Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC
(FMCBC) we work together with other mountaineering and outdoor clubs
in BC to improve access to trails, climbing areas and the
backcountry, and to resolve land use issues that have an impact on
our skiing, hiking and climbing activities. All our members are also
members of the FMCBC and receive the FMCBC 's publication "Cloudburst"
with access and conservation updates from around the province.
In its activities our club is guided by the
Wilderness Code of Ethics and the
Access and Environment Policy. For
more information on the ACC's efforts to reduce our own impact on
the mountains check out our national
ACC's environment webpage.
Do you know of
an issue that the ACC Vancouver Section should know about? Please
let us know by contacting our Access & Environment Chair.
Below is a list
of major Access & Environment issues that our club is involved in:
Trails Strategy for British
The BC government has released a
draft trails strategy for BC
(2MB pdf). There are public information and
house sessions across the province in the
next two months. If there is a massive show of
interest in recreation trails as a result of these
open houses, it will ensure not only that adequate
funding for trails gets approved sooner but also
that recreation trails become an issue in the May
election. There are two information sessions in
Vancouver: one in North Vancouver 12 January,
6:30 to 9:00 pm at the Holiday Inn, and one in Langley 13 January 2009, 6:30
to 9:00 pm, Holiday Inn Express, 8750 204th Street,
It is important that
non-motorized recreationalists have a strong turnout
at this event. The intent of the strategy is to have
clubs adopt certain trails and take on the role of
stewards. Please take the time to turn out to this
event! In the Nanaimo meeting a reported 70% of the
turnout was motorized. It would be great for our
club to show a strong interest.
A few potential
concerns with the strategy include:
A focus in the
document on trails being 'inclusive' which may include motorized
vehicles. Feedback that needs to be given is that some uses are
not compatible (i.e. hiking and atvs) It will not benefit hiking
clubs to maintain trails without a designation that restricts
motorized activities on the trail. The trails strategy largely
glosses over potential user conflicts which are an key point for
The need for clubs to
carry insurance for trail use to deal with liability issues.
To see an ongoing
discussion on the trails strategy please
see this thread.
Backcountry Access from Whistler Olympic Park
We've been working with all involved and the following are new
guidelines for accessing the backcountry from Whistler Olympic Park.
Click here for a printable pdf of
the guidelines and a
Please follow the rules below or we may lose access
privileges. In particular, don't get caught skiing on a XC trail
without the $6 ticket.
All backcountry skiing or snowshoeing parties
must register at the new Day Lodge in the morning to get a
special parking pass. This pass will allow you to park
overnight, and/or leave through the gate after normal hours. The
parking pass is free.
There is a $6 per person fee if you want to use
the XC trails for backcountry access. To qualify you must be on
AT or Tele gear (no skinny XC skis). For safety, you must follow
the same rules as XC skiers on one way trails. If you want to
ski the backcountry around Madeley Lake, this is the best way to
If you want to access the backcountry without
using the groomed XC trails, there is no fee. However, you still
have to sign a waiver and get the parking pass. Please be
careful when crossing XC ski trails and always yield to XC
skiers. There are 3 suggested BC access routes that minimize XC
trail crossings: from the day lodge climb the hill north of the
ski jump to Hanging Lake or Sproatt, from the biathlon parking
skirt the XC trails heading east to Hanging Lake, or from the
biathlon parking drop down a short hill to the west and turn up
Beverley Creek. For now (Nov 2008) there is no signage. During
competitive events, one or more of these routes may be closed.
Be sure to check with staff at the Day Lodge when you get your
If you happen to arrive before the day lodge is
open, there may be a sign-in book near the door. Sign yourself
in with your destination, and leave a note on the dash of your
The XC ski trails and the 21 mile creek watershed
(Rainbow Lake) are closed to dogs. This clolsure includes the
ski touring loop from Hanging Lake over to Beverley Creek and
ascents of Rainbow Mountain from the south and west.
Access to Lake
The ACC Vancouver Section supports efforts to
secure a long-term agreement with the Squamish Nation regarding the
use of their land for access and parking on the east side of the
Squamish River. On the west bank of the river, a transfer of Crown
land to BC Parks and re-routing the lower part of the trail away
from the privately owned land would ensure future access to the
trail in Tantalus Provincial Park. Our club sent a
letter of support for this plan to
Heli-skiing in the Waddington Range
The BC government granted a
commercial heli-skiing tenure in the Waddington Range. However, for
Mt. Waddington and the immediate surroundings the FMCBC is
negotiating a no-fly zone for heli-skiing.
Garibaldi at Squamish resort
The proposed resort at Brohm Ridge in Squamish encompasses 25 ski
lifts, two golf courses and 5,739 housing units. The ACC Vancouver
Section sent comments on recreation impacts to the Environmental
Assessment Office during the public comment period. Some points of
concern about the proposed development:
- Displacement of snowmobilers
from their traditional territory on Brohm Ridge. This will
increase the likelihood of snowmobiling in the remaining very
small non-motorized areas in the Sea-to-Sky corridor or in
Garibaldi Provincial Park.
- Backcountry access
restrictions due to the resort blocking normal access route via
Brohm Ridge into Garibaldi Provincial Park. Increase in
out-of-bounds skiers in Garibaldi Provincial Park due to the
proximity of the resort area.
- Long-term threats due to
expansion of the resort into Garibaldi Provincial Park.
Coquihalla Pass resort
The proposed resort would be an all-season located halfway between
Hope and Merritt by the Coquihalla Highway. The resort would consist
of a base village, golf course, ski lifts and alpine trails. It
would be located next to Zoa Peak and near other popular backcountry
skiing, hiking and climbing destinations. The ACC Vancouver Section
letter to the Environmental Assessment Office
regarding the Draft Terms of Reference for the Environmental
Assessment of this resort application.
Skaha Bluffs access
The Land Conservancy of BC and Skaha rockclimbers have been working
hard on this issue, with support from Mountain Equipment Co-iop, the
Access Society, and others. The land has been purchased and an
easement agreement for a new access road is in place. For updates on
access to Skaha and other climbing areas, check the
Climber's Access Society.
Updated February 19, 2009:
The old car park for Skaha Bluffs in Penticton, BC is closed. The
new car park and access road was completed last fall on property
jointly owned by the Province, The Land Conservancy, and Nature
Conservancy of Canada. There will be a fee for parking at the new
lot but details are not yet available. The new car park is reached
via Smythe Drive which is 3km south along the East Side Road from
the old turn off and is on the same level as the top of the old
steps and less than 600m from both the Daycare and East Face of the
More information. Good work to all
involved in making this happen!
Agreements on land use planning have been reached between the
provincial government, the Lil'wat Nation, the In-SHUCK-ch Nation,
and the Squamish Nation. The non-motorized zoning of the Upper
Callaghan Valley for the 2010 Olympics has had a knock-on effect on
snowmobiling use in other areas in the Sea-to-Sky, including Mount
Sproatt and Phelix Creek valley. The ACC Vancouver Section strongly
supports the winter recreation zoning agreement reached by the
Sea-to-Sky Backcountry Winter Sharing Forum.