ACCESS NEWS - September 5th, 2006
A. STAWAMUS CHIEF - APRON PARKING LOT CLOSURE (September 12th - 14th)
The Apron parking lot will be closed to all public parking from September 12th - 14th, and access to the central Apron will be quite limited at that time. B.C. Hydro is replacing lines in the area, on new poles installed earlier this year, and needs to use the parking lot for its crews, machinery, materials, and helicopter.
Central Apron: There will be restricted access to the main central Apron trail, which starts at the parking lot and leads to the base of all climbs from Snake to Banana Peel, including Diedre. The current plan is that climbers will meet at a nearby location during Hydro's project. At intervals (not yet determined) they will be allowed to cross the parking lot and go up the trail. A representative of B.C. Parks will be present on September 12th, to ensure that this is working. The timing of access openings may depend on the exigencies of the work. The Bottom Line, Mickey Mouse, and Crystal Burst will be closed.
Alternative Parking: This includes the main Stawamus Chief (viewpoint), upper Malamute (southbound vehicles), and Chief campground. The small areas by the Stawamus River, and at the foot of the Apron descent trail, may be closed. The Stawamus FSR offers some parking, but there is industrial traffic during the week - park only in pullouts off the road, and watch for trucks. There will be only one meeting/access point for the central Apron trail, wherever you park.
North Apron Trail: Access to this area will be permitted, but only directly from the Stawamus FSR.
Slab Alley Area: This trail, and the lower pitches of Slab Alley and all adjoining routes, will also be closed.
Noise: A large helicopter will be operating, and there may be considerable noise on and near the Apron.
The Access Society was notified of this closure on August 31st. We will send further news as it becomes available, particularly if the work is delayed or extended. The work has been planned for several months, and must take place during dry weather. The wooden poles that are being replaced are about 50 years old.
Since 1993, climbers and the public have depended on Braesyde Farms for access to Skaha. Hugh Dunlop and family have provided parking, a trail across their land, stairs, and other services. Organizing this, and keeping it going, has taken a lot of work and advocacy. We all owe the Dunlops thanks for their hospitality and help, and the Skaha rockclimbers for all their work.
Braesyde Farms may be sold in the near future, to a private purchaser. Parking there is only guaranteed through the end of 2006. Discussions have been ongoing since the spring, involving the climbing community, the city of Penticton, other governments, the Dunlops and now the prospective purchasers, and other parties. The talks continue, and we're working hard on this, although we can't tell you much more yet. The Access Society is committed to ensuring that there is a viable arrangement for continuing public access to Skaha by the start of 2007. We'll publish any further news when it becomes available.
C. SQUAMISH AREA
Sea-to-Sky Highway Improvement Project: Work will continue through 2009. See www.seatoskyhighwayimprovements.ca for information on current work and closures. Detailed information on how implementation of the highway is affecting climbers can often be found in the on-line forums at www.squamishclimbing.com and www.gripped.com, posted by the Squamish Access Society. The following is a summary.
Conroy Creek/'Chek': The Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts has done some work to improve the new parking area, as well as the road from there to the top. When work is occurring, please park at the bottom of the road, or at its side. It appears that a road may be built leading south from the parking area beside the highway, to a dome a few hundred metres south which has a hydro pole on top. This may ease access to nearby climbs and potential climbs.
Papoose: Most trees on or just above the bluff between the highway and the Papoose have been felled, and there will be considerable blasting in the near future. The road width in this area will now be four instead of three lanes. The work should not directly affect the Papoose itself, but will mean that the highway will be more visible and much more audible from the cliff.
Comic Rocks: The parking area has been closed during work on this section. There is parking about 500 metres south, at the start of the Britannia FSR (yellow gate). Once the highway project is done, there will be "right-in, right-out" access for Comic Rocks, for northbound traffic.
Nightmare Rock: It appears that blasting is almost finished in this area. The cliff itself will not be affected. There are notices posted at the north and south ends of the work area, and until work was finished the area was closed.
Murrin Park: Plans in this area are to blast to a width sufficient for Olympic needs (temporary three lanes), but no more. A "protected turn" lane may be added, right at the entrance to Murrin Park, so widening the roadbed. A few roadside boulders may be affected. Browning Bluff may now be secured by stabilizer bars rather than destroyed.
D. ADOPT-A-CRAGS: 2006
The event on September 9th will make seven organized volunteer events in 2006 - Conroy Creek ("Chek") on April 22nd & 23rd (43 volunteers), Eldred Valley (Powell River) on May 5th - 7th (20 volunteers), Skaha in early May (20 volunteers), Fleming Beach in June (10 volunteers), and Crest Crags in early July (30 volunteers). The event at Skaha was particularly stout, as after six years we emptied and cleaned the composting toilet. Several other volunteer events are planned, including:
Nanaimo Area: Autumn, contact Greg Sorenson at (250) 751-1154 or outerlimits(at)shaw.ca.
Conroy Creek: We hope to eventually do further work here, possibly including grading and graveling the new parking area, providing drainage, terracing eroded areas below cliffs, and perhaps a second toilet.
Further details on each event TBA. If you want to organize an Adopt-a-Crag in your area, please let us know. We'll help with planning, publicity, draw prizes, funding, and other resources. If you can provide support – funding, draw prizes, materials, promotion – it's welcome.
Adopt-a-Crag is an initiative of the Access Fund, sponsored by Recreational Equipment Inc., W. L. Gore, and Clif Bar. In 2005 it involved nearly 120 volunteer stewardship events at cliffs and mountains around the United States, and one in Canada. 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. Lois Nordstrom
Lois Nordstrom died as a result of injuries from a fall at Conroy Creek on May 14th. She was an avid and experienced climber and mountaineer, and a member of the Access Society. Her friends and family plan to place a plaque in her memory at the Crest on September 9th. All who knew Lois are encouraged to attend. There will be stories, and perhaps some refreshments. Contact Winifred Swatschek at wswatschek(at)my.bcit.ca.
2. On-Line Memberships, Renewals & Donations
You can now join the Access Society on-line, renew your membership, or make a donation. Go to www.access-society.ca/getinvolved/membership.aspx, complete the form, and pay via PayPal. (Credit card needed, and donations also welcome.)
3. Lodges in B.C. Parks
The government has announced that it will consider proposals for "fixed roof accommodations" in 12 B.C. parks, including some mountain parks. There will be a process involving public consultations. The ramifications of this may not have been fully considered, e.g. impacts on established public uses of areas; pressure from commercial operators for activities inconsistent with park values and the public interest; what will happen if operations fail; pressure for expansion, additional development, and exclusive territories; and alternatives outside parks. There are currently many commercial and quasi-commercial operations in parks, including some lodges and huts, although few recent ones. www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/fixed_roof/index.html
4. Coquihalla - Juliet Creek Resort Proposal
There is a proposal to build a large all season resort in the Juliet Creek area, just north of the Coquihalla summit. The process includes assessment of current public use of the area, and potential impacts. This information is being gathered by Cascade Environmental Group. Contact Hilary Lindh at (604) 938-1949 or (604) 815-0901 or www.cascade-environmental.ca.
5. Thank Yous - Volunteers
Far too many to list here, but including all the Adopt-a-Crag volunteers and organizers, the local climber organizations all around B.C. that the Access Society works 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.
6. United States - Access Fund News
See the Access Fund website for what's happening in the United States - www.accessfund.org. You can also subscribe to an e-mailed newsletter.
7. Annual General Meeting
This year's AGM will be at Skaha on Sunday October 8th. All the usual - reports, finances, elections, issues. And maybe a few prizes! Detailed notice to follow.
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)access-society.ca.
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, 2006.
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