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!