Celeste Pomerantz – Because I Can

Celeste Pomerantz – Because I Can

Everyone has personal goals. Big or small. Some goals may be long term whereas others seem to materialize out of thin air. That is how I felt leading up to my epic. One moment, I was staring at a map realizing the reality of this route and how it could be done, the next moment it was barely two months later, and I was at the end of the loop, having completed it in utter disbelief.


In short form, my loop consisted of three parts or days, four mediums of sport, 200 km and nearly 7000 m of elevation gain all while connecting North America’s two southernmost fjords: the Howe Sound and the Indian Arm Inlet. The idea was to complete the loop without the assistance of transportation mediums to drive me anywhere while utilizing my own body’s energy.

Day one entailed gravel biking from Porteau Cove (a small place just twenty minutes south by car of Squamish, BC) to the beginning of the Indian Arm Inlet followed by hopping into a kayak to paddle the entirety of the Inlet to Deep Cove in North Vancouver. Of the three days, this day has the least elevation gain. Gravel biking was extremely fun, it was the beginning of my three days and my energy levels were at an all-time high. However, as a self-identified cyclist (not known for particularly good posture), sitting in a kayak for nearly four hours was quite difficult. You can almost always see the end and the beginning never looks that far.


Day two was my favourite day. The North Shore Triple Crown by mountain bike followed by a pedal back to the top of the western most mountain on the North Shore. Essentially, the triple crown is a relatively well-known route amongst cyclists, it consists of pedalling from Deep Cove to the top of each of the three infamous North Shore mountains (Seymour, Grouse and Cypress respectively) and descending from the highest mountain bike trail on each mountain without assistance from vehicles. It is a long, tough, gnarly but tremendously fun day. I had done this day in the past but as a stand-alone mission with no big days in and around it. What made this day so special was that I invited some of my best friends to join me. Without them, this would have been incredibly challenging. The funny thing about having multiple summits in one day is multiple second winds (at least personally for me). Every single one of us took turns having moments of extreme stoke and energy followed by equally polarizing lows. I had to keep reminding myself that I was only halfway through my entire loop and that I needed to stay positive and energized to keep morale high and encouraging. This was challenging, especially at the end of the 70 km day to say goodbye to my friends and proceed to transition to road biking attire and get back on a different bike to then make my way back to the top of Cypress. The reason for this is that for day three, I need to begin from the top of Cypress to complete the loop.


Day three was the Howe Sound Crest Trail on foot. This trail is famous for its views but also very famous for how challenging it can be, especially to do it all in one day. It is a 35 km trail that starts from the top of Cypress and ends in Porteau Cove (where I started). This trail run completes the loop. Of the three days, this is personally the most difficult. I do not find trail running nearly as fun as mountain biking and neither does my body. Like the triple crown, I had done this day before as a stand-alone mission. Surprisingly, however, after already two huge days and two subpar sleeps in the back of a truck, I was feeling pretty good. Less can be said for the moment I arrived back at Porteau Cove. The moment I realized I was done I became a walking zombie; it is incredible what your mind can do when you tell it you’re not tired.


The goal for my loop was not to be the first. However, that was an outcome as it had not been done in the way that I accomplished, it was more so meant to inspire. I can say confidently that it did. No matter how big or small your goals are, if something seems unachievable to you, look at it from another angle. What made my loop achievable to me was not only a positive mindset and an obsession with long tough days, but I surrounded myself with incredible support and at the end of the day I owe the success and energy of completing this loop to the people who showed up and supported me along the way.

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