MV = Metro Vancouver West Lion summit scramble Sep 23, 2017 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Default West Lion summit scramble Sep 23, 2017

We scrambled West Lion summit on September 23, 2017 with kids with climbing gear (harnesses and ropes) for their protection. We summited West Lion for the first time on July 22, 2015, and noted a few changes since that time. Specifically, a new rope has been installed for the descent into the notch with the old worn one still dangling there, but a rope on the West Lion's exposed slab traverses has been removed.

The full trip report with pics is here.

Some pics are below







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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 02:04 AM
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Nice, well done. The notch is as far as I got on a very hot day several years ago; a time my brain was fried during the hottest day of the year... and decided impaired judgement would make the Lions attempt an unwise move.

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Hiking is what keeps you young of mind and heart. When the going gets tough, the tough get going..............
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KARVITK View Post
Nice, well done. The notch is as far as I got on a very hot day several years ago; a time my brain was fried during the hottest day of the year... and decided impaired judgement would make the Lions attempt an unwise move.

K
Although West Lion summit is called a classic 3-4 class scramble in Matt Gunn's book, it does require rock climbing and pathfinding skills and you may easily go off the marked trail and end up doing low to mid five climb. That actually happened to my husband, but he used a rope to protect kids. Even following markers means you have to negotiate several exposed sections. We have been doing rock climbing for the last two years and have the skills and the gear, but the descent was still somewhat uncomfortable for me.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 09:10 AM
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Nice! How old are the kids?

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Nice! How old are the kids?
10 (twins) and 11
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 07:59 PM
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Good job letting them explore some difficult scrambles safely!

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 08:02 PM
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I can't see the rope in the bottom traverse spot. Did they just go for it unroped? What kind of system did you use for the difficult parts? Fixed line or belay?

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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I can't see the rope in the bottom traverse spot. Did they just go for it unroped? What kind of system did you use for the difficult parts? Fixed line or belay?
Although the bottom part is inclined towards dropoff, it is actually pretty flat and wide with plenty of secure handholds, and therefore we did not use a rope there. There used to be a fixed rope attached here two years ago, but it has been removed, probably because people realized that this loose fixed rope would not save anyone in case of a fall anyway. There was a worn piton inserted into a small crack on the upper part of the traverse that can be used to fix a rope, but it did not look reliable to us.

I saw one guy walking across this traverse casually without using handholds. He stumbled at one point and my heart sank, but he kept his balance and continued walking down. We used a rope belay for kids for the steep climbing section on the way up next to the ridge and a belay rope for an exposed second traverse from the ridge. Most hikers that scramble the summit do not use any ropes. We did not use any protection two years ago.

Last edited by Lenagen; 09-28-2017 at 02:07 AM. Reason: correction
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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I did not wear a harness or use any protection for myself this time and do not believe it is needed for someone with basic-intermediate scrambling and rock climbing skills who can keep a balance and is not afraid of heights. We only brought a rope to protect kids. But you would not want to be there when it is wet and slippery, that's for sure.

It is much easier than descending from Pink Slab on Sky Pilot, where I chose to rappel.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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There was a climbing casualty today on Crown mountain, when a sports climber fell and pulled out four pieces of protection (cams) with his weight and fell 200 ft to his death. R.I.P. :-(

When protection is not reliable it is better not to use it at all.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/britis...tain-1.4310804
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 10:41 PM
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I've been up a few times thanks. Just wondering what system you found most practical for the future when the kids are older. I have short roped my eldest in the past but now that he's a lot bigger and heavier, I don't want to do that anymore.

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post #12 of (permalink) Old 09-29-2017, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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I've been up a few times thanks. Just wondering what system you found most practical for the future when the kids are older. I have short roped my eldest in the past but now that he's a lot bigger and heavier, I don't want to do that anymore.
The best approach to West Lion really is to come armed with rock climbing skills and take a helmet to protect yourself from accidental rock fall. You can use tree trunks as a natural anchor and that is all there is up there in terms of anchors. There are no reliable anchors on the first exposed slab traverse. If you have been there a few times with your kid, why don't try a new destination with your big kid like Sky Pilot? At least there are new reliable bolts and rings at Sky Pilot's Pink Slab and crux that are totally reliable and can be safely used to belay your kid especially on the way down.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 11:24 PM
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Congratulations on conquering such an epic adventure! Also for showing your youngsters the beauties of the outdoors!


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