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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Many thanks to Michelle Smallman at NOLS for providing an excellent work party at Murrin Park today. ...

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Hi All:
As many of you know SAS and several representatives of the hiking/climbing community met with BCTS representatives July 22 to discuss Olesen Creek logging plans (SW 144) and some additional forestry issues. SAS's viewpoint on this discussion is that this was a highly productive meeting with BCTS making some substantial concessions with regards to this block and in the drainage given the multiple user constraints and pressures (other recreational users, First Nations, BCTS' mandate as the determinant for stumpage etc.) BCTS is under in the Sea to Sky Forest District. The complexity of these pressures and constraints on BCTS indicated that the diversion to other areas or a complete moratorium on logging in the Olesen creek drainage by BCTS is unrealistic. Based on this realization, a strategy of impact mitigation seemed more realistic and based on this proceeded to negotiate for the following changes to SW144 which SAS believes will greatly mitigate recreational impacts (see attached map) ... 0.31-3.jpg):

1. The Northern portion of the block directly adjacent to the park boundary is to removed from the block (green and yellow areas on map). This area is basically from the "Back door" (identified in Barley's Squamassif Guide) westward. The area removed includes the crag Winter Heat and the saddle trails between the Slhanny and the Chief and preserves the primary recreational resources at risk. The effect of this removal is to preserve the view from Tony's Bench and very substantially reduce visual impacts of this block from the 3rd peak of the chief (about 90%).
2. Southern block boundary is to be pulled approximately 75m away from the trail to The Longhouse to buffer impacts on this trail and to the forest in and around "the Chasm" slot canyon. An approximately 200m buffer is to be maintained on the Longhouse.
3. Additional group retention patches are going to be laid out in the remaining southern portion to further mitigate visual impacts from the 3rd peak. The main criteria for this layout is to be timber windfirmness and visual impact reduction. We suggested that a portion of the area of "Boulders" between GPS stations 39 -41 and streams K and N be a possible retention area due to reduced logging operability. A retention patch in this area would further reduce impacts to longhouse trail.
4. The potential of including the triangle area from the SE corner of the Chief park to the Southern boundary as a forest recreation area was also indicated to be a possibility. SAS is determining what the potential implications of this designation are.

BCTS is going to implement these changes on the ground in the next month and then provide maps for review and stakeholder comments.

Other issues discussed:

BCTS and the FLINRO agreed the current visual impact assessment points only being on the highway to determine visual impacts of harvest blocks is inadequate and that assessment points on the Chief and Gondola are going to be implemented. They also stated the Visual Quality Objectives which set out the allowed visible level of forest modification (ie harvesting) on the landscape in the Southern portion of their tenure areas are under review and are to changed to a higher retention level. They are awaiting analysis of impacts to timber supply before implementing these changes.

MA 109 - BCTS stated the chances MA109 was to be logged was virtually zero and that this block was brought up in a short deadline mapping exercise to determine potential harvest areas based on stand age and timber types. It is NOT considered to be a viable block.

Spatial data base of climbing resources: BCTS stated it needs to update and maintain its inventory of climbing resources. SAS agreed that this information is important to BCTS and the other licence holders in the District and that we are willing to supply that info. However, we are trying to determine what resources are developed out there too especially in terms of new bouldering areas. So, scrubbers we need to know what areas you are working in. We hope to have a google maps application up soon for you to identify the locations of new areas.


Chris Small
Board Member SAS

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