Andy McKay

May 12, 2024

Hike - South Needle via Lynn Peak

Bagged: ✅ Lynn Peak ✅ Rice Peak ✅ South Needle

ℹ️ List of 2024 peaks bagged.

Instead of aiming for more bike races or longer runs, this year I’ve set my sights somewhere slightly different. Instead I’m going to try and bag all the peaks in North Vancouver, as defined by the Peak Baggers group. Unfortunately that group requires Facebook and I refuse to use that site so I’ve got my own list going. It’s a big list.

It’s still early in the year for any of the higher North or West Vancouver peaks. Most people are doing Gambier, Bowen and Anvil. Those are hills I might do at some point, but don’t really interest me as much as the big ones on the mainland. So I thought yesterday I’d take a stab at the Needles in Lynn Valley, because they are lower than most of the other peaks and aren’t as likely to be covered in snow and ice. I tried to get to South Needle last year and was turned around by snow and ice that made it really hard to hike.

This year, getting up to the first couple of peaks was relatively straightforward and there wasn’t any snow. Between those peaks and the South Needle there were patches of snow but nothing too bad and up to the South Needle at 1163m. The hike there is great, at times you are walking on tree lined ridge with huge tree lined steep slopes on each side. The trail has really steep parts and there was just one bit on the South Needle where my nervousness with heights hit me - a small rock outcropping with a 100% chance of death if you slip.

At the top the north side and the Middle Needle was all snow and ice covered. I met a group up there who tried to go towards Middle Needle and saw the steep slope with big drops covered in snow, ice, all in various stages of melting and turned back. They had better gear than me (I just had crampons) so I knew that was not going to happen.

On the way down, I went down the Hydraulic Creek trail, which is really steep. Just looking at the elevation change on Strava 👆 makes this clear.

Then it was either back out along the road through the Seymour Demonstration Forest, or even further by heading over to Fishermans Trail and coming out at the top of Riverside drive. I’ve run and cycled that trail a lot and forgotten how boring and long it was.

An amazing hike with amazing views, it was a shame I couldn’t get the other two needles in but I can get those from the Coliseum mountain side another time.

So there it goes, my first attempt at trying to bag all the peaks with a couple of relatively easy ones. Let’s see how it goes!