MBAs tackle iconic West Lion peak for BC charity

Jul 05, 2013

The Beedie School of Business MBAs at the top of West Lion peak.

A team of adventure-seeking MBA students from SFU’s Beedie School of Business geared up in July to ascend one of the most iconic mountain peaks in the Vancouver area to raise funds for youth and family nature programs in British Columbia.

They are the first MBA group in the province to have led this kind of charity-focused climb. The challenging day hike and scramble took students to the West Lion – a famous peak on the North Shore Mountains that is visible from virtually any viewpoint in Metro Vancouver.

The MBAs hiked to raise funds for Power To Be Adventure Therapy Society, a BC charity that inspires youth and families in need of support to discover their limitless abilities through nature-based programs.

“Adventure has been a tremendous therapeutic and developmental factor in my life and if I can encourage Alpinism as a form of adventure and therapy for others, I will do everything I can in order to make that happen,” said Denis Mikhailov, an event organizer, MBA candidate and president of the Graduate Business Student Association at the Beedie School of Business.

“By raising money for Power To Be Adventure Therapy Society, we’re not only challenging ourselves in the outdoors, but we’re also supporting outdoor adventure programs for our local youth and families that otherwise would not have a chance to learn and grow in nature.”

In addition to Mikhailov, the Beedie MBAs who made the ascent were Aaron Laycock, Andrew Lee, Barb Culbard, Bharat Rawat, Geoff Higgins, Jasjit Gandham, Joanna Kipp, Mark Springford, Matt Yelavich, and Mike Vandervelden.

The 22km hike began from the base of Cypress Mountain, where the team scaled the switchback up to the top of Cypress. They then traversed along the Howe Sound Crest Trail – the scenic path connects several peaks along Howe Sound. The final leg up the journey involved a scramble up to the West Lion peak.

“My hiking philosophy is to always keep moving – that way you don’t feel the pain, and the team adopted that attitude,” said Mikhailov.

“The climb also helped us with our journey here at Beedie School of Business in doing our MBA,” he said. “There are a lot of challenges we take on in our classes and many of them are actually team based. We’re dealing with people from different backgrounds, cultures and ideologies – and any way that we can further our growth together as a team, and achieve something together, is important for our personal and overall class development. So an adventure, such as this charity climb up the Lions, proved to be ideal.”

To contribute to the group’s fundraising mission or learn more about the climb, visit Climb for Change

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