THE BIG ONE Hike October 23, 2020

The last hike of the Fall saw six brave Outdoor Education students tackle a very difficult traverse up Elk Mountain, Mount Thurston and Gloria Peak. Starting at the base of Elk at 9am, students ascended over 1600m in elevation over the course of 10 hours to finish the hike at 645pm in the Chilliwack Community Forest. The snowy conditions made for a beautiful hike through the forest, but also added another layer of difficulty as students had to trudge through 6 inches of snow. Overall the students displayed great determination and resiliency to complete the hike, and learnt that with proper preparation even a difficult challenge can be overcome.   Extreme Outdoor Education students (and anyone else who wants to) leave a 100 word response below.

6 thoughts on “THE BIG ONE Hike October 23, 2020

  1. Karol Macleod

    If any doubt in your mind about this trip and you have not gone before do not go on this trip until that doubt you have is cleared. This trip was certainly not the longest trip that i have ever been on but it was sure the hardest trip that i have ever been on. My so called water proof shoes that i was wearing on the trip even managed to freeze. My adrenaline went crazy trying to fight off Hypothermia from how cold my feet were. Which led to me eating te secondent most amount of food in my life. To put that into context the most i have ever eaten in life was when i got bitten by a spider that makes vennum that makes your adelien go nutes if given it. On top of that the mountains were so steep that it was almost as if you were walking on the side of a cliff and the paths were so steep that it was easier to slide down then to walk down. Despite the kids that went on it requiring experience with hiking no one was not struggling not even the two supervisors which were the old and the current teachers of the outdoor education extreme program with both off them saying that this trip was the most extreme trip they have been on. If you do not believe me already that this trip will be difficult go ask the teacher. But with all of that said if i have not managed to scare you off already and you feel as though you can do and you have the gear and experience to do it I will say to do it. But if you got to this point and you still want to go there is probably nothing a can say to stop you.

  2. Liam

    This hike I set out in great anticipation and angst. I was looking forward to finishing, dreading the start. The bus pulled up to the mountain at approx. 9:30am. When we started up Elk, all I was thinking was; what did I sign up for. After 5 minutes my legs were getting to the stage where they hurt, but you don’t know if it is the getting started or the extremely out of shape feeling. Eventually after the 5 k mark I thought, Ok, this is doable. We finished Elk with a positive attitude, and hoping that the pass was doable. What we were not expecting was the amount of snowfall that was at the top of the ridge. The 6-8 inches took a toll on our km/h rate, but we eventually made it to Thurston, after passing some 60ish foot drops on our right. Halfway down Thurston, we had a ridiculously long lunch break which was annoying because it was cold up there, and I finished my food in 10 seconds, so I had to sit and wait for 45ish minutes. The Gloria seemed easier just because we were making good time down Thurston and had time to go slower. The downhill from Gloria was the worst in my opinion because 6km of continuous downhill gets hard on the knees. After that, we all walked down the road another 2k because the sign said no busses past this point, so we had to walk. We all piled into the bus tired, sweaty, and exhausted. But I am glad that it is over

  3. 23kentarod8211

    This hike was awesome, but definitely difficult. Each mountain separately is already difficult, but doing them all at once was a completely different experience. Early in the hike I already started to get blisters, which was fun… Then the snow came. It was kinda fun because we don’t get snow a lot, but it ended up just making it harder. Unfortunately, no view at all from any of the peaks, because the fog made it so you couldn’t see anything. Stopping for lunch made everybody colder, as no one was moving, so it sucked a lot. We ended up skipping Gloria peak as we wouldn’t have been able to see anything and it just added extra distance. I definitely packed too many layers in my pack, so that ended up weighing me down a lot. I also should have worn more socks for the blisters, and also should’ve slept better the night before… With everything I learned, I will feel more confident if I do another long hike like this one, but maybe not for a while haha

  4. clea

    When I signed up for this hike, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It was a long and grueling process, but definitely worth it. For me, this hike reinforced the notion that if you set your mind to something, you will accomplish it. I had never been on a hike longer than 4 hours, but I persevered and succeeded on this hike of 10+ hours. At the beginning of the hike, all I could think was, “What am I doing right now? Why did I decide to do this?” The first four kilometers were painful. It seemed like we’d accomplished so little in so much time. By the time we had reached the halfway point, this had changed, the adrenaline had kicked in, and I was super motivated. But, then we took a lunch break. This was the worst ½ an hour of my life. Standing still for so long froze me to the core. Every single part of my body was cold. At this point, there was nothing I wouldn’t have given to be at home, wrapped up in blankets, sitting by the fire. I had never been so happy to start walking again. After a few kilometers, I warmed up and for the rest of the hike, I just wanted to plow through. The last 6km were all downhill, part of which was quite steep and very snowy. I tend to be a klutzy person, so it was no surprise when I fell over a dozen times. I ended up with an enormous bruise on my hip, which lasted about 2 ½ weeks. The last half of the downhill portion was painful; mentally and physically. I wanted to go as fast as possible, without breaks, but that wasn’t possible because we had to travel as a group and my knees were in so much pain, due to the continuous pressure from going downhill. Getting on the bus and sitting down was the best feeling in the world.

  5. Keira Thompson

    This hike was definitely not what I thought it would be. When I signed up, I assumed that it would be a long hard-ish hike, but I never thought it was going to be this crazy. I have done many hard hikes in the past, but I have never encountered a hike that was this long and also in the snow. When we first started the hike, it was super fun. I wore many layers, and I actually had to take a few off around 1 km because I was getting pretty hot. The next few km were pretty easy, but the weather was progressively getting worse and worse as we went along. Once we reached the top of Elk mountain, I was freezing and very happy to have completed the first part. There was once dramatic change that took place once we reached the top of the first mountain, and that was the roughly 2 feet of snow that we now had to walk through! We powered through to the halfway point, where we stopped for lunch. The lunch break was definitely the toughest half hour of my whole life. This is not even an exaggeration; I genuinely wanted to die at that moment. We were all freezing, and since we stopped moving, we were no longer generating enough heat. When we started walking again, I was so cold that I wanted to just turn around. It turned out to be tons of fun going downhill as we slid down most of the way, and it was a nice break from the steep climbing. Once that was done, we headed uphill again and finally finished the last 6km downhill, which felt like forever. But it was not over once we reached the bottom. We had to walk another 2km to get to our bus since it was not able to make it up the steep hill. Once we got to the bus, I have never been so happy to sit down with the heat blasting! Fitness-wise I did very well the whole trip. The only problem for me was the weather. If I were to do this hike again, I would do It in the summer and never again in the winter. The following days I was quite sore given we walked and climbed approximately 26km!

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