Erin P. on Mt Harvey:
“Three of us tackled Mt. Harvey on Saturday. We arrived in Lions Bay to find the meagre 5 or 6 parking spots at the trailhead already taken. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find there are actually quite a few parking spots around the village without the dreaded tow-away signs. Do be careful not to block driveways, etc.
This trail has a well-deserved reputation for being relentlessly steep. We powered up at a good pace, grateful for the cooler weather. Near the top, the bugs were out in full force, and we wondered – what can they possibly eat when there are no hikers? I would bring bug spray if doing any of the Lions Bay hikes in the near future.
After lunch near the summit we headed down, enjoying the views of Howe Sound on the way. Despite the many cars in the village, we only met 3 other parties on the trail. Our total time was about 6.5 hours. Thank you Eugene and Laurel for joining me on my first callout!”
Eugene Y. on Golden Ears:
“This route has a well-deserved reputation of a most challenging trail in the Lower Mainland. The trip felt much longer than 24 km, as it also involved almost 2 km of cumulative elevation gain (according to our GPS). Traveling at a brisk pace, we made it to the peak in 5.5 hours, however, the return trip took us well over 6 hours, as some parts of the trail were quite slippery. The steep middle portion of the trail was particularly sketchy on the descent; it would definitely benefit from some additional foot steps and permanent chains or ropes.
Panorama Ridge below the shelter was mostly snow-free, however we had to cross a large snow field on the way to the peak. The condition of the snow varied. An overnight hiker told us that it was somewhat icy in the morning hours. However, the snow got softer by midday, even though it would still require some efforts to make foot steps. We had to carefully navigate the snow field in order to avoid the steeper portions. Even though we’ve seen a few groups having made it to the top without crampons, many of us were really happy to wear microspikes.
Trekking poles (or even an ice axe) are really needed on this snow field. In fact, even with snow poles, some of us found it difficult to perform a controlled descent. Using poles for stopping yourself while sliding definitely requires some practice; moreover, poles can easily bend or even break if not held properly, as some of us discovered.
The final scramble to the top was, perhaps, the most enjoyable part of the route. We were lucky to get some really dramatic views through the fog.
Overall, this was quite an epic trip with a wonderful group of people.”