Getting ready to hike again!

And in other fun news……. last week I started the ball rolling on a backpacking trip for early July and now I’m up to eight participants on this little adventure (Brian, Mica, our friends Jon and Al (who we play music with), Al’s teenage son and a nephew, plus Brian’s uncle). I’m hoping that we can get a friend of Mica’s to come along as well, but so far I’ve got buy-in and reservations for six tent pads over four nights on the trail to Berg Lake in the Rockies (Mt Robson Provincial Park) and we’re all pretty stoked about it. This trip boasts amazing views, wildlife, and a lake with icebergs!

On the downside, my fitness level is on the middling to low side at the moment because I haven’t been activated around going to the gym or even getting outside much since last summer. I know that if I hit the trail to Berg Lake today, I could make it – but it would be more of a struggle than an enjoyment and who wants to book five days of holidays just to suffer?

Booking four months in advance not only ensured that we could get permits and tent pads for this popular area, but it gives a realistic amount of time for getting into good backpacking form. I’m not the only one of our crew feeling this way either – which means Brian and I will have company for weekend hikes over the spring. I’ve also signed up for a pedometer challenge at the YWCA for the month of March (the standard 10,000 steps a day) which was fortuitously timed to get me consciously thinking about my daily activity.

On Monday I went for a first hike in months – the 5.5 kilometre Lynn Loop at Lynn Headwaters Park. This is one of my favourite jaunts because it is close (15 minutes from my house to the parking lot) and the terrain is somewhat varied. The first km tracks straight uphill, followed by about 2 km of undulating terrain, a half km downhill on stairs, and 2 km of easy flat terrain on the way out.  It’s a great starter hike for the season because it’s relatively short, but given my inactivity over the winter that first kilometre up got my heart rate going! On more energetic days, the loop can be lengthened to 10 km by skipping the stairs and hiking on to the debris shoot, or to 14 km by heading on to Norvan Falls.

Since I’m feeling a bit novice at the moment, the 5.5 km did me just fine this week but I’m looking forward to adding the debris chute and Norvan falls in the near future. Having the north shore routes so close by (and well-traveled) gives me some easy-access solo hiking options for Mondays, and I’m hoping for some further afield day-trips once the snow melts a bit in the mountains. Plus gym time (grumble).

Any tips for a backpacker fitness program? Please let me know 🙂

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