Whistler Olympic Park overcharging for bc access? - Page 3 - ClubTread Community

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post #31 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 08:23 AM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by sgRant

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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.
I won't waste time with links but from experience, I sled over 8--100 days a year..at Brandywine, Rutherford, two of the largest sledding areas, you can not park without paying. They have a gate so no one can drive past. The payment booth is at the entrance to the parking lot and the clubs collect the fees through volunteers, mostly older guys who have sledded for eons.
They in turn send a portion to the snowmobile federation which goes to liability and keeping riding areas open. A certain amount is kept by the club. The person who clears the brandywine parking lot is the same volunteer who collects the fee, he is a large machine operator and brings in his machine and pays for the fuel...pretty amazing, he does get compensated but not to what he puts out...

When you discuss club fee's you have linked to the Black Tusk Snowmobile Club. They do not charge at the bottom since this does cost money to have someone in place on a consistent basis. Their club fee which is $250.00 included a trail fee and the use of the cabin, the first year you are allowed to use it whenever but a member has to be present to ensure you do things right....no water up there and a building burnt down years ago, they don't want that to happen again. Then in the second year you get your own key, you must do 10 hours of service each year. I know a bunch of people from the club and they are very nice...most of the grooming their is volunteer and the club does apply and get grants like mountain biking and other sports. I buy a trail pass their anyway, $100.00 since I know where it goes and I also buy one for Brandywine...a lot of people don't buy trail passes, like always some try and skim by....sad but it happens in every sport..

I am not here to convince any one to sled...or it is more pure...I also tour 40-50 days a year off my sled, at touring lodges and Cypress Trees...I love all sports and believe that the government should be putting more money into infrastructure. The problem is the backcountry people are a small group and within that there are those that say their day is ruined if they hear a sled or a helicopter, i understand that...then there are that don't care what they hear as it is usually not for long...I fall into this category...and then there are those that bag peaks etc...the mountain clubs have their own view so it is hard to get everyone on the same page and fight for what you want. I had a person, a young guy who was on the mountain club board and he said it was a bunch of fuddy old men who do not want the hut systems that would allow more people out, since they want to keep it small like it has always been. Most in the touring crowd are not fit enough to hike from the low down logging roads in the Sea 2 Sky...I am not suggesting they are not tough enough but if you work 5 days a week and have 8 days to play then your not going to get significantly fit to be able to tour fast enough to do this every weekend. Some do and that is awesome but would it not be better to fight for an area that you can use without any conflicts...instead of wasting energy saying backcountry skiing is more pure therefore it is better and should get better areas....how would this ever win. I had long talks with the land management of sea to sky and he said their are extremists on either side. when your an extremist sledder or hiker your ideas get tossed cause they are not for the great good of everyone!

Basically if your philosophy is that if your fitter your better and get to go where you want then I trump a lot of people, it has nothing to do with who is fitter or which sport has a lower environmental footprint it has to do with how many people in that sport are working together to encourage others to get out and enjoy and showing them how to do it and how to help pay and vote for more of those areas to play in an easier fashion...for the majority of the users!

I am one person, like Lee Lau who is out there on most days and I take a lot of people out on different forms, they are quite surprised how few people they see and how it is not overrun with sleds...now I am not suggesting that some of the group in the sledding community do not poach areas or litter etc. However this is not the bulk of the group. Just like hiking, I have seen litter, people going around closures and using closed trails as well as look at the Baden Powell and the erosion...it is the worse trail on the shore...except where other user groups have fixed it...my point is there is a small group of people in every user group that you can focus on...

The way i see it the best way to have better access is to fight for an area like park access where you can park at 3-4 thousand feet. the road is plowed for safety and so any snow tire care can make it to the parking lot...and then right from there you are touring to amazing terrain without any noise but your own to enjoy! Why do not want that....and why would you not focus your energy on that. Two people who are is Lee and Sharon, they know more about stuff then anyone and they are out more days than not and they are working on a hut system for the spearhead which is the most positive constructive bit I have seen from anyone...

Again I am not going to convince the majority of you to go sledding, nor do i want that, all I am is a reminder to you that what each user group is up to as I do it all....most of you know nothing about sledding except from what you see or hear...and most of it is not accurate...the fact is everyone has an opinion of what they like and no one likes it when people put hate on their sport...you don't have to enjoy it to realize others may and that is their right, to have something they enjoy even though you don't understand it...


I think all these areas should be user pay and allow more people to get out and enjoy things the best way they want..


Merry Christmas Everyone!
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post #32 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 10:57 AM
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A whistler based blog article on the current situation: http://notesfromtheneve.com/2011/01/...tly-callaghan/
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post #33 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by norona
The way i see it the best way to have better access is to fight for an area like park access where you can park at 3-4 thousand feet. the road is plowed for safety and so any snow tire care can make it to the parking lot...and then right from there you are touring to amazing terrain without any noise but your own to enjoy!
Sound idyllic. Given the current infrastructure that is already in place, I think your vision can be most easily achieved in the Callaghan Valley, not in Garibaldi Park. There's already an excellent paved, plowed road to 875m with access to great skiing terrain, a provincial park, and two conservancy areas.
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post #34 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 02:56 PM
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Then why complain of the fees...user pay..you don't have to pay if you park out of the parking area...and tour the extra bit. Why focus on tourists who stop in and take a photo? You don't want more area's than Callaghan then fine don't look to areas like Garabaldi..your choice! I like the article complaining about $10.00 per person...what a poor mentality, how did this person pay for gas to drive up to whistler, pay for their equipment and lunch...$10.00 is cheap..the majority of hikers and backcountry skiers are a bunch of winers, period! They will never be happy....try doing this in other countries...and if it is cheaper go there..

Pay parking in Whistler is $12.00 and at all sledding areas it is $20.00 per person...$15.00 is you have a pass which is from $100.00 to $150.00 club pass for the season...the sea wall is free buy some roller skis and knock yourself out having fun skiing it...
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post #35 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 03:28 PM
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You're twisting my words Dave, or maybe just mixing up my opinion with others. I'm not upset about paying fees. I'm upset that despite paying fees, backcountry users are getting shafted. I'd rather see the fees maintained and the level of service improved. Other people would prefer no service and no fees. There are plenty of other areas where you can get no service with no fees, including metal dome just down the road.
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post #36 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by norona

I like the article complaining about $10.00 per person...what a poor mentality, how did this person pay for gas to drive up to whistler, pay for their equipment and lunch...$10.00 is cheap..
So because I have already spent a fair chunk of change getting to the Callaghan, I should just "buck up", is that it? Regardless of the fact that I'm basically spending two minutes to walk through their tenure. All a drop in the bucket. Interesting logic.

Dave, how is this any different than accessing park by walking through tenures at Whistler, Cypress, and Seymour? Why don't they charge people to do so?


Quote:
quote:Originally posted by norona
the majority of hikers and backcountry skiers are a bunch of winers, period! They will never be happy
Just had to quote that. I have been upping my merlot consumption lately, but I had no idea of the correlation with b/c skiing.
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post #37 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by scottN

You're twisting my words Dave, or maybe just mixing up my opinion with others. I'm not upset about paying fees. I'm upset that despite paying fees, backcountry users are getting shafted. I'd rather see the fees maintained and the level of service improved. Other people would prefer no service and no fees. There are plenty of other areas where you can get no service with no fees, including metal dome just down the road.
How are you getting shafted...they built a road into the area...this is a huge cost...again you have a choice...like I said before I would gladly pay more taxes to see more areas for backcountry ski access...it is the number one reason why there is conflict...most people can not tour off highway 99 and if they do it is hardly fun....again if you want change donate time, fund raise and get the mountain clubs off their behinds and create money and momentum to help create areas...then have a charge and services where you don't feel shafted....

I have made numerous donations and done slide shows to help organizations buy area land so that we can continue to enjoy areas that we are losing to logging and other sources...but complaining is one thing, doing something about it is another...
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post #38 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by JP

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by norona

I like the article complaining about $10.00 per person...what a poor mentality, how did this person pay for gas to drive up to whistler, pay for their equipment and lunch...$10.00 is cheap..
So because I have already spent a fair chunk of change getting to the Callaghan, I should just "buck up", is that it? Regardless of the fact that I'm basically spending two minutes to walk through their tenure. All a drop in the bucket. Interesting logic.

Dave, how is this any different than accessing park by walking through tenures at Whistler, Cypress, and Seymour? Why don't they charge people to do so?


Quote:
quote:Originally posted by norona
the majority of hikers and backcountry skiers are a bunch of winers, period! They will never be happy
Just had to quote that. I have been upping my merlot consumption lately, but I had no idea of the correlation with b/c skiing.

Yes basically you do have to buck up if you want to use specific areas....like I do....I pay to use areas and some areas I get to use for free...I appreciate the ones I get for free but it does not entitle me to think that every area should be free and it is $10.00! OMG how cheap can you be....use to be 6 now $10, what a tragedy...I guess it is similar to the Grouse Tram. OMG it went up 100%....

tell you what you get the funds and build a road to access the backcountry then pay for the maintenance etc. and come up with a reasonable charge for people to use what you created and tell me it will be anything less than $20.00 and you still won't regain what you put out...

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post #39 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by norona

How are you getting shafted...they built a road into the area...this is a huge cost...again you have a choice...like I said before I would gladly pay more taxes to see more areas for backcountry ski access...it is the number one reason why there is conflict...most people can not tour off highway 99 and if they do it is hardly fun....again if you want change donate time, fund raise and get the mountain clubs off their behinds and create money and momentum to help create areas...then have a charge and services where you don't feel shafted....

I have made numerous donations and done slide shows to help organizations buy area land so that we can continue to enjoy areas that we are losing to logging and other sources...but complaining is one thing, doing something about it is another...
Why... not... use... a... peroid... every.. now... and... then... instead... of... all... the... ellipses...? They... lose... their... emphasis... when... you... use... them... too... much...
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post #40 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 08:34 PM
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Dave, you're missing the forest for the trees. Name one other ski area in BC that charges people to spend five minutes crossing their tenure to access Crown land.
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post #41 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by norona

the majority of hikers and backcountry skiers are a bunch of winers, period!
Bullshit.Assuming you mean whiners,this is a bit of a sweeping generalization.The majority of backcountry skiers and hikers are too busy outside enjoying themselves to be whining on Clubtread or anywhere else.
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post #42 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 10:20 PM
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Personally, I'm against user fees when it comes to public land access but as long as it's not our government with it's hand out I have no problem. On privately owned land, people can charge whattever they want whether it is to be used as a temporary transit point to public land or not. Find another way or pay up.
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post #43 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Is this the same Norona who posted on this same topic over in nsmb.com's ski forum?
http://bb.nsmb.com/showpost.php?p=2460920&postcount=10

"Sorry Mark, I must be confused I thought it was $10.00 to park there...for everyone. I said long ago before they built it that is was unsustainable. I trained everyday on Hollyburn for 15 years xc skiing and would neverdrive that far to go xc and without tons of people they can't afford to groom etc. I agree that there should be places to park and go for the backcountry but these things do cost money and a lot of it to groom, clear parking etc. That is ridiculous that people just dropping in for the day lodge don't pay..."

This is the point, the policy isn't fair, some people have to pay while others don't.
You pile in 5 BC skiers in a vehicle, well that vehicle costs $50 to park according to their rules and no groomed trails were used. Tourists taking pics, well that's free.

If they charged a fair rate to park a car, or even per user, then we wouldn't be having this discussion. I just think they have a bad policy and I'm trying to fix it cause I feel some kind of ownership for this Olympic Legacy that's supposed to be for my community.

What really irks me is after all the volunteer work has been done to flag the trails and make signs when the agreement was free access, the WOP then decides to up the prices to $10 per person, as if they can now leverage this volunteer work into revenue for them. ScottN, you should have gotten a written multi-year agreement from Vanoc

And aren't the road leading to WOP and WOP itself two different issues? The main road we all paid/pay for it through taxes, it's the province that maintains it. It's fees inside the WOP that are the issue.
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post #44 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 12:06 AM
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yes it is the same me...norona

Look you wanted to shut down the biggest access to the ice cap to sledders so you could xc ski and access the backcountry. That is what has happened and now you have to pay to use it, much like sledders have done all along. Sledders pay per person. if two or three show up in a truck with trailer which happens all the time at Brandywine and did at Callighan before they pay per sled or person not per vehicle.

I do not feel sorry for you since it is user pay. Had they designed it better with sled access still possible which would have worked easy then you would have been sharing in the cost of the management of the area. And you would still have your own terrain. Sleds have been moved now to Brandywine where they now must pass through a terrible huge avy path. You have to pay $10.00 and snowmobilers lost the biggest area from which to start their day in a safe manner.

All you have to do to avoid payment is park somewhere else, simple! It does not mean a thing that it only happens here if it does and no where else in BC, the fact is that you have free access or paid access, you just think your entitled to park where you want and pay what you want. Park there and pay the access fee or parking fee or park somewhere else for free and walk further.
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post #45 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by norona
How are you getting shafted...they built a road into the area...this is a huge cost...again you have a choice...like I said before I would gladly pay more taxes to see more areas for backcountry ski access...it is the number one reason why there is conflict...most people can not tour off highway 99 and if they do it is hardly fun....again if you want change donate time, fund raise and get the mountain clubs off their behinds and create money and momentum to help create areas...then have a charge and services where you don't feel shafted....
The road and the facility were built by VANOC. The province of BC (i.e. all of us) inherited the road and pay to maintain it. Whistler Sports Legacies Society (WSL) inherited the XC ski facility from VANOC. Their mandate is to deliver a sports and recreation facility, but they seem to have a narrow view of which sports qualify for attention.

I have personally put a lot of time into developing backcountry access trails in this area. I've been pulling my weight to make this place work for backcountry skiers. I want to the FMCBC to be a partner in delivering a great experience for backcountry skiers at WOP, but WSL thinks we are a small time user group and would rather ignore us. They won't allow public overnight parking, but Callaghan Country lodge guests can park overnight. That's just plain elitist.
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