COM0014 – Blog #1: Conquering The Crack

This past year has been full of disappointments… lots of positives… but lots of disappointments.

My friends and I had a trip to Las Vegas planned last year for the end of March just as COVID was shutting everything down, and to our dismay, our vacation was swiftly canceled.

Luckily, we had a backup vacation planned for August (right in the eye of the COVID hurricane).

Our goal? Getting as far away from the city and as deep into the northern wilderness as quickly as possible. Pretty much the polar opposite of Vegas.

So, August came around and my three friends and I jumped in the car and set out on our trip to Killbear Provincial Park and Killarney Provincial Park.

Starting off on the wrong foot

It was almost dusk when we arrived at Killbear. It’s known as a pretty rambunctious park, and it definitely lived up to its reputation. Luckily, it was just a one night stopover on our way to our final destination.

The noise never stopped. The campsite beside us has the Leafs’ game blasting and parties were screaming on until the wee hours of the morning. I’m still surprised hearing a woman yelling about opening a bottle of white at 5:30 a.m.

Sleep was scarce, which didn’t bode well for the rest of the trip. My friends had a full schedule of strenuous activities. Namely, hiking The Crack at Killarney.

After dragging ourselves out of our tent the next morning and downing too many cups of coffee, we took down our equipment and set out on our next destination.

We stopped quickly at our site to drop off our gear, packed our day packs, then headed out for a hike I’ve been dreading… The Crack.

Outta bounds

It’s important to mention that all of my friends are very athletic. I am not. I knew I was going to struggle. The staff admitted that they air lift literally one person off The Crack per day in the summer. I was hoping I wasn’t going to be part of that statistic.

Having a great time!

The Crack is 6 km, with the first kilometre or so being a flat gravel trail. From there, it’s what I could only describe as straight-up rock climbing. I mean on all fours climbing up steep rocks.

I was pleasantly surprised that I kept up with my friends, but noticed I had gone through about ¾ of my water supply. Not good in the blaring sun with little to no shade.

After many, many breaks, we finally got to the top. The view was breathtaking.

I flopped down on a bed of pine needles for longer than I’m willing to admit, but I did manage to get a few pictures to prove my feat.

View of the granite hills

After what felt like five minutes, it was time to descend the trail. I’d forgotten about that part. It felt like I was in a daze hiking down the rocks. My water supply was depleted, and all I could think about was going for a dip in the lake.

Surprisingly, the worst part by far was walking the 1-2 km on the flat gravel.

In full recovery

After taking a dip in the lake, I felt renewed. Little did I know, the next day I woke up to extreme soreness and an unbelievable amount of blisters on my feet.

The five hour drive home was uncomfortable, and I slipped into an Epsom bath as soon as I got home.

So… after all of this, was it worth it? Undoubtedly.

Have you hiked a trail like The Crack?

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