So the kids were being kids again. Sam and Arno continued their fight from last week up at St Mark’s Summit which I had to break up again. Some things never change eh?
Today was going to be a great day. It was the first weekend hike that we had done when it wasn’t peeing down with rain. So we had to take full advantage of today’s weather! We get to the view point car park just north of Lions Bay, BC. Once the fighting had stopped we would have to cross the highway on a well placed bend. Waiting for a clearance in the traffic we made a dash for it.
We head towards the loose ribbon tied to a bush that marked the trail-head of the Tunnel Bluffs Hike. Working our way through the bush we get to a better marked trail to start our journey. The best thing to note about today was the lack of rain. This meant that we didn’t have to have our rain jackets on and more importantly, our hoods up. We could have a proper conversation today and with the mild weather we were all in shorts and trail runners. Perfect
The beginning of the trail is pretty steep, and we would find this continues for about 2/3 of the whole trail. We’re not talking about Grouse Grind steep, but steep enough to get your heart pumping. It is a relatively rough trail with bare rocks and roots which we are now well accustomed to. After about 5 minutes we come to our first look out point. It’s not very high but it’s a novelty to have clear skies to see any sort of distance.
We don’t loiter for too long as we are well aware that we have only just began and there’s a lot more to see. Though out these hikes I have come to realise that I am just not a super strong hiker, at least when comparing speed to the others. I’m a steady hiker that likes to take in the views around me. Too many times have I been stuck looking at my feet to miss everything around me. I am therefore a little slower than the others and soon they are a head of me. Not too much (not as far as if Flo was here) but enough to leave me with my own thoughts. I’m glad I let them go on ahead however, as Arno managed to save us from a falling tree – holding it up for us to pass under, only letting go once we were safe. Arno had managed to hold up a tree that had fallen. Sam did nothing but call me a wanker.
I had read the reviews of this hike and it said that there were a couple of rope sections on it. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but I assumed it wasn’t going to be as tough as the Lion’s Ears. This is because this trail is classed as intermediate rather than hard (Lions) and the Lions rope section has a nice little 12 ft vertical drop. This thick yellow rope wasn’t much use going up if I’m honest however I can verify it’s much more useful on the way down – those rocks are slippery.
By now I had warmed up and we were making good time, but also enjoying the lush surroundings. I just don’t get bored of the bright colours that are ever present in BC. It’s just so fresh and exhilarating. There is another look out point which we stop off at but again we want to press onto the main one at the top. As we are walking we see some paw prints in the mud. They seemed pretty big and whilst not well versed in our identification of prints our imagination made up for that so it was difficult to not get excited about what it could be.
After a second scramble where there was another rope section, at the top of which we saw a makeshift home made from tarp, rope and other bits and bobs. I’m not sure if someone was living in it now (it didn’t look the best kept camp) however we all kept our thoughts to ourselves just in case someone could hear. It was here that the mystery of the prints was uncovered. There was another hiker with a large dog. It wasn’t quite the cougar or wolf that lived in our imagination, but it was a big Bordeaux Mastiff. We were walking behind them for a while until we caught up. Kodiak was only 10 months old, owned by nice young chap called Edison, a Colombian living in Vancouver.
By this time we were in the final 3rd of the trip and it had completely flattened out. We stick together and our token Dutchman talks dogs with Edison. Before long we find ourselves at the lookout point that we were all looking for. What a beautiful look that we have over Lions Bay. It was so GREAT to have a view that wasn’t blocked by clouds.
Left behind were remnants of a camp fire. We could only imagine what a great place this would have been to have camp, and to watch the sun set. It would be absolutely perfect, especially if the weather was to hold out. There was clear definition in the water of where different water sources come together that it was just incredible. This may be the coming together of fresh and salt water, but don’t quote me on that one!
We are joined by another group whom we passed on the way up and we had a casual chat. After plenty of picture taking and eating a bit of lunch we decide to head back down. It was getting a bit cold now and we needed to get back for the Conor McGregor fight in the evening. Heading down we decided to get a bit of a run on. We all had trail runners on which made it easier and all I needed to do was to make sure my camera didn’t knock me in the crown jewels on the way down (I thread my camera case onto me hip strap of my bag for easy access).
We were pretty fleet footed if I do say so myself. After a slow hike up it was nice way to get down. It wasn’t so much strain on the cardio but more on the legs and knees, taking the impact from running and jumping. Of course there were a few falls, mainly by me, but they were soft enough so no damage was done. It was this trip down when the ropes came in handy. Those sections were slightly more awkward going down than up. We left before Edison and Kodiak but they did a great job at catching us up. We stuck together again for the rest of the way down. Although a beast, Kodiak was a lovely creature. He would regularly stop and look back at us to make sure that we were following.
“Don’t worry pal, we’re coming”
Soon enough we were back down the bottom. We negotiated the highway again and were ready to head back home. No need for change of clothes today as it wasn’t wet. Just a jumper and a toque was needed.
Great day out.
- You can find the route for the Tunnel Bluffs Hike at Vancouver Trails