Lynn Canyon cliff jumpers can't resist thrill despite dire warnings

Authorities in North Vancouver warn cliff jumping near the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge can be deadly, but that hasn’t stopped people.

“It was nerve wracking, but it was awesome doing it,” said Austin Hood Sunday after he scrambled up the cliffs under the bridge and launched himself into the cold, fast-moving waters below.

“I love it. It took some courage, but I love doing this kind of stuff.”

Lynn Canyon cliff jumper Austin Hood

Austin Hood admits jumping off the cliffs in Lynn Canyon is risky, but he thinks it’s worth it. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

It’s not the type of bravado the District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services wants to hear, considering the many rescues in the area every year for jumps gone wrong.

A little more than a year ago 17-year-old Cole Marsh, a talented lacrosse player from Port Coquitlam, died after witnesses said they saw him jump about 50 metres into the water.

“We do everything we can, from signage to park rangers, to warn people about the dangers,” said Jim Bonneville, assistant fire chief with the district. 

“I think most people are aware of multiple fatalities in that area over the years.”

Addison Lacasse Lynn Canyon North Vancouver

Addison Lacasse says the plaque in Lynn Canyon memoralizing Cole Marsh, 17, who died after a jump in 2016, is a stark reminder of how things can go wrong. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

Addison Lacasse was at the bottom of the canyon on Sunday to enjoy the warm weather, but not to jump. 

“Cole Marsh … his gravestone is right there and people are walking right by it,” said Lacasse. “Maybe it’s that feeling of invincibility, like that’s not going to be me.”

Cole Marsh plaque lynn canyon

Cole Marsh died in Lynn Canyon in March, 2016. Witnesses said they had seen him jump 50 metres into the cold and fast running water below. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

Lacasse said many jumpers like to dare each other to go higher, and there’s also the thrill of having people watching.

Crowds in Lynn Canyon watching cliff jumpers

It’s hard not to watch people jumping from the cliffs in Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver, B.C. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

For many jumpers though, it’s just too much fun to consider the dangers of it.

“There’s concerns all the time, but you got to be careful doing it,” said Austin Hood. “It’s at your own risk, it gets your adrenaline going, it’s awesome.”

with files from Jon Hernandez.

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