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The Suburbanite
  • To The Extreme: Hiking the Glacier National Park

  • Think of all the stuff you need in a week: a shelter, bed, food, clothing, the extras, whatever. Now reduce it all to a single backpack, and head out into the mountain wilderness. This has fascinated Dr. Gary Richardson of Canton and his path-finding friends for 31 years

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  • Think of all the stuff you need in a week: a shelter, bed, food, clothing, the extras, whatever. Now reduce it all to a single backpack, and head out into the mountain wilderness.
    This has fascinated Dr. Gary Richardson of Canton and his path-finding friends for 31 years. It helps sustain him with the challenges of being an emergency physician at Affinity Medical Center in Perry Township.
    Extreme hiking, by the numbers:
    2  Of Richardson’s friends from medical school, along with Richardson, decided to stay in touch by going on one-week wilderness backpacking trips annually. “While I have not made every year, I have made the vast majority of them over the last 31 years,” Richardson said.
     
    25 to 50  Miles through the mountains of Glacier National Park the group has trekked (seven times, the highest concentration of grizzly bears in the lower 48), plus various locations in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and Canada. “We have seen grizzlies, moose, eagles, peregrine falcons, elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep,” Richardson said, “as well as some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.”
    60  Pounds is the weight of Richardson’s backpack, which decreases as he uses supplies during the hike. “If you don’t carry it on your back, you don’t have it for a week,” he said. “We have to make sure we have a safe camp and hang our food in trees or store it in bear-proof containers we sometimes carry.” So when’s the next trip? “We are headed back to Colorado at the end of this month.”
    COMPILED BY JIM HILLIBISH
    jim.hillibish@cantonrep.com