Little Mountain (Queen Elizabeth Park)

October 24, 2020


Vancouver, BC

There are a few “local maximum points” within the city limit of the Greater Vancouver that boast official names and Little Mountain is one of which. This is also the least significant as it’s rather just the highpoint in Queen Elizabeth Park in the city of Vancouver and does not boast a “mountain profile” whatsoever. To tag this summit one just needs a vehicle and the skills to drive to the top, as well as a few bucks to pay for the parking. The highest parking lot is pretty much the highest point on the “massif”…

I had been eyeing on Little Mountain for a couple years actually but never found a good oppourtunity. I wanted it to be a little bit more memorable than a simple drive-up. The better way to tag this summit is probably to do it entirely self-propelled by riding a bike to the park (from one’s home) and walking to the top, but I don’t like biking and don’t even own a bike. I eventually pulled the trigger as Winnie M. offered to repeat this summit with me even though she’s probably been up there dozens of time. Winnie seemed like the perfect partner to tag this summit with because she’s been living in the city of Vancouver for almost 15 years. I would greatly appreciate having a local Vancouverite to show me a bit more about the mighty Queen Elizabeth Park than just the “summit” of Little Mountain… Once the decision was made all we needed was a perfect “window” for it, which honestly didn’t come that easily because there’re usually a lot more exciting things to do than dumpster-diving this summit, especially when the weather was good.

Little Mountain and a mini tour in Queen Elizabeth Park…

The window eventually came. After two dreary weeks a sunny (but cold) weekend finally returned to the coast but we had previously booked this weekend for a Wilderness First Aid course. We would prefer to go into the mountains given the weather forecast but taking a course could not be a last-minute decision and we both seriously needed to know a bit more about how to handle emergency situations. The first day of the course finished at around 5 pm with one more hour of daylight time. None of us had other commitment in the evening so we made a spontaneous decision to check off Queen Elizabeth Park. The drive from North Vancouver to the park took almost an hour thank to the heavy volume of traffic, that by the time we parked on the summit we had already missed the sunset show. However, the evening colours were still there and we did get some good views. Winnie had been an excellent tour guide in this evening as she did show me quite a few more spots in the park that’s worth visiting, including a Rose Garden on the south side of the “summit”… We lingered in the park for about 2 hours before deciding to go home…

There came the first viewpoint for the dusk horizon

Just some random things in the park…

Winnie being a tour guide walking with her cell phone..

Surprisingly good views towards the North Shore Mountains

Winnie and I on one of the viewpoints on Little Mountain

Even the Lions showed up for us!

I guess I had to take some pictures in Rose Garden

Just another picture from Rose Garden

Not sure what type of tree this is but it looks cool

Back to the first viewpoint we visited..

The second day (Sunday) of the course finished at 5 pm again and with Saturday’s experience we knew we shouldn’t just go home in the evening. The decision for the second evening was to climb some rock in Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, which turned out to be an excellent decision. The sunset and the climbing was both very memorable. We did two or three routes and climbed well into the darkness and then cooked our Happy Yak dinners before walking back to the parking lot. While driving home we made one stop in downtown to pick up my new Petzl Lynx crampons from a local skier/climber. Winnie found the sell on Facebook Marketplace and I ended up getting the deal.

Winnie in Lighthouse Park

Winnie checking for a route with the sunset horizon behind

It’s dusk now

Winnie rappelling into our first route

Winnie rappelling into our second route

One more photo of the rappel with the dusk horizon behind