Challenge Yourself: 2014 Garibaldi Expedition

By Linda Koch

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela

On July 18th, 2014, 11 Rovers embarked on a backpacking adventure to Garibaldi Lake. The challenge before us was approximately 18 km round trip, with an elevation gain of 900 metres. Our goal was to develop a better understanding and appreciation for Mother Nature while challenging ourselves with new experiences.

I often feel that our lives are consumed by the daily grind. Too often we forget to spend enough time on the things that bring us the greatest satisfaction and fulfillment. Being outdoors gives me that feeling. Everything about it brings me to a meditative state; the crisp cool air, the smell of pine and the aura of peace and serenity.

For most of us, this was our first backpacking or camping trip. Although we had heard only good things about Garibaldi, it still surpassed all of our expectations. When we first arrived at the parking lot, we decided to evenly distribute the group gear and equipment. From there, it was a steady hike up the mountain. My camping bag felt as light as a feather when we started down the trail. But as time passed by, the 30 pound bag became more of a nuisance, as it began to feel heavier and heavier. Gravity wasn’t on our side, so we soon had to take more breaks. There were times where I wanted to give up, but the momentum of the group gave me the motivation to push forward. Throughout the hike Lawrence Lai and Andrew Wallwork, who led the team, were encouraging us to continue, while Derek Fung was in the back ensuring no one was left behind.

When we arrived at the camp site, we were informed by the ranger that there was a 40-50% chance of rain. At first, I was a bit disappointed, as I was concerned that the weather may ruin our trip. Although the conditions weren’t ideal, the rain and clouds could never tarnish the scenic view and calming atmosphere. After getting settled, we decided to hike up to Black Tusk, a volcanic mountain peak situated above Garibaldi Lake. The hike is approximately 6 km away from the camping trails with a 2300 metre elevation gain. This trail led us through a breathtaking meadow. The area looked untouched and appeared as though every flower, every tree, and every stream was perfectly placed. While continuing up to Black Tusk, we got a fantastic bird’s-eye view of Garibaldi Lake. The view was captivating and we decided to take a longer than usual break. As we continued the hike, the weather changed and it became cloudy and cold.

Eventually, fatigue set in and a few of us started to get quite cold. At this time, I saw many examples of support within our group. For instance, one of our Rovers had become unwell and was unable to walk properly. Instantly, Charlie Ni gave him his sweater and literally supported him while hiking back to the campsite. I was also surprised about how some of the Rovers handled the hike. You can see it in their faces; despite being exhausted, they did not complain once. Instead they persisted on, continually pushing their limits. Due to the weather conditions, daylight, the health of some members, we decided that it wasn’t safe enough to complete Black Tusk, and that we would try again another day.

When we arrived back at the campsite, I really wanted to challenge myself and decided to sleep under a tarp rather than a tent. I was quite hesitant at first, because of the rain and I didn’t feel prepared for it at all. But with some reassurance from a fellow Rover, I decided to give it a try. I must say, it was quite a memorable experience and I will never forget it. I learned that I worry too much about things that are insignificant, and as a result, it prevents me from trying new things.


From Left to Right: Joana Palma, Reese Bartlett, Andrew Wallwork, Alan Law, Charlie Ni, Derek Fung, Lawrence Lai, Angus Wong, Carol Chan, Anson Kung, Linda Koch

While it’s comfortable to stick to what you know, you’re really doing yourself a disservice. You are sabotaging your individual growth and fulfillment. I think failure must be experienced and overcome before you can truly discover success. This trip has inspired many of us to step out of our comfort zone and to expand our potential growth. It has inspired me to continue hiking in the future. I’ve definitely developed “summit fever” and anticipate my next journey.


8 Responses to “Challenge Yourself: 2014 Garibaldi Expedition

  • Mostafa
    3 years ago

    Well done rovers! What an inspiring journey to Garibaldi Lake. Thanks for sharing your story and these captivating photos!
    It is great that you guys pushed yourselves beyond your comfort zones and tried new things.
    Sleeping under a tarp on a rainy night was a valiant effort, and like what you said, turned out to be a memorable and meaningful experience! (BIG LIKE)

  • jacqui phillips
    3 years ago

    You should all feel very proud of yourselves while enjoying yourselves you have showed the true meaning of scouting being kind to others ,trusting each other,being a member of the scouting family every part of our UK laws well done from the 139th Braid Scout Group Edinburgh Scotland

    • Linda Koch
      3 years ago

      Dear Jacqui,

      I agree, Scouting is an amazing program. Although I’ve only been in Scouts for a year, the program has improved my life tremendously. I hope this article inspires others to challenge themselves. Thank you for your kind words.

  • John Wong
    3 years ago

    What a great hike/camp, great photos, and great essay, capturing the essence of the scouting spirit of the Great Outdoors, as well as the PERSIST values of the 180th. Keep up the good work!

    • Kevin L.
      3 years ago

      Great article Linda! sounds like an awesome trip I wish I could have joined you!

  • Clarice Fu
    3 years ago

    It’s so awesome to hear about another fantastic trip! Lovely to see a great mix of older and newer rovers – it’s a perfect opportunity to bond and strengthen friendships.

    Linda, we’ve seen you grow tremendously in the past year. I admire that you keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Keep up the great attitude!

    • Linda Koch
      3 years ago

      Thank you Clarice for your support. I really admire your aspiration for excellence. You’re one of the many inspirational people from our group.

      Big thanks to everyone else for your positivity and teamwork!

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