CTR Peak Performance 200,000m Achievement

THANK YOU to the Calgary Trail Runners for recognizing my 2016 season with this awesome keepsake, it means so much!

A photo posted by Jamie Junker (@peakfever) on

Many members of the CTR helped shape my mountain destiny, I owe you all a heartfelt thanks:

Thank you CTR trail veteran Bert Starke. In 2013 when we met on Moose Mountain I didn’t know a damn soul from the trail running world or that it even existed. When you invited me out for that triple Prairie I thought you were nuts and watching you run down that slope three times in winter fairly boggled my mind. You were the reason I bought my first pair of trail running shoes, you were there the first time I ran Prairie Mountain, you and I ran my first ultra distance together and you were the reason I started trail running at all, thanks a million buddy!!

Thank you Lori Stirrett Downey for helping me break out of my mountain solo shell and making me feel welcome with the CTR. Thank you for organizing that fateful group trip on Prairie Mountain so I could meet local endurance legend Joanna Ford.

Thank you Joanna Ford for helping me smash down all the mental walls between me and what I used to think was possible. Thank you for sharing your magic mindset with me, thanks to you I will always strive to push my ‘limits’ as far as I can (with a smile on my face). And, of course, thank you for all the mountain adventures!!

Thank you Leo Fung and Brayden Hiltz (and Joanna Ford) for inspiring the shit out of me with your wild Strava activities and for taking me out for those fledgling runs, seeing you all in action having fun running around in the mountains was incredible. You helped me believe the impossible into reality.

Thank you to all of my other friends at CTR who are too numerous to name. I wish you all the happiness and success you deserve both on and off the trails. Thank you all for all of the encouragement, moral support and for helping me achieve all that I have. Without my friends at the CTR 200,000m in one year may very well have remained some far off dream.

For anyone interested, here were the 2016 summit stats that resulted in the 200,000m:

Total Summits reached 2016: 182
Unique Summits reached 2016: 123
Total Elevation Gain GPS Logged 2016:
Trail Distance GPS Logged 2016:


Best Mountain Moments of 2016

A quick trip down memory lane before we slam the door on this past year and sprint confidently into 2017:

1. Lovely Larches

When: September 15, 2016
Where: Valley of the 10 Peaks (Lake Louise, Banff National Park)
Anecdote: Running through tunnels of freshly lemoned larch trees at sunset with your partner is as romantic as it gets. The Lake Louise area love vibe is hard to beat.

Larches glowing in the sunset enroute to Wastach Peak last night (taken Sept 15, 2016)

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2. Perfectly Still

When: October 6, 2016
Where: Consolation Valley (Lake Louise, Banff National Park)
Anecdote: Calm weather in the mountains is such a rarity that when it strikes a profound sense of awe prevails. It was hard to leave the swampy shoreline of Consolation Lakes. 

Consolation Lakes (Taken Oct 6, 2016)

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3. Entrancing Inversion

When: October 12, 2016
Where: Pigeon Mountain (Kananaskis)
Anecdote: Our group had no expectations of a view at all this day, only hope. Breaking through the clouds was like entering another world, one where it was impossible to stop taking pictures.

One last pic of the Pigeon Mountain inversion last Sunday. New summit tomorrow, inshallah

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4. Perfect Light

When: June 5, 2016
Where: Mount Buller summit (Kananaskis)
Anecdote: I had just finished taking a whiz when I noticed Ruchel appreciating the 900m precipice off Buller Mountain summit. Luckily I managed to get this shot off before she realized I was done relieving myself.

Beautiful day on Mount Buller (taken June 5, 2016)

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5. Frosting on the Ridge

When: September 1, 2016
Where: Mount Northover summit (Kananaskis)
Anecdote: Views like this are why peak bagging is so god damn fun and addicting. You actually see the ridge melting away, both snow and rock.

Northover Ridge looking spectacular from the summit of Mount Northover (taken Sept 1, 2016)

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6. Crossing The Expanse

When: May 18, 2016
Where: Gap Peak (Kananaskis)
Anecdote: Fun friendships forged in the mountains are strong and enduring. Soloing is sweet, but moving quickly as a team feels really cool too.

7. Bombing Steeps

When: July 23, 2016
Where: Mount Lougheed Peak 1 (Kananaskis)
Anecdote: When I first started scrambling never in my wildest dreams did I dare to muse of running the Lougheed Traverse, and certainly not with a girlfriend willing and capable of the same. We have come so far and yet we are only at the beginning of these wild adventures in the mountains.

Looking forward to scree runs like this and temps above 0. Only 6 months to go 🙈

A photo posted by Jamie Junker (@peakfever) on

8. Intense Lines

When: August 28, 2016
Where: Mount Smuts (Kananaskis)
Anecdote: Just days after her 132km ‘fun run’ Ruchel joined me for redemption on Mount Smuts (we’d been rained off the day before). I managed to completely blow the route finding and led her up a horribly steep and exposed gully that gave us both quite the surprise. What a relief to make the summit!

9. Shenanigans at 10,500ft

When: August 22, 2016
Where: Mount Stephen (Yoho N.P.)
Anecdote: Geoff Hardy’s infectious fun energy turns every peak bagging mission into a hilarious zany adventure. This pic was orchestrated by him, and he actually took my place after I failed several attempts to achieve the height he was looking for.

Summit fight club: Mount Stephen…poor Geoff didn’t know @ariellefitz22 was a blackbelt ✊

A photo posted by Jamie Junker (@peakfever) on

10. Finding the Beauty

When: August 15, 2016
Where: Pilot Mountain Summit (Banff National Park)
Anecdote: After concluding that Pilot Mountain offered interesting vistas but no striking view I wandered over to the South edge of the long summit plateau. From here the connecting ridge to Mount Brett was breathtaking and made we wish for the gear and skill to make it there by a more direct means than the scrambling routes.  

Best Video

When: July 6, 2016
Where: Dolomite Peak (Icefields Parkway, Banff N.P.)
Anecdote: The sharp grey rubble of Dolomite Peak is a harsh place devoid of life and color except for this little fellow. Its always surprising to find life in some of the most extreme spots in the mountains.

Surprised to see this lovely creature amongst the rubble and scree (near the summit of Dolomite Peak)

A video posted by Jamie Junker (@peakfever) on

Thanks for looking!


Chilling Out Nerve Pain with Lemon Essential Oil

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Relentless running up and down sharp Rocky Mountain limestone slopes in minimalist shoes finally led to some serious foot discomfort in February of 2016.

I tried everything from pharmaceutical injections to acupuncture to super expensive orthotics but nothing relieved the intense stinging nerve pain in my toes. As desperate searches yielded no cure I was eventually forced to quit running altogether. My 2016 mountain aspirations lay in ruin. The thought of amputating my own toes with an ultra light mini-Gerber on the trail entered my mind on several painful occasions. Doctors delivered the gamut of prognosis from a few months of downtime to never being able to run again.

Rest was the only thing that lessened the pain, but sitting around all summer when the peaks were dry was not an option. For months I endured the sharp sensations on every climb, hiking being only slightly less painful than running, which persisted throughout the summer. It was a real bastard of thing.

In October I watched a lady, totally new to essential oils, put a few drops of lemon oil on her swollen knees and proclaim them pain free after 20 minutes. I was skeptical. I’d already tried the best and most expensive oils. At the time I considered Lemon to be just a cheap oil only useful for flavoring pungent tap water. Nevertheless in private that night, and with nothing to lose, I tried the same thing on my foot and be goddamned if it didn’t work for me too. The next day I took my first trail run in months without a clenched jaw, it was pure ecstasy. Lemon essential oil, $14.00 a bottle. ‘Snake oil’. Here was complete relief, under my nose for months and for next to nothing. Un-fricken-believable.

I can’t say for sure that lemon oil will work for you or anyone else, it’s not even commonly used for pain relief, but I hoard it like Smeagol now. If you have a nagging pain, at less than $14.00 a bottle lemon essential oil might be worth a shot. Worst case scenario you can use it to make yummy drinks.

Email me at: jamiejunker@gmail.com if you’re keen to try some or would like to know more.