It comes as a surprise to most of the people who know me well, but truthfully, it wasn’t until late in 2003 that I first discovered the existence of the Hydraulic Creek Trail. The very idea of a rugged track winding its way to the South Needle from the Seymour Valley was more than enough to pique my curiosity. The real clincher, though, was that much of the terrain in the upper Hydraulic Creek valley was reputed to be old growth forest. The trail had apparently already existed for five years before I’d ever heard of it, indeed, I’d already ridden my bike past the trailhead countless times!
There are times when I write about a trip in the mountains that I struggle to find the right words to tell the tale, and then there are the stories that almost write themselves, and this one is definitely the latter! It all began innocently enough, with an email from Doug. He had studied his maps and come up with the idea to traverse The Needles, an obscure group of wooded summits north of Lynn Ridge, deep in the heart of the North Shore Mountains. They were steep, largely unknown to most, and shrouded in mystery. They still are! Continue reading Welcome to the Jungle!
It was, of all things, a chance encounter. He had read several of my trip reports, posted on a hiking forum, on relatively obscure pursuits in the North Shore Mountains, and simply sent me a message. At first I was not even certain I’d answer, as I’m given to solo pursuits, but for whatever reason I did. That was in late May of 2004, and it likely marked a distinct change in the course of both of our lives. That was how I met Doug, who has become my regular partner in crime on so many of my most enjoyable trips, and one of my closest friends. Continue reading North Shore Boys Storm the South Needle