Access: Getting to Lynn Headwaters

Level: Demanding

Distance: 9½ km r/t

Time: 4 h

Elevation Change: 760 m

Season: May to Nov

Topographical Map: Vancouver N 92/G6

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For access to Lynn Peak follow the gravel road to the right from the information board, turning abruptly left on to Lynn Loop Trail after 10 minutes or so.

This pleasant forest footpath branches after another 20 minutes. The right fork to 825-metre Lynn Peak is well marked, sloping upwards gently enough at first. Soon however you'll begin mounting a series of switchbacks that zig and zag and zig again for 45 minutes up to a small south-facing break in the trees. Linger not, however, as the best is yet to come.

Deep Dusk: Not easy to see the forest for the trees as these three crowns poke out of the shadows, catching a few final rays of the evening sun.            

Continue climbing at a more relaxed pace for another 30 minutes and an opening known as the Blimp Lookout reveals views to the east of Mount Seymour. Catch your breath here but save your lunch as a further 30 minutes of climbing will put you on top where you may wish to linger, taking in the panorama encompassing Mount Elsay and Mount Seymour to the east and, on a clear day, Mt. Baker, that massive volcano to the south east in Washington state. When you have had enough of unsurpassed scenery and fresh air retrace your steps back down to the trailhead.

The End


Dentalia

Dentalia Shells

These thin, tubular mollusks formed the currency of commerce throughout the Pacific Northwest as long as 3000 years ago. Pre-European civilization is often considered a barter economy, with, for instance, coastal tribes swapping oolichan grease directly for prized Oregon obsidian. Commodity traders, however, could rely on this wampum to close a transaction when interest in the goods was decidedly one-sided. Called hykwa in Chinook jargon, dentalia shells possessed all the necessary attributes of money, being portable, recognizable and durable but rare and desirable enough to foster trade. Being available in a variety of sizes, the tusk-like shells were even divisible into small change. Professional traders are known to have tattooed measuring lines on their forearms as a handy calculator of individual shell values. Only a handful of groups, including the Nuu-chah-nulth in the vicinity of Tofino, possessed dentalia in quantities sufficient enough to make them wealthy. Harvesting the deep water mollusks was no easy undertaking however. From a dugout canoe a long, broom-like apparatus was thrust straight down into the muddy sea bottom then retrieved. With any luck a shell or two would be trapped amongst the stiff twigs at the end of the handle. Dentalia were also ostentatiously displayed as symbols of wealth and power in the form of body adornments. Perhaps most recognizable are the breast plates invariably worn by cheesy Hollywood Indians.

Illustration by Manami Kimura