Sunday, July 22, 2007

West Lion 21 July

An early start. Not as early as work but woke on my 'It's time to leave the house for work alarm'. Having already packed for the day a few days before decided to switch packs and go for a bigger pack. After an 'excuse for breakfast' but having prepared a hearty lunch and snacks I passed Blakes (closed), and then the Cambie Hostel cafe (closed). I thought of Blenz but then passed a Starbucks. The coffee wasn't that great. I nursed it to the meet up point on West Georgia with two fellow hikers. From there in the comfort of a car we made our way over the Lions Gate Bridge to the second meet up point where picked up the fourth member of our party to West Lion.

We parked at the trailhead and dressed in various combos of wet pants and gaiters before hitting the trail, which starts with an old logging road. For my British friends think disused railway track. Overgrown but a central path and maintained with rocks and large stones. A pleasant way to start a hike. Before you know it you are on to the trail proper and start to wind through the ever dense forest. It rained for almost the entire hike so visibility was limited. We got a good view of Gambier on the descent. Continuuing to climb we crossed a creek that is scaled by odd planks of wood. The second creek used to be passable only with a rope bridge. Not now. A metal bridge sits atop a huge tree trunk and steps on either side of the creek remove the stress out of this crossing but leave all the pleasure. It is truly majestic.

From here we climbed for a long period. It is a continuuous climb. One particular patch, approximately fifty metres in length, of the trail has been hit by the windstorms earlier this year. The trail markers were not visible. Our intrepid leader ventured out and found the marker. We followed her calls. I slipped a few times on the loose mud and tree bark.

The trail becomes firmer again twisting all the time. It levelled out at some point and then rose again before we hit the first patches of snow. We were then close to the base of West Lion. We climbed a little more and lunched in an unsheltered spot, changing our wet and sweaty clothes in the rain. We lunched standing up and after perhaps 15 mins agreed to head down. Any further ascent to be saved for another day and better conditions.

Post note: 31 July. I have added a link to photos on the Meet Up Vancouver website, a group did this hike on the 29 July, and my hike on 21 July was much the same except there were only four of us and no map reading

No comments: