Chris M. on Mt Harvey:
“A year-end hike up Harvey with the promise of blue skies dancing in our heads. Parking at the Lions Bay TH is down to 5 spots! – silly locals. The logging road was a mix of ice & hard-packed snow. The first 20 minutes of the trail were the trickiest. Crusty, icy and post-holing. Once past that it was much better, but hard work! Luckily we had a strong group. Four of us shared trail-breaking duties. It was treat to turn around at one point and see the four ladies (Desiree, Katie, Dorothy & Quirine) right behind me. Pierre-Andre & Simon finished out our group of seven. Still it took us a while to crest the ridge as there was so much soft snow to plough up through. We decided to enjoy the stunning view of the West Lion, have a bite and come back down. We then had a great time at Pastameli’s in West Van for some half-price pizza! (Sunday dine-in special.)”
Borislav at the Lions:
“Cindy, Keshia, Kevin, Peter, and I hiked the Binkert Lions Trail from Lions Bay. The weather was sunny and quite warm for September, with the only downside being the lack of a breeze. It was fairly busy, and we saw at least a couple dozen others along the trail and perhaps a dozen going up the peak itself.
The trail was in mostly good condition, except for a couple of rockslides in the creek crossing areas, and sometimes inconsistent markers in the wooded section where most of the elevation gain is. I did not go up the West Lion itself, but Keshia and Kevin did and did not mention any issues with the scrambling way up. The fixed rope at the drop just before the peak seems to have been replaced by a much stronger one compared to the one from my previous trip here a couple of years ago.
A number of hikers had taken the Howe Sound Crest trail, and the trip times they gave were comparable to those for the Binkert trail, despite the longer distance, perhaps due to the lower elevation gain. The optimal way to experience the Lions may be to start with Howe Sound Crest and go down Binkert afterwards.”
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.”
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.”
Michelle at the Lions:
“Gone away is the blue bird, here to stay is a new bird. Yep, walking in a winter wonder land. So, there’s like snow up there. We hit some snow on the trail but it wasn’t until the boulder field that the ever increasing blanket of snow and ice presented a challenge. Though negotiable, it made for slow slippery progress and the climb/decent of the ridge connecting with the HSCT proved to be a bit “interesting”. The rocky Lions themselves looked sunbathed and bare and a steady stream of people crawled like a line of ants up and down them. Our climb to the saddle provided gorgeous clear views of the city and entire lower mainland with Baker and the US beyond on one side opposite Howe Sound, the Gulf Islands, HSCT and Sunshine Coast on the other. PS: the crowds of summer evidently haven’t yet cleared on this popular trail. However, the trail itself won’t be clear for long (or at all) as the snow has already started to stick and the daylight is fading fast.”
Heather on the Howe Sound Crest Trail:
“Suzanna, Keith, Bob and Heather did a long hike of the Howe Sound Crest Trail from Cypress Bowl to the base of The Lions and back. Unfortunately, we started late on a very hot day, and the Crest Trail is a demanding and exposed trail – so heat exposure made for an even longer day. The views were stunning and there were only a few snow patches on the trail. Due to the heat we had to re-fill water from snow melt, and I personally drank 6 litres during the almost 12 hour hike. A demanding day, but still a beautiful place to be!”