They say rock ‘n’ roll will never die — but it may be on its last legs on the historic Peers Creek trail.
The Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning will hold its annual Peers Creek Boulder Toss this Saturday, and program director, Kelly Pearce, said, “This is probably the last year, as they are going to reactivate the road for logging in the area.
“The original Hudson Bay Company trail was obliterated by logging in the 1960s, up to Manson’s Camp,” he explained. “The first part of the trail now follows an old logging road for the first few kilometres. There are four or five sections over a two-kilometre stretch that are particularly slide prone, due to the freeze-thaw action in the winter.
“Virtually no rocks come down in the summer, so we get a lot of value out of this annual path-clearing,” Pearce continued. “We want to make it passable for horses, and hikers with full packs.”
“Some of the boulders are as big as fridges, so we’ll get multiple pry bars in there and five or six people. If the rock is rounded, there’s a good chance we can move it.
“It’s fun to watch them go banging down the hill,” Pearce added. “If a rock is too big and angular, we sometimes admit defeat and build the trail around it.”
With the return of logging, Pearce and crew will start researching a new trail for the south side of the valley, closer to the creek.
“We know the original HBC trail crossed the creek four or five times,” said Pearce, who is hoping to find remnants of the 1854 trail. “We may cross it one or two times, if we have to.
“We’ll have to do archaeological studies and mapping this summer, then get approval from Recreation Sites and Trails, BC before we build it next year,” he added.
Pearce figured the new trail would be less prone to slope instability and rock slides, so the boulder toss could be a thing of the past. “There are some pockets of old growth forest in there. It’s quite beautiful,” added Pearce.
This Saturday’s work bee is rain-or-shine, so Pearce asks that people come prepared with suitable clothing. Most tools and gloves will be provided — but long pry bars would be appreciated.
“This typically attracts as many as a dozen or more workers, from as far away as Vancouver and Burnaby,” said Pearce. “We have about 120 on our trail volunteers e-mail list.”
A bonus to those attending is the free lunch, provided by supporters, Keren Hasell and Hilary Kennedy.
“People can build their own custom sandwiches before we head out,” said Pearce, who asked that people bring their own knapsacks and containers to hold the donated sandwiches and desserts. He recommended that people bring their own 2-litre supply of drinking water.
In order to plan for tools and food, Pearce asks that people confirm their attendance via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or text at 604-869-0166.
Volunteers will gather in front of the Hope Library at 9 a.m., prepare their lunches and then head out to the trailhead.
“There will be lots of trucks and SUVs going up, if others want to hitch a ride,” said Pearce, who expects the work bee will be finished by 3 p.m. at the latest.
For more information about the Hope Mountain Centre, please visit their website at HopeMountain.org.