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.

Just Posted

Hope Search and Rescue assist in flood response

Evacuation alerts and river monitoring carried out by HSAR together with the District of Hope

Chilliwack prolific offender a no-show for sentencing hearing

Warrant issued on May 17 for Jeffrey Michael Kizmann wanted for robbery

‘We’re not out of the woods yet’: Hope Mayor on flooding

Gabion diking system installed, residents urged to stay clear of river banks

UPDATED: Pedestrian fatally hit on railway in Agassiz

Police, fire and ambulance responded

WATCH: Semi-trailer fire along Highway 5 put out twice in one day by Hope crews

Fire chief warns drivers taking video to slow down and move over to avoid further accidents

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

Drivers could pay $8 per day to help cut gridlock under new plan

Mobility pricing report outlines two existing models to cut Metro Vancouver congestion by 20-25%

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

Trans-Canada Highway reopens to traffic early Friday morning

Most Read