Green, Grey, and Prickly All Over: Pincushion Summit with Dr. Adventure

I am quite a fortunate lad. You see, I have a wife who drags me out of bed at ungodly hours of the morning every weekend. In and of itself, this might seem like a sadistic version of “lucky” to you. However, were it not for said wife and her slightly psychotic pack of runners who convene before the rooster rises, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to explore many nooks and crannies of the Okanagan. The best part? I get to do it during the hours of the day when the silence has yet to be broken.  Prohibitive as it may be to less-rested folk, I am especially grateful on the days when I find that my unknown adventure leads to a reward greatly exceeding the early morning anguish. My venture to Pincushion Summit was one of those ventures.

Nestled in the back of a neighbourhood, just beyond the Ponderosa Golf & Country Club, lies the trail head. To get there, take 1st Ave from Highway 97 in Peachland, and quickly turn left on to Ponderosa Drive. Follow it all the way to the end and voila, we have an adventure in the making.

Now I must warn you, if your lungs are prone to burning from a couple flights of stairs, you may want to take this one slow. At times, this hike seems like more of a climb. Pincushion Mountain is not for the faint of heart. You really have to monitor your footing on this little trek since there are some teeth-like protuberances and some gravel that really make you dance with the wrong traction.

However, should you choose to trudge your way to the top, you will be rewarded with one of the best views I have yet seen in the Okanagan. Hikers can set their gaze for miles in any direction, all the way from the Upper Mission in Kelowna to Crescent Beach in Summerland. Okanagan Lake makes for a breath-taking backdrop (fitness-deficient-pun intended) to this magnificent little hike.

From the parking lot to the top is only about 2 KMs, but they are no walk in the park (reverse-pun intended).  I was not watching the time because I was busy wheezing and watching my blood pressure. If I had to guess, I would say the hike took me about 2 hours, round-trip, with many breaks for water and pictures.

So, now that the tyranny of sub-zero temperatures has left us with hopes of summer, why are you still in front of your computer?  Take a tip from your doctor, Dr Adventure, and get some Vitamin D already!


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