Difficulty: Moderate - Hard
Time Taken: 7Hrs
Cool points: The final peak
What it's Not: ____
Date of Hike: Summer 1990
Recommendations:bring extra water for this one
No map avail.
Once again because this hike was so long ago that I cant give proper directions to the trial head. However it is North and West of the city of Vancouver.
This is another hike that I have done twice, The first was done in 1990 or so while I was working in Vancouver for my summer job, which was nice in that it gave me a chance to really expernce people from the lotus land of Canada. It is extra cool because Vancouver is right in the mountain range, and on the pacific coast. The second trip was done a year or two later when my buddy Robet and I went to Vancouver to visit.
The first trip up the lion heads was a 'solo' journey, that is me by my self, but with several hundered people on the same trail. I guess that is to be expected given the quality of the hike, and the large population of the Vancouver city and surounding areas. The fist hike was in the blistering heat of about 27Deg C, and fairly humid (at least to me being from Alberta). Even though the air felt humid, it still managed to be a mostly bright sunny day. The second trip, was quite the oposite, it involved a slog through the wet snow of the BC. coast line
This hike is a bit different, in that the bulk of the elevation gain is done in the automobile, but do not be fooled, it is not all that easy to make it to the trail's end. If memeory serves, there is a bit of a climb up the first poriton of the hike. Unfortunatly it has been around 6 years or so since I made the journey and the first part of the hike was not all that memorable. The bulk of the hike is walking along a very wide ridge of the mountain, this provides a view of the coast, and the Islands out in the bays. The other side of the ridge overlooks one of the few prestine valleys in the lower mainland. I say that because it is the water shead for the drinking water of Vancouver, so people are not alowed down there.
The hike along the ridge is a fairly long one, and as I said it is a fairly well travelled trial, along the trial that you will need your extra water, the trail is fully exposed to the bright sun and it is quick to drain the moisture from you. Although the trail follows the ridge, and you do not gain much elevation, the trial does involve several ups and downs, resulting in good workout for the folks like me not in the best of shape. After several km of this you come to the base of the lion head.
It is here that the trail goes from moderate difficulty (due to physical exsertion) to Hard due to difficulty and danger. To approch the lion head you must go down a small saddle where the ridge narrows to a few meters, from there you begin the final portion of the hike up to to top of one of the lion heads. This is a steep scramble, along narrow ledges, grasping small trees, for support. The final scrmable is 50-75 meters or so, however the 'path' I took swung out a bit, over the cliff and the drop was hundreds of meters down a sheer cliff. (I did not take this rout for the thrill, it actually looked likeit was the safest) it is pretty nerve racking for someone not used to it. I did pass one hiker who was with a group of 4, he was the last one going up in the group, and was 'frozen' to the side of the climb. He insisted that he was ok, and indeed made it to the top while I was up there. It was obvious that he had a good scare. This would be a good time to point out to any novice hikers, if you do come to a scrambel in you hike, remember it is always harder going down than up, and yes you can get it some real dangerous spots.
Sitting on the top of the lion head was a great thrill, it was probably my first hike where I was sitting on the true peak of a mountain. There was probably 30 people up there while I was there. We were 'buzzed' by some sort of tourist helecopter which was neeat. From the top we had views of the Bays, the water shed to the east, and off to the North you could see the endless peaks of the moutains and glaciers.