Mount Leiner and Phil’s beguiling smile

–submitted by Matthew Lettington; originally published on

Mount Leiner is a surprisingly spectacular mountain. The most common approach begins on the outer edge of Tahsis, climbs Leiner’s southwest ridge and meanders several kilometres through the bush toward the summit. Considering its relatively low elevation, it holds a surprisingly high alpine character once you get beyond the shrubs.

The cirque south of Mount Leiner’s sub-peak, the lake is situated just above 1200 metres elevation

Leiner was a peak that we kept pushing off until “later”. But with an ever-shortening list of mountains remaining on our Island Alpine Quest, we’ve been faced with the reality that “later” is now. In Leiner’s case, we pushed it off because it’s located in Tahsis, making it too long a drive, and we had too many questions about a longer route to make it doable in a day. Heck! After we posted the trip to the Island Mountian Rambler’s schedule, Tahsis’ mayor reached out to warn us that he took three days to reach the summit and back. Obviously not a good omen, but along with his warning, we got a hot tip: A nearby logging road cuts as much as 5 km into the Leiner River valley – food for thought?

Mount Leiner Route

Total Distance: 8 km
Starting Elevation: 686 m 
Maximum Elevation: 1468 m
Total Elevation Gain: 1086 m
Total Time: 7 hours

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