, QC – show your passport at the QC-VT border and continue into the U.S. 4. E lora Cataract Trailway, ON – the rocky walls of the Elora Gorge make for a scenic rest stop 5. Iron Horse Trail, AB – be sure to bike the Beaver River Trestle, one of Alberta’s longest adventuramag.ca fall 2013 13
RUNNING AGAINST THE CLOCK
WANT TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR TRAINING SESSIONS AND SURPASS YOUR PERFORMANCE GOALS? THESE HIGH-TECH TIMEPIECES CAN HELP GET YOU THERE. LEVEL UP!
BY MATHIEU LAMARRE AND STÉPHANE CORBEIL
1 On the Run Casio’s G-Shock range needs no introduction: It is renowned for its vibration and impact – the equivalent of a 10-m fall! - resistance. The latest in the family is a sports watch designed for runners. Think 60 lap and interval memory, programmable pace alerts, a 100-hour chronometer, seven-year battery life, automatic illumination of the face with a simple tilt… And did we mention it’s waterproof? There’s nothing quite like it to help push your boundaries, maybe even a little bit too hard! CASIO, GD110 G-Shock Lap Memory 60 GD-110 | $119 | casioca.com 14 FALL 2013 adventuramag.ca
2 Style and Substance Famed Swiss watchmaker Tissot offers up a touch screen on the new Racing Touch series, allowing for easy control of the multi-competitor chronograph, various alarms, compass and, yes, tide calculator (!). Despite obvious elegance and irreproachable quality (to be expected, at this price point), it remains a fact that soon enough, this beautiful timepiece will be outsmarted by new technologies and suffer the fate most feared by athletes: It will be left in the competition’s dust! TISSOT, Racing Touch | $695 | tissot.ch
3 The GPS Watch, Redefined Garmin’s latest addition, the Forerunner 10, is all about pragmatism. The watch’s user-friendly design includes essential functions – time, distance and speed tracking – plus a few very useful extras like calories burned, kilometre notification, walk/run function and an automated pause mode for novice runners. Plus, the summary created after every run can be downloaded as a course map. Not too bad for a gadget that weighs only 36 g (43 g for the larger dial)! GARMIN, Forerunner 10 | $129 | garmin.com 4 With Every Heartbeat… The MIO Alpha has its hand on the pulse of things… literally! Instead of the industry-standard chest strap, this advanced device uses two light beams and an electro-optical cell to measure the volume of blood under the wrist’s skin. The programmable watch then establishes a target heart rate and warns via sound and visual signal if yours is below (blue light), above (red light) or on target (green light). Data driven? Your details can be downloaded to your iPhone via Bluetooth and loaded into one of several compatible apps. MIO, Alpha | $199 | alphaheartrate.com 5 High-tech Timepiece Part high-tech marvel and part wristwatch, the second generation of Suunto’s GSP Ambit truly delivers. The Ambit2 offers several functions dedicated to cycling, running, swimming and multisport training (duathlon, triathlon). After a workout, the data collected (heart rate, distance, speed, calories spent, recovery time, route, etc.) and options used can be transferred to movescount.com for storage, analysis or sharing with the community. This new version is lighter than its predecessor: It weighs in between 82 and 92 g, depending on the type of glass chosen. With impeccable design and varied and useful functions, the Ambit2 is (almost) as motivating as a sun-drenched day. SUUNTO, Ambit2 | $545–$645 | suunto.com
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT
© Louis Garneau
BY EVELYNE DEBLOCK, M.SC., DT.P. SPORTS NUTRITIONIST
THE MARKET IS PACKED WITH PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING SUPPLEMENTS, EACH TOUTING LOFTY BENEFITS. ALTHOUGH CHOOSING THE RIGHT ONE IS NEVER AN EASY FEAT, THESE PRACTICAL TIPS ARE SURE TO HELP DEMYSTIFY THE PROCESS. Energy gels are dietary supplements designed to boost energy. They are primarily made up of carbohydrates, to the tune of about 20 to 30 grams per package. Ideally, gels are consumed: • Between 15 and 30 minutes before any physical activity to boost glycogen levels; • Every 30 to 45 minutes (with at least 500 ml of water) during intense effort in hot and humid temperatures or during any activity lasting more than 75 minutes, in order to keep blood sugar and energy levels stable; • As a post-workout snack to replenish glycogen supplies when a strenuous activity will be repeated within 24 hours. When choosing a gel, an important aspect to consider is the type of carbohydrate it contains, as some carbohydrates are oxidized more easily than others. Glucose (dextrose), sucrose (table sugar) and maltodextrin (cornstarch) oxidize at a quick rate of 1 g/min, while fructose is oxidized at a much slower rate of about 0.5 g/min. Gels containing high levels of fructose (agave syrup, figs, dates) aren’t ideal for performance enhancing due to their sweet flavour, slow oxidation rate (0.5 g/min) and potential to cause bloating or diarrhea. The powerhouse ingredient to
look for? Maltodextrin, which doesn’t taste too sweet and has a quick oxidation rate (1 g/min). To calculate how much maltodextrin is in a product, subtract the number of carbohydrates by the amount of total sugar. Ideally, the carbohydrate content should come from a mix of sources – like glucose combined with fructose, for example – as these complex carbs are digested faster and won’t cause digestive discomfort. During a sustained effort lasting more than two hours, the body needs to be fuelled by about 30 to 60 g of carbohydrates per hour. Remember to drink enough water to dilute the concentration of carbohydrates between 4% and 8%, or about 6 to 8 g of carbohydrates per 100 ml. Thus, every gel should be consumed with 500 ml of water. Also, look for a recipe boosted with electrolytes (50 to 70 mg of sodium and 80 to 200 mg of potassium per 100 ml) to increase thirst, accelerate the absorption of carbohydrates and water in the intestine, support the nervous system and prevent muscular cramps. Unfortunately, the sodium contained in gels generally doesn’t meet the amount required to replenish what is lost during an intense activity. Another ingredient to seek out is caffeine, which improves the metabolism of fat and restores muscular
glycogen to stave off fatigue during endurance sports. But exercise caution: Consume too much (more than 250 mg) and caffeine can have a diuretic effect, creating loss of water in the organism and increasing risk of dehydration. One gel typically contains between 25 and 100 mg of caffeine, the equivalent of two shots of espresso. Consume this type of gel during the final sprint of an activity for a quick boost of energy. Finally, products containing antioxidants (vitamins A, B, C, E, copper, zinc, selenium) are an attractive option because they help reduce the stress of oxidation during an intense, long-lasting effort. Despite the wide array available, there is not a perfect gel: Each has its strengths and weaknesses. However, certain products like GU Roctane, PowerBar Powergel and Garneau LG fill most of the aforementioned criteria: maltodextrin as the chief source of carbohydrates, the presence of electrolytes, an option to have caffeine and antioxidant supplements. And finally, it is prudent to test-drive these nutritional supplements before a big race – better safe than sorry! Evelyne Deblock holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and a Master’s Degree in Sporting Nutrition. She is a member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec (OPDQ) and works with athletes of all kinds, from the endurance-seeking professional to the casual fitness enthusiast and everyone in between.
adventuramag.ca fall 2013 15
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TIP OF THE SAGUENAY FJORD I WAS FINALLY OFF-GRID. In a boreal forest in
Quebec’s Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, my only connection to the real world was a battery-operated radio. And even with that the reception was spotty. It didn’t matter, though. It was the call of the wild that lured me there, not the ring of my cellphone. The outside world means little when you’re faced with second-growth conifers standing taller than an urban skyscraper, in what’s known to locals as the Kingdom of the Saguenay. It was the Iroquois that dubbed the Saguenay a kingdom, a land rich in gold and treasures. Situated
250 km north of Quebec City, the Saguenay is full of spectacular sights, but there are two signature sites: Lac Saint-Jean and the Saguenay fjord, the longest, most southerly fjord in North America. The first tourist – Jacques Cartier – arrived in 1534 to a land of plenty: gorgeous views, fish, timber and fjords that were only seen back in Europe. Later, fur traders arrived for what was considered an easy route to the ocean, and eventually homesteaders came in 1837, drawn to the abundance of fur, fish and lumber. Today, this huge wilderness region is celebrating its 175th anniversary. It’s Quebec’s third-largest region,
and the province reports that 93 percent of it is crown land. A small population, below 275,000, calls the region home (many still drawn by big industries in lumber, pulp and paper, and mining). The Bleuets, a nickname for the locals inspired by the profusion of blueberry bushes, are hardier than their name suggests. A huge flood devastated the region in 1996; it was Quebec’s worst natural disaster. This was the perfect location for a shake-up adventure trip in the great outdoors. One that was going to challenge me, and get me some blissful time with wild creatures. Our start point was at Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux, 30 minutes outside Saint-Fulgence, and only 45 minutes from the Parc National des Monts-Valin. The heavily forested park overlooks the famous fjord, and features a range of activities that appeal to adrenaline-seekers.
Designed for athletes and novices alike, the idea is to have a good time, whether you’re ziplining, canopy jumping or shuffling along a Via Ferrata. We had planned on starting with the adventures the following day, but I should have known the trip was going to escalate on my first night. Cap Jaseux offers one extreme challenge after another, and that includes the accommodation (especially if you have agoraphobic tendencies, like myself). We slept in a tree house suspended so high, I could see the spiny Saguenay fjord in the distance. That night I only heard crickets and tree frogs, but I was told a wolf might join in at any time. Their howl can make your hair stand
on end, but boy is it invigorating! We missed the call of the wild that night, but I still had hopes that I might get that animal encounter later. The next morning, huddled over a campfire eating a fried-egg breakfast and quaffing the best coffee ever, we settled on our day’s itinerary. I arrived with a small group. Some of us put bets on the canopy tour, while others chose the Via Ferrata – a Roman term meaning Iron Way. People literally hang off iron pegs wedged into the ancient cliff, using only a harness, carabiners, a good pair of hiking boots and their steely brawn to scale across the Canadian Shield’s hard rock face. I preferred to spot them from
afar, clinging like specks to the cliff’s edge by the fjord. The canopy tour group was busy diving into nets suspended high between the conifers, challenging themselves to a web of 73 bridges covering four distinct terrains. Very little is holding you back in this 20-metre-high treetop obstacle course. Expect a combination of floating rope bridges with thin wooden slats for steps, tree climbing, and big fat jump pads that mimic something from the TV show Wipeout, but without the cushy water landing. Instead, the backdrop is forest, uneven terrain, and did I mention rocks? Don’t fret though, you’re always attached to a harness or have the assurance of a safety net below.
BY ILONA KAUREMSZKY
16 fall 2013 adventuramag.ca
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Me and my other half chose the ziplining. I shimmied into my harness, hung on the carabiner and let gravity pull me to the next tree platform. Free floating, butt swaying, my knees locked kind of slalom-style, I was feeling jittery at first, but then it hit me, hey, I’m flying. The more practice I had, the easier it got. The brilliant sights – treetops beneath my feet and the fjord ahead – were a dream-package-in-one. The longest line came last on the aerial course; at 140 metres, it felt like I was zipping forever (but you should aim for 45 minutes to tackle up to nine zip lines). The entire thrill is worth it! Still, I didn’t have that animal encounter, though I did see plenty of firs, spruce and jack pine. The next morning our group split up. Some headed off to Lac Saint-Jean for kitesurfing. Off the sandy shores of Saint-Gédéon, by Pointe Picard, choppy,
small waves mix with strong frontal winds. And when the wind picks up over the lake, you’ll quickly spot locals donning their favourite wardrobe item: the wetsuit needed for the sport. We headed instead to local eco-outfitter Organisaction, intent on bobbing in the fresh waters of the Saguenay River. Our meet-up was at the cruise marina in the town of La Baie, by the spot known as Ha! Ha! Bay. After some instruction, it was off to the shimmering waters. With blue sky overhead and old growth sprouting from the water’s edge, the more I paddled the closer I felt to nature. Surrounded by hidden coves and inlets, where water bodies are given out-of-body names like Trinity Bay and Eternity Bay (considered by National Geographic one of the 10 most beautiful bays in the world), the Saguenay nickname of Kingdom is fully apropos.
At one point we stopped to hear some local legends. One is about the statue of the Virgin Mary, NotreDame-du-Saguenay, which stands nine metres tall and weighs over three tons, perched at the top of Cape Trinity (it’s one of the highest cliffs on the Fjorddu-Saguenay). A travelling salesman named CharlesNapoléon Robitaille was driving his horse and buggy one winter day when he crashed through the ice into the frigid waters. He prayed to the Virgin Mary to save him, and miraculously lived. In 1881, Robitaille commissioned a local sculptor to create a statue to be placed by the headlands at the mouth of the Eternity River. The Blessed Mary has been watching over sailors ever since. In the afternoon we did some two-wheel exploring of one of the prettiest villages in Quebec, L’Anse-Saint-
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Jean. We cycled a five-km paved trail along the historic hamlet’s main street, passing heritage buildings, and then crossed a footbridge over the Saint-Jean River, continuing on a path heading east along the riverbank on the Saint-Thomas route. We passed by an old covered bridge, a local landmark, then made our way to the marina. We had heard about a sunset sea kayaking trip, and so hooked up with the local outfitter Fjord en Kayak to make it happen. After a prep session, we settled into our boats. The guide gave us a big push and sent us on our way onto the fresh, cold water. I was inside the high-rise walls of the fjord once
PLAN YOUR OWN GETAWAY GETTING THERE: By plane it is a one-hour direct flight from Montreal. By car, take Highway 175 North to Chicoutimi. ACTIVITIES: Cap Jaseux is a multiple award winner of Grands Prix du Tourisme Québécois. 1-888-674-9114 • capjaseux.com • Progression Kite offers kiteboarding lessons and rentals in Lac Saint-Jean. 418-590-5041 • progressionkite.com • Organisaction has various fall sea kayak packages. 1-877-549-0676 • organisaction.com • Fjord en Kayak has sea kayak rentals and bike rentals, and offers sunset tours. 1-866-725-2925 • fjordenkayak.ca • The village of L’Anse-Saint-Jean has a handy bike map online. lanse-saint-jean.ca FOR MORE TRAVEL INFORMATION, see saguenaylacsaintjean.ca/en/175raisons or call Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean Tourism (1-877-253-8387) or La Baie Tourism Office (1-800-463-6565).
again. The golden sun was getting ready to drop out of view of the rock-fringed paradise. There we were, basking in the sunset. At this point I had totally
forgotten about my original desire to see some wild creatures. I didn’t need it. This view was enough. adventuramag.ca fall 2013 17
FAR FAR AWAY (In Your Own Backyard) In case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve got a big backyard. And fortunately for us, there are parks in Ontario and Quebec that not only preserve our wild hinterland, but also make it accessible to anyone ready for real adventure. These parks might take some effort to get to, but they’re definitely worth it.
Ontario POLAR BEAR PROVINCIAL PARK
BEST FEATURES: It’s totally off-grid, in a hard-to-get-to spot in the Far North. No phones, no roads, no facilities. Lots of polar bears. Due to the isolation, there’s no easy route to make your way into Polar Bear Park. The best bet: Charter a small bush plane with a local outfitter. They are only permitted to land at certain locations within access zones, and from there, you can leave the float plane behind and start exploring Ontario’s largest provincial park. The surreal scenery will immediately draw you in, especially in the early fall. Ontario Parks outlines four arrival spots: near the mouth of Brant River; landing in or near Sutton River; the beach ridge of Shagamu River; and the mid-Canada radar station on an abandoned airstrip. Sutton River has been the docking place of choice, with a few outfitters including other options (like Carrey Lake via Hearst Air). The park was created in 1970 by the Government of Ontario, with the goal of playing a significant role in protecting Ontario’s polar bears. Today it is a non-operating park, which means services and facilities for visitors are limited. It borders the northwest shores of James Bay, south to Cape Henrietta Maria, and west along the southern coast of Hudson Bay. It includes the abandoned ghost town of Winisk, and the park has two river mouths: the Sutton River and the Brandt. Named after Ontario’s largest carnivore and the park’s resident mammals, this region is the most southerly point of population for polar bears in the world. Basically, it’s polar bear central. The park spans 24,087 km2 and boasts 450 km of marine coastline, with some of the lowest-lying tundra located in the Hudson Bay Lowland. The park’s coastal plain tends to be on the dry side, and the highest embankments are the river edges. A massive stew of muskeg, the terrain is marshy, with lots of ponds and lakes. The climate is sub-Arctic. Animal spotting is common. Don’t be surprised if you see small furry mammals, like hares, otters and beavers, all the way up to larger ones, including moose, caribou and, yes, polar bears, the world’s largest land-based predators. Birders have stumbled upon a significant waterfowl breeding zone, abundant with Canadian species, from snow geese, common golden-eye and old squaw ducks, to common and Arctic loons. Early fall, before the nippy frost sets in, is when polar bears begin to migrate to the ice floes to hunt seals. The heavy traffic means animal sightings will likely occur, especially around the shallow tidal flats. This is backcountry wilderness camping and canoe tripping, so prepare for animal encounters of the polar bear kind, especially by their food sources along the rivers. The wabusks, Cree for “polar bear,” are unpredictable, and spend the ice-free period along the southern Hudson Bay. Reports indicate the polar bear population in the Southern Hudson Bay Lowlands is between 900 and 1,000, and you might see as many as 200 of them trudging the wetlands during the peak in late fall. While they are land-bound during the summer and early fall season, they don’t 18 fall 2013 adventuramag.ca
actively forage for food. Still, it’s estimated the average polar bear will annually travel around 300,000 km2 (that’s an area 42 times larger than the GTA). According to angler insiders, fishing for brook trout on the 120-km Sutton River is like no other fishing experience. The early stretch from its source at Hawley Lake is pretty drab, but a few kilometres upstream the river takes on another look, weedier with spotted tracks of pea gravel, perfect for snaring a four-pound trout. The river eventually spills into Hudson Bay, with occasional rapids in areas, but nothing big enough to pose any risks. The best locales for trout fishing are by the wadeable riffs, pools and runs (of which there are plenty). Head into the river with hip waders and cast a heavy spinner in the faster-moving current upstream. Great trout pools lurk at nearly every bend, and the best ones are by the shallow gravel. Paddle further north and the landscape changes from canopies of black spruce and alders to muskeg tundra. Where the land becomes barren, the sky lights up: Don’t miss your opportunity to watch the Northern Lights dancing in front of you. PLAN YOUR TRIP Closest town: Peawanuck, Ontario Activities available: Backcountry wilderness camping, canoe tripping, wildlife viewing and controlled fishing Park info: Consult Polar Bear Provincial Park for details at 705-272-7107 Getting there: Custom trips are available through niche tour operators in Timmins, Peawanuck and Thunder Bay, such as West Caribou Air (807-476-0323 • westcaribouair.com) and Hearst Air, which has canoes included in their packages (1-866-844-5700 • hearstair.wordpress.com) Top tips: Go polar-bear-ready with shotgun slugs. It’s recommended to pack a minimum of one week of extra supplies on top of the regular supply list in the event of an emergency.
Québec ANTICOSTI SEPAQ PARK
BEST FEATURES: When explorer Jacques Cartier discovered this isle in 1534, he declared the find Assomption, due to the day of his arrival coinciding with the Day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on the Christian calendar. Anticosti might not be a gateway to heaven, but it’s close. Get ready for an adventure filled with priceless natural encounters. Located at the mouth of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and lauded as one of Quebec’s natural jewels, the Sepaq Park was established in 1985. It shares the 222-km-long and 56-km-wide island with Anticosti National Park, a protected nature reserve located in the heart of the island, where hunting is off-limits. On the Sepaq side, game hunters break loose for the annual fall white-tailed deer hunt, a tradition that goes back to the Victorian age, when celebrities and tycoons flocked here en masse. It was Menier, a wealthy chocolate maker, who bought
© Polar Bear Provincial Park
BY ILONA KAUREMSZKY
© Polar Bear Provincial Park
the island and propagated it with countless deer, converting it into a hunting and fishing retreat. Today you can expect a mix of visitors, from the hardcore to the outdoor luxe types, all arriving by plane (it’s the only way onto the island). Over 166,000 deer inhabit the island, and it’s not surprising: They have no natural predators here, and plenty of salty sea lichens and grasses to eat. If you’re a hunter, you’ll know that means the venison is exceptionally flavourful. And with such a high population density, it’s hard to come to Anticosti and miss seeing these animals. That’s not all the park has to offer, though. While deer roam the lichen along the shoreline, marine birds wait to head south for the winter. Sea trout, Atlantic salmon and pods of whales surround the island. With a landscape of boreal forest, fall is when the carpet of green transforms into brilliant hues. It’s no wonder Anticosti is considered a wilderness paradise.
On this island renowned for fall fly fishing, anglers use handmade fliers made by a local for guaranteed Atlantic salmon catches. The Jupiter River serves as one of the prime spots. With only eight anglers spread across nearly 30 fishing pools, the experience is unique and very private. For the big stag or doe hunt, hunters are restricted to two deer kills or harvests. Game hunters head to four zones in the Sepaq Park: Vauréal, MacDonald, Chicotte and Pourvoirie du Lac Geneviève areas. In the Sainte-Marie sector there are compact hunting lodges with magnificent sea or river views, but if you prefer more remote settings, spend the night at a rustic shelter in the middle of nowhere. (Don’t worry, there’s solar-powered lighting, wood heating and portable toilets.) For a more upscale experience, the park also offers travel packages (like the American Plan or the European Plan), that provide visitors with seasonal local cuisine – including packed lunches and daily
room service – as well as a comfortable room in a lodge, plus a game dressing, storage and packing service. There are also luxurious accommodations available at Jupiter 12 Lodge, where you’ll find modern conveniences (like electricity) as well as comfortable extras (haute cuisine, wines and even preparations of animals for a trophy mount). If you only have time for a short visit, Sepaq also offers a three-night experience at the new Auberge Port-Menier. PLAN YOUR TRIP Park info: Call 1-800-463-0863 (Canada and U.S.) and visit sepaq.com/sepaq-anticosti/chasse Activities available: Deer hunting (in season) and fly fishing Getting there: Flights are available from Quebec City, Montreal or Mont-Joli. For information, call 1-800-463-0863. Top tips: Hunting licences can be obtained at the reception office specific to Anticosti Island. Camping is strictly not permitted during hunting season.
adventuramag.ca fall 2013 19 12.08.13 10:17
Fall is the time leaves turn glorious gold and red, the temperature cools slightly and kids go back to school. With smaller crowds and refreshing temperatures, it’s a wonderful time to head out for some R&R, either alone or with a cherished partner. These easy-to-get-to destinations will calm your mind, energize your body and let your spirit soar.
FAIRMONT LE CHÂTEAU MONTEBELLO MONTREAL
BY KRISTY STRAUSS
Hop on a horse and explore the Canadian wilderness in the Papineau region of western Quebec. Go off-roading on historic nature trails, or observe wild bears. Fairmont Le Château Montebello offers these adrenaline-pumping adventures, and many others – all in a world-class, luxurious log-cabin resort.
R&R Le Château Montebello strikes the perfect balance between a log cabin and a five-star resort. Located in a beautiful red cedar log château, the hotel’s 211 rooms (from $189 per night • 800-257-7544 • fairmont.com/montebello) can suit all guests’ needs – whether they’re on their honeymoon or a family vacation. With its rusticinspired decor, you’ll have a cozy home base for enjoying autumn activities.
EAT Get ready to enjoy the flavours of the region. Whether you choose to dine by the lobby’s six-sided fireplace, by the river or pool, in the main dining room or a private salon (819-423-6341 • fairmont.com/montebello/dining), executive chef Serge Jost whips up each unique recipe. Dining options on site include Sunday brunch at Aux Chantignoles ($46.50), appetizers and main courses at the Golf Club Terrace and Mulligans Bar, and the Seigneurie Bar – featuring its signature Coast to Coast Seafood Chowder ($9.00). 20 fall 2013 adventuramag.ca
PLAY HIT THE TRAILS: There are plenty of hiking opportunities in Fairmont Montebello’s beautiful surroundings, and the hotel offers guided walks. You can also discover the sites a little differently with a horseback riding adventure ($35 per person • 800-257-7544 • fairmont.com/kenauk-montebello). The tour will take you across 156 acres of the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site – which was the location of Louis-Joseph Papineau’s seigneurial manor. Explore the site, which includes the Grain Shed and the Papineau family’s Funeral Chapel, both open to the public. Horseback riding along these trails requires a reservation, and takes place from May to November. OFF-ROAD ADVENTURES: Adrenaline junkies will love Montebello’s off-road adventures ($120 per person for 90 minutes • 800-257-7544 • fairmont.com/kenauk-montebello). At the only Land Rover Experience Driving School in Canada, visitors of all skill levels can take advantage of this thrilling sport. After learning the basics from an experienced instructor, students will go through technical obstacles that are sure to get the heart racing. These adventures take place at nearby Fairmont Kenauk in Montebello. Off-roading is available from April until the end of November, and guests require a reservation. CLAY SHOOTING: Want to try hunting, but aren’t sure where to start? The nearby Fairmont Kenauk in Montebello offers a nine-station clay shooting course where guests can try a bunch of different levels that vary in difficulty ($145 per person • 800-257-7544 • fairmont.com/kenauk-montebello). The whole activity simulates hunting for small-game birds and animals – offering challenges for all who take part. The clay shooting package in Montebello includes all the materials you need, like shotguns, ammunition, eye and ear protection, vest and trap guides. Remember to call and book a reservation beforehand. Clay shooting runs in Montebello during spring, summer and fall.
A CLOSE ESCAPE IN CHELSEA OTTAWA
BY TRAVIS PERSAUD
A short 15-minute drive from downtown Ottawa, Chelsea, Quebec, offers a level of relaxation and outdoor adventure rarely found so close to a city’s core. Its location makes it perfect for a day trip, or a weekend getaway to fully recharge your mind and body. Nordik Spa-Nature (819-827-1111 • lenordik.com) presents a magical oasis in the heart of Chelsea. Relax your muscles, eliminate toxins, boost your immune system and more through their Nordic Baths (Mon.-Thurs. $48; Fri.-Sun. $54). The process is simple, but thoroughly rejuvenating: Spend 15 minutes in one of their seven saunas, cool down by taking a dip in the cold or temperate pool, then spend 10 to 15 minutes resting in one of their tranquil areas, many of which include outdoor fireplaces, hammocks and meditative music. Then repeat – again and again! Opt to spend time in the Källa pool ($60; $30 when paired with Nordic Baths or a package) before or after a few cycles in the Nordic Baths. Only the second of its kind in the world (the other is in Switzerland), the special saltwater pool lays five metres underground. Wade slowly into the pool and let the salt water hold you in place as you float on your back. When your ears are below the surface of the water, calming music comes to the fore. Källa is a unique experience. And, you can spend the night right at the spa. The Nordik Lodge (from $525 for up to six people) is a five-bedroom country-style boutique that’s perfect for group getaways.
EAT For a complete day at Nordik Spa-Nature you don’t have to go too far. Their on-site restaurant offers a table d’hôte menu ($45 for four courses) that can be paired with wine suggested by their sommelier. If you want to wander away from the spa in the evening, the Chelsea Pub (819-827-5300 • chelseapub.ca) is a few minutes up the road. The newly renovated space offers traditional pub fare (think wings, nachos and fried calamari) alongside fun plates such as The Bayou (pork burger, $14),
PLAY HIKE: The main entrance to Gatineau Park (33 Scott Rd. • canadascapital.gc.ca/ gatineau-park) is found within Chelsea. After stopping in at the visitors centre, you can take your pick of the park’s 165 km of trails. For a shorter, more tranquil hike, opt for the Lauriault and Waterfalls Loop (which takes you past the Mackenzie King Estate), the Champlain Trail or the Pioneer Trail. For something more challenging, the King Mountain Trail scales the Eardley Escarpment, and the Luskville Falls Trail presents a 290-metre climb to the top of the escarpment. MOUNTAIN BIKING: Gatineau Park designates 90 km of its trails for mountain biking. If you didn’t bring your bike along for your trip, you can rent one at the Philippe Lake campground within the park ($9 for 1.5 hours; $13 for 2 hours; $19 for 3 hours; $25 for four hours). Novices beware, however: The park’s mountainous terrain is not suited to those still getting into biking shape.
Broadening your horizons
We don’t like to brag, but we really do know a thing or two about wide open spaces! all in all, we have four national parks in our part of the world. each has its own history to tell, its own watery treasures, and its own role in nordic life—from deltas awash with water to the highest stony clifftops. Well worth a visit all year round!
photo : charles-david robitaille
seafood matelote ($17) and grilled vegetables with olives, goat cheese and dried tomatoes on fettucini ($16).
© Le Nordik Spa en nature
thiS year, there are 175 great reasons to viSit Saguenay–Lac-Saint-jean. a 175th birthday ceLebration iS a big deaL! don’t miSS the party! 175 really great reasons to visit: saguenaylacsaintjean.ca/175reasons
H W EELS
ON T W
22 fall 2013 adventuramag.ca
WHEN I FIRST HEARD THAT TAIWAN WAS AN EMERGING INTERNATIONAL CYCLING DESTINATION, I WAS CURIOUS. BY BRYEN DUNN
Besides its bustling cities, Taiwan also offers abundant mountain ranges, lush forests and pristine lakes, making it a perfect destination for two-wheeled explorations. Fortunately, the Taiwanese government has realized the potential of cycling as a tourism draw. They’ve launched an incentive to attract visitors from nearby countries, discounting the purchase price of bicycles locally and offering free shipping back home for those who ride a set distance during their visit. And since 2010, the Tourism Bureau has also led the organization of a local cycling festival. I knew very little about this 36,000 km² island when I took the opportunity to attend the annual Taiwan Cycling Festival last year, a combination of events – including the King of the Mountain (KOM) challenge, Come Bike Day and the arduous Formosa 900 – taking place over a period of about a week every November. The KOM challenge is a registered competition attended by top racers from around the world, including invitation rider Matteo Rabottini (Giro d’Italia), as well as Tour de France riders Anthony Charteau and Jeremy Roy. It’s unlike any other ride I’ve ever heard of, as cyclists attempt to climb 100 km uphill, from sea level to the summit of Hehuan Mountain, at 3,275 m. (To test my own abilities on this route, the day prior to the race I cycled about 10 km up a lower section of the winding road, then turned around and happily glided back down.) All riders must complete the ride in the maximum allotted time of seven hours, and as one can imagine, not all of the nearly 400 participants will make it to the end. The final 10 km are the steepest, and the temperature drop is quite noticeable at this altitude as well. Danish rider John Ebsen was the first to cross the finish line in just over three and a half hours. The lone Canadian rider on this challenge, Fraser Young, originally from British Columbia and now living in Taiwan, confirmed the obvious: “As a one-day race, this is one of the toughest I have ever done.”
For visitors who want a lengthier challenge, the Formosa 900 is a nine-day, 900-km cycling tour around the entire island. On behalf of those who are less than bionic, I asked him about some of his favourite cycling areas around the island. “Some popular spots in the central region are Wuling, Ali Mountain and of course Sun Moon Lake. There are countless other beautiful places to ride, and an endless number of ways to get there. As for mountain biking, there’s only one worthwhile trail in the central area, which is called Neng Gao,” he divulged. Come Bike Day takes place the day after KOM, at a much more leisurely pace. Thousands of cyclists descend upon Sun Moon Lake to enjoy a ride around the entire circumference of this scenic tourist destination. The roads are closed in one direction, and designated bike paths line most of the 30-km route as well, making it a wonderful vehicle-free riding experience around the largest body of water in Taiwan. There are plans to connect the entire circle via designated bike paths in the next few years. I completed the ride in just under two hours, cycling along with mostly locals out with families and friends. Many chose to make a weekend out of it, camping lakeside and frolicking in the crystal-clear water after the ride. Some opted for a refreshing dip, while others arrived with canoes, kayaks and other flotation devices. Many of these cyclists return in the spring for the Sun Moon Lake Merida Cycling Activity, an annual event that also involves circumnavigating the beautiful lake. For visitors who want a lengthier challenge, the Formosa 900 is a nine-day, 900-km cycling tour around the entire island. It’s composed of different groups of cyclists – including disabled riders, women-only, and 55-plus – making it easy to find one that matches your riding level. I was fortunate to run into one of the groups led by Giant Bicycle founder King Liu’s daughter, Vicky Yang, head of the Cycling Lifestyle Foundation. I had stopped by to visit Giant Bicycle’s international headquarters and manufacturing plant located in Taichung County just as her group of riders were pulling in for a replenishment stop. She mentioned they were about halfway through their ride, and so far everything was going according to schedule. Giant’s plant is situated smack in the middle of an industrial park. I was in awe as I learned some of the insider tips of production and distribution within the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer. It was quite amazing to see the precision and accuracy of each step. Although it generally would be categorized as assembly-line fabrication, there was a sense of pride in the air that resonated throughout. I also had the privilege of taking one of the bikes for a ride along the local back roads. The 20-km stretch brought me through mostly farmland, and included yet another steep incline that once again tested my stamina. Unfortunately, the discounted bike offer and shipping doesn’t apply to North America, or I would have kept riding straight to the airport. Giant has also recognized the potential of cycling tourism, and has developed a tour operation division called Giant Adventure. They offer everything from one-day and overnight tours, to a Round-the-Island package that includes a rental bike, accommodations, luggage transport, guide and nearly 1,000 km of pedalling distance. The idea for this epic journey partially arose after founder King Liu decided to get out from behind his desk and on his bike to accomplish this feat for himself – at the impressive age of 73. In his own words, “I cycled 927 kilometres in 15 days, and along the way I realized that Taiwan is a beautiful island with green mountains, blue seashore and a diversified culture. I also received a warm welcome everywhere I went, and the local food specialties were unforgettable.” In 2012, the company operated 60 Round-the-Island tours, and 120 more regional or customized tours. King Liu continues to cycle regularly, even as he approaches his 80th birthday. Since his island tour, he’s participated in a number of multi-day cycling events. “I know the time will come when I won’t be able to
cycle anymore, but until then I will continue cycling to keep my health, and to postpone that day from coming.” And King Liu is certainly eager to share his passion with others. “I would encourage all of you to be a cycling missionary and invite more people to join our Giant Cycling World. Cycling is a more interesting sport than others, with a lower chance of injury. It brings you outdoors and connects you with the earth, combining travel, sightseeing and exercising together. Start with an entry-level bike then keep improving, and you’ll soon discover that cycling will inspire you to find a different you. Come on and cycle with me!” Although I didn’t get a chance to cycle with King Liu, after spending a week touring many parts of the island, riding whenever time and logic permitted, I can attest that Taiwan certainly lives up to the title of Bicycle Kingdom. Even in the thriving capital of Taipei, which is like any other metropolitan city when it comes to cycling: Leave your fear behind, take caution and obey the rules of the road. The city has steadily increased its infrastructure of bike paths, mostly along the many rivers and tributaries that surround it. As well, the You Bike sharing program has been very successful, and the MRT public transportation system accommodates bikes. Within minutes I was off the busy streets and riding along the several kilometres of designated bike paths that have been created along the interconnecting river system that wraps itself around the inner core. The Keelong River bicycle path links in to Taipei’s other riverside bike path networks, and is a great way to explore protected habitats and outlying communities, and get great vistas of the skyline, including the towering Taipei 101. Bike rental shops are located alongside the river, making it easy and economical to spend a couple hours exploring this flat-surface trail system. In addition to the great cycling opportunities offered, there are plenty of events, like the Taiwan Cycling Festival, that celebrate life on two wheels. The annual Taipei International Cycle Show, held in spring, and Taichung Bike Week, held toward the end of the year, are two of the largest bike industry trade shows in the world. The Tour de Taiwan staged race is also held each spring and is quickly gaining international notoriety as well. Getting there from North America is quite easy, and as with any of my international travels, I highly recommend taking the national carrier of the destination you are travelling to – which in the case of Taiwan is Eva Air – as it will be your first introduction to the culture. I didn’t get to fly on their Hello Kitty aircraft, but I can only imagine I would have had a completely different cultural experience on board that flight. As the inspirational King Liu alluded to, now is the time to make plans to visit Taiwan for a cycling vacation, before others make the discovery. You might not want to ride around the entire island on your first visit, but there are plenty of options to get around to the different destinations by rental car, bus and high-speed train. Finally, be sure to keep yourself hydrated, sample the variety of foods available, and take in some of the many historical museums to help you get familiarized with this little-known gem of a country.
For more information when planning your own trip to Taiwan, check out these helpful sites: Taiwan Tourism – eng.taiwan.net.tw Eva Air – evaair.com A handy local biking blog – bikingintaiwan.com Giant Bicycles – giant-bicycles.com Taipei International Cycle Show – taipeicycle.com.tw Tour de Taiwan – en.tourdetaiwan.org.tw Taichung Bike Week – taichung-bikeweek.com
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Dry Goods BY STEPHANIA VARALLI
Into each life, a little rain must fall. That doesnâ€™t mean it has to spoil the adventure. Weâ€™ve selected some of our favourite items for keeping you and your gear dry, no matter what you have planned in the great, wet outdoors. 6 3
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If you need a dry bag that can stand up to the roughest storm, check out MEC’s Scully Duffel. The internal roll-down closure makes it fully waterproof, or you can strap it to the side and just use the zippered flap top for easy access to all of your gear. Made of rugged coated nylon fabric, the duffel comes in three sizes to suit your needs, all offering the same smart design details: The rectangular shape gives it stability, a purge valve lets you squeeze out extra air to make it more compact, and stow-away shoulder straps make it portable when your hands aren’t free (portage, anyone?). MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT CO-OP, Scully Duffel | 30L $65 | 50L $85 | 100L $110 | mec.ca
If you’ve ever tried working up a sweat in a waterproof jacket, you may have found there’s more moisture building up on the inside than there is coming down on the outside. The Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Jacket uses Dry.Q EVAP, which combines the waterproof breathability of Dry.Q with EVAP, a new wicking technology that uses channels on the fabric interior to make sweat evaporate more quickly. It’s lightweight, packable and perfect for fall weather, no matter what activity you’re into. MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR, Plasmic Jacket | $150 | mountainhardwear.com
You might not want to head out on a ride in a rainstorm, but what if you don’t have a choice? For all those using bikes as their mode of transport, the SealLine Commuter Bag is a perfect fit. The simple, roll-down-and-clip closure is easy enough to work one-handed, and it’s watertight – nothing is getting through the RF-welded, coated polyester body. The stow-away waist belt and available accessories add even more function to the fashion (yes, you really can have both). SEAL LINE, Urban Backpack | Small $149.95 | Large $169.95 | cascadedesigns.com/sealline
5-SLEEP TIGHT 2
Once upon a time, we used to have to make a choice between the weight/warmth ratio of down vs. the superior moisture handling of synthetic alternatives. Then DriDown was introduced, and everyone lived happily ever after (it stays dry 10 times longer, retains more heat when wet, and dries 33 percent faster than regular down). You’ll find this new hydrophobic technology in the Sierra Designs Zissou 6. This mummy-shaped sleeping bag can handle temps down to -14oC – and you don’t have to worry about that condensation in your tent. SIERRA DESIGN, Zissou 6 | $449.95 | sierradesigns.com
A pack cover might keep out some drizzle, but if you want full water protection for your gear, your best bet is to use a dry sack inside your backpack. It not only saves you from sudden downpours, it also makes unexpected complete dunks – think slippery stream crossings and upended boats – much less disastrous. OutdoorResarch Ultralight Dry Sacks are made of coated polyester, with fully taped seams and easy roll tops that buckle up for a durable, airtight setup. How light is ultralight? The 15-litre bag weighs in at only 46 g, so you won’t even notice you’re carrying around an extra layer of protection. OUTDOOR RESEARCH, Ultralight Dry Sacks | $14.50–$31 | outdoorresearch.ca
There is nothing quite like the sound of a smartphone dropping into a lake ($%@#$!). Avoid future trauma by zipping your device into an E-Case. The model-specific cases can last 30 minutes in a metre of water, and you don’t have to sacrifice functionality: High-clarity windows give access to touchscreens, cameras and audio. The model designed for the iPhone 5 (and iPod 5th-gen) comes with a waterproof headphone jack, and the eSeries 9 will accommodate larger smartphones, like a Samsung Galaxy. And don’t worry, butterfingers: There are lash points for tethering it to your pack, your pants or your PFD. E-CASE, eSeries 9 | $27.95 | iSeries iPhone with Audio $39.95 | cascadedesigns.com/e-case
High-performance merino wool is getting another plus. Icebreaker is introducing a brushed merino fabric with nanotechnology that adds water resistance. You’ll know it’s there when there’s a plus sign on the product, like the new Cascade+ Hood. This insulating soft shell also has rain-protecting panels, an internal flap for wind protection, zipped hand pockets and an adjustable hood. Perfect for a drizzly day of hiking. ICEBREAKER, Cascade+ Hood | $299.99 | icebreaker.com
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ADD A DASH OF CIVILITY TO YOUR NEXT TRIP INTO THE WILD. GLAMOROUS CAMPING, OR GLAMPING FOR THE ABBREVIATION-OBSESSED, ALLOWS FOR THE COMFORTS OF HOME TO FOLLOW YOU INTO THE OUTBACK. HERE, WE OUTLINE JUST A FEW OF THE ITEMS YOU’LL WANT FOR YOUR NEXT BLACK-TIE CAMPING TRIP.
BY TRAVIS PERSAUD
That instant stuff is no good for this type of outing. The Handpresso Wild Hybrid Espresso Machine will provide the same quality caffeine fix as the cooler-than-thou independent shop you swear by. Pour in your boiling water, fill with your coffee grounds or ESE pods, pump the unit and then press out your coffee. Voilà! What’s equally impressive is that it works off of pressure, so no batteries are needed. HANDPRESSO, Wild Hybrid Espresso Machine | $130 | handpresso.com
Whether you try to maintain eight hours of beauty sleep when away, or stay up until the wee hours of the early morning, you’re going to spend a lot of time on the floor when camping. Let’s make this a little more bearable. Start with two (yes, two! – we’ll get to that in a moment) Big Agnes Insulated Air Core sleeping pads. At 3.25 inches thick and made for three seasons, these will form a firm and comfortable foundation. Next, add Big Agnes’ Sleeping Giant. This memory-foam pillow top adds a layer of “mmm” and “ahh” to your outdoor bed, hugging your body and relieving any pressure points. Lastly, keep warm with the King Solomon. This double-wide bag from Big Agnes (this is why you want two pads!) provides warmth and space for two. Sleeping solo? Well, what’s more glamorous than extra room in the great outdoors? Warning: There’s a possibility you’ll want to sleep on this set-up when you get home. BIG AGNES, King Solomon $400 | Sleeping Giant $70–$80 | Insulated Air Core $80–$130 each | bigagnes.com 26 fall 2013 adventuramag.ca
You want to be one with nature, but prefer keeping nature off of your clothes. Totally understandable. There’s nothing like dirt, mosquito entrails and bacon grease to ruin not only your attire, but also your outdoor-loving attitude. The Scrubba Wash Bag will take care of the former, and directly alter the latter. Although it appears to be a regular dry bag, the ingenious design hides a flexible washboard inside. Add water, soap and your mucky clothes. Scrub for a couple of minutes and watch the dirt melt away. SCRUBBA, Wash Bag | $60 | thescrubba.com
FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS
Leave your propane tanks, jerry cans, or whatever other highly flammable liquid you think is necessary to start a fire, at home. With the BioLite CampStove all you need is sticks and a match to simultaneously cook your food and charge your gadgets. If you think this sounds like some next-level stuff, you’re absolutely right. How it works: Gather some twigs, sticks and whatever other kindling you can find at your campsite. Throw it in the CampStove and light it. Then, through the ingenious power of the integrated thermoelectric generator, two things begin to happen. First, a fan starts whirring to create a more efficient fire. Second, extra electricity can be used to charge your gadgets through the stove’s USB port. Add the optional grill for even more flexibility. Welcome to camping 2.0. BIOLITE, CampStove $130 | Grill $60 | biolitestove.com
SO FRESH, SO CLEAN
The lake is for swimming, not washing – this is a glam outdoor adventure, remember? The Zodi Hot Tap HP Double Burner Shower is the perfect solution for such matters. Propane-fuelled burners, along with the battery pack, heat up to 227 litres of water between refills, providing more than enough hot water for everyone to have a proper shower in the wild. The storage case acts as a 15-litre water tank, and the 2.4-metre hose comes with a water-saving shower head, so all that precious hot liquid goes to good use. Can also be used to wash your dishes. ZODI, Hot Tap HP Double Burner Shower | $280 | zodi.com
It wouldn’t be glamorous without some booze, right? But not just a cooler filled with that cheap, light lager that you may bring on your normal camping trips. You need the good stuff. Enter the GSI Wine Tote. Insulated using neoprene, this 750-ml tote keeps that special bottle of pinot fresh for your late-night drink around the fire. The larger opening allows you to easily pour the wine in, while the smaller mouth lets you fill your glass without spilling. The pouch can also hold two of GSI’s nesting glasses. GSI, Wine Tote $25 | Nesting glasses $7 each | gsioutdoors.com
What’s in your pack?
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adventuramag.ca fall 2013 27 7/23/13 1:15 AM
BY SHELAGH MCNALLY
28 fall 2013 adventuramag.ca
© Jan Otto
MIND & BODY
Research is showing how inflammation plays a more central role in our health than we previously thought. Short-term inflammation can be a good thing, but chronic inflammation may be a silent killer. The study of chronic inflammation is a relatively new field, and researchers have only begun to
uncover its connection to aging and disease. What they have found is that short-term inflammation is a good thing – it’s how our body naturally promotes healing. It’s chronic inflammation that does the damage, adversely affecting your health and performance. What does it do? Acute inflammation is a brief reaction lasting a few days or less. It’s a response to a pathogen (bacteria or virus) or an injury. The swelling and heat associated with acute inflammation are a signal for your immune system to spring into action. The problem is when inflammation becomes chronic, like a constant low-level feature in the background. This causes the immune system to go into overdrive, with misguided white blood cells attacking healthy tissues and organs. The Karolinska Institute in Sweden has been researching how inflammation affects specific tissues. They’ve pinpointed that the hands and feet are affected in rheumatoid arthritis, the spinal cord and brain in multiple sclerosis, and the kidney in lupus. Dr. Beverly Teter, a lipid biochemist at the University of Maryland, has discovered a link between chronic inflammation and heart disease. Teter has been studying the effects of trans-fatty acids on humans for nearly 30 years (this is the same research facility that broke the story about the adverse health effects of trans fats), and has found that inflammation appears to be the main culprit in heart disease – not cholesterol, as previously believed. “It’s the inflammation in the vessels that starts the lesion,” she explains. “The body then sends the cholesterol like a scab to cover over it to protect the blood system and the vessel wall from further damage.” There is also an obvious inflammatory component with conditions such as asthma, allergies and other autoimmune disorders. It’s also been linked to depression, cancer, Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis. So far, no one has been able to discover an effective curative treatment. What causes it? Modern life actually sets us up for chronic inflammation. A vitamin- and mineral-deficient diet, high in sugar, processed foods, gluten, trans fats and processed meats, contributes greatly to the issue, as do carrying excess weight, high levels of stress, sleep deprivation and a sedentary lifestyle. And while not enough exercise can be a risk factor, there’s another end to that spectrum: Researchers at Japan’s Hirosaki University School of Medicine and Bangor University, in Wales, have established that the sore throat, upper respiratory problems, joint pain and depression symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) are actually due to a form of inflammation. How do I know if I have it? Chronic inflammation is notoriously difficult to diagnose. It can pose as other problems or simply not be debilitating enough to be noticed until too late. Only a blood test can determine if you have chronic inflammation. The main marker is a high level of the C-reactive protein (CRP) in your blood, which rises in response
to inflammation. It’s also an indication of other infections and long-term disease. It can’t indicate where the inflammation is located, or the root cause, so five other factors must be considered. High levels of either ferritin (protein found inside cells that stores iron), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), homocysteine (an amino acid) or monocytes (a type of white blood cell) are all indications of chronic inflammation. Another measure is the SED rate – how quickly red blood cells settle in a test tube in one hour. Inflammation causes the proteins in red blood cells to stick together, making them fall more quickly than normal to the bottom of the test tube. How do I reduce it? While over-the-counter medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, commonly known as aspirin and ibuprofen) are excellent for acute inflammation, doctors discourage their use for chronic inflammation. The best cure appears to be a change in diet and a less sedentary lifestyle. Victoria Drake, PhD, a researcher at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, found that foods with high trans fats and saturated high-glycemic count (waffles, pretzels, chips, cake, beer, soft drinks) set off inflammation by dumping an excess of sugar into the bloodstream. She’s also studying how a Mediterranean-style diet, which includes fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains, and is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids from olive oil, reduces chronic inflammation. Dr. Teter recommends choosing foods not based on cholesterol but on whether they reduce inflammation. Nutritionist and author of The Inflammation-Free Diet Plan, Monica Reinagel, developed the popular IF Rating System to rate foods based on their anti-inflammatory effect. High on the list: fruits and veggies. Carotenoids (found in carrots, squash and sweet potatoes) as well as lycopene (found in tomatoes and watermelon) are big inflammation busters. Polyphenols are also being researched after several key studies found they reduced inflammation. These natural chemicals are highest in blueberry, pomegranate, red grapes and cherries. E. Mitchell Seymour, PhD, a research scientist at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center and the Michigan Integrative Medicine Program, is currently doing clinical trials with tart cherry and grape and their effect on chronic inflammation. Certain spices are also known for their anti-inflammatory agents. Curcumin, found in turmeric, has been shown to inhibit the activity of the 5-lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase enzymes – both responsible for inflammation. White willow bark, devil’s claw and the gum resin of the Boswellia tree also inhibit these inflammatory enzymes. The German Commission E (the equivalent to the FDA) has approved bromelain (found in pineapple) to treat swelling and inflammation after surgery. And in the end, taking a deep breath to relax may be the best inflammation buster of all. “Inflammatory activity usually increases under stress,” says George Slavich, PhD, director of the UCLA Laboratory for Stress Assessment and Research. Chronic inflammation has a negative effect on your health and impacts your training. Controlling your body’s inflammatory response can not only help you reach your next level of performance, it can also mean a long and healthy life. adventuramag.ca fall 2013 29
ÂŠ Photo by PatitucciPhoto
30 fall 2013 adventuramag.ca
TWISTS AND TURNS
As a follow-up to a busy, hectic summer, fall is for quiet introspection on silent roads while getting away to favourite locations - like this one just outside Interlaken, Switzerland. Change is in the air. No longer is everything the same. A turn through shadows bring slick pavement and a chill to the bones, while openings in the forest brings the warmth of the sun. Best of all, a place that was full of people in the summer, is silent in the fall. â€“ Dan Patitucci, photographer THE TOOLS: CANON EOS 5D MARK II, 17â€“40MM F/4L USM LENS, ISO 1250, F/4, 1/500 SECOND
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BIOM ULTRA TRAIL
THE MOST VERSATILE BIOM – EVER BIOM ULTRA is our newest trail runner with NATURAL MOTION®. It fits like a glove and rides on a marvel of sole – extremely slim and flexible with grip and traction. The anatomical construction offers support where needed and keeps you comfortable in all trail adventures.
Adventura / Fall 2013