Salomon Adventure Challenge
Albion Hills Conservation Area
Albion Hills, Ontario

January 24, 2004

Over the 'Hills' and (not so) far away!

Photo Courtesy of Mark Honsberger

With the 50th team signing up at 10pm on Friday night, a record crowd of competitors from as far away as London, Ottawa, Gatineau, QC, and Sault Ste Marie gathered at the Albion Hills Chalet for our one and only winter Salomon Adventure Challenge for 2004.

The sunny skies couldn’t stop the frosty breath and chilly extremities in the –20C weather we enjoyed through most of the day! As competitors piled out of the buses near the north end of Hockley Conservation Area, 35 kms away from the finish line, missing gloves and cold toes were priority #1.

At 10:50am, 150 competitors began to warm up with a LeMans start – a 300m run to the bikes. The pack broke apart quickly, leaving behind a team who found the freewheel on one of their bikes frozen and inoperable. Our intrepid gear truck McGyvers from the local reserves got them on their way with a little elbow grease and truck exhaust.

The 13km bike leg was interrupted in the first kilometre with an unused section of road – putting the bikes on the shoulders of most competitors as they hike-a-biked through ankle deep snow. The girls of Team Hoof Hearted were losing feeling in their toes going into this section, but after a brief stop to warm up, they toughed it out and continued on. The remaining 11 km featured some spin-class-worthy ups and downs on packed snowy back roads.

Team EAS/Hammer from Hamilton cruised through this section in 52 minutes, followed closely by Team SRS/Taiga of Ottawa and Gatineau in 53 minutes, and Lawrence Foster’s Team Hyper Global Mega Net / Salomon in 54 minutes. Mechanicals were frequent, as we saw a number of teams scootering bikes with frozen derailleurs and freewheels, or running with flat tires!

Photo Courtesy of Mark Honsberger

To highlight the oddities of winter adventure racing, Richard from Team Tree Huggers faced a potentially disastrous situation on the way to CP1/TA1 – his mouthpiece blew off his hydration pack, dumping most of a full pack of water down his chest! The warm water didn’t cause temperature problems, but soon froze into a solid plate of ice which stayed in place right to the finish line!

As the one hour mark passed, a flurry of teams descended on CP1/TA1, and began making strategic decisions to go with snowshoes, Yaktrax, or good ol’ XA Pros for the trek through Glen Haffy Conservation Area. Also faced with a Bruce Trail route decision, teams took either a direct southern trail to the crossing of Hwy 9, or an eastern route to an approved road in the hopes of moving faster.

Once across Hwy 9, the real navigation began. Locating CP2 at the picnic area proved more challenging than some teams anticipated. EAS/Hammer held their lead, nailing CP2 1:44 into the race. Pete Cameron’s HillBilly Bugger Folk made some gains through this section, arriving fourth behind SRS/Taiga and Hyper Global Mega Net / Salomon.

Photo Courtesy of Andrea Hutt

CP2 volunteers enjoyed the chaos of their checkpoint, as teams not only arrived in all directions, but chose an equally diverse number of departure directions. It’s no wonder as this CP was quite exposed, and not only had the temperature stayed a consistent –20C, but the wind was picking up. The lead teams all chose much the same route, however, following the southerly road that led to the Bruce Trail and on to CP3.

Emerging from the bush to a roadway lined with 150 bikes was quite a sight for EAS/Hammer, still in the lead at CP3, moving from CP2 in only 34 minutes! Team A Snowball’s Chance’s bad luck continued – after 3 flat tires between the start and CP1, they arrived at CP3 to find a bike with…you guessed it, a flat tire.

There were many frosty faces and frozen water bottles leaving CP3 for the short ride to the Advanced Section decision point of CP4. In all, 11 teams made the decision to proceed on the Advanced Section, but only 9 of them would finish the compete course before the 6:30 pm cut-off

Photo Courtesy of Andrea Hutt

Moving from CP4 to 4A and onto 4B offered teams a wide choice of off-trail routes, or combinations of winding, criss-crossed trails. Hyper Global Mega Net / Salomon opted for the direct route, plowing through the woods on a tight bearing for CP4A.

Coming into CP5 out of the advanced trek, EAS/Hammer maintained their vicious pace, arriving in the lead, even before any regular course teams.

Reaching CP7 and the toboggan hill proved more interesting than many teams anticipated. Arriving from the south and the north, at the top and bottom of the toboggan hill, some teams earned some bonus elevation gain before careening down through the finish line. Winners of the fastest toboggan of the day was Team Critical Mass, from arrival at CP7 to the finish line in 4 minutes.

Never once relinquishing their lead in this race, EAS/Hammer flew down the toboggan hill into the finish chute at Albion Hills Chalet in a total time of 4 hours, 29 minutes. Only 20 minutes behind were Simon River Sports/Taiga.

As the top teams in their categories, both EAS/Hammer and Hyper Global Mega Net / Salomon win Salomon adventure racing footwear, and a free entry to the Salomon Adventure Challenge Canadian Championship in September.

Odyssey Production:
Salomon Adventure Challenge Photo Sales

Visit Odyssey Production's website for more images from the winter Salomon Adventure Challenge - Albion Hills...and if you find one you like, you can order it right from their site!

RACE MAP: CLICK HERE for the race map!


NEW!  There are always so many incredible, hilarious, and awe-inspiring stories from a Salomon Adventure Challenge, and this race is no exception.  We would love to hear about them, so please send your stories and photos to, so we can share them.    Of course, we will give you credit for your photos and stories--unless you're too embarrassed, that is!




For Full & Detailed Results and an entire Team Listing CLICK HERE!
Make sure to click through each page in the spreadsheet to see more statistical information.

Overall Rank

Open Rank

Co-ed Rank

Team Name


Finish Time





Hamilton, ON

4:29 (A)





Gatineau, QC

4:49 (A)





Sault Ste Marie, ON

5:10 (A)




HillBilly Bugger Folk

Toronto, ON

5:23 (A)



Tree Huggers

Palgrave, ON

5:54 (A)





Caledon, ON

6:02 (A)




Woodbridge, ON

6:20 (A)



Keep on Truckin

Caledon, ON

6:47 (A)




Disturbing Behaviour

London, ON

6:52 (A)




Toronto, ON

7:27 (A)



Screaming Carrots

Hamilton, ON

5:13 (R)

The top all-female team:  Lost in the Woods of Toronto,
finishing the regular course in a time of 6 hours, 47 minutes.

Additional Information:

Registered Teams

Race Documents:

Volunteer Update #1 (PDF)

Competitor Update #1 (PDF)

2004 Rules & Regulations (PDF)

2004 Winter Salomon Adventure Challenge Gear List (PDF)


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