May 28, 2016
Cypress Mountain backcountry access closure due to parking not public safety
The wintertime enforcement of Cypress Mountain Resorts' backcountry access policy is parking related. Quite simply, early snowshoers are taking up parking spots meant for paying customers.
How this works is that there is a short section in the controlled recreation area that snowshoers and other backcountry users must cross to reach Black Mountain, Yew Lake, Bowen Lookout and Howe Sound Crest trails. It is dead flat and wide open. The risk of avalanche must be close to zero if not inconceivable. The only possible risk is that a groomer might hit someone. In that case, a flag person could provide the level of public safety required - the flag person that is currently standing at the CRA boundary preventing park access.
Jim Standen, assistant deputy minister to Honourable Mary Polak, Minister of Environment has previously written that BC Parks supports closing the access corridor to prevent park users from accessing the park citing safety concerns. See the letter on this site: Park visitation creating problem
The concern with public safety is a sham. The reason that the resort is now enforcing the "no access" policy is due to parking not public safety. Snowshoeing as a sport has increased to the extent that the number of cars from non-paying customers of the resort has resulted in paying customers having to walk further. This inequity has resulted in the enforcement of the policy.
Evasive replies never lead to trust. Nor do unreasonable actions. Trust in government is something that is seriously lacking at this time and place.