The Lions and Thomas peak (between the Lions) from Enchantment Peak
As you may recall, I snowboard during the winter, and during the summer I peak bag. If you're asking yourself peak what?! Read this one first: https://genuineguidegear.com/blogs/g3u/deeks-peak-and-ardbeg-peak-trip-report-peak-bagging-101
This summer I finished Vancouver’s North Shore Peak Bagging Challenge. This is how I completed the madness:
I hiked up a total of 82 peaks, some more than once. The challenge has grown from 44 peaks in 2009 to 83 unique peaks in 2022. Completing it is just getting harder and harder. Eight out of the 83 peaks are not considered a “completist peak", due to significant hazards, so hiking 75 unique peaks will make you a “completist” this year. Yep, you must be both a good hiker and a good mathematician to complete. A full list of peaks can be found here: https://www.baggerchallenge.ca/peaks.
I spent 48 days hiking. That's over one and a half months’ worth of hikes, in the last two summers. There were 499 days between my first and last hike in this challenge, which is 72 weeks and two days.
I hiked a total of 802km, which is 498 miles (I cannot get that 500 miles song out of my head… ) There was 48,440m elevation gain in those trips, which is almost 160,000 feet, and almost six times the height of Mt. Everest from sea level.
Seven trips involved biking, and I biked 142km, with 1,750m elevation gain. Three trips where to “far away” peaks that required camping. I spend five nights out in total.
My longest daytrip was to Beth Peak, West Capilano Peak and Capilano Peak, which was 31.5km with 1,861m elevation gain. My partner joined me on that one. My shortest daytrip was to Black Mountain in Cypress Provincial Park, which was 4.23km with 298m elevation gain. My 11-year-old joined me for the stroll.
I took five ferry roundtrips and three water taxi roundtrips to hike peaks on the Howe Sound Islands and the Sunshine Coast. I did nine “water bags” which is when you touch water at sea level and start hiking from there.
I did one solo hike, but I prefer hiking in a group. During this challenge I got to hike with at least thirteen other hikers who participated in the challenge (a.k.a. Peak Baggers), and one dog (a.k.a. Peak Bagging Canine). I got to hike with my kids, my partner, friends, and friends of friends. While hiking in the backcountry is rewarding enough, making new connections, and deepening old ones makes this experience even more special.
I am the 58th person to complete the challenge since it started in 2009. Two dogs completed it too! 8 baggers completed it this season so far and few more are expected to join the list as this season is not over yet. A full list of us can be found here under “Completists”: https://www.baggerchallenge.ca/results
This challenge includes short moments of pure joy, Type 1 fun, and many long hours of Type 2, 3 and 4 fun. It is not for everyone. On clear days, these glorious mountains are visible from the city. Knowing all these peaks up close and personal makes these views even more awesome and life just a little better.
Enchantment Peak from Howe Sound Crest Trail (HSCT)
Cathedral peak from Bishop Meadows
Runner's Peak snow field
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