British Columbia

B.C. hikers summit every North Shore peak, put together ultimate guide for 'peak baggers'

New guidebook explores trails and history of 66 peaks on the North Shore

Posted: July 21, 2018

The south peak of Mount Strachan. (David Crerar)

Bill Maurer and David Crerar weren't originally planning to write a book — they just wanted to climb every peak on the North Shore mountains.

But after hiking all 66 mountains, the North Shore residents turned their outdoor adventuring into a guidebook that explores the relatively unknown histories of these mountain and the routes to summit them.

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"The mountains are right here," Maurer said, explaining why he wanted to climb them all.

When Crerar first started as part of a running club competition to "peak bag" — summit as many mountains on a list as possible in a season —  he realized there were many peaks practically in his backyard that he hadn't heard of before.

Some of the peaks on the North Shore from West Crown to Dickens. (The Glorious Mountains of Vancouver's North Shore: A Peak Bagger's Guide)

From hiking to history

The Glorious Mountains of Vancouver's North Shore: A Peak Bagger's Guide was published this summer, highlighting all of them.

"We've really dived deep into the archives," Crerar told Stephen Quinn, the host of CBC's The Early Edition.

"We found all sorts of interesting hiking and history of the mountains going right back to the Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish to the frenzy of first ascents by European settlers at the turn of the last century to zinc mining and gold mining to forestry."

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The book targets everyone, Crerar said, from people who "don't get off their couch" who enjoy history to avid mountaineers looking for new trails.

Roughly 70 per cent of the hikes are for more experienced hikers, but there are some that are children-friendly. The hikes are ranked in terms of difficulty.

David Crerar, one of the co-authors, standing on Magnesia peak with Brunswick to his left and Hanover to the right. (Harry Crerar)

Crerar's high school son, Harry, has climbed most of the peaks with the duo and is one of the three co-authors.

"We knew it'd be a grand adventure, but I was pleasantly surprised ... by how the beautiful things are back there," said Crerar.

With files from The Early Edition.

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