Worth the hike

Participants in the Boucherie Grind, a fundraising ascent of Mount Boucherie set for this Sunday, are rewarded with spectacular views.

The Boucherie Grind is a slightly misnamed hike up a hill in West Kelowna, set to take place this Sunday.

It’s so easy to walk up Mount Boucherie that even a three-year-old can do it.

“We’ve had very young children participate, along with their families,” organizer Kelly O’Rourke said Wednesday.

The third annual Boucherie Grind is a fundraiser for CRIS, a non-profit group that uses specialized equipment to help people with physical challenges enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, biking and cross-country skiing.

One of the three paths to the top of the mountain has a gentle grade that’s suitable for almost everyone. But there are two other routes, longer and more challenging, that offer a test for even people in excellent physical condition.

About 160 people have already registered for the Boucherie Grind, with organizers hoping for total participation of about 200. Cost ranges from $10-$30 per person, depending on the route chosen, with the easiest one being the least expensive.

Registration is available online and on Sunday at the event itself. (For more information, see adaptiveadventures.ca or the Boucherie Grind page on Facebook.)

All registered participants can wear a device that gives them an exact time for their ascent to the top, where they can take in sweeping views of Kelowna, West Kelowna and Okanagan Lake.

Those interested in a leisurely, 3.4-kilometre walk to the top of Mount Boucherie can expect the trip up to take about 45 minutes. Firefighters have run that route in about 25 minutes.

Hopes are the event will raise about $15,000. Toyota has sponsored the event in past years, but Mount Boucherie Estate Winery is now the main sponsor.

“There’s wine in some prize packages, but I don’t think we’ll have any alcohol available to drink on the site, though,” O’Rourke said with a laugh. “Our insurance wouldn’t cover it.”