The Cheakamus Community Forest (CCF) and the RMOW Forest & Wildland Advisory Committee (FWAC) developed an access management plan that identifies roads and bridges, who is responsible, and contributes to a plan for ensuring that they are managed to keep recreation options open and accessible.
To better understand the current state of hiking trails in the area, in 2011 the Hiking Trails Task Force led by Kurt Mueller researched existing hiking trails in the Whistler area and made recommendations for improvements as well as suggestions for new trails. Their research documents the deteriorated state of many of the hiking trails and makes a strong argument for applying more resources to improvements and new trails that would be a benefit to the Whistler experience and economy.
2013 Update: Upon receipt of the Hiking Trails Task Force report, RMOW Council formed an overarching planning group called the Trails Planning Working Group (TPWG). They developed a preliminary alpine hiking and biking trail plan for the Sproatt/Rainbow Mountain area, including access points, west of Whistler. The Hiking Trail Task Force’s report and recommendations, and the CCF/FWAC Road Atlas for the access management plan have been rolled into the planning work. The TPWG has representatives from the RMOW, WORCA, Hiking Trails Task Force, Alpine Club of Canada (Whistler Chapter) and Recreation Sites & Trails BC. The draft plan is being incorporated into the RMOW’s Recreation and Leisure Master Plan – scheduled to be completed in 2015.
2014 Update: The Alpine Club of Canada, Whistler chapter, with support from the RMOW, completed the Skywalk Trail network in the summer of 2014. Volunteers spent countless hours working on the trail with a dedicated group camped at the foot of Rainbow Glacier during the heart of the project. See the attached map for the route. As with all alpine hiking, please be prepared for emergency situations including rapid weather changes, wildlife encounters including bears, and the possibility of having to spend the night on the trail.
Other trails in the Whistler area have also had work completed to improve the hiking experience. The Rainbow Trail located of Alta Lake Road and the Ancient Cedars Trail accessed from the 16 Mile Valley road (Showh Lakes) have seen the biggest improvements with upgrades to boardwalks, drainage and the trail beds.
2015 Update: The RMOW and WORCA continue to build the ascent and descent trails on Sproatt Mountain from Function Junction to the alpine. Completion is expected in 2016.
2016 Update: WORCA completed the descent trail in September 2016. “Lord of the Squirrels” is ready to ride and the feedback has been really positive!
For more information, please contact Heather Beresford, RMOW Environmental Stewardship Manager at 604-935-8374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.