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In fall 2015, ultrarunners Mike Foote and Mike Wolfe set out on a route they dubbed the Crown Traverse. Starting from their hometown of Missoula, Montana, they ventured 600 miles across a vast wild swath known as the Crown of the Continent, ending in Banff, Alberta.
Foote and Wolfe, sometimes accompanied by photographer Steven Gnam, created their own route. That involved not only trail running but also bashing through overgrown avalanche chutes, scooting across glaciers, skirting moose and mountain goats, navigating (and falling down on) steep scree descents and scrambling along sketchy, snowy, narrow ridgelines in Canada. (One of them describes it, aptly, as “full-on battle in the mountains.”)
The video, directed by Matthew Irving and released by The North Face (which sponsors the two runners), highlights that difficulty, as well as the mind-blowing and largely unspoiled beauty of the region.