Our plans are firming up for the 2021 season and so we would like to announce our intent for the following hikes with our baby Toothless.
We have hiked the GDT in 2018 and plan on sharing the experience with our baby boy. This is one of our most cherished hikes and we are excited to bring him along.
We plan on starting on July 5, 2021 (same day we started in 2018) and are accounting on taking it slow – with a 58 day itinerary.
Toothless will be 8 months old when we start. The itinerary has been modified in the following ways to give us the best chance of success:
- Only hiking through no further than Mt Robson. While our favourite section is north of Robson, we recognize that is not suitable for a child. We may have to end sooner but we are not planning on going further than Robson.
- Bypass La Coulette. This was hard for us – we don’t want to take Toothless on such exposure and difficulty.
- Shorter days. We originally hiked the entire GDT in 49 days in 2018 (45 days on trail; 4 zeros) and could probably be a little quicker if we did it again without a baby, but we have planned for 58 days this time to go a shorter distance.
- Luxury zeros. We are planning more zeros and will (pending availability) book more comfortable accommodation at our zeros than we originally did in 2018. This means, maybe a cabin at Assiniboine, try to get a place to stay at Field instead of camping. Etc.
Of course with a baby, the key will be flexibility! Just because we plan it doesn’t mean it’ll happen the way we plan!
We will need a bit of support, some of which is unique to having a baby on trail. We would like to reach out for help with the following:
- Food cache drop at around Dutch Creek.
- Rides or shuttling to/from trail head (our car, or someone else’s with a child seat)
- Ideal case is to drive to Waterton, and have someone shuttle our vehicle north to Robson for us to drive home in.
- Another option is leaving our vehicle close to Robson (and maybe get someone to drop it off at Robson closer to our end date) and getting a ride or finding our way down to Waterton.
- Sending resupply packages
- We will have them packed, with prepaid postage. Just need someone to ship them so they arrive a little before us.
The first “big” hike of the year likely will be the SCT. This will be our shakeout hike. Plan for mid May, pending weather. We have hiked the SCT (partially) in April in the past and the trail was in acceptable condition.
We are planning a flip-flop yoyo to avoid having to shuttle to or from the trailhead as well as extend the hike a little longer. The tentative plan is to park close to the middle, hike North to the trailhead, yoyo, hike south, resupply at our vehicle, continue to the southern trailhead, yoyo,hike North back to our vehicle. We will have to choose between parking at Powell River or a logging road in the southern section – plans are still under development.
Initially we were trying to see if the VIT would fit in early season, but the only parts that are doable within the timeframe and season we have available before the GDT are the parts of the VIT that we are least interested in for hiking. We would much rather hike the whole thing another year or at least get a little further along.
We are currently investigating a few short bikepacking options. We don’t have any firm plans yet but are looking for options that are accessible close to home with minimal gear investment. Bonus if we can ride our box bike.