The Federation of Mountain Clubs
of British Columbia

November 2020 NEWSLETTER


FMCBC in the news: Ongoing advocacy work to enhance access to BC's backcountry

Heading into what is expected to be a record-breaking year for backcountry use in the
Sea-to-Sky corridor, local outdoor clubs raised concerns about limited winter access to Garibaldi Provincial Park.

The FMCBC was concerned that the Province of BC would not plow the access road and parking area for the Rubble Creek trailhead in the winter. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure also installed no-parking, tow-away signs along Highway 99 and the Rubble Creek access road last year, a road that offers access to numerous popular winter backcountry locations.

On Nov. 18, the FMCBC wrote a letter to BC Parks officials and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy asking them to consider plowing the Rubble Creek access road and parking area for about $12,000 to $18,000 a year. Local outdoor groups also met with BC Parks on December 1.
Read the story.

This week, BC Parks agreed they'd clear the access road to Garibaldi Lake this season (December to March). Thanks to all volunteers who made an effort to achieve this milestone! Read the updated story.

Donate to support our continued advocacy work.


B.C. government accused of aiding U.S. billionaire in Douglas ranch 'right to roam' conflict

The B.C. government has failed for decades to protect the interests of the public in the long-standing battle for the right to fish on the giant Douglas Lake Cattle Company ranch, B.C. Appeal Court judges were told Tuesday, November 24.

The two-day appeal court hearing occurred from November 23-24. When the judges deliver their decision in the months ahead about access to Stoney and Minnie Lakes, it’s already becoming clear there will be a host of wide-ranging right-to-roam issues that the so far hands-off government of B.C. will need to resolve.

Read the story.


Mountain Matters

Provincial Trails Advisory Body Updating Provincial Trails Strategy for BC

The Provincial Trails Advisory Body and Outdoor Recreation Council of BC gathered data to better understand how to support BC trails via a trails survey. Some key challenges included lack of funding/ sponsorships for trail projects. They also assessed options for the development of sustainable trail funding, which was described in the Trails Strategy for BC.

Read the trail survey findings

The Provincial Trails Advisory Body will continue to work with Recreation Sites and Trails BC to bring forward recommendations for an updated Provincial Trails Strategy for BC. They are also determining the status of implementation of the Trails Strategy’s 22 Action Items.

British Columbians had an opportunity to help inform changes to the Trails Strategy for BC by providing feedback through an online questionnaire earlier this year.
See what they heard.

Nature Trust of BC will receive three extraordinary gifts just in time for the holiday season

Three families are donating natural properties to be protected in propertuity –

1. Marsden Face (80 acres featuring a riparian and wildlife corridor and old-forest growth along Rixen Creek in the West Kootenays),

2. Breton Island (a 12.6-acre bird lover’s paradise near the east coast of Quadra Island),

3. Thirty-six acres of forest and riparian corridor along the Cowichan River near Duncan on Vancouver Island. The Cowichan River is designated as a Canadian Heritage River System because of its significant abundance of biodiversity.

Read about the protected land and how you can support future land management costs.

Avalanche safety for snowshoers

One of our member clubs, the Caledonia Ramblers, recently posted a resource about what every snowshoer needs to know about avalanche safety.

View avalanche safety tips for snowshoers

CPAWS-BC joins Fish, Wildlife and Habitat coalition

Our mountains, rivers, lakes and forests are suffering from decades of underfunding, mismanagement, and unsustainable use.

CPAWS-BC has committed to support the conservation of BC’s diverse fish and wildlife populations, along with their partners, through developing legislative and regulatory mechanisms, decision-making, science and planning, and establishing new, dedicated funding to restore fish, wildlife and habitat. Read more

BC Parks Foundation’s Fundraiser for $1.7 million Saves Park

Thousands of British Columbians - and people from around the world - have come together to raise $1.7 million to purchase and protect West Ballenas Island.

Read the success story.

Send feedback on open public consultations

FrontCounter BC has received a commercial recreation application from Powder Renegade Lodge. The proposed commercial application is for an adventure tourism cat ski operation that's located near the south-western border of Granby Provincial Park between the Kettle River and Granby River.

Review the application and submit comments by January 15, 2021.

What's in the Forecast from Avalanche Canada?

Avalanche Canada is expecting an increase in backcountry users this winter. Weather and snow forecasts are important to help backcountry recreationists make smart choices and come home safely.

The pandemic is raising challenges since backcountry operators are not operating, providing a big impact on the datastream they need to produce forecasts. Of course, they'll be relying even more on the Mountain Information Network.

Help paint their map blue. Submit user reports this winter on the Mountain Information Network.

They're also developing a program to send abbreviated versions of the forecast via satellite messenger system (SMS) for backcountry users outside of cellphone range. For smartphone users with service, Avalanche Canada offers the AvCan app.

Introductory Avalanche Skills Training Available

Travel in the backcountry with an ACMG certified guide to touch on the theory behind avalanches, including where and why they occur. You will also learn how to use your beacon, probe, and shovel in a companion rescue.

View course details and availability.
View other training opportunities.

Alpine Club of Canada Presents Weekly Winter Workshops on Wednesdays

Watch a weekly livestreamed programs from guide Doug Latimer on YouTube, courtesy of the ACC. Attendees can participate and ask questions via live events.

Upcoming and archived virtual workshops include:

  • Winter camping
  • Backcountry snow safety education via BC AdventureSmart
  • Introduction to ski touring and safer winter travel (view recorded version)

Register to attend.

View other training workshops from BC AdventureSmart.

Government funds 53 projects to protect health and quality of water

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, and the Member of Parliament for West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country, Patrick Weiler, announced approximately $4 million to support 53 new projects under the EcoAction Community Funding Program.

Read the announcement.

Study focuses on recreational land use and effects on wildlife

Wildsight is collaborating with local recreation groups, education institutions, and other organizations to develop a study that focuses on the intensity of recreational land use and potential cumulative effects on wildlife and their habitat along the west bench of the Columbia River in the Dogtooth Range.

Read about the recreation use and wildlife habitat study.

In the News

Snow to be cleared for access to Rubble Creek this winter - Pique Magazine (December 4, 2020)

B.C. government accused of aiding U.S. billionaire in Douglas ranch conflict - Vancouver Sun (November 25, 2020)

U.S. billionaire again battles to stop ‘trespassers’ on his giant B.C. ranch - Vancouver Sun (November 24, 2020)

Conservationists demand fast action from B.C.'s new forestry minister on protection for old-growth trees - CBC News (November 28, 2020)

New hut to be built by ACC for backcountry adventures at Robson Pass - Jasper Fitz Hugh (November 26, 2020)

COVID-19 delays national park 2021 camping bookings - Kingston Standard (November 24, 2020)

Rescue crews worried about more distress calls this winter as sports gear flies off the shelves - CBC News (November 24, 2020)

Vehicles blocking snow removal equipment in Garibaldi park will be towed - The Squamish Reporter (November 18, 2020)

BC tourism marketing suspended amid travel restrictions - Times Colonist (November 13, 2020)

Backcountry Winter Safety - Fernie Fix (November 13, 2020)

Central Okanagan snowbirds flock to cross country skis instead of flying south - Times Colonist (November 13, 2020)

Promise to expand and improve provincial parks needs to be fulfilled - Chemainus Valley Courier (November 13, 2020)

B.C. just cut back logging limits on Haida Gwaii. But is it enough to protect these ancient, carbon-rich forests? -Yahoo News (November 13, 2020)

Thinning of forest growth in Kal Lake Park to reduce wildfire risk - (November 13, 2020)

North Shore Rescue documentary goes behind the scenes to show team's 'most trying times' - CBC News (November 13, 2020)

Johnston Canyon trail on Bow Valley Parkway reopens to vehicles - Strathroy Age Dispatch (November 12, 2020)

Stories of Ice: New book explores science and commerce of glaciers - Yorkton This Week (November 12, 2020)

Kamloops, Okanagan search and rescue teams prepare for busy backcountry season - iNFOnews (November 12, 2020)

Survivors share harrowing experience in new avalanche safety initiative - (November 12, 2020)

Documentary series featuring North Shore Rescue now streaming online - CTV News Vancouver (November 10, 2020)

Hikers reminded to prepare for conditions as North Shore Rescue records another busy weekend - News 1130 (November 9, 2020)

Government of Canada, Mount Royal University and Canadian Parks Council Launch Research Network to better protect nature in Canada - News Release (November 10, 2020)

A Record-Setting Ascent of El Capitan - NY Times (November 9, 2020)

Regional park use increases by 37% to 14.4 million visits so far in 2020, says Metro Vancouver - (November 9, 2020)

Minister of Environment and Climate Change highlights action to stop the spread of mountain pine beetle - News Release (October 4, 2020)

TIME TRAVELLER: When a mountaineering club had its own cabin on Grouse Mountain - North Shore News (November 8, 2020)

Road access to parks worries local Kootenay volunteer group - North Shore News (November 7, 2020)

Sunshine Coast Search and Rescue on pace for record year - Coast Reporter (November 7, 2020)

Parks Canada forming expert panel to advise on long-term visitor management plan - St. Albert Today (November 5, 2020)


Feature Photo Credit

Scott Webser backcountry skiing at Mount Baker. 
Read tips about winter safety in the backcountry.

Want to share your backcountry photos? Send them to 

View the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Cloudburst. The Winter edition will be launched mid-December 2020. Stay tuned!

Sign up to receive the next edition by email.
Submit an article and photo from your trip.

Use our online form to report motorized recreation observed within BC Park boundaries.

Visit Canada Helps to make a donation to the FMCBC. Donate towards our Member Club Grant Program or help support advocacy to protect and expand
non-motorized recreation in BC. 

The FMCBC is always looking for volunteers. Find out how you can get involved.


The FMCBC is a proud member of:

Thanks to Taiga Works for supporting the FMCBC through their generous contribution of office space.

Copyright © 2020 Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this newsletter because you have signed up to receive our newsletters.