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Archive for the ‘2010 Hike the Highlands Festival’ Category

Marie on Salmon Pool hiking trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Marie Stradeski, a friend and volunteer of Hike the Highlands Festival has left Cape Breton Highlands National Park and is heading for the Pacific Rim National Park in British Columbia.  Marie was Heritage Presentation Officer III at Cape Breton Highlands National Park for the past 6 years.

She played an important role in helping the festival grow and develop to where it is today. Specifically in guide training and evening presentations.  The Hike the Highlands Festival team would like to acknowledge and thank Marie  for her many important contributions to the festival and wish her well in her new adventure.

Below is a short video that Marie made of her Cape Breton adventures. Hope you enjoy hiking, sea kayaking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing in BC.

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Hiking in the rain WHW

Hiking in the rain on the West Highland Way in Scotland

Hiking can be enjoyed in most types of weather but the key is to prepare with right type of equipment, clothes and gear. Here are some tips that I learned over the years hiking in the Cape Breton Highlands, Scotland and Ireland.

Tip # 1 – Rain gear is supposed to be breathable however most are not. Make sure you wear layers – a baselayer to absorb moisture from your skin and keep your warm, and a midlayer to absorb the condensation from the rain gear…

Tip #2  – Make sure your daypack has a rain cover….the cover will protect the front of the pack. Alot of packs come with a rain cover…if not purchase one..they are not expensive.

Tip#3  – Unfortunately rain will run between the back of your daypack and rainjacket. To help protect the items in the back of  your daypack – make sure your items are placed in ziplock bags, dry pouches or dry sacs.

Tip#4 – Hike with poles for safety – Better balance,  able to cross streams and rocks better, easier to climb hills and descent hills.

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Smokey Towers

Group Picture on top of the summit at Smokey Towers - Photo by Chrissie Hawley

Forty hikers enjoyed the last two hikes of the festival on day 10, Sept 19 at Smokey Towers and Clyburn Valley…..the sun was with us on the last day of the festival. It was a sad day for many us – saying good-byes …the days seemed to go by fast.  Alot of  new friendships were made and old friendships re-kindle…

Below are some pictures of the Clyburn Valley hike…. Next year’s festival dates have been set – Sept. 9 – 18, 2011. 

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Money Point Light

Money Point Light Trail - Photo by Sam Schwartz

Heavy rains the day before made conditions on Cape Smokey wet and on Money Point Light tricky with some washouts but 60 plus hikers enjoyed the sunny day. It was nice to see the sun again…

Money Point Light Group Pic - photo by Chrissie Hawley

Hikers were disappointed to see the conditions left by government officials & contractors who removed the light .. and left everything behind..see below.

Money Point Light - photo by Chrissie Hawley

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Branch pond Look-off Trail

Hikers on Branch Pond Look-off Trail

Today’s weather forecast was 30-40 mm of rain, heavy at times with winds 20-70 kms… I never thought 40 hikers on Day 8 would show up at 9:00 am. to hike Branch Pond Look-off at Cape Breton Highlands National Park. They showed at Middle Head at 10:00 am and later in the afternoon at 2:00 pm. at Broad Cove Mountain….I was proud to walk with them and be a part of this amazing hiking community….and the Hike the Highlands festival team…

It was a day of learning about dressing in layers – baselayer, mid-layer,  rain gear, and using trekking poles to cross streams and big puddles.  A day of adventure and enduring those tough days….One gentleman said – I paid to do this today….

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It finally happened it rained during hikes on day 7 of Hike the Highlands festival. Despite inclement weather, all three hikes – Skyline, Fishing Cove and Le vieux chemin du Cap Rouge were completed.  The passionate and dedicated hikers were out in full force today. They carried on despite wind, showers and rain. Guides were on the look-out for shelters, and under trees for protection during breaks.   

le Bloc Wharf

Le Bloc Wharf

Heavy fog prevented any views on Skyline…did notice two professional photographers walking by us on the way out.  One chap had a lens, sport photographers used during professional sports. On the le vieux chemin du Cap Rouge trail we saw some house foundations of  three homes and the old schoolhouse,  Le Bloc wharf, and the view at the end. This was a good day to learn about layering ( base, mid-layer & rain gear) for various weather conditions.

Le vieux chemin du Cap Rouge

Group Picture at Le vieux chemin du Cap Rouge

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Acadien hiking Trail

View on top of Acadien Trail, CBHNP

Another sunny day provided hikers with amazing day for hiking on Day 6 featuring the Salmon Pool, Acadien and Le Buttereau & Le Chemin du Buttereau hikes on trails in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Today was a day, many hikers used their trekking poles.

PEI Hikers

Some of the PEI Hikers

The PEI gang of hikers arrived today for five days of hiking and I was able to meet my friends George and Jenny Lively as well make many new friends. Some of  them are affiliated with Island Trails – The Confederation Trail (300 kms) in PEI. I was also given a brochure of six new hiking trails on PEI. 

Le Buttereau

The view of Petit Etang Beach from Le Buttereau

Hikers from both Salmon Pool & Acadien hikes joined us for Le Buttereau & le Chemin du Buttereau hikes in the afternoon. An interesting item of interest – on the plaques of families on Le Buttereau trail,  there are three names – Husband, father of husband and wife’s name. Thanks to Mrs. Chiasson for pointing that out to us.

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