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-   -   Whistler Mountain Service Road Conditions? (https://forums.clubtread.com/8-british-columbia-mainland-hiking/60321-whistler-mountain-service-road-conditions.html)

sean1515 07-12-2015 09:57 PM

Whistler Mountain Service Road Conditions?
 
I wanted to ride my bike from Whistler Village to Whistler Peak on the ski run service roads. Given that they allow people to ride bikes down the mountain fast, I assume they would be fine with someone riding up slowly on service roads. I am wondering what condition the service roads are in, and if bikes are allowed on them? I figure they must be descent as they service all of the ski runs and lifts with vehicles, and they average a grade of 13% to the top, which isn't too steep compared to other service roads I've been on. Does anyone have any comments on the Whistler mountain roads?

Wandering Tree Frog 07-12-2015 10:21 PM

You can't officially ride up the service roads. There is a possibility to ride up the microwave road from function junction, then connect to whistler via the Khyber Pass trail, but I haven't done it, so can't comment on difficulty.

I know riding up as far as midstation is a LOT of work, the peak is a lot more elevation.

I assume WB doesn't want riders going up as there could be collisions between high speed downhillers and slow uphill traffic. Or they just want the money.

Steventy 07-12-2015 10:53 PM

There are a few reasons they don't want to allow that. The downhill trails intersect with the service roads and the service roads are actively used by staff in vehicles. There are all sorts of potential issues and a big liability concern.

sean1515 07-12-2015 11:11 PM

Thanks for the input guys. My plan was to go early in the morning on a weekday, and to be at the peak no later than 10am. Whistler Blackcomb hours are 10am -5pm, so if I was at the top before opening, and on a weekday with less traffic, I believe there would be little issue - and the way down wouldn't be a huge problem as bikers are going down all day. Thanks for your ideas and comment further on what you think of my plan.

Steventy 07-12-2015 11:41 PM

It's private property. You will be trespassing. They will probably bring you to a room at the base and have you sign a form stating that you will never step foot on their property again, in return for them not pressing charges.

Maybe it won't be that bad.... but I've asked similar questions in the past and not received a warm reception. Definitely call ahead and I think you will find that they tell you in very clear language that it is not allowed. If I remember correctly; even if you buy a downhill bike pass, there are very clear signs saying that you are not allowed on the service road (with a few exceptions where the road is the trail.)

In general, I don't think we do a great job (as self-propelled recreation folks,) at negotiating with the government to be able to access/cross-through some of these private areas in return for them getting their environmental/operating certificates.

It is frustrating that bikes continue to be banned from most of Garibaldi Park but Whistler is allowed to run a for-profit bike trail in the alpine at the top of the mountain and heli-skiing companies are allowed to access the park in the winter. It's hard to reconcile all those facts.

There is a big LNG plant being planned in Squamish. When it was a pulp mill, you could just take the ferry across, check-in at the first aid station and then proceed to hike up the surrounding mountains. It is unclear if anything like that is being contemplated right now or if we will be banned from crossing that property.

Steventy 07-12-2015 11:46 PM

One other comment:

If you are on their property and you haven't agreed to a liability waiver, it's a huge issue for them. What if you are coming down and you hurt yourself on a trail and then you sue them for not having a safe trail? The liability waiver on every ticket is in place to protect them from that risk.

At Cypress Mountain, if you want to access Black Mountain, Bowen Lookout, or other trails in the provincial park, you have to cross through a very short section of active ski resort (they don't own the land but they have an operating certificate to run a resort in that area of the park.) As a result, you must go to the service desk and get a free pass that basically just has a waiver on it saying that you won't sue if you get hurt during the time you cross the short section of active ski area.

If Whistler was going to allow uphill bike travel within the area of their resort, they would have a similar program set up (kind of like the program they have for one-ride-up skiiers in the winter.) They don't have that program - you can't offer to sign a waiver.


Let us know how your conversation with them goes but I don't think they will be ok with it.

bogdank 07-16-2015 12:54 AM

I would rather bike up blackcomb instead. Whistler is too busy. You can bike to the glacier. This route is official access to many good runs, at least lower section of it. It starts from the lost lake as i recall.

Big Ian 07-16-2015 09:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steventy (Post 641449)
It's private property. You will be trespassing. They will probably bring you to a room at the base and have you sign a form stating that you will never step foot on their property again, in return for them not pressing charges.

Maybe it won't be that bad.... but I've asked similar questions in the past and not received a warm reception. Definitely call ahead and I think you will find that they tell you in very clear language that it is not allowed. If I remember correctly; even if you buy a downhill bike pass, there are very clear signs saying that you are not allowed on the service road (with a few exceptions where the road is the trail.)

If you are on their property and you haven't agreed to a liability waiver, it's a huge issue for them. What if you are coming down and you hurt yourself on a trail and then you sue them for not having a safe trail? The liability waiver on every ticket is in place to protect them from that risk.

At Cypress Mountain, if you want to access Black Mountain, Bowen Lookout, or other trails in the provincial park, you have to cross through a very short section of active ski resort (they don't own the land but they have an operating certificate to run a resort in that area of the park.) As a result, you must go to the service desk and get a free pass that basically just has a waiver on it saying that you won't sue if you get hurt during the time you cross the short section of active ski area.

Technically, I believe WB does not own the property, just the tenure to run a ski hill, same as Cypress I'd assume. It would be prohibitively expensive for them to own it.
As Crown land, my impression is that they can't stop you from being there, but as they are liable for anything that happens because of their tenure and it's development (ie: you wipe out on one of their roads), so you are not going to get any doors opened for you by asking, especially if you are proposing to participate in an activity that circumvents their established (and documented for insurance purposes) safety mechanisms, such as biking outside of the established trail network without having signed a waiver.
As for trespassing, I don't think they can do anything legal; normal practice for those breaking the rules of their pass agreement (for example, riding on closed areas like roads) is to blacklist someone from the facility for "X" amount of seasons. Sans pass, you might get escorted off the tenure and documented. Don't think there's much they can do to you if this isn't leverage on you.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steventy (Post 641449)
It is frustrating that bikes continue to be banned from most of Garibaldi Park but Whistler is allowed to run a for-profit bike trail in the alpine at the top of the mountain and heli-skiing companies are allowed to access the park in the winter. It's hard to reconcile all those facts.

I have to respectfully disagree here. Both have their purposes: the bike park/ski hill drives visits and creates jobs for the resort and the people that live here, and the park is mandated to protect the eco-system within it's borders, while making it accessible to users in a non-destructive way (hence the no bikes in sensitive areas). Both are world-class attractions. They mostly make good neighbours. If there was to be an infrastructure built in the alpine for lift accessed biking, it might as well be where the ski hill and resort is, and keep other more pristine, sensitive and less accessible areas undeveloped for the self propelled. Gotta have something for everyone. Heli-skiing is a different animal, don't think I want to get into that in this thread.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steventy (Post 641457)
If Whistler was going to allow uphill bike travel within the area of their resort, they would have a similar program set up (kind of like the program they have for one-ride-up skiiers in the winter.) They don't have that program - you can't offer to sign a waiver.

For the record, WB does allow and has endorsed uphill to downhill rides though their MTB park via the local cycling association, WORCA. Obviously these community Loonie races/rides take place when the trails are otherwise closed, and participants need to be WORCA members (as such, are insured through the assoc. ) to ride. Thus far this has not been offered to individuals, as it would conflict with their current user/business plan, and would be a nightmare to manage to boot. Since there is a huge selection of pedal access trails managed in the valley by WORCA (supported in large part by donations from WB), it would seem unnecessary for them to allow uphill bike travel within their area of the resort.

A couple other pertinent points:
WORCA actually is developing a self-propelled access alpine riding trail over the top of Sproatt Mountain to meet the demand for an alpine MTB trail, outside of the provincial park (as it should be). I imagine this trail will be finished using all the lessons learned from many years of building resilient MTB park trails in our local climate and conditions, to ensure longevity and protect those local areas.

Also, everything I've mentioned above is just based on my experience and observation coupled with the many conversations I've had with WB employees regarding these exact topics, not any special access or insight.

It's worth noting that all of these "rules" are flouted nearly everyday by skiers/boarders/bikers/hikers, either ignorant or willfully ignoring the agreements that are made to ensure the long-term good will necessary for continued access. I personally often hear of friends/acquaintances organizing night rides down Singing Pass trail or over the BT Meadows, or co-workers scamming passes for ski days, someone pedaling up Blackcomb for a beer at the Horstman hut, dirt bikes on ski runs, or local news articles about illegal camping/squatting in residential neighbourhoods or on the ski hill(issue is trash/human waste disposal). It really is no wonder that it's been an issue for WB.
Seems like it's often "cool" to "stick it to the man" by ignoring the user agreements when it's anonymous or financially advantageous, but the hue and cry that goes up when those agreements are enforced and punitive measures are contemplated...

I guess the long and short of it is, there are tons of places where you can ride up to the alpine, why is it a big deal if WB discourages it because they are liable for any accident? IMHO, I'd rather pedal up Blowdown or Sproatt anyway. Less ATV dust.

sean1515 07-22-2015 06:36 PM

I'm looking at blackcomb, and it seems like a much better mountain to climb on a bike. It doesn't have a bike park, it isn't as busy, it's higher, and it still has a good looking road to the peak. Does anyone know what the bike rules would be for blackcomb mountain, and how the service road conditions are?

muskeeto 07-22-2015 06:56 PM

Could we put this stuff in the right Forum

Steventy 07-22-2015 06:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Ian (Post 643273)
Technically, I believe WB does not own the property, just the tenure to run a ski hill, same as Cypress I'd assume. It would be prohibitively expensive for them to own it.
As Crown land, my impression is that they can't stop you from being there, but as they are liable for anything that happens because of their tenure and it's development (ie: you wipe out on one of their roads), so you are not going to get any doors opened for you by asking, especially if you are proposing to participate in an activity that circumvents their established (and documented for insurance purposes) safety mechanisms, such as biking outside of the established trail network without having signed a waiver.
As for trespassing, I don't think they can do anything legal; normal practice for those breaking the rules of their pass agreement (for example, riding on closed areas like roads) is to blacklist someone from the facility for "X" amount of seasons. Sans pass, you might get escorted off the tenure and documented. Don't think there's much they can do to you if this isn't leverage on you.



I have to respectfully disagree here. Both have their purposes: the bike park/ski hill drives visits and creates jobs for the resort and the people that live here, and the park is mandated to protect the eco-system within it's borders, while making it accessible to users in a non-destructive way (hence the no bikes in sensitive areas). Both are world-class attractions. They mostly make good neighbours. If there was to be an infrastructure built in the alpine for lift accessed biking, it might as well be where the ski hill and resort is, and keep other more pristine, sensitive and less accessible areas undeveloped for the self propelled. Gotta have something for everyone. Heli-skiing is a different animal, don't think I want to get into that in this thread.



For the record, WB does allow and has endorsed uphill to downhill rides though their MTB park via the local cycling association, WORCA. Obviously these community Loonie races/rides take place when the trails are otherwise closed, and participants need to be WORCA members (as such, are insured through the assoc. ) to ride. Thus far this has not been offered to individuals, as it would conflict with their current user/business plan, and would be a nightmare to manage to boot. Since there is a huge selection of pedal access trails managed in the valley by WORCA (supported in large part by donations from WB), it would seem unnecessary for them to allow uphill bike travel within their area of the resort.

A couple other pertinent points:
WORCA actually is developing a self-propelled access alpine riding trail over the top of Sproatt Mountain to meet the demand for an alpine MTB trail, outside of the provincial park (as it should be). I imagine this trail will be finished using all the lessons learned from many years of building resilient MTB park trails in our local climate and conditions, to ensure longevity and protect those local areas.

Also, everything I've mentioned above is just based on my experience and observation coupled with the many conversations I've had with WB employees regarding these exact topics, not any special access or insight.

It's worth noting that all of these "rules" are flouted nearly everyday by skiers/boarders/bikers/hikers, either ignorant or willfully ignoring the agreements that are made to ensure the long-term good will necessary for continued access. I personally often hear of friends/acquaintances organizing night rides down Singing Pass trail or over the BT Meadows, or co-workers scamming passes for ski days, someone pedaling up Blackcomb for a beer at the Horstman hut, dirt bikes on ski runs, or local news articles about illegal camping/squatting in residential neighbourhoods or on the ski hill(issue is trash/human waste disposal). It really is no wonder that it's been an issue for WB.
Seems like it's often "cool" to "stick it to the man" by ignoring the user agreements when it's anonymous or financially advantageous, but the hue and cry that goes up when those agreements are enforced and punitive measures are contemplated...

I guess the long and short of it is, there are tons of places where you can ride up to the alpine, why is it a big deal if WB discourages it because they are liable for any accident? IMHO, I'd rather pedal up Blowdown or Sproatt anyway. Less ATV dust.


lots of great info and points in this post.

sean1515 07-23-2015 02:14 PM

@Big Ian Some very good information indeed. Thank you for the input.

msulkers 07-23-2015 08:20 PM

Quote:

WORCA actually is developing a self-propelled access alpine riding trail over the top of Sproatt Mountain to meet the demand for an alpine MTB trail, outside of the provincial park (as it should be). I imagine this trail will be finished using all the lessons learned from many years of building resilient MTB park trails in our local climate and conditions, to ensure longevity and protect those local areas.
Actually, this is slightly incorrect. RMOW is building the alpine climbing multi-use trail to Sproatt. WORCA is building the intermediate descent trail that the former trail will access.

msulkers 07-23-2015 08:26 PM

Quote:

It's worth noting that all of these "rules" are flouted nearly everyday by skiers/boarders/bikers/hikers, either ignorant or willfully ignoring the agreements that are made to ensure the long-term good will necessary for continued access. I personally often hear of friends/acquaintances organizing night rides down Singing Pass trail or over the BT Meadows, or co-workers scamming passes for ski days, someone pedaling up Blackcomb for a beer at the Horstman hut, dirt bikes on ski runs, or local news articles about illegal camping/squatting in residential neighbourhoods or on the ski hill(issue is trash/human waste disposal). It really is no wonder that it's been an issue for WB.
Having been involved in discussions with different ministries and their representatives and corporations over access and environmental issues for years, I can confirm that those that wilfully ignore agreements or regulations do not make it easier to advocate for access for the public; rather, these exceptions are brought forward each time as examples of why future access for the public cannot be granted. The exception proves the rule--the irony is that those that are not going to submit to the agreements are the only ones who actually get the access...

bogdank 07-24-2015 05:46 PM

@msulkers : looks to me that you are not a MTB. As a hiker, did u ever enter e.g. a deactivated logging road stating "no access" or such?
I would throw in this: mono bikers should not be allowed to access backcountry (since i'm not a one). ;)

More seriously:
"Having been involved in discussions with different ministries and their representatives and corporations over access and environmental issues for years".
Hmm, that would mean corporations are real stuarts of our nature. For instance WB is protecting the nature for future generations and these damn few bikers trying to pedal uphill are destroying all. Same logging companies. They built some roads (out of their niceness) and some few biker are trying to use it to pedal to the alpine. Bad bikers, evil ones.
Government? Do you want me to get started here? Heh.

They all worship $$$, they are using the "environment protection" as a decoy to stay away from their own $$$ schemes. Is anything more to it?

Please note that this discussion is not about real parks e.g. Garibaldi, where the rules are clear, and the mandate is clear. This is about "corporations" trying to pretend that they own the land.

There are limited places to bike up to the alpine. If one loves mtn biking, should he/she wait 50+ years until someone decides that e.g. "you are allowed to bike up WB"? This is their personal decision to make. Biking in a respectful way (to others), in a way that makes the most limited impact on the environment, is the way to go (in my opinion).


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