2019 was a fantastic season! The cooler, wetter weather interfered with a few hiking plans, but it created wonderful wildflowers and prevented terrible wildfires.
A big highlight for me was backpacking the Earl Grey Pass Trail! It’s an epic trek across the Purcells and was definitely a challenging hike. I was also pleased to finally get to Woodbury and Silverspray cabins, and hope to do the traverse in 2020. Checking out Carlyle Lodge during peak-larch season was also a highlight and I hope to explore more of that area next summer and hopefully do the Sourdough Traverse.
Here is the the work I’ve put into the site over the spring and summer:
- Added 23 new trails to West Kootenay Hiking.
- Revisited many favourite places and added updated photos and GPS tracks to the trail posts.
- Created the West Kootenay Hiking Facebook Page with over 500 followers.
- Switched to new a WordPress theme and cleaned up site menus and pages.
- Updated all of the “Resources & Safety” pages to align with AdventureSmart best practices.
- Added new categories to find trails. Golden Larches, Old Growth Cedars, Wildflowers, Waterfalls!
- Added a ‘Print Friendly’ button at the bottom of each post. Visitors can print a version of the page without images and can delete sections of text.
- Started adding “Trail Angels” section to the bottom of posts to identify which Trail Societies maintain the trails with links to get involved or donate.
West Kootenay Hiking is becoming a popular site! While it’s nice to see so many visitors, the increased traffic created a few challenges!
- Maps – West Kootenay Hiking maxed-out its free license for maps on Open Cycle! As a result, I’ve had to change the map settings so that the default map is from another vendor. But don’t worry – you can still go to map layers and select the excellent topographic version while trip planning.
- Sentinel Overlook Trail – I had to mark the Sentinel Overlook trail information as private to hide it from the site. The increased hiking traffic on this trail has created some access issues so the Castlegar Parks & Trails Society has asked that info about the trail be removed. It’s a fantastic shoulder-season hike and has some good climbing bluffs, so hopefully one day something official can be in place so that this area can be shared with the public again.
- Tourist Info – I’ve had countless emails from tourists asking for help planning their vacations. How nice, but I’ve started sending them along to contact the Visitor Centres as I can’t keep up!
- Hosting – And lastly, I’ve had to find a new web host! Red E Technology in Nelson, BC is now hosting this site and owner Stevland did a bunch of extra work to help me optimize the images on West Kootenay Hiking. Thank you!
Want to help support the site? You can make a donation through PayPal or purchase some West Kootenay Hiking merchandise online at Redbubble. 100% of all profits in the “West Kootenay Hiking” collection will go to the maintenance of this site and extra proceeds are donated to local trail-building or SAR organizations.
What’s happening over the winter?
I’m still working on reformatting and cleaning up older trail information. I’ll also be adding more info about snowshoe routes and winter safety.