Hikers celebrate the completion of the 74-kilometre Hudson’s Bay Company Trail

Cold watermelon ends 8-day, 74km Hope to Tulameen hike

After eight days of gruelling hiking, the ice-cold watermelon at Tulameen was enjoyable, says program director.

Hope Mountain Centre program director Kelly Pearce recently took a hike to Tulameen.

He left Hope on July 31 with 13 others and hiked the 74-kilometre Hudson’s Bay Company Heritage Trail, arriving eight days later.

“It felt wonderful,” said Pearce. “We came to the Tulameen River and we had to take our boots off and walk across the river to the end of the trail. There’s a big kiosk there beside the road where you can park and people were waiting for us and someone had an ice-cold watermelon that they spliced for us.

“We all really enjoyed this watermelon when we got to the other side.”

The mostly self-supported hike took the hikers of varying abilities up the Northern Cascades Mountains.

Each of them had to carry 40-50 pounds on their backs, while ascending and descending thousands of metres in elevation changes.

“We did have one vehicle meet us at the halfway point, and resupply us on day four. [Thus, hikers] only had to carry four days’ of food and fuel for their stoves,” said Pearce.

They started 10 kilometres east of Hope, at the Peers Creek Trailhead, with an elevation of 330 metres. Immediately, they started climbing up 1,000 metres to reach Manson’s Ridge.

Pearce also names Mount Davis, Tulameen Plateau and Mount Olivine as the most challenging parts because of the significant elevation change involved.

“I think the hardest part was climbing up Mount Davis to Deer Camp,” said Pearce. “We had to climb up, I think it was about, 700 metres toward at the end of the day where we already travelled about nine kilometres.

“By the time we got up to camp, everybody was really, really tired. But then we got a beautiful sunset up there so there were wonderful rewards too for those hard days.”

At the end of the day, the group would stay at one of the 10 campsites along the route.

However, don’t expect a warm shower at the end of the day.

“There are some creeks with pools and some river crossing where you could submerge yourself, and there is one lake, and we all had a swim in the lake, when we got to Lodestone Lake on the (Tulameen) Plateau,” said Pearce.

Having many creeks and sources of water proved useful for the hikers, as they drank a lot of water.

“We filtered our water to be safe,” said Pearce.

With those 74 kilometres hiked, many in the group checked off a major undertaking on their bucket list.

“This trail has been on those people’s list for a couple of years now. They wanted to hike the whole thing. It’s a big achievement for sure,” said Pearce.

With hindsight, Pearce’s top tip for people attempting this trail would be to give it “a generous amount of time.”

His eight-day timeline also gave his group the time to do side trips and learn more about the trail’s history.

“I wouldn’t recommend that anybody do it in less than seven days unless you’re in top physical condition, otherwise you’re just stressing yourself, I think, too much, and pushing yourself too hard and missing out on some of the beauty of the trail,” said Pearce.

Pearce noted that he has seen an uptick of interest in the trail and he also said there is talk of having a single-day run called the HBC 50.

“It’s 74 kilometres which is close to 50 miles, so we’ll probably promote it as a 50 mile race,” said Pearce. “It’s just an idea, at this point, but it’s a very realistic one that will likely take shape for next year.”

The most gruelling part of that race, Pearce notes, is that runners only fuel themselves with gel packs and run in the dark with headlamps in order to finish it in one day.

“It sounds terrible, yeah, I would hate to do that,” said Pearce.

Pearce said he is in the process of researching what permits he needs to host the race.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hundreds fill Chilliwack streets for Black Lives Matter march

‘Canada has a problem too,’ reads at least one protester’s sign

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

$25 million Fraser Valley highway project 18 months behind schedule

Ministry says information security protocols have ‘evolved’ since construction on project wrapped up

Chilliwack RCMP heard gunfire en route to suspicous activity

Chilliwack man, 42, sent to hospital after shooting, RCMP have confirmed

Racism wasn’t dealt with properly by school, says Chilliwack graduate

Woman tells story of being verbally assaulted at school for being black

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

Run for Water: Abbotsford man raises $100,000 running 100-mile marathon

Kevin Barata ran up and down Ledgeview Trails 32 times, exceeding elevation of Mt. Everest

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Most Read