Hundreds of hikers expected to "chase sunrise" this Canada Day at Mount Seymour

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      Hundreds of Vancouverites will forgo sleep and summit Mount Seymour in time to see the Canada Day sunrise this Saturday (July 1) in celebration of our nation’s sesquicentennial.

      Initiated by Chasing Sunrise, a nonprofit collective that organizes pre-dawn hikes and other recreational outings in Vancouver, and supported by MEC, the second annual event is meant to encourage a sense of community amongst Canadians. According to the Chasing Sunrise website, “it’s about getting up, getting after it, and making it one hell of a Canada Day morning—together—all before most even roll out of bed.”

      The hike is free and sign up is required. Attendees must meet at Mount Seymour’s main parking lot #4 (1700 Mt Seymour Road, North Vancouver) at 2:15 a.m. on July 1. A safety chat will be given at 2:40 a.m. before the four-and-a-half-kilometre trek begins at 3 a.m. The group is expected to arrive at the first peak of Mount Seymour by 5 a.m., where they will take in the 5:15 a.m. sunrise while singing “O Canada” together.

      Participating hikers are required to dress predominantly in red and white. A headlamp or flashlight and water, coffee, and snacks are also recommended. The event happens rain or shine. Classified as intermediate in difficulty, the hike to Mount Seymour’s first peak is nine kilometres total with an elevation of 430 metres.

      Chasing Sunrise hikers will break out in a rendition of "O Canada" upon reaching the first peak of Mount Seymour this Saturday (July 1).
      Kiefer James / Chasing Sunrise

      Those interested in climbing other sites can take part in the “decentralized” portion of the fete. The Chasing Sunrise crew recommends Black Mountain, Mount Fromme, Mount Strachan, and Panorama Ridge, though you can also opt to hike more accessible areas like Brockton Point Lighthouse or Burnaby Mountain. “It doesn’t have to be a mountain peak,” writes Chasing Sunrise. “It's not about that. It's about getting up and choosing to make your freedom count.”

      The only requirement is that you end up somewhere with a killer view where you can witness the sunrise.

      Chasing Sunrise events will also be happening on Canada Day in St. John's, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Victoria. This is the first time that the collective will be hosting treks coast to coast.

      Last year, over 800 people convened at the top of Mount Seymour to take in the sunrise on Canada Day. Since being founded in 2016, the Chasing Sunrise group has inspired people to observe breaks of dawn at various panoramic sites around the world. Many of the experiences are documented on Instagram using the hashtag #ChasingSunrise.

      For more information about the hike, or to sign up, visit the Chasing Sunrise website.

      Follow Lucy Lau on Twitter @lucylau.