Category Archives: The environment

Coexisting with grizzly bears

The Squamish Chief has published an interesting article on the impact of back-country use for recreation on grizzly bears, see

https://www.squamishchief.com/news/local-news/how-recreationalists-can-do-better-coexisting-with-grizzly-bears-1.24273028

They advise to carry bear spray and to avoid surprising bears.

However they don't even mention the devastating impact of the resource extraction industry (forestry, mining) on grizzly habitat. Also they don't mention some of the biggest reasons for grizzly deaths : collision with trains and cars and trophy hunting.

Avalanche Awareness Event : Sat Nov 9 in North Van

Registration (optional but recommended) :
eventbrite.ca/e/avalanche-awareness-event-registration-74222803403 :

Date and Time :
Sat, 9 November 2019
10:30 AM – 4:00 PM PST

Location :
North Shore Alliance Church
201 23rd Street East
North Vancouver, BC V7L 3E4

Two sessions of avalanche safety, speakers, science, and education. Morning (advanced) : 10:30 am - noon. Afternoon (beginner) : 2 pm - 4 pm.

About this Event

New to the backcountry ? Want to up your game ? No matter your level of outdoor experience, these sessions will boost your awareness of avalanche safety, equipment and resources.

  • Admission by donation
  • Prizes ! (Including a pair of Atlas snowshoes, donated by K2)
  • Free parking !
  • Registration not required, but is appreciated so we can estimate attendance
  • Join and share the Avalanche Awareness Facebook event for the latest updates

The event is broken into two parts. Attend one or both !

Morning session : 10:30 am – noon (Advanced)

For more experienced outdoor enthusiasts looking to build upon their knowledge. This session will feature in-depth avalanche safety presentations from an Avalanche Canada Forecaster.

Afternoon session : Doors open at 1:30 pm. Presentations run 2:00 pm – 4 pm (may run slightly longer to accommodate questions)

For those new to the backcountry and avalanche safety, or those looking for a refresher. This session is an introduction to the basics of recreational avalanche safety, with plenty of time for questions and discussion.

Presenters :

  • Mark Bender, Avalanche Canada forecaster, speaking on Basic Avalanche Awareness (looking at terrain, avalanche activity, triggers, etc.)
  • North Shore SAR volunteer, Peter Marshall, will present a case study of the Runner Peak incident from February 2019
  • Brent Loewen, snowshoe ambassador and guide in the N. Shore mountains, will present on his personal journey and education in the backcountry
  • AdventureSmart will have a presentation on Trip Planning

Do Wilderness First Aid course and lead a hike to get $50 rebate

Club members are encouraged to complete the Standard Wilderness First Aid course.

If you complete the 20 hours course and lead a club hike within a year you can ask the NSH membership secretary at membership@northshorehikers.org for a refund of $50.

The two-and-a-half day introductory course focuses on general medical concepts, basic life support skills and low-resource options for basic first aid. The course includes a one-evening classroom session and two days of outdoor training.

Wilderness at Your Doorstep on May 19 (Lynn Headwaters Regional Park)

Come and say hi to the club at Wilderness at Your Doorstep in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park on May 19. North Shore Hikers will be joining Metro Vancouver, AdventureSmart and other organizations at this event with information, history and sunshine from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m, next to the historic B.C. Mills House.

Avalanche safety information study — your feedback requested

The Avalanche Research Program at Simon Fraser University, Avalanche Canada and several U.S. Avalanche Forecast Centers are conducting a large online survey to examine how backcountry recreationists—skiers, mountain snowmobilers, snowshoers and ice climbers—seek and use avalanche safety information. See

https://avbulletin.avalancheresearch.ca/?fbclid=IwAR2nzeyioKqnb5n1t6OnvMOfs5b8hwD8gmFLnJek5bdYD_1WQe0uKZlaiLs

Do Wilderness First Aid course and lead a hike to get $50 rebate

Club members are encouraged to complete the Standard Wilderness First Aid course.

If you complete the 20 hours course and lead a club hike within a year you can ask the NSH membership secretary at membership@northshorehikers.org for a refund of $50.

The two-and-a-half day introductory course focuses on general medical concepts, basic life support skills and low-resource options for basic first aid. The course includes a one-evening classroom session and two days of outdoor training.

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/

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.