New Toilet in Chief Boulders
The SAS has coordinated with BC Parks staff for an additional toilet at the Chief bouldering area. While the current toilets at the existing parking lot will be relocated to the new upper parking lots, the additional toilet location will be on the old highway bed between the entrance of the Grand Wall trail and the trail leading into Animal Magnetism. It is hoped that additional toilets may be added to help out in the increasingly popular bouldering corridor, however the locations are limited due to pump-vehicle access. Currently (as of early July) the rough-in work and cement platform has been completed; Hopefully the walls and the "throne" will arrive shortly!
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 them which boulders and problems might be impacted by the forthcoming construction.
While no guarantees were made, the take-away message for the SAS was that the highway contractor will make every effort to minimize impacts wherever possible. We can report that the following will most likely be the case:
Drive By Boulders, from North to South:
"Recoil" and the surrounding boulders will be spared, but as one can see now, the highway will come closer. Good news is that the vegetation has been cleared out significantly!
"Shots Fired" will be spared, although the toe of the highway bed slope will come close to its base. The highway at that point will be several feet higher than it is now, so the noise may well be less intrusive (kind of - let's face it, the boulder is next to the highway!) "Loaded" will most likely be impacted by slope.
"Porn Boulder" cluster should be spared, although highways may fill in the small cave at the base of "No Mercy in Porn Land" in order to stabilize the boulder. This boulder will be much closer to the highway.
Highway work near the Drive By and Dump boulders is imminent. Current flagging indicates the limit of intended brush clearing and orange stakes indicate the location of the toe of the slope of the new highway bed. Some boulders will be affected as they lie within the expansion zone (for example Loaded). Shots Fired lies just outside the zone, and it is hoped that in the process of construction, the actual rock remains untouched. The SAS is in communication with the contractor in attempts to gain clarity on what exactly will be affected and, where possible, prevent unnecessary damage to the boulders.
Commercial Filming at Kacodemon
There will be a commercial film shoot in the Chief boulders just after the Thanksgiving long weekend of Oct 6-8th 2007. The area affected is generally the Kacodemon area, with the "room" (of The Singularity, Silent Menace and Dream Catcher fame) and the area near ATD most affected.
The current time-frame for filming is Tuesday the 9th, when climbers will be asked to limit their activities in the area. Set-up work may take place as early as the afternoon of Monday the 8th, however it is our understanding that this will not interfere with climbing. It is also our understanding that climbing access may only be impacted in a minor way during take-down (either Wednesday the 10th, or Thursday the 11th.) The draws on Silent Menace, Dream Catcher and Permanent Waves will be taken off on the late evening of the 8th and replaced (same draws on same hangers with same orientation) on the evening of the 9th or early morning of the 10th. A climber will be hired to do this.
Despite the presence of a large crew and dozens of trucks, it is important to note that access to other areas of the boulders or the Grand Wall will not be affected.
Check out the following two documents provided by the film crew:
» the notice (45 KB PDF) that will be posted on-site by the filming crew, and;
» a letter (35 KB PDF) outlining the specifics of the type of scenarios being filmed.
"Zone 2" on the notice refers to the main bouldering corridor, however the only closures will be in the immediate vicinity of the Kacodemon.
Click here (31 KB PDF) to see the filming grid which was drawn up by the SAS after the fall-out of the filming of Pathfinder in 2005. It is meant to provide guidance to Parks as to the acceptable timing of filming in the Parks in the Squamish area. While the optimum suggested time frame of November 1st or after was not met in this instance, Parks requested and the Filming Company agreed to moving the dates from October 1 to after the holiday long weekend.
Status: No access restrictions.
The Grand Wall Boulders:
As highway related work at the Chief "gateway" begins in 2007, the scenario between the current Chief parking lot and the Apron parking lot / Mamquam FSR entrance will unfold. Depending on whether the highway expansion happens on the east or west side, the effect on the The Dump, Drive-by-Boulders and Desire boulder is as yet unknown. We have been informed that more information will most likely be available in the March/April 2007 time frame. For more information about upcoming changes to access at the Chief boulders, see The Chief news section
The wind storms which hit the South-West coast in the fall/winter of 2006 seemed to leave the Grand Wall Boulder main corridors (Grand Wall trail and main trail between Superfly and Titanic) relatively unscathed from tree-fall. There is minor branch-debris, which should be cleared up pretty quickly.
A further note, unrelated to the storms, is the additional reminder (perhaps one of several) posted at the entrance of the trail to Black Dyke that dogs are to be kept on leashes within the park except on the Chief Peaks Trail on the backside.
At the Chief, there have been some issues in the recent past around access during times when commercial filming has been allowed in the park, in particular, the bouldering areas. Currently, there are no known plans for interrupted access, although the timeline for notice of filming is quite short.
The only other bouldering areas that may be affected in the near-to-medium term with access issues are certain problems in the Drive by Boulders (e.g. the The Dump) and the Lost Boulders at Murrin. Both scenarios are contingent upon still-pending highway development plans.