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Can Art Critics Enjoy Wildlife? (Solo Traverse of the Needles)
Timestamp Free: 2020.02.24 - 06:53:03
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Howe Sound Group
  (1 days)
Participants: Christopher Brayshaw
Difficulty: 3: Some easy scrambling, and some bush.
The author traversed the craggy ridge between Lynn Creek and the Seymour River, picking off all high points on the way, then descended into Norvan Creek and exited via the Lynn Headwaters trail.
The Fairley guide doesn't have much good to say about the Lynn Peaks and the Needles ("entirely forested...neither difficult nor interesting...") but I hadn't summited anything on my own for more than six years now (two jobs, eighteen hour days, blah blah blah) and I see the Needles every morning on my way to my bookstore job at Main and Broadway. I figured the ridge traverse would be a good "training" hike for summits in the higher ranges. Even better, I don't own a car, and BC Transit goes right to the foot of the route.

I caught Seabus to the North Shore and took the Lynn Valley bus (#228) to the Lynn Headwaters park gate. CAN ART CRITICS ENJOY WILDLIFE? asked a headline in the Globe & Mail I read on the way. I hoped so: I was liking the idea of being out in the mountains again far more than the art review I was supposed to be completing for the Georgia Straight.

I hiked along the Headwaters access road to the parking lot, signed in at the hiker registration board, and proceeded up the Lynn Peak trail around 9am. I didn't like the trail much -- steep and full of loose roots and rocks. My pack seemed heavier than I remembered. At a viewpoint above the worst of the steep stuff I rearranged my gear and discovered why it was so heavy: I had stowaways! Somehow, the two stuffed cats that usually sit on my writing desk had migrated into the top pocket of my pack. Another 20 minutes of pleasant walking through the "Enchanted Forest," a swath of old growth left behind when the rest of the peak was logged by balloon (!!!) earlier this century brought me to the top of the first Lynn Peak and another viewpoint.

The Needles route runs north from the peak viewpoint through the trees -- red flagging tape on old growth trunks: easy enough to follow. The route trends...

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