High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Interest: hiking (slow!), visiting out of the way places, writing, canoeing, and fueling my sweet tooth
Thanks for the email addresses jeffski. I am a frequent user of the trails before 9:00 AM, and after 9:00 PM for evening hikes. I am very frustrated by these restrictions and just fired off my 2 cents as follows, to the ones in power:
Dear Cypress Mountain Resort, BC Parks, and Environment Minister Mary Polak,
I am an avid hiker who regularly uses the access corridor at Cypress Provincial Park ski area, to access the hiking trails to Yew Lake, Black Mountain, Eagle Bluffs (Baden Powell trail), Bowen Island Lookout, St. Mark's summit, and Mount Strachan. I am extremely disheartened and frustrated to read on all of the major outdoor/hiking forums as well as news media sites that the hiking trail access has been completely shut down by Cypress Mountain resort to prohibit public access to the trails across the ski area before 9:00 AM, and after 9:00 PM. I and many other back country users typically begin our activities before 9:00 AM, and therefore need to cross the ski area earlier than 9:00 AM to gain access to the trails. We also do regular night hikes (safely, with the use of head lamps) with a return time after 9:00 PM.
It is extremely distasteful that BC Parks and the Gov't of BC have acquiesced to the restrictions imposed by Cypress Mountain resort, ostensibly for the purpose of "safety" when ski hill grooming equipment is operating. There is in fact MORE of a hazard AFTER 9:00 AM when hikers crossing the ski area run the risk of being hit by the large number of downhill skiers and boarders who come flying down the slopes. I do not mind at all, picking up a free pass at the building near the parking lot to show that I agree to the risk of crossing the ski area (to access the hiking trails) and to the waiver printed on the pass, that limits the liability of Cypress Mountain resort.
However, restricting the hours for hikers and other back country users has little to do with safety as noted above, when safety is already addressed by the waiver on the aforementioned pass. The hiking/outdoors community, which I am a long time member of, believes that Cypress Mountain Resort has implemented the restrictions, NOT for safety reasons, but for commercial reasons, i.e., to limit the number of hikers/back country users so that more parking spaces are available for skiers/snow boarders who pay the resort for lift tickets, gear rental, and other items. While I understand that the lessee obviously has commercial interests, the leasehold is IN a provincial park which is for the use and enjoyment of the public INCLUDING hikers and back country users. None of the parking area is assigned for trail users, so obviously the parking lots will be shared by all users., with parking spaces on a first come first serve basis. Of note, there is also the option of taking a shuttle to the provincial park ski area rather than driving.
Restricting public use of a public park is simply WRONG. Please ensure that the trail access restrictions are removed immediately.