My perfect day in the Lower Mainland consists of a bright sunny day, a cloudless sky and a view of the mountains with just the caps covered in snow. Growing up here in BC, I’ve had plenty of experiences exploring the scenery. I’ve kayaked around Howe Sound, jumped off cliffs in Lynn Canyon, and skied Cypress and Grouse, however my favourite activity to do around BC is hiking. The rewarding views from these hikes are amazing and worthwhile when looking back on the sometimes gruesome treks to get there.
Out of all the hikes in the Lower Mainland, my favourite has been “The Leading Peak” on Anvil Island up Howe Sound. This summer, I made my fourth trek up this physically challenging hike, along with a group of campers and staff of Daybreak Point Bible Camp, where I was volunteering.
We started the day at the camp site, right at the foot of the island, where we were given safety instructions and walkie talkies for us leaders. Then, twenty something boys and about six leaders including myself began our long two-hour hike to the top of the island. The first hour of the hike was a nearly straight vertical climb involving zig zags and ropes to help us up climb.
After about 30 minutes of hiking, we reached a point in the hike called “The Whitespot," a painted white rock visible from the camp. This spot was a favourite of the campers, as there was a rumor that if you kissed the Whitespot then you would get one wish. This destination, however, was only for the group of hikers wanting a medium challenge hike — our group was destined for a greater reward.
After another 30 minutes, we finally reached what we called “the Lake" — although it was more like a pond — on the top part of the island. From "the Lake" we could see our final destination: a giant spire pointing up above the trees.
We took a quick lunch break where we ate smooshed sandwiches and drank warm water. Then, we were off again, this time on a trail that was more a of a gradual uphill instead of an overwhelming vertical. Eventually, we made it to a small canyon just bellow the peak and began another angular climb through the rocks. Soon, we got so high up there were no trees around us and we start seeing parts of Howe Sound— those small fragments of Howe Sound were nothing compared to the amazing sight five minutes away from us.
Finally, after roughly two hours, our small group had made it to the Peak. At the helicopter pad at the top, we had a full 360 degree panorama view, which included a view of the entire island, the Sea to Sky highway, the Coast Range mountains and, if you look hard enough, even Point Grey.
On a sunny, cloudless day, there is nothing comparable to the scene that was in front of us. Of course, it wouldn’t last forever. After 30 minutes, we had to head back to the camp grounds. Going back down, I remembered that I would be back in a year to gourge myself in that incredible view once more.
In fact, sometimes if I’m at a high enough floor in Orchard Commons, I can see the peak nearly hidden behind the mountains and other islands.