Since “my” plane almost had an complete engine failure when my instructor flew with it after I returned from my 7th solo flight the Citabria had to go into maintenance and there was no flight for me on Monday. I was glad it did not happen to me and happy about the day “off”. It is still the funniest thing to say that I have a day off being on vacation… Ahhh, life is fantastic. Sorry, can’t help it… ?

So Scotty (our new “couchmate”), who stays with us for a few days – also member of the famous Airbnb place where we all met – and I decided to go out for a spontaneous day hike. The Lions are two very noticeable peaks which you can see from downtown Vancouver and are supposed to be a good day hike.

We took out the babe again and drove up to Lions bay. I can still not get enough of the engine sound…

Well, anyways. The trail more or less starts on sea level and goes up to about 1,600masl.


And finally we were talking about a trail again. The last two hikes always had very well maintained trails which I would rather call highways instead of trails. This one was narrow, full of roots, soil, fallen trees (@Rose: from the type “Can’t get over them, can’t get under them… ?)


We made our way up to the first plateau which already gave us stunning views over the Howe Sound, Vancouver Island and the mountains up north.

It also gave us the first good view on our goal for today. One of the Lions.


We scrambled our way up over a scree field and boulders – of course always making sure to make enough noise to scare of potential bears and cougars in the area. What a climb. Also my new pair of Speedcross3 hat their premier today. Took Salomon a little while but they now gave me a free pair as a compensation for the ones (XA Pro 3D) which broke down after four days and 100km in New Zealand. It was about time to replace the old ones which carried me the second half of Te Araroa. Thank you guys…!

The view from the ridge line is fantastic. You can see everything including downtown of course.

The round one in the middle is one of the Lions ears which we wanted to tackle today. It looked impossible to go up there – even from very close. It was just a steep rock face. And even below of what you can see it just went straight down. So one single mistake would have ended in a disaster. We debated quite a while if we should attempt it at all but said we’ll give it a shot and will turn around once one of us doesn’t feel comfortable anymore. To get to the final climb was already a challenge – we needed to climb down an overhanging rock face to enter a narrow ridge which connected our plateau with the bottom of the ear. Scary as…

Left hand side the rock face and in the middle the ridge we had to cross.

Well, what can I say. It was more then sketchy. I had sweaty hands the entire time. The pictures don’t really transport the dimensions and steepness but by Scott’s position you might be able to tell what I am taking about.

Of course we had no ropes and there were also no safety hooks in the wall. We continued for about 40 minutes into the wall and made it about 3/4 up. We then had to circle a straight rock face of about 20 meters. Just straight and we need to cross it twice to get up. We did it the first time and I climbed around it the second time. The rocks to put your feet on where sometimes not even half the size of an iPhone and the wall was partly overhanging so you couldn’t even see your feet.

Since the way down is always even more challenging then going up, I had just dislocated my shoulder again two days ago playing basketball and Scott did also not feel comfortable to continue we decided to turn around. We probably could have done it but it was good not to overdo it. Wow, the first time I ever turned around in a situation like this. Good feeling to know that there are limits and I am aware of…

We went back which was even a lot harder and demanding that the way up and we were really glad when we made it back to the plateau. Interesting experience! We took a big break, had lunch and enjoyed the views…

The way down was demanding. Not that it was anything close to the climb earlier but it was again about 1400m of elevation down on a trail which required concentration with every step. We could also feel the dehydration – just didn’t carry enough water for the length of the climb and the exposure above the tree line. I also thought there would be more water sources along the way. So when we made it back to the first little stream I couldn’t stop my self, took of my cloth and jumped in the little pool of ice cold water – what an refreshment. Good that more and more water came down the mountain since I had the feeling I drank the entire pool empty…

All in all – a perfect day! Challenging, demanding, rewarding and right to the limit! How Arno would call it “Living on the edge”… ?