Sunday, August 31, 2014

Howe Sound Crest Trail

Yesterday I took Howe Sound crest trail from the parking lot on Cypress to St Mark's summit and both peaks on Unecessary mountain. The first picture is the view from St Mark's summit.

I was hoping to make it to the Lions as I've never done them from this route before. I've done them from Lions bay which they say is shorter but steeper. The beginning of the trail is well groomed and the first two switchbacks up St Mark's summit look just like the trail up Baker called the Heliotrope trail. However after the first two switchbacks the trail gets fairly rugged pretty fast. Lots of rocks and roots. They are working on improving the trail with bobcats but that's a big job so it is.

Just as I hit Unecessary mountain the fog started to roll in covering the lions. In this picture you can just barely see the tip of the west lion with the east lion being completely hidden by fog.

The wind was coming from the ocean so I thought luck was on my side and it would blow the fog away. In reality, withing two minutes the wind brought fog from the ocean and the entire panorama was zero visibility. This is a direct view of the Lions from the north peak of Unecessary mountain:

Not much to see but when the clouds aren't there it's spectacular. Turning to the left this is the view of Lions bay. Again when the clouds aren't the view is spectacular.

I finally found the trail down from Unecessary mountain to the back of the lions. It's a short steep descent but with the lions in sight you're almost there. If you see a rope anchored to the rocks you're on the right trail. Kinda like how they have a chain riveted to the rocks to help climb on Goat mountain and the back of the Chief.

I was somewhat disappointed to make it so close to the lions and have to turn back defeated. The lions are without question the crown jewel of Vancouver. As I was descending there were several groups that were determined to pass the Lions in their journey despite the fog. One group of backpackers were heading to Deeks lake while two groups of runners were going all the way to Porteau cove. That is a long way.

For me the Lions is the primary quest. If you go too early in the summer there's still lots of snow to cross. If you go mid summer in the heat, you'll need more water and since there is no fresh water en route you have to carry it which significantly adds to the load. Now is the best time of year to do them. Not too hot and the trail is bare of snow finally. Yet like always on the coastal mountains the visibility is hit and miss.

This is an old youtube video I made of the Bruce Cockburn song Wondering Where The Lions Are. It has pictures around Vancouver including a close up of the lions when I hiked them from Lions bay. Yesterday as I stood at their foot looking straight at them hidden in dense fog that song Wondering Where The Lions Are came to mind. Of course it's also metaphorical. Wondering where the lions are can also mean the lions of Judah willing to stand against crime and corruption in defense of civil liberty. But then again people say I'm too metaphorical. This is a picture of the Lions from Hollyburn ridge on Cypress. They are the crown jewel of Vancouver.


  1. What's going on here Agent K.. Your OMG/Crime related posts have dropped off dramatically.

    1. There's more on the way. I'm working on an exhibit for court to support the police's application to seize the BC clubhouses and there is a book deal in the works. I like to mix it up a bit and throw a few other things in once and a while.

      When I did the Surrey Winterfest focusing on the brutal murder of Janice Shore I concluded with pictures from the ice carving festival at Lake Louise. I like to show these guys life has more to offer that you can't find in a crack pipe.

    2. That's good that you are showing there is more to life than what pop-(anti)culture attempts to promote. The anti-culture of money, expensive cars, expensive houses, loose morals, women being far less than modest, etc, etc, etc - like any hip hop music video shows).

      It is a hollow empty existence that leaves one very temporarily semi-content. The feeling wears off very quickly and then one must subsequently pursue more and more.

      I think there are a great many, especially, I would posit, that are in the "puppet" gangs that are attracted to the enticements and temptations but perhaps may be the easiest to help leave that existence.

      I am afraid the more established members may only be tempted to leave the gang (and it is a gang, not a "club", unless there can be a criminal club) if faced with an option of leaving or a very lengthy jail term. Even then, their mindsets will be so oriented towards that choice that they may well take the jail term and try to be proud of being part of the BHC ...

      Of course, if any rational thinking human being using logic and reason were to honestly and objectively examine the choices and true, full, ramifications of their actions, they would never pursue that and would staunchly stand opposed to it.

      I think what needs to be done is teach the use of logic and reason. That is one thing that is NOT taught in schools any longer.

    Off the subject but might interest you.

  3. What type Camera do you use?
    My main camera is a Fuji 8400 44X WiFi, which can pick up HD in high ISO night shots!

    1. I need to find something that takes better pictures at night. I just have a cheap one. the memory card slot was broken so I took those with an iphone a friend gave me.

    The map at the bottom of this article is well detailed
    Thought you might be interested.

    1. Interesting map - you have a tiny area of the Ukraine that is populated by Russians that chose to want to be independent and they are called terrorists.

      Were/are they part of a nation or an artificial economic state?

      Should they be allowed independence or should they be forced to be part of a state?

      Should they be forced to leave their homes and homeland (Kiev was the capital of Rus -

      Were they oppressed leading to this (

      Lots of questions.


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