Category Archives: Parks and trails

Trail closures near Whistler due to Grizzly Bears

The Skywalk Trails (North and South), Upper 19 Mile Creek Trail to Iceberg Lake, the trails around Screaming Cat Lake, and the Rainbow Lake Trail are all closed due to Grizzly Bear activity. It is expected that these trails will remain closed until the grizzly bears go to den.

For a complete list of trails closed see

https://www.vancouvertrails.com/blog/grizzly-bears-close-popular-whistler-trails/

Mamquam Road to Elfin Lakes closed in Squamish, use bypass via Boulevard Road

The gravel uphill section of Mamquam Road toward Quest University, Ring Creek, Garibaldi Provincial Park and Elfin Lakes will be closed to vehicle traffic until further notice due to safety concerns, effective immediately. See

https://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/news/mamquam-gravel-route-closed-to-vehicles-following-safety-concerns/

However there is an easy detour which allows you to still get to Elfin Lakes :

  • drive north on Hwy 99 about 4 km past downtown Squamish
  • follow signs to Garibaldi Park Diamond Head and Quest University
  • turn right onto Mamquam Road : leave Hwy 99 just before Canadian Tire
  • after about 600m turn left on Highland Way S
  • at 1st roundabout turn right onto The Boulevard aka University Boulevard
  • at next roundabout go straight : continue along Boulevard
  • at 3rd roundabout near Quest University follow signs to Garibaldi Park
  • this will bring you back to Mamquam Road
  • turn left on Mamquam Road

 

Heli Biking application in the Pemberton area-express your views to the government

Blackcomb Helicopters is applying to increase helicopter traffic up to four times in the Pemberton area to allow for heli biking at Tenquille-Owl lakes.

The government is still receiving comments on the application. Deadline was extended until July 26. Follow this link for more information and make your views known.

For the record, the Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC and the Pemberton Wildlife Association (PWA) have formally opposed this Application. PWA provides volunteer management and maintenance of the trails and wilderness camps and cabins in that area.

Voice your opinion, every response counts. Deadline is July 26.

Identifier is Lands file#: 2411936

READ: the short application: https://arfd.gov.bc.ca/ApplicationPosting/viewpost.jsp?PostID=55367

Have your say: Near the bottom of the page under ‘End Decisions’ you will see “To Comment on this application please click [ here ].”

Mail in Option: Senior Land Officer/FLNRORD, #200 – 10428 153rd St., Surrey BC V3R 1E1

Or email to same: AuthorizingAgency.Surrey@gov.bc.ca

CC comments to: Nicola Bickerton, FLNRORD Nicola.Bickerton@gov.bc.ca, Jordan Sturdy, MLA – Jordan.Sturdy.MLA@leg.bc.ca

More details and background info

The Pemberton Wildlife Association (PWA) partners with Rec Sites & Trails BC, providing volunteer management and maintenance of the trails and wilderness camps/cabin within Tenquille to Owl Lake Recreation Area (TOLRA).

The goal is to maintain a high-quality (3 season) Wilderness experience for hikers/backpackers and self-propelled mountain-bikers while protecting the flora and fauna that so many enjoy.

PWA needs your input to preserve the peaceful trails, alpine valleys and camping that TOLRA has offered the local community & visitors for generations.

Blackcomb Helicopters (BH) is applying for a Commercial Heli-biking Tenure(license) in the TOLRA. They currently conduct heli-biking, using the main Tenquille Lake historic trail (est.1917) and a connecting artery (Mt Barbour trail) from an alpine landing zone. Their tenure application proposes by 2020, to triple traffic on this trail (over 2016 traffic) and add 3 new trails - swelling overall Descent Days to 2400 - just in TOLRA. A ratio of flights to group numbers would equate to near 400 flights/season - ferrying between 4 alpine trails. This is a significant increase in helicopter over-flights and cargo of downhill velocity riders. It is impossible to not see how this peaceful refuge for humans and animals would be negatively impacted.

TOLRA is an increasingly rare alpine recreation area in the Sea to Sky region. The tsunami of tourism pressure has overwhelmed the carrying capacity of many – think Joffre Lakes! Though not difficult, the effort of hiking/pedaling into TOLRA is its saviour. Taxiing significant numbers of ’Resort Downhill Park riders’ into this sensitive alpine environment is simply incompatible.

The debate about heli-biking in the TOLRA has been going on for over ten years. The PWA has consistently objected to the activity due to environmental impacts and the loss of wilderness values in the area. This application now going through the referral process provides an opportunity to let the government know how you feel about this type of recreation. The responsibility for this new tourism industry lies squarely in their court. We believe that both tenured and unregulated public heli-biking should be put on hold until the Province develops stringent legislation to manage the activity and determine where it is appropriate.

The PWA’s specific interest is within the borders of TOLRA although the application proposes Heli-biking Trails outside this Recreation area as well.

The PWA prefers not to have Heli-biking in TOLRA.

Please keep in mind that Blackcomb Helicopters is a reputable local company whom we have a good working relationship with. This is not “us” against “them”. The PWA acknowledges their helpful support for their current use. Blackcomb Helicopters cannot be blamed for seeking to expand business, although we disagree with the locale.

It is the government that makes the decision and who MUST HEAR FROM YOU.

PWA main concerns with the application are :

  • Tripling of heli-biking decent days (over 2016 numbers) on the main trail with a plan to add 3 more trails bringing total descent days to 2400 just within TOLRA.

  • the above will equate to approx. 400 helicopter overflights between 4 trails - severely impacting the peaceful refuge for humans and animals.

  • degradation of a quality alpine wilderness area enjoyed by generations of (non-winter) self propelled visitors.

  • instant delivery of large groups, overwhelming the threshold of manageable visitation (carrying capacity) appropriate for a sensitive alpine environment.

  • erosion of volunteer support due to perceived aid of a commercial activity they don’t agree with.

  • no Gov’t legislation in place to determine proper locale, guidelines or enforcement specific to this NEW commercial activity.

  • concern that the Govt agency making the decision will be based outside the region and not consider their regional staff or local community’s advice.

North Shore Hikers Metro Vancouver Parks wants to hear from you!

As you may already know Grouse Mountain trails are now part of a Regional Park managed by Metro Vancouver. They recently released a document dealing with the management. Take a couple of minutes and complete the online survey on the plan directions and the future development of the main hiking trails in that area.

The survey can be accessed at http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/parks/learn/projects-and-initiatives/grouse-mountain-park-planning/Pages/default.aspx

Drop by the Grouse Grind trailhead entrance on Sunday July 15 between 9 am to 12 noon to learn more.

Watersprite Lake hiker alert from BCMC (July 13-16)

Hikers on the Watersprite Lake Trail, please be aware that major trail work will be done July 13-16 with BCMC volunteers and FLNRO staff (Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations) on the upper part of the trail and lake area.

 

There will be helicopter operations, chainsaw operations, and construction of tent platforms, boardwalk, outhouse, and boulder work from the cabin to the campsite.
 

 

Please use caution when approaching or travelling through a work zone and establish eye contact with the crew before proceeding. Thank you. 


Posted by Andrew Wong.

Bowen Island Takes Responsibility for the Trails on Mount Gardner

After three years of hiking Mount Gardner, mapping the trails, and negotiating with the Province, The Rotary Club of Bowen Island — on behalf of the community — will sign an agreement with Recreation Sites and Trails BC. The official signing will take place in Collins Hall at an event beginning at 6:30 PM, Thursday, March 17. All who are interested are invited.

Participating in the signing is Tom Blackbird, the District Recreation Officer for this region. Blackbird’s office is in Chilliwack, and Bowen Island is on the westernmost verge of his district. Also, from the Province’s Sea-To-Sky office in Squamish is Tennessee Trent, Manager - Trails, Recreation Sites and Trails, for all of the Province of British Columbia.

Blackbird and Trent have asked to see some of the trails during this visit. Interested hikers are welcome to join the group on the mountain. The initial arrangements are still tentative, but the plan is that Blackbird and Trent will arrive from the mainland on a late morning ferry sailing. Sometime later a group will hike up the mountain starting at the Kiosk at the upper end of Laura Road. Probably the destination will be the North Summit.

Those wishing to participate in the hike should watch https://twitter.com/bowenrotary for updates, including up-to-the-minutes tweets on March 17. Note: this is not an escorted mountain hike. Anyone who joins the group must be an experienced hiker who is completely responsible for her/his own route-finding, gear (including appropriate clothing, food and water), and personal safety.

The Trails Agreement expects that the community will provide routine observation and maintenance of the trails. In return, the polygon of crown lands that include the trails will becomes designated a Recreation Site under Section 56 of the Forest and Range Act.

In 2014 the Undercurrent published a well-researched article on the Rotary Trails Project that described the conditions of the trails and the reasons and advantages for this community taking control of the recreational use of the mountain. http://www.bowenislandundercurrent.com/news/bowen-rotary-maps-mount-gardner-1.915730

While the Municipality of Bowen Island is not in a position to be responsible for those trails, the trailheads, parking areas and kiosks are on municipal land. BIM Council recognized the economic benefits that result from visitors who travel to Bowen Island to hike, and the value of this resource for its citizens. Council has agreed that the municipality will continue to provide appropriate access.

The event at Collins Hall on March 17 will begin at 6:30 PM with a welcome to all visitors. There will be a short explanation of the agreement by some of the signing parties. This will be followed by the official signing. The remainder of the evening will be a potluck dinner. Visitors are most welcome!

Those interested participating in the hike, the signing, or the dinner should call Robert Ballantyne before noon on Wednesday, March 16, at 604.947.0815.

Robert Ballantyne 604 947 0815 Rotary PR Director
Denis Lynn 604 947 9806 Rotary Past President

BowenRotary

Proposed Ski Development at Brohm Ridge

There is a proposal to develop a commercial ski operation at Brohm Ridge, by "Garibaldi at Squamish". On September 23, 2015, the FMCBC, of which this club is a member, held a meeting with representatives from the developer. Here are the highlights of the meeting.

  1. the maps shown (no different from the online versions, except bigger) depicted the ski runs and the "resort development", both of which run very close to Garibaldi Park (they claimed a 50-metre buffer zone, which Mike rightly said was pretty close to the Park);
  2. when challenged that "ski hills don't make money, the real estate surrounding them does", and although there is no real estate, actual or proposed, on the maps, Chris admitted that in exchange for building the ski hill, they will be able to obtain real estate "at a nominal price"; they weren't too clear on what a nominal price meant; and of course we have no real idea as to the extent of their property aspirations;
  3. the displaced snowmobilers (and there are lots using this area) were unfortunately directed by GAS to an area that is currently a non-motorized area; GAS was informed of the Sea to Sky LRMP and the sectoral distinctions between motorized and non, and could they please at least direct them to a motorized area in future;
  4. GAS was made very aware, largely through the Fellers and Monika, of the numerous frustrations FMCBC and member clubs have experienced in the past: not being consulted, not being listened to, Garibaldi Park being revised by the Government for Whistler/Blackcomb, no enforcement of the motorized activity, especially the snowmobilers, and more;
  5. in good "I feel your pain" style, responding by GAS, the 3rd member (Peter something) suggested it could be possible to have a covenant or easement up against the Park, requiring FMCBC's consent to encroach (I'll believe that when I see it, but they must be reminded of this in the future);
  6. it will be 4-5 years at least before actual construction could begin;
  7. GAS made it sound like there won't be any snowmobiles buzzing around their ski resort; it would be as much of an annoyance to hotel guests there as to anyone else;
  8. when asked why they would succeed where numerous others have not, the response seemed to be their thoroughness, aided by their "deep pockets";
  9. Monika made a great point that, in essence, we are arguing for the public's benefit (The Public's Right to Quiet Enjoyment of our Parks); every other dog in this fight has a vested interest.

Mack Skinner,
secretary of FMCBC, exec member of North Shore Hikers.

 

Hollyburn Lodge Renewal

The old Hollyburn Lodge at the Cypress Mountain commercial ski area is being rebuilt. The area is hence now a construction zone and closed to the public.

Steve Williamson, Director of Operations for Cypress Mtn., has provided this map to make it easier for hikers to navigate. He also provided the following safety information about the project.

  • Burfield trail will be closed until further notice for the installation of utilities to service the new lodge.
  • Hollyburn trail is open at the present time and will have closures in effect when required. When Hollyburn trail is closed access is via Sitzmark or the trail from the end of lot 4 as marked on the map.
  • The lodge site has been delineated with fencing and access is prohibited unless authorized by Cypress personnel. Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment must be worn if access is granted including steel toed boots, hi-vis vest and a hardhat.
  • Clearly marked detours have been placed throughout the Nordic area to guide hikers and cabin owners.
  • Access to first lake picnic areas is still available outside the construction zone orange fencing.

More information about this project and on the background of the lodge can be found at the following links:

We thank Friends of Cypress Provincial Park Society for relaying this information to us.

Pinecone Burke Provincial Park 20th Anniversary

This June there will be two events that you may want to join to celebrate the anniversary of the Pinecone Burke Park:

 

June 7 – the Burke Mountain Naturalists will lead a moderate hike in the celebrated park.

For details and to register follow the link http://bmn.bc.ca/events/1847/bmn-hike-woodland-walk.

 

June 12 – the FMCBC will be hosting a presentation about this park by Justin Brown at UBC, Buchanan’s Building.

For details follow the link http://mountainclubs.org/get-to-know-pinecone-burke-provincial-park/