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Celebrating Garibaldi Park's 100th with 100 peak summits

Two Sea to Sky men exploring what's in our backyard

Not long after they rang in the New Year, two Squamish locals stood atop one of Garibaldi Provincial Park's many peaks, the first summit of their objective complete.

They soon scratched another one off their list.

Only 98 to go.

As 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the park's creation, Shawn Campbell and Ben Haggar have made it their mission to get to the top of 100 peaks within its boundaries — by whatever method necessary.

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Super pumped to kick off The Garibaldi 100 Project today with our first summit in 2020! One of my bigger initiatives this year, @shawnmc247 and I are trying to climb 100 peaks in Garibaldi Park to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the park. This is the perfect excuse to explore some of the well known and very remote areas in one of the crowned jewels in my spectacular backyard. There will be lots of facets to this year long endeavor but one of the main objectives for me is to reconnect with my home mountain range (I spend a lot of time away from home) and get out in to the backcountry with friends doing the things I love most. We will be documenting our progress throughout the year so stay tuned for lots of coast mountains goodness. #garibaldi100 #garibaldipark #bcparks #coastmountains #choosemountains #mountains #optoutside #goodtimesoutside #backcountry #backcountryskiing #splitboarding #pow #protectourwinters #exploreyourbackyard #explorebc #hellobc #sharebc #explorecanada

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As a four-season project, they will ski and snowboard in the winter, with backcountry travel to access peaks. Then they will climb, hike, trail run and scramble. Some objectives could include mountain bikes or paddling.

Their first summit was Round Mountain near Elfin Lakes, which Haggar said they chose due to the avalanche conditions. The mountain, he said, was an easy summit.

"It got to the basics of the project. It's a spot that Shawn and I had both never been to, even though it's very close in our backyard. So we got into the backcountry on a day that could have been questionable, and it would have been very easy to not do. That was kind of another goal of our project, and we managed to get out there and do it super safely," Haggar said. "Even though it wasn't a spectacular peaky ascent, or technical or anything, it still fit our goals."

Campbell added that a key component of the project is to include friends and other like-minded adventurers. On the way up to Round Mountain, they ran into a friend who joined them, for example.

"A big part of what the project is about is to spend quality time in our backyard with great people," Campbell said.

Along the way, Campbell and Haggar also hope to partner with BC Parks for citizen science projects. They'll also be testing some gear for Whistler-based Prior Snowboards & Skis.

Haggar — a photographer, writer, videographer and polar guide — will document their journey. (His previous career as a professional snowboarder helps. So does his more than 15 years of mountaineering.) When he's not summiting, Campbell works as an emergency medical call taker with BC Ambulance Service. He also ski patrols in Whistler, has been an outdoor educator, and is currently a Squamish Search and Rescue volunteer.

"I'm no stranger to lots of days in the outdoors and a little bit of suffering," Campbell said. "This is a big one for sure.

The two got their inspiration from similar projects like Cody Townsend's 50 classic ski descents, Mark and Janelle Smiley's attempt of the 50 Classic Climbs and photographer Scott Kranz's 50 peaks in North Cascade National Park.

It's been almost a decade since Campbell started following such adventures. He reached out to Haggar and they realized the anniversary of the park's creation was coming up, and they could commemorate it with 100 peaks, one for every year.

"I would say Garibaldi Park is great because it's got so much diversity," Haggar said. "You've got beautiful low land forests, amazing alpine areas and it's just a very awe-inspiring landscape. So to be able to dig deeper into the peaks that you, say if you're up skiing Whistler Blackcomb, you can just see so many peaks from being on top of Whistler peak. And you're like, 'Whoa, I wonder what it'd be like to ski back there or explore back there.'"

Follow along at or on Instagram at @benhaggarphoto and @shawnmc247.

This article originally appeared here.