For some reason I was in the mood for a hike, rather than a showshoe. It’s not like the weather was good or anything, I just fancied putting on my boots and walking. I also wanted a hike with some elevation gain, rather than just an amble through the forest and seeing as it was over 5 years since I was last there, I figured Lynn Peak would do the job. To my surprise Maria agreed :-)
We had a leisurely start to the day but after collecting a pair of fantastic hot chocolates from Thomas Haas, we headed to the Lynn Valley, setting off from the car at about 2.15 pm. And within moments it felt like the right decision: the sound of the creek, the green of the forest. We bypassed the hiker registration board (surely we’d be back well before the gate closed at 6 pm, right?) and turned right to follow the old road. The trail ducked into the forest and we began to climb. At the turnoff to the Lynn Peak trail we paused to admire the huge old tree stumps there before setting off on the serious uphill task ahead of us.
We hiked and chatted and generally just enjoyed being out and getting some exercise. There wasn’t much to take photos of: it’s recovering second-growth forest. The trailbed was hard going, being mostly small rocks with occasional streams. But we seemed to be making good time. Most of my memory of the trail had gone, though I did recognize a spot where I’d taken a self-timer photo the last time I did this hike.
After an hour of steady uphill the forest changed abruptly and I almost stopped in amazement. Here was a patch of untouched old-growth forest! In Lynn Valley! Apparently a few old stands remain scattered throughout the valley. To my further amazement I found a trio of trees representing the trifecta of coastal rainforest: a huge red cedar, Douglas fir and hemlock (probably western) all within a few metres of one another. Wow! Seeing that surviving wood raised my spirits (not that I was feeling down at all) and we continued along the trail, at one point a clear dividing line between logged and unlogged forest.
It didn’t last: we were soon surrounded by a maze of tiny spindly trees which blocked out most of the light. Ugh. But we pressed on, crossing the odd patch of icy snow. We passed the so-called Blimp Overlook (where, of course, there was no view). I checked my watch and suddenly it seemed that we were running out of time: it was nearly 4 pm and we still needed to eat lunch and make it back to the car before 6! We pushed on, finally leaving the logged forest behind and entering mature mountaintop woodland. The snow was continuous now, and very icy which made things a bit tricky. A short distance further and we were at the Lynn Peak viewpoint itself. We kinda-sorta had a bit of a view: we could see the valley floor below us and part of Mt Seymour to the east. We could also see that we were at the cloud-top level for a low-level bank of cloud over the city. So, yeah, a bit of a view. Better than the last time I was here anyway!
We polished off our lunch (my hot chocolate ran out about 10 minutes before we reached the summit) and set off back down the hill at about 4.25 pm. We reached the car at 5.40 pm :-) It took us a full half-an-hour less to descend…
A good day (afternoon) out fuelled by two spectacular hot chocolates: highly recommended!
Distance: 7 km
Elevation gain: 700 m
Photos on Flickr