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.