|Elevation Profile. It doesn't look so bad on paper..|
|Our first of far too many views of the Lions|
|Arriving at St. Marks, 5km into the hike|
|Looking out over Howe Sound to Vancouver Island|
|It feels remote, but Vancouver is just around the corner!|
|St. Marks Lookout over Gambier and Tantalus|
Saturday started out slowly with a photo shoot of the amazing views from St. Marks. We made up for the slow start with some quick hiking up and over the multiple pumps of Unnecessary Mountain to the Lions Lookout where we stopped for lunch along with the hordes of day hikers. We decided against summiting the West Lion as we had another ~10km planned for the day.
|Lions Lookout. Our lunch spot|
|East (illegal) Lion looking down to Capilano Lake|
|Looking north from between the Lions. The trail follows the closest ridge|
|Lucky the rope is there|
We hiked up David's peak after a bushwhack looking for the trail lead me and Tyler up a very steep wall of bushes. Eventually we found the trail and took a snack break at the top. It had been 4 hours since we had left the Lions and it felt as if they hadn't got any farther away than they had been 2 hours prior!
|How are the Lions still so close??|
|David on David's Peak with Brunswick Mountain in the background|
Thankfully, after a steep down-climb of the north side of David's peak, the trail flattened out into a much more manageable trail. Although it was quite overgrown, it had a better grade and allowed us to cover the distance from David's to the emergency shelter at Magnesia Meadows very quickly.
|Looking back at the Lions from Brunswick. Alpine glow!|
After refilling water by the shelter, we continued on along the side of Brunswick Mountain. Here the trail became much more well used and easier to follow. We arrived at the turn off to Brunswick Peak where we had intended on ditching our packs and going up to check out the top. Nobody was thrilled with the idea as it was getting late and we were pretty tired already.
It was a good decision. We made it to Brunswick Lake just in time to find tent sites before firing up the headlamps. We had an amazing dinner of butter chicken in the dark by the lake with the sounds of a waterfall in the background.
|Sun setting over Howe Sound|
|Brunswick Mountain dwarfing the tent|
We awoke to a clear morning and stunning peaks all around us. The last 8 or 9 km of the hike was well trodden and allowed us to make good time to Deek's Lake where we stopped for a brief swim. After the swim it was all downhill on a trail that turned into a logging road that lead to Porteau Cove. We met Tyler's dad on the logging road as he had hiked up to meet us.
The weekend was a success. The trail offered stunning view around every corner and allowed me to stand on top of some of the peaks above my house. It was definitely the most technical hiking I have ever done, and was pretty challenging with a big overnight bag. Nonetheless, I had a blast and can't wait for my next adventure!
|Breakfast by the lake|
|Hiking past Middle Lake|
|Waterfall in Deek's Creek|
|Thanks to Tyler's dad for the ride! It felt great to sit down|