The Times online just posted an article on the top 50 walks in the world, ranked from easy strolls to tough mountain treks. The Snowman trek in Bhutan was listed as the most difficult trek in the world. It indeed is no easy stroll in the park; supposedly less people have completed this trek than have climbed Mt. Everest. I can think of harder treks, especially those in the highlands of Papua, but it ain’t easy.
Interestingly, the Tour du Mont Blanc is ranked as the second most difficult. Now I really want to walk this trek too.
Sadly, no other Canadian treks, such as the West Coast Trail, are mentioned. It is certainly tougher and more classic than some of the listed treks!
Most people take 5-7 days to walk the West Coast Trail, enjoying the scenery along the way. But Wanetta Beal is the first woman to run the trail in less than 24 hours, 19 hours and 13 minutes, to be exact. Oh, and the record time is 10 hours 13 min, set in 1997. Crazy.
The fame of the West Coast Trail as Canada’s greatest trail has been strengthened in a recent “Best of…” article in Explore Magazine. Pacific Rim National Park received a first place in the adventure section of the article, because of the trail. The authors call the trail the “crÃ¨me de la hiking crÃ¨me” of Canada’s trails, and refer to it as one of the world’s great adventures. They describe the treachery of the trail when it rains, combined with the 200-rung stairs, the cable cars and suspension bridges as … Perfect. Couldn’t agree more. But when it’s sunny, it is pure bliss!
The opening of the West Coast Trail has been delayed by a few weeks, due to ongoing repairs. Parks Canada is advising hikers that the trail won’t be open until around May 15.
The CBC National paid some handsome attention to the West Coast Trail tonight: an half-hour documentary by Mark Kelley in his “7 Days” series. He did the trek last year. The description is wrong – he only walked the trail, and didn’t do any cleaning, but still a fun piece. Monique features prominently. Great publicity!
Video part I | part II.
The West Coast Trail suffered significant damage in the recent storms. The damage includes two broken cable cars, and the bridge over Logan Creek has been destroyed. This may delay opening of the trail in May. As this year is the 100th anniversary of the lifesaving trail, it would be a shame if it opened late.
Update Feb. 17: I talked to a warden from Pacific Rim NP today, and she mentioned that work is progressing well. They expect to have the damage cleaned up in time for the May 1 opening. Check their website for updates.
Rick over at besthikes.com recently rated the trail as the top hike in the world. Although I think that treks like the Snowman Trek in Bhutan rate higher on a world scale, it is certainly the top trek in Canada.