This was my first time flying from this 950m hike-n-fly site in Howe Sound. There is no road access and (for me) a 3.5 hour hike. Fortunately this is an afternoon/evening site (faces west) so I had all day to make my way up there!
|View of Mt. Harvey, Harvey's Pup, the East and West Lions, and Vancouver in the background. Photo courtesy of Alex Raymont.|
The forecast was for rather stable conditions down low, but the potential for high climbs to 2000m+ if you could break though the stability. For me, it took almost 1 hour of scratching below 1000m before I finally found a climb around the SW corner of Mt. Harvey and climbed out to 1500m, where I could finally see the glory of the Coast Range, the East and West Lions, Brunswick Mt, and of course Howe Sound itself. The highlight of the flight was ridge-soaring up the NW side of Harvey, and flying directly alongside the sheer rock cliff and underneath the cornices still overhanging on the summit. I saw lots of footprints going up the summit of Harvey (and Brunswick as well) but no people...probably a good idea given the time of day (late afternoon) and anybody still up there that time of day would likely get caught up in the dark during the return trip.
|Looking north up Howe Sound with Anvil Island on the left, Squamish just out of view on the far right.|
There was actually a bunch of NW wind up high (we are allowed only to 1981m here, due to Class C airspace above this altitude) so it was upwind going north up high, but upwind going south down low :). I chose to stay local and enjoy the scenery, while Alex and Peter (it was Pete's first flight here too) flew north to Deak's Peak and then back.
|Sunset glide out to the Brunswick beach LZ. Gambier Island, Bowen Island, and Gibsons in the distance.|
Uncharacteristically, there was little to no wind at the Brunswick beach LZ (normally there would be a typical flowing-up-Howe-Sound-seabreeze), so landing was a bit hot and of course there is all the driftwood and barnacle-encrusted rocks to avoid. But the tide was still low so we had lots of space...perfect for no-wind landings!
A beautiful flying site, if you can handle the hike, with incredible views on-par with flying sites anywhere in the world.
|The sunset view from Brunswick beach and our packing up spot.|