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Runners start at the base of Mount Robson and run up the Berg Lake trail to the back of the mountain where glacial ice floats in the turquoise blue water of Berg Lake.

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Looking down on Berg Lake and the back of Mount Robson. Full marathoners run to the edge of the lake and the historic Hargreaves Shelter, ampoule and then return back to the start/finish.

The Mount Robson Ultra Marathon will be an “out-and-back” run on the world famous Berg Lake Trail. The route passes through several different environmental zones and has its turn-around point just past the the shores of magnificent Berg Lake, truly making this marathon a one-of-a-kind experience. The route has been extended in 2015, to be 50 km long, an Ultra Marathon.

The ultra marathon has an elevation gain of 825m/2,700ft over the 25km to the turn-around point. The section from Whitehorn Campground to Emporer Falls Campground climbs steeply and almost continuously through the Valley of a Thousand Falls for about 5km, with an elevation gain of about 500m/1650ft. Most runners will find themselves walking much of this section.

The Berg Lake Trail is the most heavily used backcountry trail in the Canadian Rockies, with over 2,000 overnight users each year. The trail is very well maintained, and is mostly hardpacked ground with very few exposed roots or protruding rocks.

Marathon Route Overview

Click on the link to view and download the PDF map of the Mount Robson Ultra: MRM2015_map_profile

  • start at Mount Robson Visitor Centre
  • 2km flat paved road to Berg Lake trailhead, 15m of elevation gain in 2km
  • aid station located just past the trailhead at 2.5km
  • mostly gradual climb along Robson River through cedar rain forest to Kinney Lake picnic area (aid station, 160m elevation gain in 4km)
  • short up and down and then flat along the shore of Kinney Lake to Kinney Lake campground (aid station, no elevation gain in 2.0km)
  • gentle incline through coniferous forest onto the gravel flats of Robson River where the half-marathon turns around (aid station, 20m elevation gain in 2.0km)
  • moderately steep incline followed by descent to Whitehorn Campground (aid station, 130m elevation gain in 2km). This is the location of the first cut-off for the Ultra Marathon. Runners will need to pass by this aid station by 9:45am. This allows 1hour and 45 minutes to cover the first 13km.
  • the hard part – up Valley of a Thousand Falls to Emperor Falls Campground (aid station, 500m elevation gain in 5km). The top of Emperor Falls hill is the location of the second cut-off. Runners will need to pass through this point by 10:45 am. This gives 2hours and 45 minutes to cover the first 18km of the course which includes all of the major climbs. 
  • gradual climb to the shores of Berg Lake and then along the lake to Hargreaves Shelter, then continuing along flat trail about 2km past the shelter to the turn-around and aid station at Robson Pass. (aid-station, 15m elevation gain in 4km)
  • Aid stations will be supplied with: water, Gatorade, cut up energy bars (Vega), energy gels (E-Load), and some cut up fruit (at the lower Kinney Lake and Finish Line stations).

Cut-Offs

  • Cut-offs will occur at 9:45 am at Whitehorn Campground (13km in to the race), and at 10:45 am at the top of Emperor Falls hill (18km in to the race). Runners reaching these cut-off points after the indicated time will be turned around and unable to complete the full ultra marathon. 

Click on the link to view and download the PDF map of the Mount Robson Ultra: MRM2015_map_profile

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Course Profile and Distances – click on the image to see an enlarged version.

MRM Full Map

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A runner makes his way across the Kinney Lake Flats at about the half-way point to Berg Lake.

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