Whistler Olympic Park overcharging for bc access? - Page 2 - ClubTread Community

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post #16 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Black Adder

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quote:Originally posted by scottN

I don't think that's going to work. WOP's first proposal after the ownership handover this summer was "no backcountry access permitted". I don't think they care about the revenue at all. They perceive us as a marginal user group that they'd rather just not have to deal with.
That's always a problem. Without economic clout, you're really swimming upstream.

On the bright side, I assume what I saw on the map must be true. The snowmobilers should now be blocked by the nordic Callaghan development from going through to Rainbow Lake.

The last time I went up to Rainbow in the winter, it was completely overrun by sleds. They were even powering up onto Callaghan Mountain. I swore never to return.

So, maybe we are being priced out of Callaghan, but we have regained Rainbow.
Very ironic that a marginal user group is having access restricted and that same user group is happy that another marginal user groups access is restricted even further. Perhaps Callaghan views skiers with the same contempt...
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post #17 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Black Adder

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by scottN

I don't think that's going to work. WOP's first proposal after the ownership handover this summer was "no backcountry access permitted". I don't think they care about the revenue at all. They perceive us as a marginal user group that they'd rather just not have to deal with.
That's always a problem. Without economic clout, you're really swimming upstream.

On the bright side, I assume what I saw on the map must be true. The snowmobilers should now be blocked by the nordic Callaghan development from going through to Rainbow Lake.

The last time I went up to Rainbow in the winter, it was completely overrun by sleds. They were even powering up onto Callaghan Mountain. I swore never to return.

So, maybe we are being priced out of Callaghan, but we have regained Rainbow.
I can tell you haven't been in the area since this all came about. The snowmobilers are going up Rainbow, tracking out the entire area and playing on Rainbow Lake all the time. They regard boundaries as things to violate since they're sore about being extirpated from Callaghan.
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post #18 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
quote:I can tell you haven't been in the area since this all came about. The snowmobilers are going up Rainbow, tracking out the entire area and playing on Rainbow Lake all the time. They regard boundaries as things to violate since they're sore about being extirpated from Callaghan.
I haven't been in the area because the sledders were "going up Rainbow, tracking out the entire area and playing on Rainbow Lake all the time". So nothing has changed.

Just goes to show the disconnect between politicians, along with those that attempt to plan our society, and reality. They can draw lines all over the map and post signs ordering people to 'stay out', but if there is no structure in place to enforce the lines, it's all nonsense.

The lines around Manning Park mean nothing. Snowmobilers regularly enter from the north and play around in the Heather Trail area.

Likewise, the lines around the Callaghan Conservancy, Callaghan Lake Park and the Rainbow Lake non-motorized zone/Whistler watershed mean nothing.

This is not the fault of any one political party. Both the Liberals and the NDP are guilty of making grand announcements regarding parks, only to fail to provide adequate support to ensure protection for area. All manner of abuse is taking place throughout the Parks system.

If the political will exists, there is a simple way to turn this around. Make the fines for breaking Parks rules appropriate for what it costs to catch law breakers. Also, make the fines payable to Parks. In fact, I would say make it profitable for Parks, or other authorities, to go after these guys.

Right now, chasing snowmobilers or quad types is just a money drain.
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post #19 of (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 02:48 PM
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Self-propelled backcountry recreation is more healthful and has a far lighter footprint on the ecosystem than downhill skiing, heli-whatervering, ATVing, snowmobiling etc.

But what do we see going on?

At the Whistler Olympic Park, backcountry users are charged a usurious fee to park and cross the tenure area.

At Cypress Bowl, backcountry park users are limited to two or three meager routes, of which the main one is steadily becoming unusable as there is no maintenance of the steadily encroaching trees. In the summer, they also have to pay to park. Meanwhile, the commercial operations in the park are free to meticulously groom their areas and expand their areas used, and their customers don't have to pay to park.

At Whistler, BC Parks turned over the Singing Pass access road to Whistler/Blackcomb, who then barred hikers from driving up the remains of the road. They seem to have allowed Whistler/Blackcomb's area to include the access road with no legal provision for a public easement. Whistler/Blackcomb then prohibited hikers from using bicycles to compensate for the longer hike to Singing Pass. While their own customers illegally cycle through the Musical Bumps and down the same access road.

There are similar problems with the Black Tusk and Wedge access points.

Anywhere near Vancouver, backcountry park users have to pay to park. Self-propelled backcountry users are also squeezed into a small and diminishing number of locations by wholesale assignment of areas to commercial and motorized interests.

Meanwhile, snowmobilers and customers of these various commercial operations use the parks and other crown lands without access or parking fees. And they need far larger parking areas than the self-propelled. Not to mention their habitual and extensive illegal invasion of non-commerical and non-motorized areas.

This all seems like a totally foolish reversal of how these recreational activities should be treated.
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post #20 of (permalink) Old 12-19-2010, 07:38 PM
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The area is now dedicated to "Nordic" use and all other users be dammed. Some legacy …

WOP states clearly in their letter to Mark it is not economically viable to accommodate the needs of the backcountry user group. Sadly this group were the original users of the land.

This is an outrageously condescending attitude from another "recreation area operator".

Backcountry access is now a privilege, not a right, thru "WOP Property"
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post #21 of (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 11:08 AM
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I was up there on Sunday. We arrive at 7:50am (too early to pay) so we parked at Alexander Falls, walked up the road to the Callaghan Country base and used the XC trails to get to the start of the Beverley Creek route. Only briefly saw a groomer near the Madeley Loop / Inside Passage junction - he turned and went the other way. Skied up puma south peak, down the north side and looped around through the Soo-Beverley Pass to arrive back at the trailhead at 5:30pm in the dark with no one around. We finished with a casual ski by headlamp back to the car along the XC ski trails.
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post #22 of (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 12:23 PM
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Mission
To own and operate its Olympic legacy venues in a manner that is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable and that ultimately benefits sport development.

This brings tears to my eye'sBackcountry users are not sports so it seems.



Vision
To create a sustainable Olympic playground that inspires sport excellence and drives community, economic and social benefits.

New box of hankies please


Our Team
Keith Bennett – President and CEO
Diane Mombourquette – VP, Corporate Services and Whistler Athlete's Centre
Paul Shore – Director, Whistler Sliding Centre
Lindsay Durno – Director, Whistler Olympic Park


How does one get these jobs and all the freebees that come with it?


Board Members
Keith Bennett (Resort Municipality of Whistler)
Bill France (Canadian Paralympic Committee)
David Galbraith (Province of British Columbia)
Tim Gayda (VANOC)
Felicity Nelson (Lil'wat Nation)
Steve Podborski (Canadian Olympic Committee)
Chief Bill Williams (Squamish First Nation)


Not a backcountry user amongst them no doubt. But they allow the "Team" to call the shots. The future will see more teams ensuring less access for various reasons that don't need any more explaining than mission statements.
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post #23 of (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 01:48 PM
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You nailed it on the nose troutBreath.
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post #24 of (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by sgRant

Self-propelled backcountry recreation is more healthful and has a far lighter footprint on the ecosystem than downhill skiing, heli-whatervering, ATVing, snowmobiling etc.

But what do we see going on?

At the Whistler Olympic Park, backcountry users are charged a usurious fee to park and cross the tenure area.

At Cypress Bowl, backcountry park users are limited to two or three meager routes, of which the main one is steadily becoming unusable as there is no maintenance of the steadily encroaching trees. In the summer, they also have to pay to park. Meanwhile, the commercial operations in the park are free to meticulously groom their areas and expand their areas used, and their customers don't have to pay to park.

At Whistler, BC Parks turned over the Singing Pass access road to Whistler/Blackcomb, who then barred hikers from driving up the remains of the road. They seem to have allowed Whistler/Blackcomb's area to include the access road with no legal provision for a public easement. Whistler/Blackcomb then prohibited hikers from using bicycles to compensate for the longer hike to Singing Pass. While their own customers illegally cycle through the Musical Bumps and down the same access road.

There are similar problems with the Black Tusk and Wedge access points.

Anywhere near Vancouver, backcountry park users have to pay to park. Self-propelled backcountry users are also squeezed into a small and diminishing number of locations by wholesale assignment of areas to commercial and motorized interests.

Meanwhile, snowmobilers and customers of these various commercial operations use the parks and other crown lands without access or parking fees. And they need far larger parking areas than the self-propelled. Not to mention their habitual and extensive illegal invasion of non-commerical and non-motorized areas.

This all seems like a totally foolish reversal of how these recreational activities should be treated.

more healthy than other users...hmm i beg to differ...i sled, ski tour ski on the hill, snow shoe and xc ski...sledders actually buy a trail pass at all areas in the sea 2 sky for $100.00 per year, this allows them 5 free days and then $10.00 per visit anywhere, we also pay per sled not a per vehicle. We pay for parking lot clearing, groomers and grooming...

The problem with most backcountry users is the mountain clubs of BC don't go out and work for you in finding areas and working with access points.

Backcountry skiers and snowshoers actually have the biggest area to play in the Sea 2 Sky. They have a park from Squamish, Elfin all the way to Joffree lakes...the problem is most are not fit enough to ski tour off the highway and there is no access. Instead of complaining about other forms who by the way are not sledding in non-motorized areas but areas that have been used for decades...you should be coming up with ideas on how you can access the best areas around....

The mountain clubs have done nothing but curb hut routes through the sea 2 sky since they think it will get too big. In a city of 3 million there is usually 6-10 people at the backcountry area of cypress trees on week days...too busy...I think not...

With the new highway the government should have build two roads between Brohm Ridge and Whistler on the right side of the highway where backcountry users could drive up a plowed and safe road and park, pay $10.00 - $15.00 and snow shoe, backcountry ski to their hearts content without any motorized around. That is what you should be fighting for...instead you don't, you look at what other user groups have and say it is not as pure it is not as proper etc....guess what sleds are not going away neither is backcountry skiing...there is more than enough area around and if your to cheap to pay a user fee then don't expect areas at all...

Focus on what you want not what others have and continue to work towards. I agree that in the past sledders would go into areas but mostly because the boundaries and signage were not great. Now if a heli spots track in a forbidden place they immediately call the club to let them know and clubs do not want this...

I do all these sports and although you may not like some of them you have to realize some people recreate different than you....get the mountain clubs and work towards a common goal of what you need and make it happen. i would gladly pay more taxes to have roads built so more users can access the park and have a hut system that you could go from elffin to whistler over a week..how cool would that be...I am out there every day sledding, touring, skiing, snowshoeing and i don't see that many people especially for the amount of whining I hear here. If you want to work towards change then come up with a plan that works for everyone...an idea to ban sleds works about as good as a plan to ban backcountry tours....

If you want to get into closed areas, lets talk about how many hikers on here hike around the gate on the baden powell, Grouse grind, BCMC etc during the winter....if you do that complaining about others doing the same in a different sport is kind of calling the kettle black...

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post #25 of (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 08:18 PM
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I could respond to your post, but probably best not to feed the trolls...
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post #26 of (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by norona
more healthy than other users...hmm i beg to differ...i sled, ski tour ski on the hill, snow shoe and xc ski...
Have you ski toured out of Whistler Olympic Park? If not you should go check it out. It's really quite good.

Personally I don't have a problem with the fees. I can easily afford to pay. What irks me is that WOP is more interested in covering their liability than serving the needs of backcountry users. I've been working with the FMCBC on trail development in the area. We created some really nice signs, with maps showing the backcountry routes. The CAA helped me design the signs with really good safety information, avalanche terrain ratings for each route, etc. These signs were supposed to go right by the XC ski trails where the backcountry routes head out. Then after the management handover from VANOC to WSL they tell us that we have to hide the signs in the forest so regular XC skiers can't see them from the trails. They don't want to be liable for providing information about backcountry use. I would be happy to pay if they actually used the money to improve trails or keep the gate open later, but so far with WOP its been no give and all take.
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post #27 of (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by scottN

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by norona
more healthy than other users...hmm i beg to differ...i sled, ski tour ski on the hill, snow shoe and xc ski...
Have you ski toured out of Whistler Olympic Park? If not you should go check it out. It's really quite good.

Personally I don't have a problem with the fees. I can easily afford to pay. What irks me is that WOP is more interested in covering their liability than serving the needs of backcountry users. I've been working with the FMCBC on trail development in the area. We created some really nice signs, with maps showing the backcountry routes. The CAA helped me design the signs with really good safety information, avalanche terrain ratings for each route, etc. These signs were supposed to go right by the XC ski trails where the backcountry routes head out. Then after the management handover from VANOC to WSL they tell us that we have to hide the signs in the forest so regular XC skiers can't see them from the trails. They don't want to be liable for providing information about backcountry use. I would be happy to pay if they actually used the money to improve trails or keep the gate open later, but so far with WOP its been no give and all take.
Yes I have and think it is great. I also think it is silly they have you hide signs....I have seen this locally on the local mountains they do not want to talk about backcountry avy conditions as they say it will get more people out there...silly thought as people are going out there without the proper knowledge. Kind of like not teaching kids about condoms in school cause people think this will mean they might have sex...they are having it so teach them accurate principles...I did a spot on the News and Seymour would not let me talk about the backcountry. this is short sighted but with a sue happy population this is what happens...
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post #28 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
quote:sledders actually buy a trail pass at all areas in the sea 2 sky for $100.00 per year, this allows them 5 free days and then $10.00 per visit anywhere, we also pay per sled not a per vehicle. We pay for parking lot clearing, groomers and grooming...
I thought I'd check into this. So far as I can see, snowmobilers in the Sea to Sky corridor can contribute different ways: joining a club for $200-300, paying a lump sum $100 trail fee, or a $15 per day fee.

It would appear the main parking points are at Brandywine, Callaghan/Sproatt, Brohm Ridge, Rutherford and Soo. There is also heavy but informal use on the High Falls Creek Road and other places.

The club fees pay for all sorts of things such as cabin maintenance, trail grooming, websites, lobbying, trail clearing, insurance and, yes, parking lot clearance. The trail fees presumably pay only for trail maintenance, but mostly for grooming.

Non-snowmobilers may not be aware that snowmobiles have the unfortunate characteristic of turning smooth snow into washboard. So typically snowmobile clubs hire or buy heavy equipment to smooth out their trails. Sort of like flattening moguls at a downhill ski area. This is a very costly thing to do. Groomers get abysmal mileage and cost a fortune.

However, the fees are not mandatory and snowmobilers are free to use the parking lots and trails without paying anything. Fees are collected by the clubs, not some government agency. I was unable to determine who actually clears the parking lots, but it's possible it's done by the same company that does the highway. Given what trail grooming costs, I'm also sure that only a very small proportion of any fees paid go toward lot clearance.

The differences with self-propelled backcountry users are that the fees are applied to everyone, the routes are not groomed, the parking space needed per person is minimal, and the fees don't end up being used for cabins and so forth. These backcountry access fees are collected by quasi-government agencies.

So it looks to me like the way backcountry skiers and snowshoers are treated is substantially different from how the snowmobilers are handled. Despite the fact that whatever obfuscating things some people have to say, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing have the lowest impact and the highest benefits.

I welcome being corrected on the trail fees information, especially if the corrections include links so I can verify any information.
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post #29 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 11:05 PM
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What some may not realize is that once upon a time, backcountry skiers had a wide range of access that has today disappeared.

The difference between 'the good old days' and today is technology. Snowmobiles can go places now they could not formerly reach.

A couple of examples would be Metaldome and Rainbow Lake/Mountain. When I started skiing, neither of these areas were used by sledders. It's possible some snowmobiling took place on the main logging roads, but certainly none went up onto Metaldome itself. Metaldome used to be a very nice day ski trip, a good trip for intermediate skiers looking for a nice long downhill run. And, Rainbow Mountain was only for very fit skiers. No snowmobile had the power to gun up the steep mountain sides.

The old Brandywine FSR parking area at the highway used to be filled with skiers heading up Brandywine Mountain, Brandywine valley and Metaldome.

Similarly, where the Callaghan road meets the highway used to be a parking area filled with cross country skiers going into Alexander Falls and Callaghan Lake and backcountry skiers going up Sproat.

Clearly the game has changed. Backcountry skiers have been forced to cede territory to snowmobilers.

I see two problems in all this. One is that it is impossible to make agreements with snowmobiling organizations. There is an element among the sledders that will not follow along with any compromises. Proof of this would be the sled tracks on Rainbow Lake and in Manning Park. This creates a very thorny question of how snowmobiles can be policed. It would be so expensive, I can't really see any government agency wanting to take it on.

The second problem is what lies ahead. Snowmobiles are going to get even more technology, allowing them to go faster and farther than the current versions. But, I think the real issue could become the sledders' summer cousin, the ATV. If these things continue to advance, and why shouldn't they, motorized access into remote areas and illegal access into non-motorized areas is going to explode.

More significant, the damage caused by this access will explode. Snowmobiles mangle trees, but the damage they cause is still minor compared to what a quad vehicle can produce.

Somehow a path is going to have to be found to channel the various outdoor users and minimize the impacts on our environment. What I fear is more of a free-for-all, with widespread damage to plants and animals.
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post #30 of (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate everyone giving their input on this.
I got a message from Joan McIntyre's office saying to call to discuss this issue.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to call before they closed for the Holidays so I will get in touch with them in the new year and I'll keep you posted.
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