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!”
Markus at Tunnel Bluffs:
“Tu Van, Marianne, Ted and Michelle joined me for a beautiful day of hiking to Tunnel Bluffs. Along the way, we stopped at 3 or 4 of the view points along the way enjoying varying degrees of view. Trail is mainly dry with a couple of muddy spots. The dryness did make the hike down a bit slippery so if you plan on doing this before the next rainfall, poles would be recommended.”
Will on Unnecessary Mountain:
“Two people came along with me on a very unpromising-looking Sunday morning. A few kilometres up the road to Cypress Bowl we broke into the sunshine and were above the clouds in the warm sunshine all day.
We took the Howe Sound Crest trail over St Mark’s Summit and on to Unnecessary, stopping for lunch in between Unnecessary’s two main summits and continuing towards the Lions until we hit our turnaround time.
There are lots of ups and downs on this trail and it’s rough in places. But the forest lower down is beautiful, and the part along Unnecessary was lovely: hiking on granite slabs among fall colours, with great views all around.”
Pardeep on Hat Mountain:
“Hat Mountain, what a beauty of a summit! Roberto M., Mark J, and I chose the Tunnel Point trail which starts opposite of viewpoint pullout along Highway 99; the viewpoint is North of Lions Bay. The trail was in great condition and offers many views of the ocean and islands. The trail connects up to the FSR that runs North-South. We headed generally North, until the trail starts ramping up to the East towards Hat. We chose the South Ridge approach, but based on my compass bearing, we were more so on the West ridge; the South and West ridge system is pretty broad.
The snow was quite steep in many sections, and it would be helpful to have an ice axe. Just below the summit, there was a short section of technically steep snow, at least in my opinion. The views though… Holy Moly! Windsor, Gotha (Peak 5400), Coburg, Hanover, and the beautiful North Face of Brunswick; any which way, it was fantastic. I would highly recommend this as a destination; it’s an obscure mountain that doesn’t seem to get much attention. I would also like to give a huge thank you to Weedwhacker over at Club Tread. This guy volitionally maintains the Hat Mountain trail. I can say without hesitation, the trail markings and small maps provided are the best I’ve encountered. His efforts make reaching the summit a breeze. Thank you!”
Malin at the Lions:
“Three people joined me for a hike up to the Lions on Saturday. We arrived to the Lions Bay parking lot at around 8:30 am and due to the beautiful weather we found it full. However, the walk from the school parking lot took less than 10 minutes and saving those extra minutes is in my opinion (and my hiking companions agreed) not worth getting up an hour earlier for. The morning was a bit chilly, but it quickly warmed up. For some reason the logging road up to where the trail to Mt. Harvey turns off to the left seemed shorter than usual 🙂 The trail was nice and dry, but got a bit icy once we got over 1000 m. The scramble up the rocky slope is easy, but this time of the year many rocks are covered with ice and frost so be cautious! There is also a small, but slippery snow field half way up the slope. My microspikes came in handy, but the snow field can be avoided by climbing higher up on the rocks. Our destination was the base of the west Lion where we had our lunch. The 360 degree view from there was amazing and I would actually call it a sub summit rather than base 🙂 We took our time on the way back and stopped several times to enjoy the views and sunshine before the trail took us down into the forest again.”
Hurrian on Mt Harvey:
“Eight speedy hikers headed up Mount Harvey on Saturday and were treated to breathtaking views of the Lions. There was only just enough snow in one section at the top for me to have a good wipeout by trying to boot ski down a snowy patch. The trail is quite steep to the ridge but is shaded by the trees so it wasn’t terribly hot until we got out onto the ridge. We summited in about 3.5 hours and got to have a spectacular view while eating lunch and snapping shots. Not many other people on the trail except for a pair of pot-smoking middle-aged men. All in all a good hike with good company.”
Erez on Mt Harvey:
“After deciding to change the destination from Slollicum Peak to Mt. Harvey, due to higher avalanche risk in Slollicum, Graz, Ben, Scot and I met up at 8:00 and drove to Lions Bay to hike up Mt. Harvey. The trail is well marked, but one needs to take care to find the exit from the logging road to the actual trail which is easily missed. The exit is on the left of the logging road just as the road narrows down and become more overgrown, it has a board on which the word “Harvey” is engraved. Snow started at about 1000 m, but this is only approximate as I didn’t check my altimeter. The snow was pretty hard and icy, crampons would be ideal, snow shoes with a good grip have also worked for me, but were not as comfortable. The snow on the ridge is a little softer but still does not really require snow-shoes. The weather was great and we had some beautiful views of the Lions, Brunswick, Howe Sound, Vancouver, and even Mt. Baker in the distance. It was a good trip with good company.”
Rob M. on Mt harvey:
“It was a belated once-in-a-blue-moon hike – an overcast day with light precipitation expected around 4:30 pm. The freezing level was stuttering around 1200 m. Nine of us muscled our way up the logging road, shedding clothing along the way as the pace picked up. We managed to find the refrigerator sized trailhead of Harvey. Consensus was, we were glad to escape the logging road but concerned about the sudden and unrelenting increase in the gradient. All was forgotten when we came to the first lookout with clear midlevel views of the Howe Sound. The next piece of terrain drama was in that freezing level transition.
Some of us found purchase in offtrail snow while the rest of us bungled our way to a level where snowshoes were appropriate. There was some comfort in meeting the snowshoe hike description although around the tree burned ridge, there was 150m of elevation where the wind was acute in kind of an ugly way – enough to twist us about and make listening upwind difficult. Further along the ridge we took refuge and a break in a grove at the edge of the treeline. Gaining the first prominence along the ridge we looked up at Harvey and took a long gulp. The narrow ridge before us held 4 or 5 snowloaded steeplechase ridges and a summit that didn’t seem possible in 30 minutes.
I heard a voice rise up “let’s do it”. Unfettered by the 25lb monkeys on our backs we scrambled pell mell up the summit on our 4x4s. It was a race to the top as the ceiling was beginning to drop. Jiri, the first to summit had missed the 360 by a scant 15 minutes. We were able to tackle Harvey at an animated pace fuelled by a never ending stream of chocolates. Although standing on the small summit in a freezing jetstream wasn’t a compelling social environment, we were happy as clams. We did manage a toothy white on white on grey summit pic. The return hike was pretty much this TR played backwards. A light rain began to fall. It was 4:30 and we were back in Lions Bay. After a bit of exit finding we were in Horseshoe Bay for a celebratory hoist. I was impressed by the cultural diversity in the group and by how we all came together to make this hike successful.”
Erez on Mt Harvey:
“On Thursday, four of us: Dan, Dorothy, Rob, and myself, headed to Lions Bay to climb Mt. Harvey. It was a little cloudy in the morning, but the weather improved considerably. Snow started at around 870 m and the snow was knee-deep at around 1100 m, and more than hip-deep near the top. When we reached the ridge, clouds began to cover Howe Sound. The Lions, however, were not covered. As we continued it got even cloudier. Only two of us had snowshoes, and so the other two (me included) decided to turn back and not reach the top as it didn’t seem that the view would be better there. There was a ton of snow up there, way more than I expected. All of us reached the car at around 16:30, after about 7 hours of hiking. I hope to return to Harvey, when it’s not so cloudy. It was a very nice hike with nice company.”
Steve on Unnecessary Mountain:
“I didn’t expect such a good response to a mid-week callout. I went with 4 other well matched hikers to Cypress Bowl where we hiked to St. Mark’s Summit, and then on to the dual summits of Mt. Unnecessary. The trail was well marked and easy to follow with 1 minor exception where we got off trail. The weather was variable but we did not get hit with rain. In fact, it was perfect as it kept us cool on the journey, and though it was socked in when we got near the Lions, just as we were leaving, it broke through and offered some moody photo ops.
I really liked this trail, though it was pretty long and the multiple ascents took its toll on my knees. The blueberry factor was phenomenal, and probably added an hour to our trip. One piece of advice I’d offer it to do this as a one way hike and visit the Lions, then descend the Binkert trail. That may actually shave some time, but more importantly allows you to see more peaks on one trip.”