Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Foggy Trees

Hike to Saint Marks Summit

I haven't been hiking much this year, such is the life with young twins.  I look forward to the day they can join me, but for now the tougher hikes have to be without them.  Since it's now fall, I figured this weekend was one of my last chances to get up into the mountains.  I decided to try Saint Marks Summit, which is close to Vancouver and only 11km so something I could finish before lunch.  I roped my friend Andrew into joining me, and he brought along his great awesome dog Genny. [See previous hikes in Lynn Valley, the Chief, and the Lions.]

The overall route is 11km round trip, and it took us almost exactly two hours to get to the summit.  In total, it was a four hour hike with close to 30 minutes at the summit.  On a clear day, you may want to spend more time at the top, but as you will see from the photos today was not such a day.  Feel free to browse these sites for details on the hike: Trail Peak, Vancouver Trails, Live Trails.  The route to Saint Marks is just part of a longer trail called the Howe Sound Crest trail which will take you past the Lions and eventually Porteau Cove.

My map of the route, it is very well marked, look for the signs and the orange trail markers.

You start off in the Cypress Mountain parking lot, head to the far north of the lot and up towards the chair lifts.  You will stay to the left and look for a route marker saying "Howe Sound Crest Trail".

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Trail Head

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Howe Sound Crest Trail

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Well Marked

For the first half, the trail gains elevation but it's well maintained (and they continue to upgrade this trail).

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Genny

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Trail and Andrew

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Trail

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Trail

Eventually though, the upgrades end and the trail becomes more natural.

 

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Trail Conditions and Dog

 

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Trail Conditions

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Genny and Trail

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Andrew

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Rooty Trail

Can you spot Genny?

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Trail Conditions 2

After two hours, you reach the summit.  From other photos I have seen the view is stunning.  For us, we were socked in with heavy cloud cover.

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Summit Trail Marker

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Foggy Summit

 

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Foggy Summit Stump

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Cloudy View

A panorama, iPhone vs Nikon

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - At the Summit - iPhone Panorama

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - D810 Panorama

Not the easiest descent.  On the way down we passed a yahoo wearing flip flops!  I really couldn't believe he made it as far as he did, and I'm sure his footwear will get destroyed and he will have to complete his journey barefoot.  These are the types of people North Shore Search and Rescue have to go pull down off the mountain.

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Andrew and Genny

Probably my favorite photo from the trip.

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Foggy Trees

Then the weather started to fog my lens, so I packed it in from that point.

Saint Marks Summit Hike - Sept 2016 - Tree


Harvest Moon 2016

On September 16, we had a full moon which was also our harvest moon.  The harvest moon is the full moon closest to the fall equinox (Sept. 22nd).  Since it was a beautiful clear night, I thought I would test out the Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 VR lens.  Here is the shot, which isn't too bad for a relatively inexpensive lens (and Nikon D810).

Harvest Moon September 2016