Bivouac.com   Home     Help   Index     Login
East Lion (The Lions)  British Columbia   #575 (EB58)
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Britannia Range

Height: 1606 m -> 5269 feet
Prominence?: 121 m  
Line Parent?: West Lion (0.4 km away, at bearing 295 degrees)
Greater Parent ?: West Lion (0.4 km away)

Location:   49.45611,-123.18111     49:27:22, -123:10:52   10U 486874 5478177 (19 km SW of Mountain Lake). (4 km E of Lions Bay). NTS Mapsheet: 092.G.06   AreaCode?: EM93/EB58
First Ascent: 1903 W. Latta; J. Latta; R. Latta
East Lion and the Capilano Watershed
One of two small rock towers on the Capilano-Howe Sound divide, the East Lion is the lower and more difficult of the two summits. It is actually located entirely within the Capilano Watershed and access is technically prohibited. This is never enforced. The East Lion is much more rarely climbed than the West Lion.

The predominant jointing of the rock dips south and west. The southwest face is a broad triangular facet with many wide, downsloping ledges along the dip. This is the highest face on the mountain, around 200m and lower-angled. A distinct southeast ridge separates the southwest and southeast faces. It is a dramatic line and goes to mid-5th class face climbing for one pitch. The southeast face sports about three pitches of steeper face climbing on narrow ledges and jointed, clean rock with good finger holds. The dip of the rock is less of a factor than on the southwest face. It may go fairly easily with a series of diagonal traverses back and forth across the face to easier bush below the summit. At its furthest edge a line of bush follows the broad eastern aspect of the peak. This is the line called "The Great Thrash". The bush can be largely avoided by keeping left until about halfway up where it becomes unavoidable. The north face is shorter in height but steep, almost vertical near its top. Its small ledges dip west and a large cornice overhangs it. Finally, there is a narrow and steep west face above the col with the West Lion. It is the shortest face on the mountain.

The Great Thrash is the standard line. More aesthetic lines follow bush-free routes- the slabs on the south face, southeast ridge, west face or north face. The standard approach is from the 1600m ridge SW of the West Lion. Just before the gap, the Howe Sound Crest Trail drops 150m steeply east into the broad bowl south of the Lions. This is best in late spring on consolidated snow. In winter, the bowl is threatened by avalanches and in late summer, boulder-strewn but not unpleasant.

Name Notes: The name "The Lions" is a reference to the appearance these summits had in the light of the setting sun, and their resemblance to the monumental lions common throughout London, notably in Trafalgar Square. As with many peaks, there is also a "traditional" Squamish nation name for The Lions. Their name translates as "the Sisters" and is a reference to two daughters of a legendary chief of that tribe who were converted to mountain peaks to commemorate their great virtue.


1. The Great Thrash (1903) W. Latta, J. Latta, R. Latta. Class 4/low Class 5. Approach from the 1600m ridge SW of the West Lion. Drop 200m into the wide bowl south of the Lions and traverse east to its far side. Climb up and cross the long SE ridge of the East Lion. About 200m beyond where the SE ridge steepens sharply, lies the line of bush called "The Great Thrash". There is a good belay stance next to some large trees. There is a rap station with slings over a horn 30m above. The first pitch climbs past the horn on enjoyable rock with good finger holds. Minor bush is easily circumvented on the next two pitches, at one point traversing left towards the southeast face. Larger trees provide good rap anchors but the climbing difficulty doesn't exceed a Culbert "Class 4" and likely a more modern, very low Class 5. Three roped pitches oughta do 'er and then vegetable self-belays for another until easier ground is reached below the summit. Total return elevation gain from Lions Bay trailhead is 2000m. Allow 10 to 12 hours return. The rap horn takes a double sling. Equipment: Rope and slings for rapping; small cams if protecting
2. SE Ridge up to Class 5. Same approach as for the Great Thrash to the base of the steep SE Ridge. There is a rap station with slings over a horn 50m up at the top of the first pitch. A few bushes on the left are avoided by face climbing on good clean finger holds and small ledges. At the big rap horn at the top of the first pitch the angle eases to class 4 and it is an easy climb to the summit. Total return elevation gain from Lions Bay trailhead is 2000m. Allow 10 to 12 hours return. The rap horn takes a double sling and it's a full 50m rap to the base. Alternatively, descend the Great Thrash but the line of descent is not obvious from above. Equipment: Rope and slings for rapping; small cams and nuts
3. West/Nw side (1970's) Robin Barley et al. WI4 and mixed. The NW side of the East Lion has a prominent gash just left of the ridge crest. This provides a fairly difficult mixed winter climb under snowy, well-frozen conditions. In summer expect low 5.10 climbing and dirt. There was an accident during a summer attempt on this route several years ago. Details in the VOCJ. Equipment: mixed rack and ice climbing gear

Trips within 1 km
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

Comments

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

Subject Photos   View Thumbnails
11 East Lion and the Capilano Watershed Justin Brown
7 Fall Snow on the Lions Steve Sproule
4 East Lion from West Lion Serguei Okountsev

Placename Photos
15 The Lions from Magnesia Meadows Simon Chesterton
13 The Lions from James Peak. Simon Chesterton
12 Thomas Peak, North of the Saddle of the Lions Paul Kubik
11 Saint Marks Panoramam Klaus Haring
7 Unnecessary North Peak in early spring 2014 Serguei Okountsev
7 Grouse and Capilano from Downtown Vancouver David Crerar
6 Mount Hanover and Mount Brunswick from Deeks Peak Anthony Mallinson
5 Sunset on Unnecessary South Peak Serguei Okountsev
5 Lions and Harvey from Brunswick Steve Sproule
5 Lions from Unnecessary Mountain Don Luymes
5 Lions and Harvey from Hat Mountain Dan Carey
3 Lions From Harvey Drew Brayshaw
2 The East Lion Drew Brayshaw