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-   -   FV Locked in by the Military up Slesse Creek (https://forums.clubtread.com/27-british-columbia/93156-locked-military-up-slesse-creek.html)

Heather Pederson 10-19-2019 04:51 PM

Locked in by the Military up Slesse Creek
 
This morning I went for a hike up Mt. Slesse trail, accessed from Slesse creek FSR that neighbours Vokes range. This trail is up Chilliwack Lake Road. I started to feel unwell and cut my hike short.

When I returned to my vehicle, which was parked on the main FSR where the sign is for the trailhead, I had a note on my window that read "gate locked." I then drove out approximately 8 km to Chilliwack lake road and found the gate was most definitely locked and there was no way around. I was 13.5km away from cell service on a weekend and locked in.

Lucky for me, I had an inreach and was able to make indirect contact Pacific Blasting Company and they were able to come and eventually let me out. I was advised that the military had locked the gate and left the note on my windshield. There was no training and there were no military officers on site whatsoever.

I have read old posts on here as far back as ten years ago about access issues to this trail and a subsequent agreement that access to the trail would not be restricted....but with whom? I tried to contact DND and of course no one is available to speak with me. I would really like to make sure this doesn't happen to someone else because first and foremost, they put my safety at risk by locking me in when no one was there. Had I not returned to my vehicle early because of being unwell, I would not have been able to get ahold of Pacific Blasting company. It was even a fluke to get a hold of them on a Saturday.

Second, they knew I was there. I cannot believe they locked me in knowing how far away I was from cell reception. I do understand that when there is ongoing training that the gate has been locked from time-to-time but there was no training today, there was no one on site to let people through the gate and most importantly, the gate was locked without warning. I am still stunned that someone would knowingly lock me in there. The temperature up there drops to near freezing at night up there right now, and while I am a prepared hiker I cannot imagine how this could have played out.

I have tried to call the Vokes range officer and called the Department of National Defence (in Chilliwack) and no one is "available" to speak with me. I am struggling to find someone to raise my concern with. My concern is that they put my safety on the line. This is above and beyond the concern for access to crown land and recreation trails. Does anyone recall who in Chilliwack fought for access to this trail. Access is a secondary issue at this point when compared to safety but I am hoping this will guide me in the right direction on who to raise my concerns with. Thank you

KARVITK 10-19-2019 09:26 PM

Thank goodness you got help to get out. You should keep on trying to contact the Dept. of National Defence to report your experience.

K

zeljkok 10-20-2019 12:05 AM

Heather - glad you are fine. So just to clarify: there was no sign / info anywhere that gate might be closed without notice as you drove in?

Heather Pederson 10-20-2019 05:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zeljkok (Post 848772)
Heather - glad you are fine. So just to clarify: there was no sign / info anywhere that gate might be closed without notice as you drove in?

That is correct. There was no indication or warning the gate would be locked and after they locked it they left me there....and knew since they left me a note.

I am still trying to find out which hiking club in chilliwack dealt with access/gate issues to this trail in the past. I’m obviously most upset about being locked in but I’m also upset it was locked on a non training day. If they are going to gate the road, doing so mid morning and on a weekend isnt reasonable if they are not going to at least let people out. The entire road is public land and doesn’t belong to dnd at all either

russellcoffin 10-22-2019 02:06 PM

That is ridiculous. If you have no luck it may be worth going to the press about your story. Sometimes that is the only way to get a response from the DND

zeljkok 10-22-2019 02:57 PM

Don't think pushing the issue or going to press is going to really change anything. But it is great you posted this so that others can be careful in future. Personally I stayed away from Chilliwack Lake road; it just gave me unwelcome feeling -- all the break-ins etc. Only went up Flora and Radium Lake / Webb / McDonald. Shame because It's fantastic area.

dcc_028 10-22-2019 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zeljkok (Post 848802)
Don't think pushing the issue or going to press is going to really change anything. But it is great you posted this so that others can be careful in future. Personally I stayed away from Chilliwack Lake road; it just gave me unwelcome feeling -- all the break-ins etc. Only went up Flora and Radium Lake / Webb / McDonald. Shame because It's fantastic area.

I agree. This is the closest area to me and I avoid it like the plague as I don't want my car stolen or set on fire. Seems there is now another reason to rethink coming here. It truly is a shame. :(

solo75 10-22-2019 05:19 PM

I drive up Chilliwack Valley often and pass by that road. There is a sign posted near the gate which reads "Restricted Road, For Emergency Access, Contact ASU Chilliwack, Duty Officer 604-793-8638. For that reason, I don't risk driving up the road when the gate was open. Currently, the road has been gated for a while.

zeljkok 10-22-2019 06:28 PM

1 Attachment(s)
It is this junction, is it not? Can see yellow gate to the right and table/sign next to it Assuming left road is entrance to military facilities. I agree with solo75, probably would not risk driving up there either.

solo75 10-22-2019 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zeljkok (Post 848808)
It is this junction, is it not?

Yes, the road to the right is the Slesse FSR. It's not worth the risk going up the road if the gate was open due to the signage.

Heather Pederson 10-24-2019 08:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by solo75 (Post 848806)
I drive up Chilliwack Valley often and pass by that road. There is a sign posted near the gate which reads "Restricted Road, For Emergency Access, Contact ASU Chilliwack, Duty Officer 604-793-8638. For that reason, I don't risk driving up the road when the gate was open. Currently, the road has been gated for a while.

You can't call the number on the sign because there is no cell reception there.

The gate at the main entrance is for the fsr when logging was done but in the early 80's. It was not put there by the military.....they just use that gate. The actual military training area has its own gate about 7km up the road. The entire fsr is crown land and not DND land. They do restrict access when they do training but again, they don't usually just lock people in. If it was an unmarked trail it would be one thing but the Slesse trail is a designated recreation trail and again on Crown Land and it is reasonable to assume that people use this trail. I think if we just don't go on trails when incidents arise it encourages the further restriction of public land. Vancouver island is horrible for this (locked gates everywhere) and it really isn't right (in my own opinion)

Heather Pederson 10-24-2019 09:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zeljkok (Post 848808)
It is this junction, is it not? Can see yellow gate to the right and table/sign next to it Assuming left road is entrance to military facilities. I agree with solo75, probably would not risk driving up there either.

The road to the right is the one with the trail. The trail head is at the back. It is a beautiful signed trail that has been nicely maintained.

Spectrum 10-25-2019 02:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Heather Pederson (Post 848822)
You can't call the number on the sign because there is no cell reception there.

The gate at the main entrance is for the fsr when logging was done but in the early 80's. It was not put there by the military.....they just use that gate. The actual military training area has its own gate about 7km up the road. The entire fsr is crown land and not DND land. They do restrict access when they do training but again, they don't usually just lock people in. If it was an unmarked trail it would be one thing but the Slesse trail is a designated recreation trail and again on Crown Land and it is reasonable to assume that people use this trail. I think if we just don't go on trails when incidents arise it encourages the further restriction of public land. Vancouver island is horrible for this (locked gates everywhere) and it really isn't right (in my own opinion)




If you see an open gate this is the risk you take, that's just how it goes. What do you mean the Slesse trail is a designated recreation trail. Isn't that road for only for accessing the climbers descent trail from Slesse?, and the Slesse memorial trail is further up Chilliwack Lake road? I know of a climbing party that got locked in behind that gate this summer as well.

Dru 10-25-2019 02:30 PM

The gate has been open and unlocked pretty much continuously for the last five or six years. Highly unusual that they would suddenly lock it while cars are behind it

Dru 10-25-2019 02:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spectrum (Post 848826)
What do you mean the Slesse trail is a designated recreation trail. .


It is. Designated by the province. What's more, the Slesse Memorial trail is not.



http://www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca/defau...609821146&z=12


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