I grew up hiking. Though in my youth it was always a means to an end. Fly fishing was my primary obsession, and growing up, I had unlimited access to the trout-rich waters on and around our property. I would think nothing of hiking alone for several kilometres through dense forest and bush to fish a particular section of water. Not many parents would let an 8 to 10 year old boy do this, but mine did, and I’m forever grateful. Besides, I think they knew they could trust the judgement of my dog and constant companion, Sandy, more than my own…
As I grew older, my fishing world expanded and so did my hiking world. Learning to drive as a teenager allowed me to have direct access to the mountains which in turn, led me to hike into remote lakes and streams. If there wasn’t a trail, going off trail and slogging up a scree slope was just fine – as long as there was a place to fish at the end. At that point in my life, the thought of summiting a mountain or gaining the top of a ridge was secondary. When I did do it, it was only because the fishing happened to be subpar – which in the mid to late 1980s was a rare occurence, as the backcountry experienced considerably less fishing pressure than it does today.
Now however, as an urbanite husband and father of three young adults, I find myself just as passionate about hiking as I am about fishing. In fact, over the past few years, I’ve begun to choose hiking up to the summit of a mountain over the chance to flog a stream – though in my mind, the perfect day would see both a summit cairn and the rising of a trout. Indeed, my ‘rediscovery’ of hiking has been a joyful process and I am grateful that I’ve been able to share in this alongside of my family and friends.
The following is a photojournal of my scrambles and hikes since 2010. My general goal is to try and make it up 10 to 12 summits per year.
** I am not an expert mountaineer and cannot guarantee the safety, accuracy, or reliability of any of my trip reports. Hiking & scrambling can be dangerous activities, so if you decide to use one of my routes, you do so at your own risk.**
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