Senior celebrates 500th hike up Kootenay trail

Larry Plummer began his quest to complete 1,000th hike up Antenna Trail just over three years ago

Three years ago, Larry Plummer challenged himself to hike up to the flag viewpoint on the Montrose Antenna trail 1,000 times. He invited Art Benzer (left) and Gordon McAlpine (photographer) to accompany him on his 500th summit on Oct 11, 2020. Photo: Gordon McAlpine

Three years ago, Larry Plummer challenged himself to hike up to the flag viewpoint on the Montrose Antenna trail 1,000 times. He invited Art Benzer (left) and Gordon McAlpine (photographer) to accompany him on his 500th summit on Oct 11, 2020. Photo: Gordon McAlpine

When Fruitvale resident Larry Plummer sets his goals, he sets them high: about 1,000 feet high.

The 72-year-old Plummer completed his 500th hike up to the Canadian flag on the popular Flagpole View Trail in Montrose on Oct. 11, and yet, he’s only halfway to concluding his quest.

Plummer celebrated the 500-milestone hike with Gordon McAlpine and Art Benzer, a driving force behind the creation of the trails back in 2004.

Previous: Former Fruitvale mayor donates 95 acres for trail development

Previous: RDKB buys 130-acress for trails, landfill buffer

For many years, Plummer was a regular at Beaver Valley May Days and Montrose Days hikes up Antenna Trail Loop and the Flagpole Trail, a 5.1-km hike with 307-metre elevation gain.

“Art Benzer got me going on it, he was one of the people that got Antenna Trail started,” explained Plummer. “Finally in May and June of 2017, I did it again and I told Art that I should do this more than twice a year.

“So I told him, I was 69 at the time, ‘I’m going to do this 1,000 times.’”

Benzer, a former teacher, wasn’t fazed by the dramatic claim.

“It was interesting, because I turned 80, and he was just under 70, and he looked at me and thought, by the time I get that old I want to hike this trail 1,000 times,” laughed Benzer. “But it was a challenge, and he’s done this sort of thing a number of times.”

It took Plummer just three years and four months to reach the 500 milestone.

He averaged about 150 summits per year, or 12 to 13 times per month throughout the year, no matter the weather.

“Because of this virus, I have nothing to do but walk, and I’m retired anyway” said Plummer. “I told my wife, I’ll get out of your hair, so now I go and do my walks in the morning.”

For Plummer, the benefits are many.

In three years he has lost about 20 pounds, yet takes his time, enjoys the views, the flora, the wildlife, and meeting with others on the same path.

“There’s five benches up there and I use them all,” said Plummer. “You just pace yourself, it’s not a race. You meet a lot of people and that’s the best thing about it.”

The trail also has interpretive signage at the trailhead, and at the top of Antenna Loop, of the corresponding Seven Summits peaks across the valley.

Thousands of locals and visiting hikers and geocachers from around the world have shared their experiences in the sign-in/comment sheet at the top.

Benzer says that all trail users have been respectful, keeping self-distanced when passing, and assist in keeping the trails cleared and well-maintained, along with the help of the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society.

Plummer has no intention of slowing down and expects to wind up his quest of 1,000 hikes within four years.

“I’m trying to hit about 125 a year now, so another four years, by the time I’m 76, that’s my goal. I could set it to 80, then there’s no high expectation, but hopefully I can do it in four.”

Benzer is even more optimistic.

“He’s taken just over three years to do the first 500. Now I think, with a bit of incentive, he’s probably going to do it more. I would say probably under three years.”

The Montrose trail system has grown significantly in the past two decades and also includes the Orchard Trail off Christie Road.

Originally built in the 1950’s to access television towers, the trails were eventually developed into the Antenna Loop and Flagpole Trail with spectacular views of the Beaver and Columbia Valleys.

Benzer sends a big thank you to all the volunteers who helped develop and maintain the trails over the years.



sports@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Three years ago, Larry Plummer challenged himself to hike up to the flag viewpoint on the Montrose Antenna trail 1,000 times. <ins>He invited Gordon McAlpine (left) and Art Benzer (photographer) to accompany him on his 500th summit on Oct 11, 2020. </ins>

Three years ago, Larry Plummer challenged himself to hike up to the flag viewpoint on the Montrose Antenna trail 1,000 times. He invited Gordon McAlpine (left) and Art Benzer (photographer) to accompany him on his 500th summit on Oct 11, 2020.

Three years ago, Larry Plummer challenged himself to hike up to the flag viewpoint on the Montrose Antenna trail 1,000 times. <ins>He invited Gordon McAlpine (left) and Art Benzer (photographer) to accompany him on his 500th summit on Oct 11, 2020. </ins>

Three years ago, Larry Plummer challenged himself to hike up to the flag viewpoint on the Montrose Antenna trail 1,000 times. He invited Gordon McAlpine (left) and Art Benzer (photographer) to accompany him on his 500th summit on Oct 11, 2020.

Just Posted

The Village of Salmo has told Cody Puckett and Ashley Nelson that clearing land at this property doesn’t constitute building a property according to a bylaw. Photo: Submitted
Work in progress? Salmo family, village at odds over property construction

Cody Puckett says he’s being evicted from his own land, which the village disputes

Finn Lydon. Photo: Submitted
UPDATE: Winlaw boy reported missing has been found

Finn Lydon was was located last evening

Dr. Albert de Villiers, Chief Medical Health Officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
‘People need to start listening’: IH top doc combats COVID-19 misconceptions

Dr. Albert de Villiers says light at the end of the tunnel will grow in step with people’s adherence to PHO guidance

(File)
One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

Youth Climate Corps members April Gariepy, Summer Monkman and Linn Murray at work in West Arm Provincial Park, fall 2020. Photo: Submitted
Youth Climate Corps members April Gariepy, Summer Monkman and Linn Murray at work in West Arm Provincial Park. fall 2020. Photo submitted
VIDEO: Kootenay youth climate group works to protect Nelson’s water supply

Youth Climate Corps members spent five weeks thinning forest in West Arm Park

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week t

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

Richard Reeves examines a painted film strip in his home studio. Photo: Aaron Hemens
PHOTOS: Pandemic inspires creativity for Creston animator Richard Reeves

For more than 30 years, Richard Reeves has been creating abstract animated short-films by drawing and painting images onto strips of film.

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
First long-term care resident dies from COVID-19 in Interior Health

Man in his 80s dies following virus outbreak at Mountainview Village

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read