Dino Peaks: Spreading Happiness in the Canadian Rockies

In Adventure, Hiking, Mountaineering, Travel, trekking by This Adventure LifeLeave a Comment

Richard Pastores, 24, lives in Calgary and lives to explore the nearby Rocky Mountains. He is described by many as an activist, adventurous and bubbly, which helps him when he gets into his famous Dino character on the summits.

A lot of people have asked him: “What is the reason you climb a mountain, if you’re going down eventually?” He started to wonder how he could make things more interesting every time he reached his desired summit. He came up with the idea of dressing up as a dinosaur, Dino, at the summit and began sharing with social media to inspire people to explore.

What inspired you to get out and explore the mountains?

I was inspired to get out and explore the mountains when my first girlfriend broke up with me. I had nothing. I was torn and was looking for something in my life. I figured that I should be focusing my time and energy instead of grieving and crying every night. Hiking gives me the rush and the endorphins, which i really need.

What is about hiking and scrambling that keeps you coming back to the mountains?

I was doing a sunrise hike with my friends and we decided to do the Tower of Babel. I was such a novice back then and had no knowledge on how to read trails or look for signs. Instead of going to tower of Babel we ended up hiking Mount Babel. On that mountain we had to be rescued; I was hit by a boulder and injured my ankle going up. We were terrified. The rescuers gave us this quote: “NEVER STOP HIKING.” Those magical words became stuck in my head. As we were dropped in the Moraine Lake parking lot instead of saying “that’s it for my hiking career,” we ended up planning to finish the Canmore Triple Crown (Ha Ling, East End of Rundle and Lady MacDonald), which we did eventually. Those words help me to keep coming back and to be safer on the mountains, whether I am hiking or scrambling.

Where have been some of your favorite hikes and summits so far?

Here’s my top five:

  • Opal ridge (Dino’s first appearance) during winter.
  • Smutwood, which we hiked in storm clouuds; it was epic.
  • Mt. Indefatigable during Canada Day. Dino and I showed our appreciation by waving the Canadian flag on the summit as it snowed
  • East End of Rundle, my first hike and where I met my hiking family.
  • Sparrowhawk, my first 10,000 ft summit. I saw this amazing flyby by a tourist helicopter. The rush was so cool that I ended up going down on a patch of ice ski-style.

What is your advice to someone looking to get involved in hiking and scrambling?

My advice to those who want to get involved on hiking is to simply respect the mountains and its wildlife! We are there to appreciate its beauty. Come prepared to challenge yourself, but also to know your limits. It’s always a good idea to know when to stop, instead of continuing because you feel pressure to. Be confident, and most of all ENJOY the scenery.

What inspired you to start Dino Peaks?

What inspired me to start Dino is that I want everyone around me to be happy. I was one of those people who always whined: “How far are we to the summit?” I thought of an idea on how to make hiking more enjoyable for everyone, which turns out having a dinosaur that dances or does some wacky poses will just give joy to everyone on that mountain. My trial run in opal ridge had some huge feedback by other hikers in the group “Hike Alberta,” which helped a lot.

How do you want to use Dino to inspire others to enjoy nature?

My concept of Dino is to have fun, be wild and free. I would love to make a video to show people how to hike a certain mountain and remind people to be observant about how it’s our duty to respect nature. I want Dino to inspire people to pursue a good hobby, such as hiking and exploring the mountains! Who wouldn’t like to see Dino dancing on the summit or high-fiving and congratulating them?

What is your goal with Dino Peaks?

My ultimate goal is to spread joy and happiness on every summit we will be able to reach. The world is full of hatred and terror, and we want to have those few moments of laughter and giggles with other hikers. I especially want to inspire children to get out and explore.

How do you think hiking and the outdoors can improve people’s lives?

Hiking and enjoying the outdoors technically gives you endorphin-enriched hormones that make you feel happy! That alone is free and attainable to everyone. You just have to enjoy every step of it. Every incline, every decline, every fall, every scree slope, every sweat, every tear. When your friends ask “are we there yet?” just tell them it will be worth it. Trust me.

Besides hiking and scrambling, what other activities do you enjoy?
I love cars. I love to live an active lifestyle, with activities such as kickboxing, weight lifting, obstacle runs, and paddleboarding. I will try to learn skiing this year and to learn how to swim! I will continue to hike even during winter 🙂
Where are some of your “bucket list” summits?
I’m into climbing difficult mountains as I see it to be a test of myself, both physically and mentally. Those mountains are: Mt. Rae, Mt. Arethusa, Mt. Galatea, Abott Pass, Mt. Rundle, Castle Mountain and the Three Sisters.

Follow his adventures on Instagram: @dino.peaks

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