Trailrunning the Howe Sound Crest Trail

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I remember seeing a photo of a section of the Howe Sound Crest Trail (HSCT) when we first moved over. When I saw the photo I knew that I wanted to do it. It looked rugged, beautiful and tough. The caption under the photo said something along the lines of ‘an ambitious overnight hike best done over 3 days’. Wow, that was something far outside my abilities at that time.

Fast forward 4.5 years to today and I was joining a jolly group of trail runners (Jeff, Chloe, Adam, Joel, Shannon & Aran) to run the trail in entirety – from Cypress Bowl Ski Lodge to Porteau Cove – approximately 28-30km. This turned out to be a day for the books! The weather couldn’t have been better, the company was fantastic and with the views we had there was no way we set any speed records because every corner we turned ended up being the perfect photo opportunity.

Sidenote: If you are attempting the HSCT it is recommended to do it from South to North as this will ensure you a day of net descent, which you will greatly appreciate at the end of your hike or run. The first water source is at Magnesia Meadows, which for us at this time of a dry year, was a tarn. We treated/filtered the water here. The next water source was just past the Brunswick hut, about 1km. I drank from this creek without treating the water, however please do so at your own discretion. On a dry sunny day this trail is stunning! Be aware that there are boulder field crossings, a few narrow trail sections and roped sections for aid – so attempting this trail in less than ideal conditions will alter the difficulty. I highly recommend this trail – either as a run or an overnight backcountry trip. It is an iconic North Shore adventure. So get out there, be safe and start adventuring!

 Here are some of the best views and highlights from the day:

Author: Spring McClurg

I moved to B.C. with my husband in 2010 after spending 6 years living abroad in Ireland. Originally from a small town in Alberta that was minutes away from the Rockies, I always knew I would return to the mountains one day. I love spending as much time as I can in the mountains, whether it be mountaineering, rock climbing or simply running on the backcountry trails. I love to challenge myself and seek out new experiences.

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2 Comments

  1. I hope that one day i will be able to run that trail with my wife. We’ve been only to St. Marks Summit so far. Our dream hike is The Great Divide Trail. The Great Divide Trail traverses the continental divide between Alberta and British Columbia, wandering through the vast wilderness of the Canadian Rocky Mountains for more than 1200 kilometers. It is one of the most spectacular and challenging long‐distance trails on the planet. More info about it here:

    http://www.greatdividetrail.com/

    Only about 10 people a year attempt to do the full hike. Also there are some amazing hikes in Yukon that are worth trying as well. We are so blessed to live in this amazing country.

    And here is a video with a man who hiked 80.000 kms around the world, that’s enough to circle the globe twice on foot:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uEMBB1oU4I#t=36

    Your blog is very inspiring and me and my wife we follow it dearly!

    Post a Reply
    • Thank you so much for your kind words! I am so happy to hear that our trips and pictures inspire people to get out and explore this beautiful world.

      The Great Divide Trail looks impressive. What a feat to be able to do it as a thru hike! And the Yukon is somewhere we definitely want to head to in the near future. So many mountains to climb!

      The HSCT is definitely a worthy hike, even as an overnighter it would be fantastic. You have already seen some of the great views from St.Marks Summit and it just seems to get better the further on you go.

      Happy Trails!

      Post a Reply

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