SQUAMISH ACCESS SOCIETY
Most important points on parking? At peak times, don’t be surprised if you can’t find space at Murrin or the Chief if you show up later in the day. Don’t be tempted to shoehorn your vehicle into an unofficial space. Since the 2016 summer BC Parks have been enforcing strict parking rules through a contract to a towing firm. Part of the reason is to maintain access for emergency vehicles. Consider carpooling if at all possible. On the positive side, our lobbying of the District of Squamish should hopefully show results: expansion of the Smoke Bluffs parking lot this year and maybe a shuttle bus between Squamish, the Chief and Murrin from 2018.
What are the changes to the campground? The biggest change is that the Chief campground will be included in BC Parks online reservation system from summer 2017. This will be beneficial to visiting climbers who want to secure camping prior to arrival, but may change the character of the campground over time. Some sites will remain first-come-first-serve but the proportion is not yet known. Other impactful changes include strict enforcement of the two weeks per year stay limit (with ID checks) and the fee structure moving to a whole site rather than per camper charge. Related to this, climbers should absolutely not try to camp for free by the Stawamus River. It creates problems with several different groups: local residents, stream-keepers and the Squamish Nation.
What do you want climbers to consider before heading out? If your budget is sufficient and you have a known schedule, book accommodation before you come. Otherwise, make sure you fully understand the new constraints and sensitivities and be flexible in your planning.
Where can climbers find more info? Many of the proposed changes have not been completely finalized yet. SAS will be updating the News section of our website ( squamishaccess.ca/news) as information becomes available to us. Climbers should also check the BC Parks website, especially the Stawamus Chief page: env.gov.bc.ca/ bcparks/explore/parkpgs/stawamus