The founding of Vancouver Island Trail

A continuous trail from Victoria to Cape Scott was first conceived by Gil Parker, after he had hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, completing it in 2005 at age 68.  In his earlier years, Gil was more of a mountain climber than a hiker, ascending mountains not only closer to home in B.C. but also around the world including in Patagonia, the Caucasus and the volcanoes of the Kamchatka Peninsula. 

When not climbing he was an engineer building bridges.  Later in his career he was a pioneer in the solar energy business in BC, then operated a company trading in the USSR during Gorbachev’s glasnost. He was instrumental in the founding of one of the first Rotary clubs in the Soviet Union. 

He authored four books covering both mountain climbing and his experiences in the USSR and Russia.  He has been recognized as an Honorary Citizen of Victoria and as an Honorary Member of the Alpine Club of Canada.