Gripped - - FEATURE -

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

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