Another perspective | Squamish Chief

Another perspective

Editor,

There are certainly a lot of legitimate objections to the Garibaldi at Squamish (GAS) proposal in its present form, and it does look like a land grab at this point. Not to mention that the people representing this proposal seem to be the most inept bunch of public relations managers imaginable. Why on Earth did they ever choose the unfortunate acronym GAS? This was perhaps the first signal that they would be oblivious to public sentiment, not to mention the fundamentals of marketing.

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Does that however mean that every proposed ski resort is inherently bad as many opinions published here would imply? Deb McBride's quote in this paper seems to take this concept a step further when she stated that GAS would be, "the same destructive mess as every other development on the planet."

Since Ms. McBride seems to have come to the conclusion that all development is, and always has been bad, I presume that she is following her principles and is now living a natural cave and is sustaining herself with the roots and berries she finds in the woods.

Theodora Carroll asks, " Why is it deemed necessary to pave over every bit of nature?" Maybe I'm just not looking hard enough but I hadn't noticed pavement anywhere on the access to the six mountain summits I have climbed so far this summer in this part of the province; and I actually didn't even find any trails to any of these alpine areas - believe me I would have used them if there were any.

It might be worth noting also that I have encountered exactly three other people in total, besides those in my party, on my wilderness trips this season.

As I see it, there is so little less-than-hard-core access to real backcountry recreation around here (less than there was 30 years ago by the way) that the few easy access points, like the Black Tusk/ Garibaldi Lake trail, are obscenely over run on summer weekends.

This may make it seem that it is crowded out there in the wilderness; it's not. The decommissioning of many forestry roads means that backcountry access continues to shrink, not expand; the loss of the Shannon Creek road was a particular tragedy.

As for wintertime there is only one access point to the alpine for backcountry skiers between West Vancouver and Lillooet that does not involve a slog up a road or bushwhacking. That access point is of course Whistler/Blackcomb, which offers fabulous access to an alpine area mercifully free of snowmobiles. Unfortunately though purchasing the Whistler/Blackcomb backcountry ski pass amounts to what is probably the most expensive one-ride-up lift ticket in the world. I have long wished for another, smaller, downhill ski development along the sea to sky corridor that would provide more summer and winter access to the backcountry.

I don't quite understand the perspective of self proclaimed environmentalists who have automatically opposed every idea for a ski development in the corridor while allowing so much of the area to be turned over, with relatively little opposition, to heli-ski tenure for the enjoyment of a wealthy elite.

My observation over the decades has been that the mountain goat, for instance, can co-exist with a ski resort but that they seem to disappear from an area after heli operations begin.

Those who really believe that the wilderness in southwestern B.C. is being totally over developed and overrun probably should get out there and take a look. It's not a big group of people who actually use the true backcountry around here. It doesn't need to be quite this exclusive. A little more access to our mountains, without the use of dirt-bikes, snowmobiles, or choppers, would be great.

Ed Fischer

Garibaldi Highlands

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