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My Great Canadian Experience: Hiking

Outdoor Ed group photo

The best hiking experience ever

by Nelly from Germany

It all started when I changed my classes into Outdoor Education class. And I can tell you: It was the best decision I have ever made.

During the last days, we prepared everything for a three days hiking trip. We set up tent groups and planned what to eat during the hike.

And then there was the day...

Tuesday September 20, 2022, 7.30 a.m. departure at Mount Baker. We drove up to the Maus Creek parking lot, where we saw a black bear standing beside the road. He was staring perfectly in our direction and with the skills “How to identify a bear” which we had learned from Mrs. Cormier before, we could easily say that it was a black bear.

We hiked past an old mine up to Maus Tarns, where we had a short snack. We made it up the Tanglefoot pass and arrived at the Tanglefoot lake. It was probably the most beautiful lake I have ever seen. The water was extremely clear and the woods around it looked like a fairytale. We flipped some rocks and ate our lunches, afterwards we started our last stage for the day.

After twenty minutes we arrived at the area, where we sat up our camp. The grass was fluffy, the sun was shining, the trees around were perfect for bear hangs and our kitchen area was located beside a beautiful lake. This was definitely the perfect place to set up camp.

Me and my food group had couscous, beans and corn for our first dinner. It was a very delicious dish and I enjoyed eating something warm. After we finished dinner and cleaned our dishes, we tried to set up our bear hangs. Nobody got it to throw the rope high enough and after thirty minutes of trying and beating each other in a throw competition we asked Mrs. Cormier for help to set up the bear hang. We didn’t get it for another twenty minutes and the fact that it was getting dark didn’t help. We took a break and warmed ourselves at the camp fire. Mrs. Cormier read a text, with a wonderful meaning, which fit perfectly in our situation, being out in the backcountry surrounded with nature and only a small group of people. We reflected our day and afterwards some of us went to bed, some tried to hang the bear hang again and I stayed at the fire. It was completely silent and I have watched the stars. I would say I have never seen the stars this perfect.  We could see the Milky Way and tried to find starsighns. Out of the nowhere we heard cheers as the bear hang finally got set up. Our tent was frozen as we went to bed. During the night we had around -4 degrees outside but luckily, we had our -18 sleeping bags. 

Day number two (September 21, 2022): We started the day at 7.15 a.m. with a nice breakfast. My food group had mashed potatos with bacon bits. It tasted better than we had expected.

We departed for hiking at 9.30 a.m. and hiked up the Windy pass and down to the Broken Heart Lake. This was the place, where our group got split up. Some of us stayed at the lake and some went up the Bear pass. I went with the group who went up to the top of Bear pass and it was the best decision for me. We had a spectacular view all over the mountains, glacier, woods and lakes. We arrived back at the camp at 4 p.m. after a 6 ½ hours hike. As a cooling, I went swimming in the glacier lake near our camp. It was a great thing to do after the hike. Some of us swam across the lake two or four times, but I can’t imagine how this was possible. The water temperature was possibly 6 degrees. To get dry, I ley in the sun and it was pretty comfortable, even though I was laying on a rock.

For our second dinner, we had Naan with Humus and another dip. It was a really easy dinner without anything to clean up. So, we had enough time to watch the boys trying to make a curry. It was the most chaotic thing I have ever seen. And everything started with the fact, that the instruction got burned. We ended the evening with a round of the game Werewolf.

Day number three (September 22,2022): First of all, it was raining the whole time. We ate breakfast (porridge) beneath the trees and set off the camp. We departed for the way back at 9.40 a.m. Everything got soaking wet and that’s why it was freezing cold during the breaks. We were hiking very slow, so that nobody would slip. We made it back to the parking lot and some of us went back to the school before the rest, to set up the classroom for drying the gear.

I am very thankful to have the possibility to experience the country like this. I never went on an overnight hiking trip before, I never went swimming in a glacier lake and I never went up the mountains so often as in the three last days. And while having fun and being together with new friends, I learned a lot of new things for my life. Thanks to everyone who made this experience possible. 

Blog post and photo submitted by Nelly from Germany. Nelly is a grade 10 student at Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook, BC. 

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