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The Lions

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Standard Route, West Lion T 

The Lions  

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Elevation: 16,465,400'
Location: 49.4577, -123.1851 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,413
Administrator: Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Peter Spindloe on Apr 15, 2007
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The Lions from the Cleveland Dam (the Capilano Res...

A few access issues here. MORE INFO >>>


The two peaks in The Lions formation are in the mountains of Vancouver's North Shore are the highly visible from many locations in the city. The West Lion is the higher of the two at 1646m. The East Lion sits at 1606m.

Both peaks have fourth class scrambles as their easiest routes as well as harder, but very rarely climbed, fifth class lines.

The views are about as good as they get in the coast mountains near Vancouver, and that's pretty good. You can see Vancouver Island to the east, most of Vancouver to the south, many interior peaks to the east and northeast, and Garibaldi peak near Whistler to the north.

It should be noted that there are regular fatalities in this area, averaging more than one per year I believe. Most are due to the fact the standard route on the West Lion is at the very outside edge of what could be called hiking. Add in some moisture and it becomes very dangerous. Lost hikers are also a common occurrence, but they are usually retrieved after spending a miserable night out.

Getting There 

The two main approaches are:

1. The Paul Binkert Trail starting in Lion's Bay. This trail starts at about 230m, so the gain to the summit of the West Lion is considerable.

2. Along the Howe Sound Crest trail from Cypress Provinvial Park. Although you start at a higher altitude, this route is long and has lots of up and down.

You could also start from the north end of the Howe Sound Crest trail, but if your goal is an ascent of the Lions, rather than a hike of the HSCT, you're better off with the first two options.

Further details on the approach are best gleaned from books and maps available on line or at local outdoor stores. You wouldn't want to run off into the woods and up big mountains with nothing but a web write-up, would you?

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.9 miles from here

1 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For The Lions
The notch as viewed from the end of the traverse.  A person is visible looking down at the downclimb into the notch.  The fixed rope along the traverse is also visible.

Standard Route, West Lion 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b  North America : Canada : ... : The Lions
This description assumes you have reached "the notch" south of the West Lion separating it from rest of the Howe Sound Crest.Downclimb into the notch. There is a knotted fixed rope for your assistance; check it before using it, without the rope it's a brief bit of fifth class.Make the obvious traverse along the base of the Lion. It's marked with red dots painted on the rock and has a fixed rope. I highly recommend NOT using the fixed rope. I fear for hikers who assume it's solid an...[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of The Lions Slideshow Add Photo
From the summit of the West Lion looking back at Vancouver.  The lake is the Capilano Reservoir.  The city is lost in the haze, but the body of water beyond the reservoir is the Burrard Inlet.  This watershed is essentially off-limits.
From the summit of the West Lion looking back at V...
Looking up at the West Lion while on the approach from Lions Bay.  The notch is prominent feature of the standard route (crossed from the right).  There is also a route that goes straight up the notch from this point, but I doubt it's popular.
Looking up at the West Lion while on the approach ...
From the summit of the West Lion looking southwest.  The fog is streaming into Howe Sound around Bowen Island and other islands.  Vancouver Island is visible in the hazy distance and the prominent land on the right is part of the Sunshine Coast (technically on the mainland, but not accessible by car except by taking a  ferry).
From the summit of the West Lion looking southwest...
The East Lion as seen from part way up the West Lion (looking northeast).
The East Lion as seen from part way up the West Li...
From the summit of the West Lion looking northwest.  This is Howe Sound which ends in Squamish.  The town of Lions Bay is just visible at the bottom left.
From the summit of the West Lion looking northwest...
Shot of west face of West Lion from similar spot as previous image.  This was from a slightly too early in the season attempt.  My running shoes took me the ridge line but no further.
Shot of west face of West Lion from similar spot a...

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Oct 10, 2012
Could you please edit the description to mention something about the native people who without a doubt had the first accent? They called these mountains The two sisters, or the chief's daughters. Canadians give no respect to the natives who lived and climbed all these formations long ago.