Sea to sky views :o)
18.10.2007 16 °C
Two twin peaks well known in Vancouver and even the kids will show you the direction to them... When its a sunny day and the visibility is good you can spot them right away from the places like Canada place, or Stanley park in downtown.
They are the symbol of Vancouver, so when you are here it might be a good idea to have a closer look at them.
To get to them is not hard, especially if you enjoy hiking in a steep terrain. There are 2 popular trails there and we have used the longer one. The shorter one starts at Lions bay, which is only a few minutes drive from West Vancouver, but because you hike in the steep forest with almost no views we took the trail from Cypress Ski hill parking lot.
The trail is about 20 Km long, the altitude difference between the parking lot and the peaks is around 500m but do not get confused, because during the hike you have to go across 3 ridges and go up and down to the valleys underneath so are loosing the gained altitude 3x so be ready for a good work out not only on the way there but also on the way back to the car :-(
Oh, and if you really want to enjoy the hike and very nice views, do not rush and give yourself at least 9 hours for a return journey.
As soon as you pass skiing runs and get into the forest, steep slopes with very slippery roots sections will occupy your mind so watch out so you do not fall or slip of the trail. It goes up steadily and after an hour or so, you come to the first lookout right above the Bowen island, surrounded with yachts and ferries going from Vancouver to the Vancouver island
Then comes the first ridge, and you have to walk down to a valley so you loose about 250m of elevation. After that comes very steep part in a forest where the trail is not maintained so we were lucky that there was no rain there otherwise it would took us quite a bit of energy to get on the top of the second ridge but the combination of the sun and the clouds above the islands gave us impression like we were flying and not hiking above the Howe sound :o)
Once you get up here, you can really enjoy the views and if the clouds stay away, after another ridge crossing you can finally have a look at the Lions.
We have started our trek too late at around 10.30 AM so we did not have a luxury of time but we were still able to get just under the West Lion where I got this image of Eastern peak just after the clouds disappeared from its west side. Like every in the mountains range, the weather can change very quickly, so if you want to get back from the top during the day, give yourself some spare time for resting on the way down, because this trail is hard on the knees, and it gets very dark in these forests in the night so a headlamp is a good thing to carry in the backpack.
Again, the timing was fine for us, so after we had a golden hour above the Howe sound we rushed down to the parking lot and because it was clear late evening with a full moon in the sky, we managed to stretch ours muscles at the parked cars just after 8 PM... what a cool hiking day again