Summiting a mountain in early spring without ropes, crampons or carabiners sounds crazy, but users of the indoor walking lane at Canmore Recreation Centre are doing just that… hypothetically. Bow Valley PCN’s Mountain Madness is a little challenge that encourages participants in the Bow Valley Adult Indoor Walking Program to walk a little further than they would normally do at each visit to the track.
Wall mounted visuals of local mountains, such as Ha Ling, Grotto and the iconic Big and Middle Sisters, depict cartoon avatars of each walker. At every session, the number of laps they achieve is translated into the 'walker' moving to a higher point on one of the mountains. As people outwalk the current mountains, more are added to keep the challenges going.
The next mountain in view
"Over time, people get content with the distance they usually do," says the PCN's Active Living Consultant, Randi Lynn Rinaldi, who conceived the idea of Mountain Madness. "Seeing the next summit or a higher mountain ahead is encouraging them to log their laps and walk a little further each time."
By mid-March thirty people had registered for Mountain Madness, most of them submitting photos for the creation of the cartoon hikers. Although it is an individual challenge, the cumulative distance is also being calculated for the whole group with a view to achieving even greater heights together, perhaps the Seven Summits.
A little further each day
The March-long Mountain Madness program is free; there are no big prizes, just the personal satisfaction of walking a little further each visit. No special equipment is needed, bring clean and comfortable indoor shoes.
Registration is simple: contact Randi Lynn at 403 675 3000 or email email@example.com or in person (at one of the times below). A photo will be taken to use for your personal cartoon hiker.
The Bow Valley Adult Indoor Walking Program runs on Mondays 10:45 to 11:45 and Wednesdays 11:45 to 12:45. The walking lane is open 7 days a week – times vary.