Input Needed: Whistler Backcountry Map - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Default Input Needed: Whistler Backcountry Map

Hi All,

I've got a request for the ClubTread community: As hikers and backpackers most of you tend to be map users as well. Pls read on.

Here's what I'm up to: I'm in the early stages of compiling info / data for a new 1:50,000 scale backcountry map of the Whistler / Wedgemont area. This map will be the second installment in the Bivouac Backcountry Series (to see what the maps look like, pls go to www.clarkgeomatics.ca - you can browse the Garibaldi Park map - the first map of the series).
Here's what I'm hoping to get from the community:

1. Recommended Hikes / Trails / Routes / Traverses - I need your input for hike descriptions and, when available, any GPS'd trails, hikes or traverses.

2. Photos of Mountains / Peaks / Landscapes - I'm accepting landscape photos to include on the back of the map (the back side of the map will contain route descriptions, profiles, photos and other info).

3. Thoughts on what makes the perfect hiking map - there are a lot of good ideas out there on what should be / should not be on a map to make it a great map. Let's try and put these ideas together into a map that will benefit the whole hiking community.
Click on the image below to see what area the map will cover (this will be a 24" x 34" map):

Note: Anyone providing information that is incorporated into the final map will get a **FREE COPY OF THE MAP** and be credited / acknowledged in print.

I'm looking forward to hearing from everyone. Thanks for your time!

Cheers,
Jeff
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 04:09 PM
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 04:14 PM
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- mark areas where sleds and ATV are allowed.

- mark trailheads

- mark kayaking put-ins (to appeal to outdoor recreationalists)

-
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by LeeL

- mark areas where sleds and ATV are allowed.
- mark trailheads
- mark kayaking put-ins (to appeal to outdoor recreationalists)
- Sleds / ATVs: I'm not sure if that's appropriate for the theme of the map - I've drawn the line at motorized recreation (and bikes - there are plenty of good bike trailmaps). Still, you have a point - as a source of information, maybe it would be useful for people to know that they might encounter an internal combustion engine on their hike. Do you know where I can get that info? I already have some basic data from the province, but there are probably better sources. Of course, no motorized vehicles within the park boundaries.
- Trailheads will be marked and I've gathered some data on kayaking put-ins and take-outs - this is the type of info that I need GPS waypoints or GPS'd trails for.

Cheers,

Jeff
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 08:15 PM
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I find the relief shading on most maps covering that large an area ends up understating the actual steepness of the terrain. Many people will rely on that one map for navigation b/c it encompasses such a huge playground of options regardless of their activity. This can lead unexperienced or unfamiliar users into trouble very easily. My preferences would include:
- aggressive, exaggerated relief shading.
- a physically large map with a high degree of detail. Possibly even a set of 4 maps sold as a package so that you don't have to keep opening one gigantic one.
- marking unhikeable terrain (the most serious stuff)
- waterproof
- a reflective strip to find the map in the dark if it gets lost on the trail.
- be very thoughtful of where the folds are and minimize key points happening along edges or corners.
- virtually every map I've ever seen of the area cuts off the backside of Cheakamus Lake. I've yet to get out too far that way but I've always been curious if it's doable to follow the Cheakamus Lake trail out and hike up around Singing Creek to Singing Pass. Doing a loop like that with an overnight at Russett Lake Hut would be pretty sweet.
- huts/shelters
- Bear, wildlife info
- Emergency numbers and service locations. Cells do work in a surprising number of spots thanks to the antenna locations.
- good eats (could sell advertising)
- good hitch-hiking spots

One other thought might be to have one map for each side of the valley, one on each side of the map. Most adventures will take place on one side of the highway or the other. You could draw each map something like this with the highway being a natural (to-the-eye) divider:


You could play with the map-to-info balance and likely would end up with more space to fit a better map image and/or include more area.

Looking forward to seeing it someday. Good luck.
TC
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 10:37 PM
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Jeff, this map idea is a great one, and it's wonderful that you are involving the CT community.

Could you pls provide the minimum specs for photos - eg what dimensions at what resolution?

And are you extending the same offer to the Bivouac members? Some of us are members of both communities.

Cheers ! CWall
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by TheClap

I find the relief shading on most maps covering that large an area ends up understating the actual steepness of the terrain. Many people will rely on that one map for navigation b/c it encompasses such a huge playground of options regardless of their activity. This can lead unexperienced or unfamiliar users into trouble very easily. My preferences would include:
- aggressive, exaggerated relief shading.
- a physically large map with a high degree of detail. Possibly even a set of 4 maps sold as a package so that you don't have to keep opening one gigantic one.
- marking unhikeable terrain (the most serious stuff)
- waterproof
- a reflective strip to find the map in the dark if it gets lost on the trail.
- be very thoughtful of where the folds are and minimize key points happening along edges or corners.
- virtually every map I've ever seen of the area cuts off the backside of Cheakamus Lake. I've yet to get out too far that way but I've always been curious if it's doable to follow the Cheakamus Lake trail out and hike up around Singing Creek to Singing Pass. Doing a loop like that with an overnight at Russett Lake Hut would be pretty sweet.
- huts/shelters
- Bear, wildlife info
- Emergency numbers and service locations. Cells do work in a surprising number of spots thanks to the antenna locations.
- good eats (could sell advertising)
- good hitch-hiking spots
One other thought might be to have one map for each side of the valley, one on each side of the map. Most adventures will take place on one side of the highway or the other. You could draw each map something like this with the highway being a natural (to-the-eye) divider:
You could play with the map-to-info balance and likely would end up with more space to fit a better map image and/or include more area.
Looking forward to seeing it someday. Good luck.
TC
TC - thanks for the suggestions. I like your suggestion for attaching a reflecting strip to find it in the dark. Interestingly enough, I know some folks who make maps that need to be read in the dark with a red lamp - it makes for strange-looking maps.

Your suggestion for breaking the map into two sections is a good idea - I've been wrestling with that design issue as well. I'll have to try a few layouts and post them.

I'm also considering using an oblique view of each of the ranges or just Wedge on the back to provide people with a sense for the steepness / roughness of the coastal mountains. I think a plan oblique would allow people to estimate elevations between peaks / valleys within the view - that would be a helpful tool.

The maps I create are generated from satellite imagery and digital elevation data and I can increase the vertical exaggeration without much effort, but then you have to worry about obscuring data in the shadows - can't emphasize shading without shadows. There's always a trade-off.

Economics dictates that I create a single map - one of the motivators is to generate a single map of the area because the NTS series carves it up into integer lat / long sections. Also , the costs associated with generating a set of four maps for the area would be prohibitive - I don't think many people would willingly pay for that level of coverage and detail - why not just buy the TRIM maps?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by seawallrunner

Jeff, this map idea is a great one, and it's wonderful that you are involving the CT community.
Could you pls provide the minimum specs for photos - eg what dimensions at what resolution?
And are you extending the same offer to the Bivouac members? Some of us are members of both communities.
Cheers ! CWall
Hi CWall - thanks for your note.

1. Specs: I would prefer uncompressed TIFs or RAW files but can handle just about any format. Resolution - providing images in their original resolution (what ever it was shot at) would be best - I can resample later if I need to.

2. Yes, I've been in touch with some of the members at Bivouac. Actually, the first map I made was in partnership with Robin Tivy (Bivouac.com) - hence the name 'Bivouac Backcountry Series' - and many of the photographs were contributed by Bivouac members. It worked out really well. However, back to your question - I haven't physically posted anything on the Bivouac site yet - it's more difficult to broadcast a message on Bivouac than on CT - I don't think there is a forum for exchanging info on Robin's site - is there? I'll have to ask Robin about that to see what can be done.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 07:22 AM
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Jeff. What is the thinking regarding the northern cut-off of the map?

It would be reasonable to include Mt. Currie south, as that is becoming a more popular tour each year. A large part of the map area is a duplicate of the Baldwin Map, but there isn't a single map that covers the Mt. Currie to Blackcomb Traverse.

As well, on the west side of the valley it doesn't make sense to divide between Madeley and Callaghan Lakes. Again, a more commonly used area is the area around Callaghan, Conflict, and Ring Lakes.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 09:04 AM
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I find myself asking "who's the target market here?".

Unless it's a tourist-oriented map, I personally would prefer more square inches of actual map instead of written information on wildlife, restaurants, etc. Even full route descriptions and landscape pictures are excessive. Perhaps just basic stats like distance and elevation gain?

Also, most backcountry enthusiasts will be able to read contour lines and understand that they don't show every detail. Hill shading is nice, but nothing to lose sleep over.

In my opinion, using the highway to split the map into 2 sections could very easily compromise one's ability to triangulate their position. I guess it's hard to do this whenever you're close to any map boundary, but it just seems quite likely that a reference peak could be across the valley.

Waterproof paper is definitely a feature I value and am willing to pay for.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 09:45 AM
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The one feature that I really love on maps is overlap between adjacent maps in the series. If this map slightly overlaps your Garibaldi Map that would make them much more usable in the field. I have trying to navigate along the boundaries of those NTS maps.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by jeff_clark

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by seawallrunner

Jeff, this map idea is a great one, and it's wonderful that you are involving the CT community.
Could you pls provide the minimum specs for photos - eg what dimensions at what resolution?
And are you extending the same offer to the Bivouac members? Some of us are members of both communities.
Cheers ! CWall
Hi CWall - thanks for your note.

1. Specs: I would prefer uncompressed TIFs or RAW files but can handle just about any format. Resolution - providing images in their original resolution (what ever it was shot at) would be best - I can resample later if I need to.

2. Yes, I've been in touch with some of the members at Bivouac. Actually, the first map I made was in partnership with Robin Tivy (Bivouac.com) - hence the name 'Bivouac Backcountry Series' - and many of the photographs were contributed by Bivouac members. It worked out really well. However, back to your question - I haven't physically posted anything on the Bivouac site yet - it's more difficult to broadcast a message on Bivouac than on CT - I don't think there is a forum for exchanging info on Robin's site - is there? I'll have to ask Robin about that to see what can be done.
You can post discussion topic on bivouac.com here: http://bivouac.com/New2.asp?rq=NewDiscussion&Days=7
Click on "Insert new discussion Article"
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by msulkers

Jeff. What is the thinking regarding the northern cut-off of the map?
It would be reasonable to include Mt. Currie south, as that is becoming a more popular tour each year. A large part of the map area is a duplicate of the Baldwin Map, but there isn't a single map that covers the Mt. Currie to Blackcomb Traverse.
As well, on the west side of the valley it doesn't make sense to divide between Madeley and Callaghan Lakes. Again, a more commonly used area is the area around Callaghan, Conflict, and Ring Lakes.
Thanks for the input.
I chopped the map at the northern extent of the Garibaldi Park boundary - it's a logical place to map to. For the sake of continuity, if I rotate the neatline, then I can include Mt. Currie. This would work if I put the Callaghan Valley on the other side of the sheet.
Do you have any data for the Currie - Blackcomb traverse (GPS trail, waypoints, etc.)?
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 03:23 PM
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Mt. Currie/Blackcomb Traverse typically starts outside the park boundary, at the top of Mt. Currie, because helicopters are not supposed to do drops within provincial park boundaries.

As for waypoints, there are options for routes, not just one route.

It sounds like you're looking to place routes similar to the Baldwin Map. The Baldwin Map routes are spot-on. If you are getting waypoints from folks, I think it's fairly important to field-test the data or to have experienced travellers look at the plotted routes, as the glaciers are changing and some folks succeed on routes that probably shouldn't be repeated.

You might want to consider some information on the ATES rating system in the backgrounder for your map. This is fairly new info that also helps to inform backcountry users that have had AST1 or AST2 training. It would not be practical to actually have ratings on the map, although a few of your routes could be rated and that would be very helpful for folks planning their trips.

More info on this available at www.avalanche.ca
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by msulkers

Mt. Currie/Blackcomb Traverse typically starts outside the park boundary, at the top of Mt. Currie, because helicopters are not supposed to do drops within provincial park boundaries.
As for waypoints, there are options for routes, not just one route.
It sounds like you're looking to place routes similar to the Baldwin Map. The Baldwin Map routes are spot-on. If you are getting waypoints from folks, I think it's fairly important to field-test the data or to have experienced travellers look at the plotted routes, as the glaciers are changing and some folks succeed on routes that probably shouldn't be repeated.
You might want to consider some information on the ATES rating system in the backgrounder for your map. This is fairly new info that also helps to inform backcountry users that have had AST1 or AST2 training. It would not be practical to actually have ratings on the map, although a few of your routes could be rated and that would be very helpful for folks planning their trips.
More info on this available at www.avalanche.ca
Thanks for your posting.
re: routes - Yes, I'm looking for GPS data that describe routes / hikes / traverses - the point density should be sufficient as to clearly indicate the route. As expected, route variations are key to providing in-depth information about the area. However, that said, due to the area to be mapped, the routes can not be displayed as accurately as on the Baldwin map. Slightly generalized routes are fine - they are just there as guidelines or suggested routes for planning purposes. J. Baldwin was assisted by D. Sarkany - both those guys know the area like the back of their hands - a smaller area than what I'm dealing with for this map as well. It also helps that the Baldwin routes are presented on a 1:20,000 scale TRIM base map - there is plenty of detail and space to lay out the routes on the map. As you may know, the TRIM data is not in the public domain - Baldwin had to pay a healthy sum of money to our provincial gov't to purchase / license the data. That is why I do not use TRIM data - it's cost prohibitive for anything over a few tiles in extents - but that's another kettle of fish.

re: data checking - You are right - all data will be QA/QC'd before it goes to print. But much of it will be done by folks that are far more knowledgeable / experienced than I - hopefully the CT and Bivouac communities will help out. If I had to do it all myself, the map would be ready in a couple of years - if at all. It's a big task.

re: avalanche ratings - I will be including the rating system on the map that is based on the latest info from CAA but, as you mention, will not be labelling routes with avalanche ratings on the map - I'd have to rate all the routes - which is not possible. I could include slope gradients along the routes / trails / traverses.
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