Update: July 2020 – I have begun to include information about which First Nation’s traditional territory my trips take place on. I’m obtaining this data from the Native Land Digital project.
This is intended mostly as a personal chronicle, but I will be trying to make it useful for people who are researching trails they want to try. In the grand scheme of hiking blogs, this is a fairly humble offering but hopefully it’ll be a project that will grow through the years. It would already be substantially bigger if I’d just started blogging a few years sooner…
In pursuing my hiking hobby, I have 2 over-arching objectives:
- Take every opportunity to get out to the mountains and explore.
- Don’t be a Dead Guy on a Mountain.
Objective 1 gets me out the door. Objective 2 gets me home again. To help me fulfill Objective 2, I’ve taken the AST 1 avalanche course, as well as a scrambling course from a certified mountain guide. I’m often by myself when I hike, so I carry a Garmin inReach which allows for satellite text communication and can act as an SOS beacon if needed. Finally, I always carry bear spray in a belt holster.
Naturally, you should not rely solely on my descriptions when planning any kind of outing in the mountains. I’ll reference guidebooks or blogs that I used to prepare for my trips where relevant. I also use Gem Trek maps whenever possible. In addition to my inReach, I carry an iPhone to record data for the trips using the Topo Maps Canada app and the GPS Tracks app.
I notice frequent discrepancies between my apps with respect to the distance of recorded trails. Topo Maps seems to report slightly longer distances, but also seems to more closely match distances reported in guide books. Therefore, I typically report the distance recorded by Topo Maps.
GPS Tracks and MotionX (which I used until summer 2020) have a feature which records total ascent (as opposed to just the difference between the highest and lowest points), so I typically include that in the trail report. For example, if the trail goes up 10 meters, down 10 meters, then up 10 meters, that’s 20 meters total ascent. It’s not the difference in elevation between the start and the objective, but the total uphill climbing you have to do. I feel like this is more useful information for a hiker. Sometimes, typically for technical reasons, I don’t have that data, so I’ll report elevation gain (the difference in elevation between the starting point and the high point of the route).