Too Far to Turn Around

While the sea-level views from the Sea to Sky Corridor and Howe Sound are impressive, the higher you go, the better they get. Looking out from Sky Pilot and Goat Ridge, the mountains extend into infinity.

Too Far to Turn Around Bushwhacking the Howe Sound's Goat Ridge

The top of the ridge was only 300 feet above, a negligible distance after shuffling along cliff edges for what seemed like miles, pushing, pulling and passing our bikes through the tangled alders.

That one vertical football field separating us from success, however, was impenetrable, impossible stone; our retreat, an alder-filled hell. With darkness climbing across the sky and no flat land in sight, one thought filled my mind: How did we get here?

Winding north from Vancouver, BC, the Sea to Sky Corridor cuts through a world of towering peaks, stretching off in all directions. The tiny town of Squamish lies at the epicenter of this terrestrial madness. Directly above is the giant granite slab known as the Chief, and a little farther beyond are the even taller bald summits of Garibaldi, Sky Pilot, Mt. Habrich and Goat Ridge. While Squamish is world-renowned for its mountain biking, this string of summits is largely the land of climbers and mountaineers. 

A few months earlier, my buddy Evan Powell and I began brainstorming an ambitious backcountry loop. Starting and ending in Evan’s backyard, it would take us up to the saddle of Sky Pilot Mountain and down the entirety of Goat Ridge to Howe Sound. The problem: no trail connects Sky Pilot and Goat Ridge, a distance of less than a mile. After extensive research, and hours poring over topo maps, we determined the only way to know if the route was possible, on foot or with bikes, was to try it. We recruited two more team members, Max Schumann and Tim Wilding, and started packing.

This article is for our Subscribers and Plus Members.

Gain access by purchasing an online or print subscription.

Basic Free Subscription
$0 / Year

  • Access to the FH Dashboard

  • Bookmark favorite articles for easy access

  • Browse articles by issue

  • Receive our weekly newsletter for the latest content and special discounts

Sign Up

Plus Online Subscription
$19.95 | Year

  • Online access to the latest print issues the day they hit newsstands

  • Download print articles and take them with you on the go for offline reading

  • Access to the FH Dashboard

  • Bookmark favorite articles for easy access

  • Browse articles by issue

  • Receive our weekly newsletter for the latest content and special discounts

 Get Plus 
Free Trial

Premium Print Subscription
$34.95 | Year*

  • 4 Issues/year of our print magazine mailed directly to your front door

  • Online access to the latest print issues the day they hit newsstands

  • Download print articles and take them with you on the go for offline reading

  • Access to the FH Dashboard

  • Bookmark favorite articles for easy access

  • Browse articles by issue

  • Receive our weekly newsletter for the latest content and special discounts

Go Premium

Already a Member?

Login