Backcountry enthusiasts will have parking access to the Rubble Creek trailhead this winter.
On Tuesday, Dec. 1, local outdoor clubs had a meeting with BC Parks to advocate for parking at the site, which leads to Garibaldi Lake and other popular backcountry destinations.
At the time, BC Parks said it didn’t have the extra money to fund snow clearing at the site, but then on Wednesday, Dec. 2, it reversed that decision and said it was committing to one-time snow clearing throughout this winter.
“What they’ve said is they found one-time funding for this year and this will give us a better idea about how much it will cost. Then, hopefully, based on what it costs this year, they will find future funds for future years,” said Jay MacArthur, access and environment director for the Alpine Club of Canada Vancouver chapter and the former director and president of the Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC (FMCBC).
Earlier last month, the FMCBC, which represents the interests of outdoor clubs across the province, wrote a letter to BC Parks officials and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy asking them to consider plowing the parking area, which, in the past has been quoted at $12,000 to $18,000 for the season.
With backcountry travel expected to spike this winter, it argued that the area was a safer choice for many who might get pushed into more dangerous avalanche terrain.
Last year, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure installed “no parking” signs along Highway 99 and the Rubble Creek access road and towed cars that ignored them.
“It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” MacArthur said. “The idea is to plow to the regular parking lot at the end of the road. It would probably be about 50 spots, but they’re not sure yet.”
The snow clearing is expected to take place from this month until March.
The other news from the meeting was that BC Parks will not be opening access to Joffre Lake Provincial Park this winter. That area has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic in the spring.