8.5m 5,020ft gain
Ellie’s Answer: Yes!
Ellie and I had been dating for almost three years at this point but I already knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her! It was just a matter of where and when to pop the question. We celebrated a best friend’s wedding the weekend prior in Atlanta and that’s when I was able to pick up the ring. I had the great honor of using the diamonds from my late Grandma Carol’s engagement ring! I was also grateful for the help I received from my Mom, sister and Ellie’s sister while designing the ring and coordinating with the jeweler who was a family friend.
We had been trying to plan a trip to see our friend Rob in BC for awhile so when I found out we were both free the weekend after our Atlanta trip I jumped at the opportunity to propose to Ellie in a wonderful area that means a lot to us. Plus there was no one else I’d rather have captured this special moment. Not only is he an amazing photographer he also took one of the first pictures we have together and has been a fantastic friend over the years.
During the week leading up to the trip I shared my plans with Rob who was happy to play along and we settled on hiking up Mount Harvey along the gorgeous Howe Sound Crest. I also asked her parents for permission to propose and asked them and all our close family and friends to leave us a voicemail on my phone with a message we could listen to after she hopefully says yes! It was really tough to hold in my excitement that week. On Friday we made the drive to Vancouver, BC and stayed at Rob’s place. He made us sleep in his bed while he slept on the couch. Can’t tell you how generous this guy is!
We got to the trailhead early the next morning and it was then Rob realized his camera battery was dead. I think I did a good job of keeping the proposal a secret up to that point. She may have connected some dots when I was visibly frustrated but I did quickly realize I was being silly. The pictures don’t matter; it’s all about being present and committing myself to a life of happiness with Ellie! It also didn’t hurt that the hike and was super fun! Rob’s good friends Carrie, Jenna and her sweet dog Abby would also be joining us. Jenna actually got engaged on the peak just north of Mount Harvey, Mount Seymour! 5,000ft of elevation gain in 4 miles sounds intense but the trail is well maintained and never felt terribly steep.
It was definitely the perfect day to get engaged to the love of my life! The sky was blue, the trail was dry, we saw few other people and the company was excellent; especially the happy and strong dogs! This hike would actually mark Moose’s personal record for elevation gain/loss in a day and he absolutely crushed it!
Right before a short scramble that leads to the summit we found a geocache with a bottle of Scotch in it. This was pre covid so why not drink some scotch you found in a tree stump? It certainly helped ease my giddy nerves.
When we reached the summit the only other group there were the French hikers we saw at the trailhead. I had no idea they were waiting for us so Rob could borrow a battery. Rob may have forgotten his camera battery but he was real quick to find a solution! That was certainly a nice surprise.
While Rob got situated with his camera I took the picture of Ellie and Moose below and then a selfie with Ellie before nervously saying, “Hey we should have Rob take a picture of us…”
It didn’t take long for me to get down on one knee and it took even less time for Ellie to say YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Moose crashed the proposal of course!
Everything was a blur of excitement and the most joyous of emotions! Our new French friends cheered loudly and we were so happy to listen to all the sweet congratulatory messages from our close friends and family. We took a bunch more photos with Ellie’s left hand really working it for the camera.
We also busted out some champagne! Happy happy times!
I’m the luckiest man in the world!! We hiked up a vertical mile and Ellie was completely unfazed and looking beautiful as ever!
Very happy that Moose could be there too! I think he was just as excited!
We were all smiles during our long and steep descent! We were understandably tired but we continued the celebration back in Vancouver. We had a lovely dinner at The Naam which is the city’s oldest natural foods restaurant. We didn’t last must longer after that and thankfully we crashed at Rob’s for one more night before the drive back home.
This trip was an absolute dream and I am so so excited for a lifetime of adventures with Ellie who will always be my favorite adventure!! Hopefully the border opens up this summer so we can go back to Canada to complete the Howe Sound Crest trail and relive this special moment. I think that is something Ellie and I have to do!