The tranquil quiet of the scenic Upper Squamish area was shattered last weekend.
Residents in the area say the peaceful valley was also turned into a rowdy party place the weekend before.
The songbirds and the gentle flowing sound of the Squamish River were drowned out by squealing tires, gunshots and sleep-depriving party noise.
Anderson Beach at mile 18 of the Upper Squamish was confirmed again this year as a party destination for young people celebrating graduation and the end of the school year.
Signs on the road leading to the sandy riverbank direct party participants to the action.
"Wet Grad," reads one sign on a tree about five kilometres from the turn off to the beach. Another sign reads, "Give 'er."
The remnants of the weekend party confirmed that alcohol was consumed. The beach was strewn with empty beer boxes, empty beer cans and broken beer bottles Tuesday afternoon (June 8).
And, there's firm evidence the party got out of control. A white Plymouth Sundance sat abandoned in the sand with the windows smashed and the body damaged. The vehicle was reportedly removed this week. Information from at least one vandalism witness was given to the RCMP.
The beach was also littered with pages of notes belonging to a student named Trevor. The English and biology notes fluttered in the sand next to the car with each passing breeze.
According to resident Kristine Miles, the noisy parties happen all summer.
"It is not a grad problem, it is an Anderson Beach problem," she said.
Her main concerns are safety and environment.
"These kids are there to use alcohol and drugs and it just is not safe," Miles told The Chief. "You can't use a cell phone down there if you run into trouble."
Miles heard gunshots Friday night.
"We'd heard them before and reported it to the police last year," she said. "You get immune to it because it becomes commonplace."
Miles plans to change her complacent thinking and call the police more often to report disturbances.
She's concerned about the junk that is left behind, things like car batteries that might end up in the river.
"I don't have a problem with people camping, they just need to clean up," she said.
On the issue of graduation celebrations, Miles feels wet grad parties are a reality and thought needs to be put into holding a controlled wet grad celebration.
The RCMP attempted to curb the party last weekend. Cpl. Dave Ritchie said a roadblock was put in place but he said many people arrived at the beach before the roadblock was set up.
"Our members attended the party but bottles and objects were thrown at the police," Ritchie said."We didn't see a lot of out of town people," Ritchie said. "We did see a lot of locals."
Ritchie also said that an investigation into the trashing of the Sundance is under way.
Peter Hotston, the principal at Howe Sound Secondary, said he sympathizes with the residents affected by the parties. A number of residents phoned him and he said he understands their frustration.
Hotston had a meeting Wednesday (June 9) with members of the dry grad committee. From that meeting, the students decided to assess the beach and put out a call for volunteers to help clean the area.
"The majority of our kids are good kids and they are upset with what happened up there as well," the principal said.