Welcome back my awesome travel companion! Today is a special travel post because we are chasing the sun again. Remember a few weeks back I went on a sunrise hike up Dog Mountain and I said I would talk a bit more about Chasing Sunrise, well here I am. Today I wanted to talk about the group, and the first Chasing Sunrise hike I went on with them. Come on an adventure up to first pump on Mt Seymour and chase the sun.
You can read how I discovered chasing sunrise in the Dog Mountain sunrise post, today I want to get right into WHO they are and WHY they are so awesome. The #Chasing Sunrise is based in Vancouver is run by 3 epic people: Julian, Gordon and Taylor. They throw out ideas for adventures on their Facebook group in hopes to inspire and encourage others in Vancouver and area to get out there and seize the day.
with each sunrise, we are given a choice to make: we can either stay in bed waiting for life to come to us or we can get up and get after it, chasing what we want.
While chasing the sunrise is what they are known for, they organize many types of adventures and provide opportunities to take a break from working 9-5 and breathe in nature. I think we all not only want, but need some more of that in our lives. We just need a little push in the right direction… problem solved.
The chase is always filled with adrenaline. It starts off with you signing up for an email subscription on their website and liking their group on Facebook. Then, at some random time and day you’ll get an email inviting you on a Sunrise hike within the next three days. It’s all quickly organized, spontaneous and exciting. I literally found out about this hike I am sharing today 3 hours… 3 HOURS BEFORE WE SET OFF! Did I get any sleep that night? No. Was it worth it? 100 friggin’ percent. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
With the email you are given specifics and are required to head on over to a website and sign up. It doesn’t cost anything, this is purely for head count and to save their butts. There is a clause you are agreeing to when you sign up to hike with Chasing Sunrise. They aren’t a hiking group, meaning they take no responsibility for any injuries or loss of personal possessions and such.
This is all at your own risk, you go into this knowing something can potentially go wrong, you can get hurt, and you can’t blame the people who merely said ‘let’s all meet up for a hike’. Because they didn’t hurt you. Don’t sue people who are trying to make life more fun.
Mt Seymour Chasing Sunrise
Heading into my first adventure with Chasing Sunrise, they invited me to hike up Mt Seymour to first pump at 4am. That was our meeting time, and I think it was a little under 100 people who woke up, drove up, and hiked up. The trailhead is just past that on Dog Mountain. Parking in the overnight parking lot (as the resort lot is closed until sunrise) you hike towards the mystery Ski Lift and up the path past the Dog Mountain trailhead.
The next trailhead, about ten feet later, is the Mt Seymour trail that we took off on. I’m going to be completely honest with you, I don’t remember much of the hike. It was dark, I was having a blast with strangers, and on the way down I was just so high on life that I can’t tell you if this hike is difficult or merely an intermediate hike.
What To Bring
When going on a sunrise hike, it’s important to bring a headlamp. I only had a flash light my first trip, and this time I had a lamp and the difference is amazing. Sure, you get a little sweaty under the band… and you might get an imprint of the light in your forehead where it sits. Minor inconveniences for getting to experience more before 9 am than most people experience in an entire day.
I also recommend layers. Bring a jacket and sweat pants in your pack. You want to wear layers and take them off as you start to work up a sweat. Don’t hike in damp clothes, and don’t stand freezing at the peak after your body is cooled from the wind hitting the beads of sweat on your body. It’s morning, be brave, start cold. But there is no reason to stay cold at the top. Heck, pack a blanket to wrap up in. And hot chocolate… mmmm.
A snack. I brought a banana and cheese string as I know I don’t get very hungry while hiking. That being said, I knew I should eat on this hike. It was morning, I hadn’t eaten before I left for fear of being sick from exertion on the hike. I also didn’t want to go hungry and run out of energy mid-hike. Grab a light, healthy snack and eat a good breakfast when home is what I suggest.
It was required to partner up and use the buddy system while on this hike. I thought it was a good idea until I realized I was all alone and didn’t know anyone here. I have major social anxiety that I am very good at hiding thanks to a decade of being a cheerleader. That doesn’t mean I’m not screaming internally trying to decide which route would be best to escape unnoticed by anyone to my car. Realizing I couldn’t just drive my car out of the lot with no one seeing me, I quietly asked a stranger beside me if they wanted to partner up.
Shout out to Fred, a wicked awesome guy who was my hiking partner. With all my awkward talking and random stopping to take photos and be mesmerized by the view, you were so patient with me. I often get nervous to talk and then over talk. I call it verbal diarrhea. Thanks for letting me talk your ear off, and keeping the conversation going so it wasn’t all one-sided, Fred.@ChasingSunrise_ Why are you so EPIC? I am in need of a chase. Where are my hiking boots? Click To Tweet
I’m not sure what else to say, so let’s get to the best part of any travel post, the pictures. I had gotten what I thought was a lot of really great skyline views with the colour changing, but they turned out blurry. Say it with me. DSLR. My phone did great and I managed some great shots. Use what you got on hand, and enjoy the memories that come with the photos. Check them out.
Before You Go
I could do a sunrise hike everyday. I would go to sleep at 5PM and wake up early and start off like that every friggin’ day if I could. Could you imagine how fulfilling your life would be? Very. But alas, I have other priorities and will seek out more experiences, more memories and more mind-blowing moments.
We want to be able to look back and whisper to ourselves “damn, that was awesome”.
Chasing Sunrise is an awesome Vancouver based group that I highly recommend you check out if you’re local. I wonder if there are other local Chasing Sunrise chapters out there… if I ever move away from VanCity I will definitely contact the 3 leaders of this group and see about starting a new branch. More people need to experience this kind of joy in life. There are things in life I want to experience, everyday if possible. This is one of them