Saturday, January 8, 2011

Soames Hill - Jan 8, 2011

Another gorgeous sunny day on BC's Sunshine Coast. I just had to get outside to make up for missing yesterday's group hike. So I headed to one of my favourite sunny day spots...Soames Hill.

Now if you came across these stairs in the middle of the forest, wouldn't you head upward? Of course! 65 steps to the first bridge and rest point gets you ready. A little heavy breathing and your heart starts beating. 206 total winding stairs in addition to a bit of natural slope gets you to the first mini-summit. It's those last 35 steps that really get the heart rate up.

But so worth it! The views here are just amazing. Soames Hill is the highest point around Gibsons without climbing Mt Elphinstone. It is 200m to the first viewpoint and 250m to the highest viewpoint.

This shot is looking eastnortheast over Howe Sound to the Coast Mountains. The edge of Keats Island is on the right.

This is the second viewpoint...standing on solid rock. Keats Island is in the front and the Paisley Islands on the far side. There was a single sailboat out in the harbour today...gorgeous day for a sail.

It is hard to see from the picture, but there is a solid rockface behind these trees. This is the otherside of the hilltop...south of the stairs. I was just standing up on top of those rocks a few minutes earlier. Taking this shot, I am on fairly level ground in thick forest.

If you follow this particular trail, you decend all the way down to Marine Drive. Someday I'll make that part of the hike. The trick is...not wanting to hike up from there. It's a serious uphill climb. So you park at Shirley Macy to access the main trails and stairs to the summit. If you hike down to Marine Drive and the do you get your car back? Some day...

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