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On the Move on Foot or Skis: Adam Mertens

On the Move on Foot or Skis: Adam Mertens

Photo credits: Nikos Schwelm/

Adam, tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Adam Mertens. I grew up in Nova Scotia (Mi’kma’ki) and have called the Canadian Rockies (Treaty 7 Territory) home for the past 5 years.

Why did you join RunUphill as an ambassador?

I have been incredibly inspired by RunUphill's commitment to building and contributing to their community. I think there is a longstanding belief that the outdoors is a space that doesn't discriminate. There is growing recognition however that this is not the case. There is tremendous value in creating multiple points of entry into the sport. RunUphill achieves this by hosting community-led running groups of all abilities and celebrating everyone's successes, whether it is a first-ever 5km run or a multi-day FKT attempt. They host low-cost and free events that allow us to push our limits and connect with others, and they give back a tremendous amount through the 1% for the Planet initiative.

Add to that the fact that they have the perfect gear to help us to tackle our ludicrous objectives and that they make the best coffee in town, joining as an Ambassador has been an incredible privilege.

What is your ideal day in the mountains? 

I am inspired by long ridge traverses with uncertain outcomes, where all the GPS, satellite images, and trip reports in the world still don't answer the question of whether it is possible or not. I love moving through low 5th scrambling where a Rad Line is on hand but might not ever come out of the pack, especially when the rock stays put when you pull on it (appreciated, not required). 

What’s your weapon of choice for running?

The Scarpa Ribelle Run is the answer to the question of what if a mountaineering boot and trail running shoe had a baby. They bring the best of both worlds: durable construction that holds up to scree, a toe that edges exceptionally well on technical sections of rock, and a gaiter that prevents small pebbles from getting inside. I will never wear another shoe for scrambling in the Rockies.

Tell us about Howl Experience

The Howl Experience (or "Howl") is new Canmore-based education non-profit that offers experiential programs for young people ages 17-30, from 5 days in length up to 4 months. We bring together youth from all across the country with the mission of creating holistic relationships between youth, communities, and ecosystems in a way that allows everyone to thrive now and into the future. The organization is inspired by youth who are seeking experiences, community, direction and hope, and is guided by the understanding that it is only through community and experiences that we are able to find our true calling.

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