Big Mountain Challenge – Complete!

Congrats Rick! Job very well done.

Yesterday Rick and I awoke relatively early so that we could head downstairs to grab breakfast1; needed fuel for our last official day of the Big Mountain Challenge.

First up post breakfast – Rick was interviewed by Jayme Doll of GlobalTV Calgary2. From there, we were whisked to the base of Sulphur Mountain3 to begin the last of the hikes required to complete the Big Mountain Challenge. At the base we were met by friends who had come in to join Rick and I on our last leg – very welcome moral support. We were also joined by Jeff of Real Banff, and Paul – our Interpretation Officer4 from Parks Canada.

By 10:30 am the hike was underway. While not as gruelling as our previous climbs (the hike takes about 1.5 hours), the hike was just as beautiful – affording us some fantastic views of Banff and the surrounding areas.

Rick receives a massive cheque for The Kidney Foundation of Canada

At the end of the hike we were greeted by cheers and applause from the friends who had joined us, as well as members of the press, the various sponsors, and The Kidney Foundation of Canada who were waiting for us at the top of the mountain. We were also greeted by the mayor of Banff. It was honestly a little overwhelming.

Given the wind and the chill, Stewart Hart (Director, Sales & Marketing of Banff Lake Louise Tourism) immediately began the official closing ceremony of the Big Mountain Challenge once we arrived. The ceremony included a thank you to all of the sponsors, a welcome to the Mayor of Banff, and the presentation of a huge cheque to Rick for presentation to The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

All smiles at the end of the Big Mountain Challenge.

After all of the hiking, I have to say that it was rather emotional to see Rick standing there with a massive cheque for The Kidney Foundation of Canada. A cheque that was only possible thanks to all of the support of those who helped us with votes, helped us spread the word about kidney disease, and supported us as we climbed Cascade Mountain, Mount Fairview, Saddleback Mountain, Sentinel Pass, Mount Eiffel, and Sulphur Mountain. This wouldn’t have happened without you.

And so, dear friends, today ended a most incredible experience – the Big Mountain Challenge5. It has been like no other experience in my life. I’m beyond fortunate to have been able to climb so many mountains and see so much of Canada’s natural beauty. I’m overwhelmed by the fact that I was able to help bring $26762 to The Kidney Foundation of Canada. And I’m so thankful that I was able to join Rick on this epic adventure.

1 Once again at the Bow Valley Grill in the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. And once again I stuffed my gullet with their tasty maple bison sausage. Mmmmmm. I’m going to miss those so much.

2 You can see the interview by clicking here.

3 Thanks again to the awesome Fairmont Banff Springs hotel for providing transportation.

4 Basically this means that Paul spent much of the hike teaching us about the flora and fauna of the area.

5 Note: Since the Big Mountain Challenge was such a big event, I still have a few other posts to write in the next few days.


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