Access News - March 12th, 2007

Information from the Access Society.
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Anders Ourom
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Access News - March 12th, 2007

Post by Anders Ourom » Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:43 pm


ACCESS NEWS - March 12th, 2007


The Land Conservancy of B.C. (TLC) and Skaha rockclimbers have been working hard on this issue, with support from Mountain Equipment Co-op, the Access Society, and others. After considerable effort and negotiations, there is now some public news. Access at Skaha is in place for 2007, and there is an agreement to purchase land that will provide access from 2008 onward. The latter requires substantial fundraising, and will take a lot of work over the next few months. We need $1 million!


Parking will continue at Braesyde Farms through 2007, much as previously. The only public access to Skaha is by parking there and crossing Braesyde land. The arrangements are:
Parking and access at Braesyde open on March 16th.
$10/passenger car/day, $20/day for vans (6 - 15 passengers), $30/day for buses, $75 for an annual pass.
Please use only Braesyde for parking and access. There is no legal parking along Valleyview Road, which leads to Braesyde, and all other accesses to Skaha require trespassing on private land. Carpooling is an economical option.
Valleyview is a narrow, winding road, and residents value their peace. Please drive carefully, at or below the speed limit, and watch for children, animals, and other safety concerns.
The Dunlop family continues to own Braesyde. They have generously provided public parking at Braesyde since 1992. The climbing community owes the Dunlops a vote of gratitude for their hospitality, and thanks to the city of Penticton and the Agricultural Land Commission for permitting the parking.
TLC has secured an option to purchase 300 hectares of private land adjoining and immediately to the south of Skaha (sublot 18), closing at the end of April 2007. Once the land is purchased, and necessary services installed, it will provide permanent public access to Skaha, but not until 2008. Thanks to TLC’s partners, a generous donation by the current owner, and other donations, much of the needed money is secured. However, we need to raise $1 million, by the end of April, to finalize the purchase. The climbing community must do everything it can to help raise this money.
Make a donation to TLC, soon, and encourage your friends to also do so.
Become a member of TLC, and of the Access Society. Members + resources = more effective.
If you can help with fundraising, or have ideas or connections that may help, contact TLC or the Access Society.
Make sure all your friends know what's happening, and are helping. Spread the word!
TLC will be the conduit for all Skaha-related donations. They prefer that you not only make a donation, but that you also become a member. As with all non-profits, resources of all kinds are important, including members and money.
Donations & Membership: To join TLC, see ... membership To make a Skaha-specific donation, see ... id=W-00013 Or join or donate by mail.
Contact Information: TLC's head office is at #301 - 1195 Esquimalt Road, Victoria, B.C. V9A 3N6, phone (250) 479-8053.
Capital Campaign & Corporate Donors: If you can contribute a substantial amount, or know someone who might be able to, contact John Keller at TLC in Burnaby directly, at (604) 733-2313 or jkeller(at)
U.S. Donors: TLC has made arrangements so that residents of the U.S. who donate can receive a U.S. tax receipt - please contact TLC about this.
TLC has proven a faithful friend of the climbing community. Many remember the Stawamus Chief gondola proposal of 2004. The Access Society helped lead the successful opposition to the gondola. Since then, TLC has (with help) bought the land that was to be the gondola base (the gravel pit), ensuring that inappropriate development didn't threaten the values of Stawamus Chief and Shannon Falls Provincial Parks. The land is being leased to the Sea-to-Sky Highway project contractor, which helps pay for the purchase, and gives some time to consider what to do with it. TLC is also working on other Squamish-area projects that would benefit the climbing community.
The Access Society will be doing all we can to help raise the needed funds, and work with TLC. This will include:
Capital Contribution: At our Board meeting in March we'll decide how much of our 'nest egg' we'll commit to the Skaha purchase, likely a significant fraction. We've put a little money aside for a situation like this. (The Squamish Access Society is donating the money it received from the 2006 Squamish Climbers Festival.)
Information: There will be regular broadcast e-mails from the Access Society over the next few months, with news about Skaha, and of course other B.C. access news. The website will also be updated. We'll be asking all our corporate supporters and donors, and climbing websites and forums, for their help. And asking all climbers, and everyone who climbs at Skaha, to also help.
Mailing: A mailing will be sent in the next few weeks to all members and many others, with news, and a membership/renewal/donation form. Please join, renew, and donate as appropriate - more members and more resources make the Access Society more effective. It provides credibility if the Access Society and TLC have to lobby for government or corporate support.
Fundraising: Other plans include raising money at the 2007 Squamish Mountain Festival, and an application (with TLC) for a gaming funds grant. We're looking at other possibilities, and welcome suggestions.
Skaha Climbers:
Access Society: (update pending)
Special thanks to TLC, Bill Turner, MEC, Hugh Dunlop, Howie Richardson, Hugh Lenney, Drew Fullerton, Russ Turner and Sean Dougherty for all their help with this.
The 2007 Squamish Mountain Festival will be on July 13th - 22nd. The presenting sponsor is Arc'Teryx, with partners the Access Society and the Squamish Access Society ("SAS"). Proceeds will go to the Access Society and the SAS, and the priority for use of the money will be Skaha. SMF 2007 carries on the tradition of prior Squamish climbers festivals (2006, 2001, and 1986), the Petzl Roc Trip (2005), the Squamish Mountain Film Festival (2006), and other events.

SMF 2007 will involve clinics, speakers, films, yoga, pancake breakfasts, events for the general public, a dyno competition, fundraising, prizes, and lots of fun. And volunteer work days - one Adopt-a-Crag the first weekend, organized by the Access Society, and one the second weekend, organized by the SAS. More information about SMF 2007 is or soon will be at We hope to see you there!

Sponsors: We're finalizing plans for SMF 2007, and welcome suggestions on making the festival better. There is still room for sponsors and partners - if you want to be involved, contact John Irvine at Arc'Teryx - (604) 960-3057 or john.irvine(at)

Volunteers: We'll need lots of volunteers to make the festival a success, both before and during the event. Contact the Access Society.

Films: If you have a film that you wish to be considered, or can help with screenings, contact info(at)


We plan the 'usual' volunteer Adopt-a-Crag crag maintenance days during 2007. Known events to date:

Greater Squamish area: Several events March - May (with Squamish Access Society)
Eldred Valley/Powell River: May 4th - 6th
Fleming Beach/Victoria: spring (with Greater Victoria Climbers Association)
Skaha: spring (with Skaha rockclimbers)
Squamish Mountain Festival: July 13th (double header, with Squamish Access Society)
Squamish Mountain Festival: July 21st (with Squamish Access Society)
Crest Crags/Campbell River: early July (with The Heathens)
Nanaimo area: autumn
If you want to organize an Adopt-a-Crag in your area, please let us know. Trail building and maintenance, toilets, clean up, or parking - whatever's needed. We'll help with planning, publicity, draw prizes, funding, and other resources. If you can provide support – funding, draw prizes, materials, promotion – please also contact us.

Adopt-a-Crag is an initiative of the Access Fund, sponsored by Recreational Equipment Co-op, W. L. Gore, and Clif Bar. In 2006 it involved over 120 volunteer stewardship events at cliffs and mountains around the United States, and several in B.C. Adopt-a-Crag is now a year-round program; by courtesy of the Access Fund, we use the name for ‘non-official’ volunteer events.


1. Little Smoke Bluffs

The Smoke Bluffs Park Development Committee is being formed, and should soon have its first meeting. The Access Society will be represented on the committee by director Peter Winter; other climbers, and representatives of climbers' groups, are involved. The committee will carry on the work of the planning team.

A great deal of trail work was done during the winter, particularly on the Loop Trail, which is much improved. The creaky old stairs near Pixie Corner have been replaced, as well as those leading down to Octopus' Garden. There will be work on the east side of the Loop Trail during March - watch for closures, and workers. Thanks to those responsible!

2. Sea-to-Sky Highway Project

Work continues on the highway project. See for general information on work and closures, and ... eation.htm for information on recreation-related matters. Access to the Papoose is closed through at least May 2007. Work has begun in front of the Chief, and at the turnoff to downtown Squamish. Stay posted, as over the next two years there will be considerable changes to the highway, parking and access all through this area. For details - ... lletin.pdf See also the SAS website at for news about this and other Squamish-area access matters, and and forums.

3. Stawamus Chief - Peregrine Falcons

For many years now, a pair of peregrine falcons has nested on the Stawamus Chief, usually somewhere in the upper part of the Dihedrals. The peregrine falcons should soon re-appear. Assuming they nest in their usual spot, the voluntary climbing closure will likely be through the end of July. It will include all routes from Negro Lesbian to Freeway, from four pitches above the ground to the top. Closed routes are likely to include Clean Corner, Sports Illustrated, Cloudburst, Sea of Tranquility, Getting Down in the Brown, Warriors of the Wasteland, Western Dihedral (4th ptich and above), Negro Lesbian, Crap Crags, Slow Duck, Illusion, Planet Caravan, and Millenium Falcon. Open climbs are Arrowroute, Cleaning the Brain, Deadend Dihedral, Time Passages, Black Dyke, Western Dihedral (to the top of the 4th pitch), Rutabaga, Sticky Fingers, Slow Dyke, and Freeway. If you observe the falcons, please contact B.C. Parks at (604) 898-3678, with details.

In 2006, a pair of ravens nested at the top of Pleasant Pheasant and Elastic Man, on Petrifying Wall near Murrin Provincial Park. They reportedly attacked some unwary climbers. If they nest there again - they often return - please stay away!

4. Squamish Weather Information

There are several sources for Squamish-area conditions, apart from the Environment Canada ( and Weather Network ( websites. They include two webcams. One is operated by the District of Squamish, and is on top of the radio tower above the Smoke Bluffs - It looks out over Squamish and Howe Sound. The other is at Squamish Terminals, mainly for the windsurfing site, but does pan around for views of Garibaldi and the Smoke Bluffs - Climbers are also welcome (within reason) to call the Valhalla Pure Outfitters store in Squamish, at (877) 892-9092. During the climbing season, the store has a current conditions report on the website - Click on "Staff Observations" and you can read an informal description of the day's weather, and of weather over the last few days and weeks.

1. Jason Kruk Show - Cliffhanger Coquitlam - March 23rd

Access Society director Jason Kruk will be giving a show at Cliffhanger Coquitlam on Friday March 23rd, at 7:00 PM, to benefit the Access Society. It is entitled "A Scared Canadian in the Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free(Climbs)". Admission by donation, and there may be some prizes. (Donations welcome!) Thanks to Jason, Cliffhanger Coquitlam, Daniel Poggi and Geoff Creighton for their help with this.

2. West Coast Trail

This very popular trail was severely damaged by windstorms during winter 2006 - 07. About 2,000 trees were downed over the 75 km, and two cable crossings destroyed. Parks Canada will be investing over $500,000 in needed restoration. More at

3. 2006 Tax Receipts

Income tax receipts for donations received in 2006 were sent a few weeks ago. If you made a donation, and didn't receive a receipt, please contact us.

4. Thank Yous - Volunteers

Far too many to list here, but including all volunteers and organizers, the local climber organizations all around B.C. that we work with, our directors and officers, those who represent us in various issues, and so on. You know who you are - we couldn’t do it without you.

5. Brad Zdanivsky

Brad Zdanivsky, who returned to climbing after becoming a quadriplegic in an accident, successfully ascended the Grand Wall of the Stawamus Chief in summer 2006. He plans to attempt Yosemite's El Capitan in September 2007. An inspiring film about Brad and his 2006 climb, called "Back to the Wall", was presented at the recent Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival.

6. Richard Wheater - Photo Display

Rich Wheater, well known local outdoors and climbing photographer, has a display of his work at SEVA Physiotherapy in Vancouver, through March and April. 3429 West Broadway, Vancouver. See also or Rich generously donated many of the images used in the Access Society's graphics.

7. Waddington Range Heli-Skiing

An application has been made for a heli-skiing permit covering the Waddington Range and nearby areas. The application is from Knight Inlet Heliskiing -, and information about the application is at, or Helicopter access to this area, one of the great ranges of the world, has traditionally been limited, and the proposal may at least conflict with other users. To comment, contact Diane Tetarenko at the Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts - (250) 751-7241, or, as soon as possible. For more information, see ... Post651685, or contact Don Serl at (604) 872-4244 or dserl(at)

7. United States - Access Fund News

See the Access Fund website for what's happening in the United States - You can also subscribe to an e-mailed newsletter.

8. World Backcountry Freeride Jam - Whistler (April 20th - 22nd, 2007)

This event will include clinics, parties, a sprint from the bottom to the top of Whistler, a half-day mountain race, and a Spearhead Traverse race. And much else. See for more.

9. On-Line Memberships, Renewals & Donations

You can now join the Access Society on-line, renew your membership, or make a donation. Go to, complete the form, and pay via PayPal. (Credit card needed, and donations also welcome.)

The Access Society faces many challenges in our pursuit of public access to B.C.'s cliffs and mountains, and conservation of them. Please support the Access Society in any way you can - become a member, make a donation, or volunteer! We believe the Access Society is doing an important job. It represents all those who cherish B.C.’s cliffs and mountains.

We hope this message is useful, and encourage you to share, post and forward it. Our apologies if it is unwanted! If so, please let us know and we'll remove you from our list. If your e-mail has changed, please let us know. (In a few cases this message is a duplicate, due to overlapping directories.) Also, we welcome information and contributions - please send to info(at)

Climbing and related activities are dangerous, and can injure or kill you. The Access Society tries to ensure that this information is accurate, but you rely on it at your own risk!

copyright (c) Climbers' Access Society of British Columbia, 2007.
Box 72013 - Sasamat R.P.O.
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V6R 4P2
(604) 228-1798;

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