Watersprite via new trail - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-02-2016, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Default Watersprite via new trail

Sep 2, 2016

I tried the new trail to Watersprite Lake today. Quite good, fast travel along the old road bed. There's still some work being done near the end of the trail, but it's all flagged. Ran into one of the builder/volunteers who was giving a "tour" to one of the Parks guys. The Parks employee was sipping tea as I passed by, and my gaze lingered longingly on his thermos on this cool wet day.

Drive to gate at 20KM mark, passing the old trailhead (which is at 16KM).


Some flagging marked a rough trail that enters the forest, and after a short time comes out at a T-junction on a road. It turns out this was an older trail (see post below from junglesavage). Skip the flagging and carry on! (I believe the flagging has since been removed)

I turned right at this T-junction (turns out I guessed correctly). From there, the route is obvious the rest of the way.










I lingered for a few minutes as the BCMC member pointed out the cabin location and proposed camping area. As they left to look at the sites, I began my descent back to the car.

STATS
16km return, 735m cumulative elevation gain
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Last edited by guntis; 09-07-2016 at 01:39 PM. Reason: Route information update
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-03-2016, 02:28 PM
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Thank you Guntis for the great report and very helpful maps! I'm planning to explore this trail tomorrow.
How long did it take you to get to the lake along the new trail? Do you have any gps data by any chance?
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-03-2016, 04:39 PM
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can someone explain the why of new trail vs. old trail to an onlooker?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-03-2016, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru View Post
can someone explain the why of new trail vs. old trail to an onlooker?

This is what Junglesavage said in the last Watersprite TR

We are working as hard as we can as there is considerable urgency for us to decommission the old trail due to the environmental impacts of heavy foot traffic on the old route. A BCMC crew is planning to work this Wednesday to remove deadfall at the final KM of trail with chainsaws. The new trail is fully marked and useable from beginning to end, but rough in the last 1.5 KM. We have some remaining tasks still to perform:

1) The installation of footbridges across minor creeks (currently passible even by a 10 year old). This will be our last task, performed this September.
2) Improved drainage work in two areas on the old logging road system
3) Grubbing of the final 500 meters of road at the 7 KM mark
4) Removal of the remaining deadfall in the rock slide after the end of the logging road and improved marking of the trail.
5) Improving the crossing of Watersprite Creek at the 8 KM mark (although the crossing is easy in low run-off conditions).
6) Some minor brush clearing at the 1 KM mark

When the new trail is officially opened (with a full trail kiosk and orange aluminum signage), and the old trail is to be decomissioned, I will make a formal announcement on this website and others. Since the new trail is an official section 57 trail, I will add the trail to this website (and others) in the list of formal sea-to-sky trails.

The new trail features a 3 KM stretch of old logging road that features continuous wide open views of all the major icefields and peaks in the area. Because we know this new trail will be extremely popular (Parks grade with views to rival the Elfin Lakes Trail), we need to take the time to design the trail to accommodate the large numbers of hikers expected to use the new trail in the years ahead.

This is why I cannot state a specific date for the official opening yet. Being that the new cabin is already under construction, it will not be long.

I certainly would welcome anyone on clubtread who would like to join my trail building crew and learn the ins and outs of trail-building to contact me through this website, or contact the BCMC.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-03-2016, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eugen View Post
Thank you Guntis for the great report and very helpful maps! I'm planning to explore this trail tomorrow.
How long did it take you to get to the lake along the new trail? Do you have any gps data by any chance?
It took me 5 1/2 hours return from Nester's in Squamish...(2hr 15min ascent on trail), but that's moving pretty quickly. I would budget 3-4 hours for the 7km hike in, especially on a nicer day. I had no views, so no reason to slow down.

PM me your email address and I can send you the GPS track.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 12:51 AM
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Hi clubtreaders,

The GPS track above for the new Watersprite Trail is INCORRECT. Guntis followed a steep old flagged route (not even a trail) shortly after the dam rather than the trail proper, hence the confusion at the old "S Line" logging road. In fact, the proper start to the trail is shown in the black and white dotted lines on Guntis's Map.

The proper track is shown below.

Guntis, could you correct your post to reflect the correct data? I can supply you with the correct GPS Data.

Cheers,

Junglesavage
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Last edited by junglesavage; 09-04-2016 at 12:54 AM.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 01:14 AM
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Just to avoid a small swampy area
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 02:11 AM
adm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haslital View Post
Just to avoid a small swampy area
Yep, most of the heavily used trails on the Sea-to-Sky I know of are routed through swampy and other environmentally sensitive areas.

Havent checked out the new trail, but hopefully it is more accomodating to large groups of people.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 03:56 AM
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Default From the person who chose/designed the new trail's route perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haslital View Post
Just to avoid a small swampy area
The old trail is now closed.

Much discussion and planning occurred on this question. If we were to keep the old trail in service, we would have had to build and maintain a significant amount of boardwalk, and perform rerouting to protect the creek bank. Boardwalk is expensive and difficult to maintain when you are a volunteer crew. The old trail (now closed) is already completely trashed, getting wider and wider as people avoid the mucky areas, littered with toilet paper and human waste, as it was not designed for the current volume of hikers resulting from wide-spread awareness on social media.

We have spent three years working on the new trail, which utilizes logging roads and hard ground that can better handle the large quantity of hikers heading to Watersprite Lake.

As volunteer trail builders, we spend our own personal money (supplies, gas, tools etc.) and time over the course of dozens of trail clearing trips to create the trails that the public enjoys. I have personally worked on the new trail probably 20 times. We will have to perform multiple yearly maintenance trips on the new trail in order to maintain the trail and prevent it from being trashed like the old trail was.

Perhaps rather than criticizing our free gift to the hiking community Haslital, you could consider helping our efforts? I'd be happy to put a pair of loppers or a grubbing tool in your hands and put you to work.
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Last edited by junglesavage; 09-05-2016 at 04:01 AM.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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@junglesavage, thank you for the route correction. The short cut was not at the level of quality of the rest of the route, so your reply explains a lot!

I personally think the work that has been done has been quite impressive, and thank you for your efforts.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 03:34 PM
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Thanks Guntis,

More information from my post on Bivouac regarding the new trail:

The New Watersprite Lake trail

This trail is currently under construction by BCMC. It presently provides quality, bush free access to the Skookum S1 Spur, Dreadnought Spur, and the end of the Watersprite Skookum Logging Spur.

*The trail is still under construction so do not expect a fully groomed trail just yet
*Time: 4 to 4.5 hours one way in the trail's current condition
*Cars will not make it to the parking lot (All wheel drive or 4 wheel drive highly recommended)
*Donations to the BCMC for trail maintenance is always appreciated and needed
*Outhouses are soon to be constructed, and the cabin will be paid accommodation (locked requiring a key) which can be reserved on the BCMC website.
*Camp only in designated camping areas.
*Keep in mind at all times that this area is a rugged wilderness, with unforgiving weather that changes quickly. tshirt and sneakers as an example are not recommended, proper outerware is for your comfort and safety, we want you to enjoy the outdoors.
*There is a large bear population and other wildlife in the valley which is often encountered on the trail, so dogs are not recommended for the trail or Watersprite Lake area. A new bear attack study indicates that 93% of all bear attacks are male bears and 53% of those involve dogs.
*Human waste continues to be a major problem in the Skookum Valley and Watersprite Lake, so please do not leave your toilet paper and deeds near the lake or the trail. This will contaminate the lake and the creeks in the area and make other hikers in the future sick (contaminated drinking water from a creek on the trail already infected one hiker with bacteria) This is everyone's drinking water.
*Open campfires at Watersprite Lake are forbidden and highly detrimental to the fragile environment.
**Abuse this fragile and special area and everyone loses**
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 01:47 AM
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Wait, did I miss something? I was at the BCMC annual GM last year when the proposal for a new cabin got voted down?
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 01:17 PM
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I noticed that bikes are not permitted on the new trail, that's too bad. If a bunch of it is on a logging road there could be some considerable time savings. Any particular reason?
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 07:25 PM
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Default Bikes not permitted - reasons

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Originally Posted by jjnorm View Post
I noticed that bikes are not permitted on the new trail, that's too bad. If a bunch of it is on a logging road there could be some considerable time savings. Any particular reason?
Hello jjnorm,

The trail sign was erected by the MFLNRO (the Government). If the trail was also for mountain bikes, it would require greater maintenance and upgrades. For instance, we did not remove all of the alder stocks from all of the logging roads. If it were to be mountain bike friendly, we would need to cut those to ground level on a regular basis. This is hard on our chainsaws and brush cutters.
Secondly, there are a couple soft spots on the logging roads. Heavy mountain bike use would make this a serious challenge for us to maintain and a burden on our already pressed volunteer trail crew.
Lastly, we did not design the connector trail between the lower and upper logging roads with mountain bikes in mind, and it would not survive long.

The whole valley has soft ground, dynamic creeks and a large amount of rainfall. This is part of the reason trail building in this valley has been so difficult in the past to sustain longer-term access and has challenged trail builders for decades. In essence, it has taken decades to reach this point. This is why there is the phrase "Mamquam Bush" which describes the tenacity of this rugged wildness and the mighty "red alder" that rules in dominion over it.
As a side note, we approached the mountain bike community at the start of the project and asked if they would be willing to partner with us in the construction of the new trail in order to make it dual use. They declined at the time, and so we did not have the resources to make this happen on our own.

Cheers.
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Last edited by junglesavage; 09-06-2016 at 08:07 PM.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 07:31 PM
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Default Waterpsrite Cabin

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Originally Posted by thecamel View Post
Wait, did I miss something? I was at the BCMC annual GM last year when the proposal for a new cabin got voted down?
There was a second meeting and vote, at which time the cabin was approved. Construction has already begun on the new cabin. Helicopter operations begin at the end of this week to bring in the building materials, and to fly in our lovely new bridge (donated by the MFLNRO) for the new trail to span Watersprite Creek.
After all, we don't want people to get their feet wet.
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