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West LionDesignated (The Lions)  British Columbia   #572 (EB58)
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Britannia Range

Height: 1654 m -> 5427 feet
Prominence?: 369 m above Enchantment Pass
Line Parent?: Brunswick Mountain (3.4 km away, at bearing 347 degrees)
Greater Parent ?: Brunswick Mountain (3.4 km away)

Location:   49.45769,-123.18631     49:27:28, -123:11:11   10U 486498 5478354 (19 km SW of Mountain Lake). (4 km E of Lions Bay). NTS Mapsheet: 092.G.06   AreaCode?: EM93/EB58
First Ascent: 1889 H. Bell-Irving; J. Capilano; Native Companion
West Lion from Unnecessary North Peak
The West Lion along with its cousin 300 m to the east are famous landmarks that define the skyline from Vancouver. Because of its visibility and location close to a large urban centre, the West Lion is a popular objective for all manner of inexperienced outdoor people. The normal access is from Lions Bay via the Paul Binkert trail or from the Cypress Bowl ski area via the Howe Sound Crest trail. The climb starts from platform just southwest of the summit pinnacle and involves lowering yourself off a fixed rope into a gap, then traversing along an exposed rock ledge (class 3-4) onto easier ground. Scrambling up to the summit is exposed but easy (class 2-3 through bushes and short rock steps on a cleared trail).

Climbing next to the fixed rope is 4th class if you prefer to ignore the "aid climbing" into or out of the gap.

Name Notes: Named around 1889 by British Columbia Supreme Court Justice John Hamilton Gray (1814 St George, Bermuda - 1889 Victoria), after their resemblance to the lion statues in Trafalgar Square sculpted by Sir Edward Landseer. Before Gray's popular suggestion, the Skxwumish (Squamish) people called them Chee-Chee-Yoh-Hee ("The Twins" or "The Sisters"), after their transformation legend, while lonely loggers and prospectors called them "Sheba's Breasts" or "The Paps". Gray was a pre-Confederation Premier of New Brunswick and a father of Confederation. In 1872, as a consolation for not being named speaker of the House of Commons, he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and moved west. In 1878 he ruled that the provincial Chinese Tax Act was unconstitutional as its purpose was to "drive the Chinese from the country, thus interfering at once with the authority reserved to the Dominion Parliament as to the regulation of the trade and commerce, the rights of aliens, and the treaties of the empire." Gray was constantly in debt: Chief Justice Begbie famously delayed a creditor's application for Gray's arrest over an unpaid judgment by an hour, thus allowing Gray to sail away on a holiday. Gray died in Victoria, and is buried in the Ross Bay Cemetery: the only 1867 father of Confederation buried west of Ontario.

1. Approach from Lions Bay Exposed ledge traverse then Class 3. From the Lions Bay parking lot, follow the Harvey creek spur, then Lions trail then Howe Sound Crest trail.
2. South (normal) Route Class 3 with high exposure. From the ridge just south of the peak, downclimb a fixed rope into a notch. Traverse right on an exposed sloping ledge then up easier terrain to the summit.

3. NE Buttress II, 5.4. Traverse and downclimb from the Lions (Binkert) Trail to reach the base of the buttress, crossing the toe of the N ridge en route. Start just right of the crest of the NE buttress and climb 3p to the shoulder of the ridge. Above the shoulder, avoid difficulties by keeping left, but never too far from the ridge crest. Equipment: Helmet, standard rack, a few double slings

Trips within 1 km
44 2018.02.25 Ski up Harvey Creek Spur to Bowl Robin Tivy
53 2017.01.07 Magnesia Harvey Ski Loop Robin Tivy
39 2010.02.13 Mount Harvey Ski Tour (From South) Paul Kubik
32 2006.09.24 Northeast Buttress West Lion Self-Propelled Jason Addy
46 2006.04.29 Howe Sound Crest Ski Traverse Paul Kubik
32 2005.02.19 Climb East Lion in Winter Jesse Mason
51 2002.06.12 Overnight trip to climb the Lions Gareth Evans
18 2000.06.30 West Lion - Circumnavigating the beast Pierre Signore
29 1998.07.02 NE buttress of the W. Lion - an ascent in July 1998 Drew Brayshaw
9 null West Lion - South Route Route Pierre Signore


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

Subject Photos   View Thumbnails
15 The Lions from Magnesia Meadows Simon Chesterton
13 The Lions from James Peak. Simon Chesterton
9 Lions and Thomas Peak from Magnesia Meadows Robin Tivy
8 Howe Sound Crest Panorama Klaus Haring
7 Pitch #2 West Lion Northeast Buttress Route Paul Kubik
7 Lions from the Summit of Hanover Zoran Vasic
6 The West Lion, Cloud-Crowned Dean Allchin
6 Lions from near Mount Harvey Mike Huang
6 The West Lion and the Notch Gareth Evans
5 West Lion from Unnecessary North Peak Serguei Okountsev
5 Lions and Harvey from Brunswick Steve Sproule
4 West Lion from Brunswick Chris Ricard
3 Lions From Harvey Drew Brayshaw
3 Descending the West Lion to the Notch Steve Sproule
3 West Lion Close-up Steve Sproule
3 Howe Sound from the West Lion Gareth Evans
2 Approaching West Lion NE buttress Paul Kubik

Placename Photos
12 Thomas Peak, North of the Saddle of the Lions Paul Kubik
11 Saint Marks Panoramam Klaus Haring
9 View over Howe Sound - West Lion Justin Brown
7 Hidden David Peak revealed Klaus Haring
7 Unnecessary North Peak in early spring 2014 Serguei Okountsev
7 Fall Snow on the Lions Steve Sproule
7 Sky Pilot Massif from top of West Lion Keith Freeman
7 Howe Sound Peaks From Ferry (labelled) Drew Brayshaw
6 Mount Hanover and Mount Brunswick from Deeks Peak Anthony Mallinson
5 Lions from Unnecessary Mountain Don Luymes
5 Lions and Harvey from Hat Mountain Dan Carey
4 East Lion from West Lion Serguei Okountsev
4 Unnecessary Mtn. from Mt. Gardner Marek Labecki
3 Dead Tree - West Lion Gareth Evans