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Lower Malamute access situation

Recently we were asked by a journalist to comment on climbers access to the Lower Malamute, in particular to Clean Crack and other routes nearby.

This access issue is a dormant file for SAS. There has been no change for over a decade. Our understanding of the situation is as follows:

BC Rail clarified rules on right of way and trespass following high-profile fatal rail accidents in BC in 2003. These rules were inherited by CN when they took over the track in BC in 2004. The right-of-way boundary on ordinary track extends 8 meters either side of the track edge. Unfortunately this encompasses routes like Clean Crack. The most recent print guidebook, Squamish Select (2012) explains these constraints. The CN property boundaries can also be seen clearly on the District of Squamish land parcel viewer (see blue bordered parcel in the image below).

SAS’s credibility with land managers relies on us being perceived as a group that respects legal property constraints. In the case of the Lower Malamute, it is also clear that CN have very valid safety and liability concerns. Therefore we recommend climbers honour the closure and stay away. We also encourage climbers not to publicise the closed climbs online or in print, through photographs or articles.

There are no fences restricting access to the Lower Malamute but CN does have its own police force, with powers of arrest, which has an office in Squamish. Climbers caught by the tracks may be charged with trespass.

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