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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Default Winter Mt. Harvey Ascent - 2009-02-21

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:


Elevation Profile:

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.

The crux:

-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...

Brunswick Mountain:

The Hat:

Magnesia Meadows:

The Lions:

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)
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 06:05 PM
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Some great shots of the Lions in there. Well done, on one of my favourite winter walks. [8D]
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 06:34 PM
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those ice climbs are called "Marmalade", "Thermometer Gully" and "Advertising Agents in Space". They are often completely buried in snow at this time of year...
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 07:57 PM
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Look at that ice! *drools*

What a lovely hike! You always find a way to get out without snowshoes Glad the new boots are treating you well!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 08:04 PM
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I'm starting to be concerned about the scanty snow pack up there. We were on Zoa ridge today and the snow is scanty there too. Let's hope there won't be a forest closure like there was in 2004(I think that was the year). Nice pictures Ryan, glad you got out!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 08:50 PM
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Looks like this week there'll be lots more snow up there, thanks for the report
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Panorama - Looking South from Mt Harvey Summit


Panorama - Howe Sound from Mt. Harvey Summit


Panorama - Howe Sound from Mt. Harvey Fire Scar


Video 360 Panorama - Summit of Mt. Harvey

Video Panorama - Looking South from Mt. Harvey Ascent

Video Panorama - Howe Sound and The Lions from Mt. Harvey

Full photoset:


Edit: I seem to have lost my black MEC gloves on the trail somewhere... last time I saw then was about 2/3 of the way down the trail from the fire scar to the Lions junction. If anyone is up that way in the next little while, keep an eye out.

Oh yes, if anyone wants the GPS track for this hike, give me a message.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 01:00 AM
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Very nice pics, thanks for sharing.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 09:17 PM
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Great trip Ryan, I thought of doing it as a winter hike. Great writeup and detail on conditions. Great panarama shots, and interesting sound effects on your Flickr video as it almost sounds like crackling thunder from the distance.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 08:17 AM
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Great shot of The Lions from the summit.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 01-17-2021, 01:10 AM
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Resurrecting an old but awesome trip report. Went and did Harvey over the winter again and it was great as usual. Got some stunning cloud formations, fresh deep snow, and no other souls. As many know, people have died from the cornices on this trip, so please do not adventure to this trail unless you have the experience and knowledge of the route and its risks. Video below of our trip:

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post #12 of (permalink) Old 01-17-2021, 02:08 AM
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Really nice video. Whiskey bagger snowshoes in shorts. Looks like you were breaking trail on the ridge to the summit

Inversion is awesome!
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 02-02-2021, 02:20 PM
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Harveys "Elegant" west ridge as Bruce Fairley called it. Really is with the snow. The last group to go over with broken cornices were a Korean Hiking group. There was a large group and they decided en masse to get too close to the edge. A bunch of them went over Harveys N.face dropoff. Also the two people who wandered into Strachan creek drainage in winter and disappeared a few years ago were from the same group I believe. A month or so ago I got up to Seymour peak right after an ice storm. Very low visibility in the ice fog. Axe and crampons were required and who do I see coming up in snowshoes and trek poles but the Korean hiking group. That slope traverse across from Tim Jones is steep with a few trees to hit on the way down for good measure. I didnt see any teethed snowshoes, just the run of the mill trail stuff. Not even Lightning Ascents would cut it safely. Is it me or should someone with no training and a disregard for safety be leading a full-on group of gung ho enthusiast hikers? They are nice people, its a free country but these folks are trusting that the leader knows what he is doing.
On a lighter note, last summer I took a friend who never been to Harvey up. We were yakking and missed the Harvey trail cutoff and ended up going up Harvey creek to the HSCT and up the east side of Harvey. Then back down the west ridge, a nice day loop!
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Last edited by Jaaklucas; 02-02-2021 at 02:24 PM.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 02-02-2021, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Jaaklucas View Post
should someone with no training and a disregard for safety be leading a full-on group of gung ho enthusiast hikers?

I'll give you another story; last winter I was trekking Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. Main problem is altitude as you spend several days above 4000 & highest point Thorung La Pass is over 5400m. So you need to acclimatize; start low, walk slow and take your time. Norm is extra acclimatization day in Manang (3600m); I already hiked 4 days to get to Manang, so I had 5 days in total before I ventured above Manang into 4000m zone. But roads have been broken and one can nowdays drive in 4x4 to Manang. So I am sitting in the evening in the lodge when group pours in; just like your Korean group, nylon bag & sneakers type. They got driven by their tour operator with zero acclimatization. I could not believe orientation speech their "leader" was giving them. I knew there was going to be trouble. Sure enough the day after there was helicopter evac; I was told "several people from some inexperienced group got sick and had to be airlifted to Kathmandu" (You die otherwise).

Seymour, Harvey or Nepal -- it is the same symptom, that at its root has Overpopulation, main problem this planet needs to solve if if wants to survive, and that exhibits itself in everything, from viruses, environment issues, rising crime, etc etc But that's another topic
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 03-03-2021, 03:34 AM
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Amazing stunning shot, love the look and mood of it, nicely done Russellcoffin


Hiking is what keeps you young of mind and heart. When the going gets tough, the tough get going..............
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