Hiking Crow Peak, 100 times

Pictured is Rick Hanson  arriving at the top of Crow Peak on Day 6 of his 100 trips climbing up and  down Crow Peak. Courtesy photo

SPEARFISH — People are constantly making New Year’s resolutions.

Spearfish native Rick Hanson made his own New Year’s resolution, and he was determined to keep it.

“I started on Jan. 1. It was starting a new year and a new decade, and I was trying to do something positive, and show that you have your New Year’s resolutions and you can stick to them,” Hanson said.

Hanson said he only put it on his own social media page, and was surprised about the public interest it garnered.

“I put on social media that I was going to do Crow Peak 100 times. I really didn’t think I was going to get that many people to watch, but they actually started watching when I did it more than once,” said Hanson. “I tried to keep it positive and kept on going and I was getting those DM’s (direct messages) with people telling me to keep it up and it kept on inspiring me.”

He said friends kept asking him how many times he had hiked Crow Peak, and he told them he wasn’t sure.

“I told them I didn’t know. It seemed there were a lot of pictures with me with friends, or other people, just being up on Crow Peak, so I said I’d do it (hiking Crow Peak) 100 times. I know I had done it that many times already,” Hanson said.

Hanson said hiking Crow Peak was a training thing this spring and summer, just to get him in shape for hunting.

“Then it turned into something else I guess,” Hanson said.

Hanson said he trekked the three-and-a-half mile trip to the top, and the three-and-a-half mile trip to the trailhead at Higgins Gulch Road, in all kinds of weather conditions.

“One night it was -10 degrees and the wind was blowing. I did it after work sometimes, but I did it a lot in the morning, and I would get up there before sunrise and take sunrise pictures, and stuff like that too,” he said.

Hanson said he lost a lot of weight in the process.

“I lost 30 pounds. It wasn’t because I went on a diet, it was I didn’t eat two bowls of anything, I moderated what I ate,” Hanson said.

Hanson said he generally had company on his trips up Crow Peak.

“Most of time friends came along and you’d have different conversations. My wife’s dog, Bella (a chocolate lab) came with me and she did about 50 trips with me. I have one of those clip-on speakers, and I’d listen to stuff if I decided to listen to something,” said Hanson. “ it was cool that what I was doing inspired people who had never climbed Crow Peak, to try it,” Hanson said.

Hanson talked about how the COVID-19 pandemic served as an inspiration to him.

“I wanted to keep my friends people on social media attitude positive, because they were worried about political and everything else,” Hanson said.

Hanson added his parents were also an inspiration to him to reach his goal.

“They got to watch the whole thing and they could live vicariously through me, and I had a picture of them in my backpack, so they were always with me, you know,” he said.

Hanson said as he approached his goal he could see light at the end of the tunnel and it made him feel good.

“It seemed so far away in January, and now I’m really close. There was times I was doing it twice a day to get the numbers up,” said Hanson. “I could’ve hiked anywhere, but I wanted to get my numbers in for Crow Peak.”

Hanson completed his 100th trip up Crow Peak on Aug. 29 and he said his adventure had covered over 650 miles, and over 160,000 in vertical feet.

“I was more impressed with the 160,000 vertical feet than I was the 650 miles. Things started adding up, and you begin thinking that’s a lot of miles and that’s a lot of vertical,” Hanson said.

Hanson is unsure what his next challenge is.

“Off the top of my head I’m not sure what I’ll do, but I’ve been thinking of a few things to do for next year for hikes and stuff. We are so lucky to have these places (like Crow Peak) in the Black Hills. I’m going to do something,” he said.

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