Monday, August 5, 2013

Needle Peak Family Summit

Today we drove to Needle Peak for a family hike.  We were planning on doing an overnight trip with Carter in Glacier National Park but the weather wasn't cooperating, so we chose the closest peak for a fun day in the mountains.

Needle Peak is located on the south side of the highway on the Coquihalla, just past the old toll booth.  The route is approx. 10km and 900m return.  The Peak itself sits at 7,000 feet.  It is about a 2hr drive from Kelowna.  I was really impressed with the new trail markers.  There is a clear sign at the start of the trail and bright orange markers all the way through the alpine.  Last year and previous years we have gone, it wasn't marked at all.  So this is great for any new people wanting to check it out.  We saw lots of people out on the trail today.  There were a lot of small kids and families going up with their overnight gear.  There is also a lake you can hike to and visit or camp if you have small children who can't summit yet.


The start of the hike is the most strenuous.  It is a technical and steep single track that switchbacks up to this little meadow and then opens right up for the second half of the hike.  View become more and more stunning as you approach the summit and once at the top, if on a clear day you get the most spectacular 360 degree views of the surrounding mountain ranges.  Today we even had a clear view of Mt. Baker.

Yak Peak behind us

The last 100m of this hike become a scramble and there are a few spots that might be a bit tricky if you're new to scrambling or a little less comfortable with it.  Last year when we took Carter, Trent put him on a rope just for reassurance.  Not so much for Carter, he was fine actually... more so for us.  Today - Carter did it w/out a rope and actually did the route finding up and back down.  We were really proud of him.  He is showing patience, really good foot work and just taking his time and focusing on the sections that need it.

I think it took us approx. 1hr 45min to summit and about 1hr 15min return, for a total of about 3hrs.  We hiked at a steady but not hard pace.  We played the alphabet game as we hiked and just enjoyed a nice day out hiking as a family and with our friends Nathan and Carrie.

Lunch at the top was Land Jager, Brie Cheese/crackers, apples and berry strudel.  It was such a happy place.  We were fortunate to get clear skies so we could just sit back, enjoy our snacks and take in the views.  Bliss!

It was a really great way to end a long weekend and start a build week leading into Squamish 50k.  Less than 3 weeks before we leave for Europe and less than 4 before we toe up in Germany.  We are starting to get really excited!

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