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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
adm
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Default The Needles and Lynn Ridge (2015-02-20)

This is my first trip report, but I am a long time reader, so thanks all for the advice. I hope it is not to dry, I took very few photos - the day was miserable and wet…

I finally got around to traversing the Needles and Lynn Peaks today:

Although clouds lingered over the North Shore this morning, I had high hopes they would lift. I parked outside the Lynn Headwaters gate at the crack of 930AM. After reading past trip reports, I had decided to approach from the north, which always left me the option of just heading up Burwell instead.

I reached the trail junction by Norvan Falls at 1030 and then slowed significantly, reaching a small boulder field around ~800m at 1130. Upon reading some reports on Bivouac and some from this site, I decided to approach the North Needle from below the pass in an attempt to save time. This was a mistake.

The top of the boulder field was obscured by cloud, but I could see cliffs at top left, so I headed diagonally up to the right. I followed a greasy gully as it curved up to the left, unseen from below. This gully eventually became very cliffy and full of chockstones. I was already at the point where I was climbing at my limit, when a 3-4 m vertical, wet, mossy chockstone blocked the gully. I headed climber's right, and then the bush began. Thick, downsloping, and 2m high; however, it offered MANY vegetation belays. I climbed three distinct cliff bands through weaknesses I happened to luck upon. I DO NOT recommend the route I took. I believe there may be a weakness to the left of the original gully I climbed from the boulder field at ~800m.

Near the summit of the NN, I found an unweathered yellow rope and bright pink flagging. I was pleasantly surprised. This flagging would continue all the way to Lynn Lookout. I can only assume it is as good coming up from Norvan Pass - although I have not been, I would recommend accessing the route from the pass. The person (people) who flagged this route is awesome.

I reached the summit of the North Needle at 1245 and was treated to no views. It was snowing (maybe there is hope for the year!).

Following my compass bearing, the trail was easy to find off the south side of the summit. Although still shrouded in cloud, the route from the North Needle to South Needle was extremely well marked and non-technical. There was very little snow on any of the peaks. A couple of minor cliff bands are avoided easily and coming onto the South Needle there is a minor section requiring scrambling.

The old-growth along the ridge is spectacular. From the North Needle south along the ridge there is almost continuous old growth, which is superb to hike through. From the NN to the SN, while very well marked, is still a route. There is much bushwhacking to be done enroute to the SN.

I reached the summit of the South Needle at 145, the cloud briefly lifted and I could look back upon the Middle Needle.

Coming down off the SN, the route transforms to a trail. And an awesome one at that. It twists and turns its way over Lynn Peak and around South Lynn Peak, connecting to the Lynn Lookout Trail. The trail is mostly on soft pine needles and passes through amazing forest. For the life of me, I do not know how I missed the turn off for Hydraulic Creek, and I was slightly confused on the ridge - I am unsure if I reached the summit of Lynn Peak, but I'm not too concerned.

The trail to SN looks like it would be fun any time of the year, hopefully I can head back in a month with snow-shoes, but I doubt I will revisit the **** of the North Needle ascent (at least from where I accessed it).

I reached the lookout by 3, and was back at the truck by 4, having run some of the trail to beat the Lions Gate traffic. I was not successful. All in all, an awesome trip which gives one a sense of exploring, right here on the North Shore.

Also, couldn't figure out how to upload photos, will edit if i can…so TL;DR, went up Needles, was great, North Needle was sketchy everything else was fun.
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Last edited by adm; 02-21-2015 at 12:21 PM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adm View Post
This is my first trip report, but I am a long time reader, so thanks all for the advice. I hope it is not to dry, I took very few photos - the day was miserable and wet

I finally got around to traversing the Needles and Lynn Peaks today:

Although clouds lingered over the North Shore this morning, I had high hopes they would lift. I parked outside the Lynn Headwaters gate at the crack of 930AM. After reading past trip reports, I had decided to approach from the north, which always left me the option of just heading up Burwell instead.

I reached the trail junction by Norvan Falls at 1030 and then slowed significantly, reaching a small boulder field around ~800m at 1130. Upon reading some reports on Bivouac and some from this site, I decided to approach the North Needle from below the pass in an attempt to save time. This was a mistake.

The top of the boulder field was obscured by cloud, but I could see cliffs at top left, so I headed diagonally up to the right. I followed a greasy gully as it curved up to the left, unseen from below. This gully eventually became very cliffy and full of chockstones. I was already at the point where I was climbing at my limit, when a 3-4 m vertical, wet, mossy chockstone blocked the gully. I headed climber's right, and then the bush began. Thick, downsloping, and 2m high; however, it offered MANY vegetation belays. I climbed three distinct cliff bands through weaknesses I happened to luck upon. I DO NOT recommend the route I took. I believe there may be a weakness to the left of the original gully I climbed from the boulder field at ~800m.

Near the summit of the NN, I found an unweathered yellow rope and bright pink flagging. I was pleasantly surprised. This flagging would continue all the way to Lynn Lookout. I can only assume it is as good coming up from Norvan Pass - although I have not been, I would recommend accessing the route from the pass. The person (people) who flagged this route is awesome.

I reached the summit of the North Needle at 1245 and was treated to no views. It was snowing (maybe there is hope for the year!).

Following my compass bearing, the trail was easy to find off the south side of the summit. Although still shrouded in cloud, the route from the North Needle to South Needle was extremely well marked and quite non-technical. There was very little snow on any of the peaks. A couple of minor cliff bands are avoided easily and coming onto the South Needle there is a minor section requiring scrambling.

The old-growth along the ridge is spectacular. From the North Needle south along the ridge there is almost old growth, which is superb to hike through. From the NN to the SN, while very well marked, is still a route. There is much bushwhacking to be done enroute to the SN.

I reached the summit of the South Needle at 145, the cloud briefly lifted and I could look back upon the Middle Need.

Coming down off the SN, the route transforms to a trail. And an awesome one at that. It twists and turns its way over Lynn Peak and around South Lynn Peak, connecting to the Lynn Lookout Trail. The trail is mostly on soft pine needles and passes through amazing forest. For the life of me, I do not know how I missed the turn off for Hydraulic Creek, and I was slightly confused on the ridge - I am unsure if I reached the summit of Lynn Peak, but Im not too concerned.

The trail to SN looks like it would be fun any time of the year, hopefully I can head back in a month with snow-shoes, but I doubt I will revisit the **** of the North Needle ascent (at least from where I accessed it).

I reached the lookout by 3, and was back at the truck by 4, having run some of the trail to beat the Lions Gate traffic. I was not successful. All in all, an awesome trip which gives one a sense of exploring, right here on the North Shore.

Also, couldn't figure out how to upload photos, will edit if i canso TL;DR, went up Needles, was great, North Needle was sketchy everything else was fun.

welcome to CT spend some time on the board and the image uploader for thumbnails is quite easy to use
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 11:23 PM
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Geez that is fricken fast. Your frozen tracks came in handy on some of the steeper sections...thanks. : )
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 01:41 AM
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yeah, that was real fast. The turnoff to Hydraulic is easy to miss at those speeds.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
adm
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Aqua: Thanks, I'll try to figure it out.

John: No worries! I saw a few tracks up there as well, so I can't take all the credit. How did you get onto the North Needle.

oldmatt: hopefully i can head up again from the east side and just stop at the south needle
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adm View Post
John: No worries! I saw a few tracks up there as well, so I can't take all the credit. How did you get onto the North Needle.
We came from the south. I did a loop on my own last summer, coming from the north and Paton's Lookout. Just followed the spine of the ridge.
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