Mantracker and Survivorman are on Friday nights. What better way to get psyched up for a hike on Saturday?
Today I decided for a winter ascent of Mt. Harvey - something I had done before so I knew what I was getting into in terms of exposure and the like.
Google Earth birdseye:
Google Earth 3D:
This trip has been done to death, so I won't get into details about the route. As for trail conditions though:
-snow free for first 15 minutes or so to the first major junction
-50/50 snow from there to the Harvey turn off (hard and icy, gaitors not needed). Decent boot trails down the Brunswick junction and (surprisingly) the Harvey North Ramp junction.
-Harvey trail totally snow free and dry for first 20 minutes.
-Then a light dusting of snow... which has melted and frozen on the trail resulting in some rather slippery pure ice. YakTracks or higher are pretty much essential.
-About 20 minutes of the ice until there is more snow (generally hard and crusty) on the ground for better grip.
The snow gets deeper:
-For about 30 minutes prior to where you first break out of the trees for the first view of the Lions (what is that - old fire scar or something?) the snow gets to be about a foot deep. Easy for kick steps, and perfect depth and hardness to boot slide down on the way back.
Almost at the fire scar:
-At the fire scar, perhaps 50cm of snow, but hard and crusty from freeze/thaw and wind - no breaking through. There are plenty of boot trails to follow anyway.
Video 360 panorama:
First decent views of the day:
First view of the Lions:
Old avalanche evident on upper part of Lions trail:
-From there up the Harvey ridge, the snow gets deeper. No significant postholeing if you stay in the tracks.
Video Panorama - Howe Sound:
On the ridge:
Looking up Howe Sound:
Final push to the summit:
-The crux section about 10 minutes before the summit... trail goes straight up the steep slope. If you don't have crampons and an ice axe, it's probably too dangerous and too exposed. I scrambled the rocks to the left instead.
-Not a whole heck of a lot of snow at the summit, and again, if you stay on the tracks you're not sinking in.
Almost at the summit:
For those interested in the conditions of the surrounding mountains...
Dru - I found some ice for you
(North face of West Lion, about half way between Lion and Harvey Creek valley.)
I ran into a group of North Shore Hikers on the way down who tried to recruit me. The aforementioned snow after the fire scar made for an extremely quick descent.
A surprisingly quick trip, definitely helped by the quick descent down the snow.
Will link to full photoset once uploaded and panoramas once stitched together.
(I absolutely love my new boots)