Seventh 7 Summits set for Cariboo mountains

The 7th Annual Seven Summits Bike and Hike Challenge is just under two weeks away.

The 7th Annual Seven Summits Bike and Hike Challenge is just under two weeks away.

This year’s epic outdoor adventure features a route which begins in the unique Barkerville Historic Park with a mountain bike ride up the main street of buildings restored to the period of the 1870s.

Barkerville is only eight kilometres from the host town of Wells, but the event takes the long route and seven stages, seven summits and 7,000 feet of elevation gain later, participants arrive in Wells.

The 7 Summits Bike and Hike Challenge begins on Sept. 14.

It starts by cycling up the Main Street of Barkerville and that same afternoon, (7 mountains, 7 stages, and 7,000 feet of elevation gain later) participants arrive in Wells having completed one of the most interesting, scenic and expansive day hikes/bike rides of their lives!

This unique bike and hike challenge is widely heralded as an achievable but epic adventure, and receives popular support throughout the province as well as a wilderness stewardship award from the Wilderness Tourism Association. Its goal is to get people into the mountains, challenge their abilities, celebrate and raise awareness about our fragile alpine environment and raise money to support the Friend of Barkerville, who have been instrumental in preserving and protecting many of the trails we use. Due to its design, goals, and ethics, this unique showcase event is also endorsed by the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium.”

The 7 Summits Challenge is a great antidote to ultra-marathons, as it is specifically designed to be achievable, not formidable! The crux of the attraction is the challenge. It is meant to be completed, not necessarily won! The poker run, and awards for “7th place” and “Most Average Time” are meant to acknowledge enjoyment, not just competition, for this event. Most of the 75 to 100 participants end up travelling in social groups of equal paced individuals, who love travelling in the mountains. Some are hikers, some are die-hard bikers and this year, there are some trail runners going ‘bike-free!’

Event organizer Dave Jorgenson says, “The Cariboo Mountains, and especially our weather, can make for an incredibly challenging event. They have given us the most colourful fall hikes under a warm sun and slowed our pace to a crawl with dense fog and snow storms….sometimes in the same afternoon!” Despite, or because of, this, all participants leave the day with big grins on their faces. One past participant commented that “This event, and town(of Wells), has a different vibe than any other event I’ve ever participated in, or seen! They even supply a hot lunch in the middle of the day!”

In 2013 the Bike and Hike Challenge will be held on September 14. Start time is  7:30 a .m. sharp, in Barkerville and registration is accepted until the Thursday before the event. Registration is only $50, includes unique swag, mid-race lunch, and snacks. The event finishes with a banquet at the Bear’s Paw Cafe, and registration is limited to only 100 participants.

The 7 Summits Bike and Hike Challenge, originally spawned from the Cafe owner’s desire to engage more people in enjoying the mountains has grown into a provincial phenomenon. For more information on the event, photographs or registrations, visit 7summitsbikeandhike.org.

For more information contact Dave Jorgenson at 1-866-994-2345 or by e-mail at 7summitschallenge@gmail.com.

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