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Howe Sound Group (North Shore Group)
Parent Area: Pacific Ranges

Area: 940 sq km. Location: Located south of Furry Creek between Indian Arm and Howe Sound. Terrain: This is literally Greater Vancouver's back yard. Although a good portion of the area is in the Greater Vancouver Watershed and off limits to the public, the rest is riddled with popular trails and three ski hills provide easy access to the 1000-m level of the southern portion of the area. The mountains are of moderate height, all being less than 1800 m. Treeline is generally above mountain height but the higher peaks tend to have bare rock faces nonetheless, and there are areas of beautiful subalpine meadows and numerous small lakes dotted here and there. Hidden back in some of the more inaccessible (or prohibited access) creeks and valleys are remnants of the mighty cedar-hemlock old growth forest which once covered the entire region. Yellow cedars in Cypress Bowl are more than 1200 years old. History: The first ascents of these peaks were made in the 1890's and 1900's as citizens of the young village of what was first called Granville, then Vancouver, explored their new home. The Lions were first thought to be unclimbable, then climbed easily. On one early ascent a fire was lit on top so that people in the city could see it hence proving the ascent.

The peaks remained popular to the present day. Prior to the building of the bridges to the North Shore in the 1930's it was necessary to boat to the North Shore then take the streetcar up the hill, and hike from there. Many mountaineers built cabins on the peaks so they could get away for the weekend.

Phyllis Munday recalled later in life how she would wear a dress over on the boat, then change into "bloomers" (baggy pants) and hide the dress in the bushes to be resumed on the return to civilized society, to avoid shocking respectable older citizens of the town.

The peaks were popular for skiing from the beginning but this was twisted in the 1960's and early 1970's when a logging company was allowed to clearcut beautiful Cypress Bowl and then, after the ski hill was constructed, the clearcut was made into a provincial park. The granting of rights to private companies to charge climbers for park access has recently been revived by the Gordon Campbell Liberals, who seem to be fixated on promoting revenue generating mechanized recreation at the expense of independent, non mechanized back country users.

The easy access has created an ideal environment for inexperienced outdoor people to get into trouble. Many people don't realize that the wilderness here is just as rugged as anywhere on the coast and the weather just as unpredictable. Every year, the North Shore Rescue service responds to numerous incidents of lost or injured hikers and skiers/snowborders. For a lot of these people, it can be their first wilderness experience, and they may fatally misjudge weather or conditions.

Top Trips
Road trip to California 2015 Klaus Haring
Skied Capilano - Mt Capilano from Furry Creek Road Paul Kubik
Chehalis Self-Propelled Jason Addy
Meslilloet Self-Propelled Jason Addy
Climbing Mount Sheer from Mountain Lake Cabin Robin Tivy
Road Trip to Utah Spring 2010 Klaus Haring
California Death Valley Road Trip Robin Tivy
California Road Trip and COVID-19 Escape Robin Tivy
Road Trip to Nevada 1997 Klaus Haring
Brunswick Mountain's North Face from Deeks Lake Benoit Landry
More Trips

Top Photos
Brunswick and Hat From Deeks Peak Gerry Kollmuss
The Lions from Magnesia Meadows Simon Chesterton
Appian Mountain and Eastcap Peak Northern Aspect. Simon Chesterton
Crown Mountain Jennifer Nageli
Cathedral Mountain - West Aspect Justin Brown
The Lions from James Peak. Simon Chesterton
On Chanter Ridge Simon Chesterton
Cathedral Mountain from the North Simon Chesterton
Serendipity at Mount Seymour Andrew Wong
Mount Harvey's 'North Face Ramp' Chris Kiely
More Photos

Paper Maps
North Shore Trail Map - Updated 2nd Edition Trail Ventures BC 1:20000 20m