Archive for January 2008

Chief Parking Lot Construction

The current main parking area looks somewhat like a war-zone, however all access is still maintained. The highway-side parking lot is still open, as are the upper lots near the campground. The SAS will work with the contractor to clarify the status of the parking lots in […]

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Signs for Apron Trails

As part of the contribution offered by the Sea to Sky Highway Improvement Project to climbing resources within provincial parks used by climbers in the area, the SAS and BC Parks agreed to the merits of some permanent signs at the entrance of the trails which lead […]

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New Apron Trail

The new trail at the base of the Apron is now complete. While access through the current Apron parking lot is not optimal due to the storage of highway construction material, one can walk uninterrupted from the lot, along the trail, and exit at the junction with […]

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Squamish Mountain Festival 2008!

Following on the success of the festival in 2007, the dates for the 2008 Squamish Mountain Festival have been set. The festivities will run from July 16th to July 20th 2008. Planning is already underway and look for details to be unveiled throughout the spring. As was […]

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More Smoke Bluffs Trail Work Completed

More trail work at the Smoke Bluffs has been completed. The most recent work has been focused on the eastern part of the Loop Trail. Traditionally this section was, in essence, a dried creek bed (which during wet times became, well, a creek). Significant work has made […]

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Update: Highway Impact on Boulders

In November of 2007, the SAS met with several of the engineers responsible for the highway improvement work being undertaken in the general vicinity of the Chief. The purpose was to inform the engineers of the bouldering resources in the area and to get an indication from […]

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Skaha Access Secured!

We are very pleased to be able to report that permanent access to Skaha bluffs has been secured. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the drive to come up with the necessary funds for the purchase of the lands critical to arriving at a long term solution. […]

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Proposed Ski Resort: Garibaldi at Squamish

In the fall of 2007 the Squamish Access Society participated in a meeting between representatives of various mountain and backcountry groups and the proponent of the Garibaldi at Squamish Development (a resort near Brohm Ridge reaching down to Highway 99 and embracing the landscape near both Brohm […]

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Trail maintenance day at the Squamish Mountain Fest was a great success again this year with an excellent turnout despite the rain. This year's projects were construction of a connector trail from Up Amongst the Firs to a new soon to be revealed development adjacent to Murrin Park and tree removal and brushing of the North walls trails to Northern Lights and Angels Crest. Thanks to all our volunteers and our Sponsors: Metolious, Black Diamond, Arcteryx, MEC, Blurr, and Mammet for supplying swag. Here is a pic of the Murrin crew with their well earned gains. ...

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This excellent letter, written by Squamish local Ed Fischer, sums up his opinion on the proposed logging behind the Squamish Chief.

"To BC Timber Sales
Copy to The Squamish Chief, Squamish Council, Minister of Forests,

I am writing to express my deep concerns regarding the proposed timber cutting block (SW144) below the north east side of the Chief and the south face of Slhanay, formally know as The S___w.

First off please be aware of how hard this town (Squamish) has worked to establish itself as an outdoor recreation destination. And now it finally seems to be paying off. CNN recently declared Squamish the North America’s number one destination mountain town to visit this summer. Nice. But now we have the threat of BC Timber Sales running amok in prime recreational land right next to our class A park, plowing through established trails, and creating eyesores for scenic overlooks. It seems like a return to the bad old days when the people of Tofino, now one of the most successful tourist destinations in Canada, had to stand their ground against unrestrained forest practices.

I find it disturbing that land management decisions at BCTS, a BC government organization, are often made by people who have never visited the field sites they have jurisdiction over. The BCTS website seems to give no indication that there is an awareness in this organization that Crown land has a potential for recreational use and that logging needs to coexist with other uses. Read the posted mandate.

Here are a few reasons why timber cutting in this area is a really bad idea for our community, recreational users, and the reputation of BC Timber Sales and the BC Forest Ministry.

The Chief backside trail is probably, next to the Grouse Grind, the most popular day hike in BC. On a summer weekend it is overloaded to the point of congestion. Over the last number of years locals have put considerable work into building and improving trails on the alternative north Side of the Chief and on the west and south sides of Slhanay. Tourists are now beginning to discover these trails and they are on recreational maps. These trails will be devastated by the proposed logging. The main trail to the scenic summit of Slhanay (in the park) and the connecting trail from the Chief will be highly impacted. As will Tony’s memorial bench, a spectacular overlook, where more than one family that I know of has gone to perform a service for a deceased loved one. Ashes have been scattered near this special spot. Hey, this is our sacred ground you are messing with.

So far this proposed timber cut has mostly gone under the radar. But now I hear outrage building in this community. BCTS would be wise to take steps to avoid a public relations debacle here. BCTS administrators also should think seriously about revising the narrow mandate as posted on their website in order to include the practice of coexistence with other users and communities on our public lands.

Eduard Fischer
Squamish BC"

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Route Developers and scrubbers of all sorts (climbers and boulderers). SAS is in the process of developing a spatial database of climbing resources in the Sea to Sky corridor for resource professionals to use in their planning process to mitigate impacts to climbing areas and trails. The huge expansion of route development especially in areas outside the parks has potential to be severely impacted by ongoing logging and other activities. Having land managers knowledgeable about the scale of our presence in their tenures will assist in their planning, their consultation with climbing stakeholder groups and help reduce future conflicts and reactionary responses. Bouldering areas, which have a larger areal footprint, are potentially at higher risk to resource management activities. If you have been developing new areas, we would like to hear about them. ...

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