Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Lions: check. Sort of.

One of the classic hikes close to Vancouver is "The Lions".  The local guidebook notes that it is only included in the book due to it's prominence and proximity to Vancouver, isn't a particularly good scramble, and " top it off, as a scramble route this trip suffers from an ascent almost entirely in the trees, with only a few short sections on rock".

Well, we kicked it up a notch: we did it in the rain.

The Lions have been on our must-do list basically since we got to Vancouver, for the same reasons the guidebook notes: they are right there, staring you in the face.  Even knowing what you're getting in to, I think it is a must do for everyone.

Here is a shot from Google Earth of the route:

2011.09.17 Lions

As you can see, there are two Lions.  The West Lion is the one that is "climbable", but you have to leave a little self-preservation instinct behind.  You'll notice my bright orange line stops at the base.

Anyways, we got up early to head out.  It was raining, but the weather network said that the rain would stop in an hour, and by lunchtime (when we should be at the top) it would be bright and sunny.

I know.  I don't know why I never learn that lesson.

It was still raining when we got to the start of the hike, and by the time we got to the first ridge, it was...still raining. Plus we were now right inside the cloud, so basically only knew we were on the ridge because if you kept walking, you started walking downwards.  This is the view from the ridge:

2011.09.17 Lions (7)

We followed the ridge to "the Notch", the first technical section of the route, and the true beginning of the scramble up the West Lion.  Here is me checking it out:

2011.09.17 Lions (2)

This is what the view would have been during a clear day, by the way:


And this is the vote to continue or not:

2011.09.17 Lions (4)

We got back to the car at about 3pm.  The sun came out about 3:10.

Total distance (return): ~15km
Total elevation gain: ~1350m
Total time: 7 hours

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