David Lussier and Vince Hempsall (right) atop Gimli Peak in the Valhalla mountains late last month.

Pair make history on Gimli

Two Nelson adventurers have entered the history books as the first people to complete a self-propelled adventure to the summit of Gimli Peak

Two Nelson adventurers have entered the history books by becoming the first people to complete a self-propelled adventure to the summit of Gimli Peak in the Valhalla Mountain Range and back again in under 24 hours.

David Lussier and Vince Hempsall bicycled from Nelson to the parking lot of Gimli Peak in the Valhalla Mountains, hiked to the base of the classic South Ridge route, rock climbed it and then descended back to the parking lot before returning by bike to Nelson. The distances travelled included 172 km on bikes (about 90 of those were on gravel logging roads), four kilometres of hiking and descending and 345 metres of rock climbing.

The biking portion of the day was definitely the biggest challenge as the pair spent a total of 12 hours on their hard-tail, hybrid bikes carrying everything they needed for the adventure in backpacks and panniers. It took them five hours to reach the base of Bannock Burn Road and another two hours to bike the last eight kilometres to the Gimli parking lot.

“The logging roads were difficult because they were in washboard condition after a summer’s worth of use,” Hempsall says. “In fact, the scariest part of the trip wasn’t the rock climbing, but biking the highway at night with the traffic.”

Luckily the weather conditions were perfect. They had originally planned to depart on August 29, but a storm rolled through and they were delayed. Instead they set off at 3 a.m. on August 31 under a blue moon and the day proved to be cool in the alpine and partly cloudy. They returned under clear skies and a full moon.

Other than one flat tire, there were no mishaps during the adventure. In fact, the pair probably set a record for the fastest two-man ascent of the South Ridge route, completing it in just 2.5 hours. (It normally takes a team five to six hours to gain the summit.)

Lussier and Hempsall  undertook the adventure for three reasons: to celebrate their 40th birthdays and the 40th anniversary of the first ascent of the South Ridge route, and to bring awareness to the Association of West Kootenay Rock Climbers, an organization responsible for developing and maintaining outdoor rock climbing routes.

For more information, log on to tawkroc.org.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Structures not threatened by wildfires burning in the Arrow and Kootenay Lakes region

Official says more lightning-caused fires could occur in region over next 36 hours

Harrop-Procter Co-op restores Mill Lake trail

A shelter destroyed by wildfire in 2017 will also be rebuilt

West Kootenay region experiences drier-than-normal July: Report

The region only received around 57% of its normal precipitation during the month

No new COVID cases in Kootenay-Boundary

As of July 30, there were no additional cases in the previous two weeks

LETTER: Clean Energy Bill misleads

From reader Susan Eyre

Airlines dispute Dr. Henry’s claim they ‘very rarely’ give accurate COVID contact tracing info

Air Canada, WestJet say they provide names and contact information

Airborne hot dog strikes Greater Victoria pedestrian

Police called to 4200-block of Quadra Street for hot dog incident

B.C. scientist, 63, protests in trees set to be removed for Trans Mountain pipeline

Tim Takaro is reaching new heights as he tries to stall the pipeline expansion project in New Westminster

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Dinosaurs revived for animatronic auction in Langley

More than 500 robot dinosaurs, fossils, and exhibition gear are going on the block Aug. 6

B.C. paramedics responded to a record-breaking 2,700 overdose calls in July

Province pledges $10.5 million for expansion of overdose prevention response

Canada signs deals with Pfizer, Moderna to get doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Earlier in July both Pfizer and Moderna reported positive results from smaller trials

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

Most Read