Whistler Olympic Park overcharging for bc access? - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2010, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Default Whistler Olympic Park overcharging for bc access?

The policy is $10+gst per person for backcountry access, basically to park and walk off their tenure ~100m from the parking lot, not using any of their groomed trails.
This is what the Whistler Sport Legacies society has decided as of this year. Previously with VANOC the policy was free backcountry access without using groomed trails and $6 for groomed trail usage.

At the same time it is free to park and hang out at the day lodge and take a picture of the inukshuk.

There has been great work done on these backcountry trails and money donated by MEC and National Trail Coalition of Canada.

I'd be happy with something like $5 per car but $10 per head just seems wrong.
The bottom line seems to be to protect the revenue stream from XC skiing. I find their night skiing $15+gst somewhat overpriced but that is another discussion.

Here is a link to the response I received from Lindsay Durno, Director Whistler Olympic Park.
http://www.markrichardsgallery.com/t...ssResponse.pdf

If you want to express your opinion, you can contact Lindsay at
direct: 604 964 0059
mobile: 778 839 6958
email: [email protected]

I'm curious to know what you guys think about this.
I like this access as it's great for taking people out who are newer to ski touring and not willing to pay for a lift ticket at the resort.

I feel that public pressure is the only way this will change as the Whistler Legacies Society seems quite content with their policy. Get the message out there (local papers, etc).

Cheers,
Mark.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2010, 02:52 PM
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Wasn't there a link to a govt. survey posted here early last spring that dealt with this issue in this area? I remember completing a survey with questions like "How much would you be willing to pay to use maintained back country trails?", "how much would you be willing to pay to park", "do you think there should be user fees", etc.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2010, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
quote:$10 per head just seems wrong.
nah, that amount sounds about right for that area.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2010, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by magnetite

Wasn't there a link to a govt. survey posted here early last spring that dealt with this issue in this area? I remember completing a survey with questions like "How much would you be willing to pay to use maintained back country trails?", "how much would you be willing to pay to park", "do you think there should be user fees", etc.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2010, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by magnetite

Wasn't there a link to a govt. survey posted here early last spring that dealt with this issue in this area? I remember completing a survey with questions like "How much would you be willing to pay to use maintained back country trails?", "how much would you be willing to pay to park", "do you think there should be user fees", etc.
The survey was conducted by the FMCBC in order to demonstrate that the proposed fees were too high. WOP ignored the results. The results are available here: http://wiki.mountainclubs.org/trails...anvalleysurvey If you do the math you'll see that lower fees would actually generate more revenue from backcountry skiers, not less. The real issue is that WOP does not regard backcountry skiers as an substantial user group, and they would rather just ban backcountry skiing completely.

Personally I would have no problems with the fees if they actually put some effort into developing infrastructure for backcountry skiing. But so far WOP has done very little other than impose regulations. All the trail development work has been done by volunteers with MEC and NTC grant money.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2010, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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I sent a letter to these folks:
Keith Bennett, Whistler 2010 Sports Legacies President and CEO [email protected]
Joan McIntyre, MLA for West Vancouver Sea to Sky [email protected]
Kevin Krueger, Minster for Tourism Culture and the Arts [email protected]

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2010, 09:33 PM
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Does anyone know where to find the details of the tenure agreement for Callaghan Country and The WOP or if the agreement is even publicly available? Is there any information or stipulations in these tenure agreements on the public accessing crown land or provincial parks through their tenures?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 08:09 AM
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I personally won't pay anything to the WOP to ski there. But for anyone who does, the question is, does the WOP patrol and control the backcountry? If not, they are possibly liable if something happens to a paying client. It would actually make more sense for them to collect fees for parking.

That question aside for the moment, the biggest problem from my point of view is that the WOP is gating the parking lot after 4 PM. I'd hate to do a backcountry trip with that hanging over my head. What if you were doing Rainbow Mountain and you were constantly worrying about getting back in time? It might even spur you to do something stupid if you were rushed.

Yes, it would also be interesting to see what's in the tenure agreement.

I just perused the letter to Mark Richards from the director of WOP. It seems there is plowed parking for 4-6 vehicles outside the WOP tenure boundary at Alexander Falls. Apparently, there's also a free route to the backcountry but I'm not familiar with it.

But, where's BC Parks in all this? It's a park access road. You'd think they'd put a little pressure on Transportation and Highways to plow out the start of the Callaghan road for more parking. After all, I doubt it's WOP that's paying for the main road to be plowed up to the gate. Most likely it's the same type of deal the Cypress gets from the government - a large road plowing subsidy for the Cypress Bowl road and free parking for the patrons. (That changes, of course, when the ski area closes and hikers get stiffed, but different story.)
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 09:01 AM
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I wonder who put the bridge in that we used to drive over at the entrance to Callaghan Country's staging area?
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 09:34 AM
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Simple economics. If you don't like the fee, don't go there.

When BC Parks first introduced the annual parking pass, it was $50. It is now $25. I don't know for sure, but chances are sales of the pass were very low. So, they reduced the rate to attract more buyers.

If the Callaghan folks want any revenue for providing parking to backcountry users, they will have to drop their rates when no one shows up. I know I won't pay that much. I'll just go elsewhere.

Of course, the one hitch to this point is that if WSL doesn't see backcountry users as a serious source of revenue, then they won't care one way or the other if we don't show up.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 09:48 AM
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I don't completely mind the fee. It is pretty convenient to park there and taking a shower in the lodge is awesome after a full day before you drive back to Van. However, I did not like the sign at the Hanging Lake trail head which says the backcountry permit is free of charge. Also, as mentioned before, the gate closure was a bit frustrating. 4pm seems a bit unrealistic. We were skiing in a complete downpour so decided that would be OK but on a nice day it could be harder to turn around.

Eric
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ecarter1

I don't completely mind the fee. It is pretty convenient to park there and taking a shower in the lodge is awesome after a full day before you drive back to Van. However, I did not like the sign at the Hanging Lake trail head which says the backcountry permit is free of charge. Also, as mentioned before, the gate closure was a bit frustrating. 4pm seems a bit unrealistic. We were skiing in a complete downpour so decided that would be OK but on a nice day it could be harder to turn around.

Eric
It's an old sign from last year. The website states the gate closes at 5pm, not 4pm, but that's still too early especially if you want to take advantage of the facilities that you are paying for by taking a shower, etc
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Stoked

I personally won't pay anything to the WOP to ski there. But for anyone who does, the question is, does the WOP patrol and control the backcountry? If not, they are possibly liable if something happens to a paying client. It would actually make more sense for them to collect fees for parking.

That question aside for the moment, the biggest problem from my point of view is that the WOP is gating the parking lot after 4 PM. I'd hate to do a backcountry trip with that hanging over my head. What if you were doing Rainbow Mountain and you were constantly worrying about getting back in time? It might even spur you to do something stupid if you were rushed.

Yes, it would also be interesting to see what's in the tenure agreement.

I just perused the letter to Mark Richards from the director of WOP. It seems there is plowed parking for 4-6 vehicles outside the WOP tenure boundary at Alexander Falls. Apparently, there's also a free route to the backcountry but I'm not familiar with it.

But, where's BC Parks in all this? It's a park access road. You'd think they'd put a little pressure on Transportation and Highways to plow out the start of the Callaghan road for more parking. After all, I doubt it's WOP that's paying for the main road to be plowed up to the gate. Most likely it's the same type of deal the Cypress gets from the government - a large road plowing subsidy for the Cypress Bowl road and free parking for the patrons. (That changes, of course, when the ski area closes and hikers get stiffed, but different story.)
MOT plows the road up to the WOP gate. MOT is also plowing the Alexander Falls parking lot for a few vehicles. We (The FMCBC) asked for room for 5-10 cars, but I've heard it can handle 10-20 cars. This parking lot is outside the WOP gate and only 200m from the Callaghan Country parking lot that was plowed the past 3 seasons. If you park here instead of at the Biathlon Range, it adds about 1.5km of flat skiing each way togo up Beverley Creek, 2km each way to go up Hanging Lake. If you're heading to Callaghan Lake, it's the closest, most convenient parking lot.

WOP does not patrol or control or do anything in the backcountry, since it's all outside of their tenure area. I believe they actually have a lease, but I don't know what the conditions are. Callaghan Country is a separate tenure, even though the trails are being run by WOP.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Black Adder

Simple economics. If you don't like the fee, don't go there.

When BC Parks first introduced the annual parking pass, it was $50. It is now $25. I don't know for sure, but chances are sales of the pass were very low. So, they reduced the rate to attract more buyers.

If the Callaghan folks want any revenue for providing parking to backcountry users, they will have to drop their rates when no one shows up. I know I won't pay that much. I'll just go elsewhere.

Of course, the one hitch to this point is that if WSL doesn't see backcountry users as a serious source of revenue, then they won't care one way or the other if we don't show up.
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.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 12:14 PM
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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.
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