Social Climber: Fresh snow ups the intensity

02 - Beltline Entrance InstagramHeading into my second #KiliHikeTO, I was better prepared for what to expect. The goal this week was to increase the distance and the intensity.

Thanks to a massive dump of snow, there was no shortage of intensity on Toronto’s snow packed trails. The distance was perfect, thanks to excellent route planning by one of my two hiking partners, Romi.

I’m going to call this week’s route, Romi’s Route, since we didn’t follow any one trail for the duration of our trek (plus, she suggested it). We weaved through midtown Toronto from our starting point at Rosedale Station. After reaching the furthest outpost, Eglinton West Station, we looped back to Davisville Station to complete our 10+ km circuit in just under three hours.

02 - Romi's Route

This week’s hike was a better match for the distance I will be hiking each day as the #Climb4Cord team navigates the Lemosho Route up Mt. Kilimanjaro. The two longest days on our way up to the summit top out at 10km, otherwise, we’ll average around 7-8km per day.

Today marked the first group hike on my #KiliHikeTO journey. The aforementioned Romi and I have known each other for about a decade. We met through a mutual friend; however, we overlapped at Ryerson while studying Journalism and have crossed paths in the media industry ever since. It was great to catch up in person, which becomes more difficult as we all continue to lead busy lives.

Nina also joined today’s hike. Nina and I met in 2008 at the Rotman School of Management. She’s an avid traveller and has been working hard to train for her own adventure in March, so we were able to swap some tips while we hiked.

02 - Group Shot

The biggest challenge for the group today was communication. Because the trails were covered in snow, the packed down path was narrow, so we had to walk single file. This made it hard to chat, but we managed. It reminded me of the old Seinfeld episode where they are seated at the counter and have to lean forward and backwards to try and engage in an awkward conversation.

Physically, I felt good for the first half of the hike. But as we logged kilometres, I could feel the after effects of the punishing leg workout that Marshall put me through on Saturday. This is where the mental part of the equation starts to kick in and thankfully I had two great training partners to motivate me through the final few kilometres. This was especially helpful given that our route had many “outs” via the subway stations we were passing along the way.

02 - Jaime HikeThe only real physical concerns I have at this point in time are my feet. I’m still battling the pain in my baby toe from the shot that hit it at hockey about a month ago. I’m also experimenting with different types of socks to find a pair that doesn’t cause my feet to sweat. So far I’m 0-for-2 in my quest. So if you have any recommendations on socks, please feel free to share them.

In terms of the actual #Climb4Cord, we had a great week. We confirmed another climber, but I can’t share who, just yet. We are also close to setting up our official donation pages, so I’ll pass that information along as soon as I can. Finally, I’m hoping to work with Canadian Blood Services to build a Tumblr to track our climb. I’m a huge fan of Tumblr and I love how it can document events, especially something like our climb that will have great opportunities for images, video and stories.

On the nutrition front, I would like to thank Nicole van Zanten for sharing her great smoothie recipe on Instagram. I have added it into my daily routine with one or two modifications. Essentially, I’m blending a banana, an orange, a bunch of kale, flax seed, hemp hearts, protein powder and almond milk to create a wonderfully nutritious (and tasty) green drink to start my day.

Next week I’ll be hiking with personal finance blogger extraordinaire, Cait Flanders. Feel free to sign up and join us if you are looking for something to do on the Sunday of your Family Day long weekend. The more the merrier! We haven’t picked a location, yet. But I’m sure we will shortly. Check the signup sheet for the latest info and hopefully I’ll see you on a #KiliHikeTO soon.

The #Climb4Cord features a group of business leaders who will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in August 2013 with the hopes of raising $750,000 for the campaign For All Canadians, which is dedicated to building Canada’s new national public cord blood bank. Click here to donate to my personal page or for more information on the campaign please visit:

About Jaime Stein

Jaime is the Senior Manager, Social Media at Hootsuite. He is a digital marketer with expertise in social media and content marketing. His experience stems from leading the social media strategy for two national brands. Jaime holds an MBA with a focus in Marketing and Strategy from the Rotman School of Management where he was selected valedictorian by the students of the Morning MBA Class of 2011. He is the former radio voice of the Toronto Argonauts and currently lives in Vancouver with his wife and two sons.
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