The BV Backpackers have plans for outings on most weekends, including throughout the winter. You only have to experience mountain beauty like this once to get hooked on the idea of excursions though the local areas.                                 Contributed photo

The BV Backpackers have plans for outings on most weekends, including throughout the winter. You only have to experience mountain beauty like this once to get hooked on the idea of excursions though the local areas. Contributed photo

Getting between the top and bottom of the valley

BV Backpackers hike, ski and snowshoe their way through the Bulkley Valley.

While some of us are quite content to enjoy the beauty of this part of the country from the bottom of the valley looking up or from the top of the ski hill looking down, more than a few individuals enjoy being out there in the backcountry tramping over traditional trails and exploring sights the rest of us can only imagine.

The BV Backpackers Society is a group of dedicated backwoods hikers who find ways to get out into the backcountry to walk, ski and snowshoe. Every weekend they have events planned so that they can enjoy the beauty of a land that has not yet been totally integrated into the metropolitan streets of what has become a sprawl that most people have come to accept as part of modern life.

Each season brings its own challenges. This group embraces those challenges heartily and enjoys the different styles of trudging up and over hills as well as away from that busyness we all seem to take as normal.

Some snow on the trail? No problem. How deep? What kind of snow, wet or powdery? How cold?

A few questions later, perhaps there is an answer to which equipment is needed before they head out.

Jay Gilden, president of the club, enthusiastically described the weekly hikes. Usually held on Sunday, most of the hikes attract eight to 10 members. This weekend for example, there were eight people who used snowshoes or cross-country skis to head out to the Sunny Point area while another half dozen went up Harvey Mountain with backcountry skis.

“We usually get between 12 and 25 people depending on the hike and the weather,” he said.

“Every once in a while we’ll do an overnighter with eight to 10 people but we don’t do them that often.”

Gilden referred to the club’s website bvbackpackers.ca and newsletter for details on scheduling.

He also said that quite often, groups of individuals within the club will get together to make their own plans for hikes and excursions.