Sunday morning Dave, Craig, Neil and I were on the Lions Trail by 8:30 am. Craig was in town for the weekend to participate in some final bagging of the season (and of course to spend time with his family). It was great to have him along on the journey to make team DODGY almost complete. Liza has moved to Calgary so we were team DODG for the day. It was a beautiful fall morning. The small parking lot at the trail head was full so we parked back at the school parking. This allows for a walk up the steep road to view the homes of the residents of Lion's Bay. The trail starts as an old logging road, we met a few people heading out for their adventures for the day. One hiker was on his own and was going up Mount Harvey. I gave him the "be careful" warning as I have had (x2)moments coming up the back side myself.
Once we branched off the logging road onto the Binkert Trail (the Lions Trail) we were greeted with this sign.:) Team DODG had plenty of fluid with us and we have the art of water treatment down pat to reduce our risk of having to take water from any creeks.
Crossing the bridge over Harvey Creek. There is a plaque on the bridge (next to the unfortunate graffiti) that dedicates the foot bridge to Lions Bay Search and Rescue co-founder Marcel Andrie.
Once out of the trail that climbs up through the woods (about 2 hours up) you come upon boulder fields with stunning views below. There were patches of ice on the rocks which can obviously be very dangerous.
On our way to up to the gathering place at the base of the West Lion. We peaked over the edge, looked way up and ran into some familiar faces. Team DODG decided to carry on to Enchantment Peak and for those who were keen could go up the West Lion on our way back.
View back to the Lions from Enchantment.
The East Lion, a massive rock formation. The Lions are a very prominent feature on the North Shore skyline. It was quiet surreal that we were playing around at their base. Every time now, when I look up at them I will always remember having been there. That pretty well summarizes the reflections we are having of the North Shore mountains as we close in on completing all the peaks on the Bagger Challenge.
The "back view" of Cathedral Mountain (where we were a few weeks ago).
Coming back on the Howe Sound Crest Trail - this section really is a ledge with room for a piece of your foot with a shear drop off - I don't like this type of exposure. That's me in the middle with Dave leading and Craig contemplating from behind.
Ah - the leap of faith - thanks Dave for catching me and not letting go! I see now in this photo that you were really on the edge yourself. I recall you saying along this section - don't push me when you land! I get it now. Last night in my sleep I had a few flash back moments - perhaps you did too!
Once back at the base of the West Lion, in the interests of time and family, Neil and I opted to leave our team members and carry on back down the trail. Craig was determined to climb the West Lion and so he should having lived on the North Shore all his life and now having the opportunity to summit on such a glorious day. Dave phoned Helen who agreed to pick them up in Lions Bay and so Neil and I wished them well, said our good byes and headed back down the trail, making it back to the truck just before dark. The Thanksgiving Turkey dinner tantalizing smells were incredible going through the Lions's Bay neighbourhood prior to reaching the truck. We were hungry! I stashed Dave and Craig's bags they had in our truck in the woods and texted where they could find their bags. We were anxiously waiting a text from Craig and Dave to say they were safely off the West Lion. We knew they had headlamps and it wasn't a first for a journey out in the dark for team DODGY. Congratulations Craig on climbing the West Lion and #3 for Dave! The West Lion is not a difficult climb but involves significant exposure for us part time rock climbers. I must end this blog by admitting our timing was off for the day and we were 2 hours late picking up Fergus (dog) and 2.5 hours late for our own family Thanksgiving dinner. (Give thanks for microwaves and forgiving family!). Next weekend we plan to climb Dickens Peak which will make Dave and myself "completeists" in the Bagger Challenge, to join Neil who finished a few weeks ago. We are very thankful for the high pressure ridge of fine weather that is allowing great bagging opportunities for another week! Happy Thanksgiving!