“What inspired me to take all these hikes was being able to look back when I am an adult and remember myself accomplishing these hikes,” said Toren Habbestad. For most teens, the covid pandemic will be remembered as a time during which they did more gaming or spent more time on social media. However, Toren Habbested, a seventh-grade BYMS student, uses this time to go on a hike, or more precisely, a series of hikes spanning five months and 150 miles.
“Hiking just gave me something to do during the pandemic, I was mostly doing it for fun, but I was also training for a 150-mile hike in July,” said Toren. He hiked to 9 places, including a 12-mile hike to Three T’s Hike where he saw a herd of mountain goats, a 10.5-mile hike to Sitton Peak where he saw military helicopter wreckage, and another 12-mile hike to Mt. Baldy where there was a great view.
Toren faced some challenges in his hikes, such as altitude sickness, achiness, and time constraints (waking up very early and getting home very late).
Toren didn’t go alone on his hikes; his dad accompanied him and his Boy Scout Troops came along as well. “My Dad came with me on all the hikes and was generous and happy to take me. A few people from my troop came on the Rae lakes trip. And a few friends came on: Sitton peak, 3 T’s, and Mt. Baldy,” Toren explained. On his hikes, some equipment Torren used to include a hiking pole, backpack, and hiking boots.
“The best two memorable moments that I had when hiking had to have been when I saw the two bears and when I reached the top of Mt. Baldy,” he added.
Toren hiked some other mountains such as the 7.5-mile hike from Icehouse Canyon to Timber peaks, a 10-mile hike to Sierra Peak where he saw many horned toad lizards, a very steep trail, a 10.5-mile hike to Mt. Bald in Santa Ana mountains where it’s very dusty and dry, 18.5-miles to Anderson peak and San Bernardino peak loop which was Toren’s longest day, another 18.5-miles to San Gorgonio Mountain, tallest Mountain in southern CA, via Vivian creek trailhead, and his longest, 52-miles to Rae Lakes Loop trail (backpack trip). Toren did this hike in six days/nights around King Canyon with his Boy Scout Troop. He camped for two nights at Rae Lake, caught 40 plus fish and ate three, and saw tons of nature. “It’s the tallest place I have ever hiked in my life” Toren concluded.
For Toren, hiking served also as a way to deal with the pressure and isolation of the pandemic. “Hiking helped me during the pandemic by giving me a way to get outside and get some fresh air. I felt happy and excited; the more I went on hikes the more I wanted to do it more,” Toren stated.