The date was July 16th, 2018 and the weather forecast read sunny with a low chance of precipitation for the days coming. What I didn’t see in the forecast was a chance of a broken foot followed by many weeks spent without the ability to participate in the outdoors sports that fill my life. My injury would happen two days after this spectacular 3 day solo backcountry hike in the Monashees.
It was up until this point I felt like I was so far escaping the inevitable consequence by partaking in high-risk sports. I’ve been hurt plenty before, but I was yet to break anything serious and have an extended rest on the bench. This hike was my chance to wind back the “extreme” and just take in some good old nature for what it is.
Day 1 – Spectrum Parking Lot to Spectrum Lake Campground
Distance = 6kms
Vertical = 200m up, 100m down
I packed my gear up Monday morning at Silver Star, headed down to town to grab a few things and pay a parking ticket. At town hall where I paid the ticket a man that had spent the night in jail approached me for a ride to his car across town. It sounded like life was dealing him a particularly crappy set of cards so I figured I’d throw him a bone and give him the ride.
I arrived at the trail head at about 5pm and proceeded to Spectrum Lake campsite, which was about a 2hr hike of fairly flat terrain. I was able to get setup before night fell and I even got a little bit of fishing in.
Day 2 – Spectrum Campground to Big Peters Lake Campground
Distance = 12kms
Vertical = 1300m up, 600 down
The next morning I was up early and did some fishing with the hopes of having some trout for breakfast, but unfortunately had no luck of catching anything that morning so I packed up and headed to Big Peters Lake to camp the second night.
The weather was amazing and I didn’t encounter another human around, which I wouldn’t for the next 32 hours. Big Peters Lake was accessed via multiple water crossing as well as passing by Little Peters Lake.
Once I arrived and got set up at Big Peters, there was still plenty of light so I took a small pack up to Caribou Pass and planned to head up Mt. Fosthall if time and weather allowed. Along the way I found lots of snow and a few picture worthy waterways.
Upon reaching the top of the Caribou Pass I started hearing some big cracks of thunder to the south of the pass. Summiting Mt. Fosthall fell by the weigh side and I proceeded back down to my camp. I wanted to get some fishing in before supper anyways as I still had fresh trout on my mind.
After another unsuccessful fishing venture that evening, I made rice and vegetables for dinner. I then started a small fire to dry my socks and shoes from hiking through all the snow up to the pass. It was at this time lightning strikes began banging all around the lake and the fish started going crazy, leaping up to a foot out of the water. I grabbed my rod and I was catching something every second cast! It was after dinner so everything I caught was released, but it was surreal the way the fish were acting. Between the fish and fire, the sunset and lightning storm, and a mickey of fireball I was on cloud nine!
Once the sun began fully setting, I packed up all my gear and climbed into my tent. Not even 5 minutes later it down-poured the entire night, while lightning struck and lit-up my tent.
Day 3 – Big Peters Lake Campground back to Parking Lot
Distance = 15kms
Vertical = 200m up, 900m down
The next morning was gorgeous and sunny. I went to a new fishing spot I scoped the day before and finally caught something BEFORE I had already ate. Trout for breakfast was exactly what the doctor ordered! As I packed up, I told myself over and over that I didn’t want to leave. I easily had enough food for one more day, but reality was awaiting for me back at Silver Star.
I didn’t know that this would be my last big trip into the mountains for a while, but I’m glad I made the adventure. It felt so good to dial things back, just relax in the backcountry and so surreal to have an entire area of mountains all to myself.
Its been 6 weeks since my injury now, and I’ve learned the support system is huge when you go down hard. I’m not one to bother people with my problems as I know people have there own lives to live, but this didn’t stop others from lending a helping hand or even just speaking a positive remark towards me. A lot more people than you realize have been through similar ordeals and it’s been awesome to hear others stories, but it will be even better when this injury is behind me and I can get back to doing what I love in the outdoors again.
Posted by Mitch