Trail Work Log

Funding

MEC has kindly provided $1948.  All funds have been received
National Trail Coalition of Canada (www.ntc-canada.ca) is providing $1926.  All funds have been received.
 
Tasks & Schedule

Winter Tasks
  • Remark Beverley Creek trail above ponds where the trail was realigned to cross large fallen log.
  • Pull markers from mountain bike trail that drops down from Olympic Biathlon XC trail now that we have our own trail here.
  • Straighten Beverley Creek trail above the last swamp.
  • Identify best site for bridge over stream just before old crossing of Hanging Creek
  • Replace missing markers as needed (some trees were cut down, a few of the big hole markers fell off).  Beverley creek trail has perhaps a dozen missing makers below key lake.  Hanging Lake trail is not nearly as bad.
  • Fix misleading markers below main creek crossing on Hanging Lake trail.
Fall Tasks
  • Brush out Beverley creek trail to the end (complete to key lake)
  • Fix problem areas identified in winter:
    • small trees on steep traverse to Beverley Creek.
    • diagonal log across trail at north end of steep bank section next to Beverley Creek
    • Bridge over stream just  before old crossing of Hanging Creek.
Progress Log

June 6, 2009 - meeting with Lindsay Durno and sign scouting

(Scott Nelson). I met with Lindsay Durno, the operations manager at Whistler Olympic Park. He was keen on doing some large map boards for the backcountry trailheads at the Biathlon Range and Beverley Creek Bridge, in the same style as the existing XC trail map boards. He suggested that he would be able to provide the stand structures if I could provide the signs. Trailhead signs like this would put me over the original budget, so I will be applying for some more funding from the federal government trails program. Lindsay gave me the contact info for the contractors that made the existing signs at WOP - Century signs in Squamish for fabrication and Tom Barret Ltd in Whistler for the mapping and design. After the meeting I hiked up the Rainbow-Madeley Trail to check out the junctions where the new trail up beverley creek crosses it. I identified suitable trees for trail signs at these junctions. I continued up the Beverley Creek route to see how bushy it was higher up. It turned out to be really easy going, as it was mostly swamp. Only one section about 50m long, the steep traverse over to the valley floor, needs brushing.

July 26, 2009 - Hanging Lake

(Scott Nelson and Sandra Nicol) We brought a chainsaw up the hanging lake route as far as the start of the open meadows that begin around 1250m. We cut all the large blowdowns between here and the upper logging road. Also did some considerable work on the worst of the dense patches of brushy young conifers around 1000m. This was my first time walking this route in summer conditions. It was hot and buggy, and there was more devils club than I've ever seen before. I guess that is part of the reason why the route skis so well in the winter. Another brushing day will be needed to clear from the shooting range to the logging road, as this section was definitely the worst of the bush (and it sees the least snow). I think this can wait until next summer, as VANOC might be causing all sorts of havoc in there for the Olympics.

September 7, 2009 - Beverley Creek


Thanks to Matthew Carroll, Phil Tomlinson, Shuyu Fan and Patrick Fan for coming out.  We walked the lower part of the Beverley Creek Trail, from the XC bridge over Beverley Creek to the small lake on the ridge between Beverley Creek and Madeley Creek - about 1.7km in all.  Once again, swampy terrain ruled the day, but fortunately this time the foliage was mostly skunk cabbage, deer fern and black huckleberry.  There was only a little devils club to contend with.  We cleared a few small patches of thicker brush and moved a dozen or so blowdowns off the route.  One more work day on the upper part of the trail should finish the clearing work for this summer.  We also made some adjustments to the route alignment, including figuring out and flagging the first few hundred meters up from the trailhead.  On my previous explorations in the area, I'd started further west (from Norwegian Woods trail) but I wanted the trailhead to be as close to the Beverley Creek bridge as possible.  I think the new route alignment in this section is actually better than the old one, but we'll have to wait for winter to find out for sure.

October 18, 2009 - Upper Beverley Creek

Thanks to Doris Leong, Hannes Fugmann and Svenja Herrmann with this effort.  We used the Rainbow Madeley Trail to access the mid point on the route up Beverley Creek.  First we checked out some alternative routes between the RM trail and the creek itself, but didn't find anything better than what I'd already flagged.  We cleared some brush on the final steep traverse and then had lunch by the creek in the rain.  Then we headed up into the upper part of the creek to flag this part of the route.  There's once section where there is a steep slope right down to the river that we didn't flag - will wait for winter to see what the best route is.  Just above this point, numerous 20m long trees have fallen into the creek, but are still hung up on the bank.  Up at the fork in the creek, I started working on some blowdowns and got the chainsaw really stuck in one.  I managed to get the saw and bar off (with the chain sill stuck in the log) but unfortunately we'd left the other chain behind a ways downstream.  We finished the flagging on the way out and headed straight for the car as we were thoroughly soaked by this point.  Despite the forecast for reasonable weather, it rained on us for most of the day.
 
November 1, 2009 - Upper Beverley Creek again

Went back to Upper Beverley Creek to finish clearing the blowdowns and get the chainsaw chain back.  Also cleared some brush along the tight spot by the river and straightened out part of the flagged route.  Thanks to Line Veenstra and Caitlin Schneider for helping out.
 
November 27, 2009 - Early Season Ski

Jordan Best and Serguei Okountsev for joining me on this one.  We started at the Callaghan Country base area (800m) where there was less snow than advertised - only about 50cm in the forest.  In a way this was actually a good thing because I wanted to see how the trail skied in low snow conditions.  We bought the $6 BC access passes and followed the groomed Madeley Loop XC trail to the bridge over Beverley Creek and started up the trail just west of the bridge.  At first, the trail was very wet and there were many open holes in the snow.  In fact, the first draw that the trail goes up was mostly bare and wet in the bottom.  However we were still able to ski up the side.  Because of the recent warm weather, the snow surface was primarily frozen tree bombs which made for difficult, slow travel.  We made it up to the small lake (1000m) just fine and I was relieved to find that it remained quite well frozen despite a week of warm temperatures.  We crossed and continued along the trail, which went quite well as there were only a few bare areas above here.  At the steep traverse to the valley bottom there were some small trees in the way that had been pushed over from the uphill side of the route by the weight of the snow.  Then at the steep section that is tight to the creek things went pretty well thanks to the clearing work at the beginning of the month.  However at the north end of the tight section a diagonal fallen tree created a step we couldn't ski up and over, so we had to detour around.  This fallen tree will be cut next time I'm up there with a chain saw.  Above the tight section things went smoothly and we tied on new flags as the ones that had been put up in October were close to being buried.  Past the end of the trail we continued up east fork to the first meadow (1320m), where we decided to stop and do some transceiver practice rather than pursue the poor looking snow higher up.  The ski down was difficult because of the poor snow conditions.  Serguei's new boots did not get along with his feet, so it took a few hours longer than expected and we arrived at the car well after dark.

January 19th, 2009 - Beverley Creek avalanche terrain assessment

I joined avalanche forecasters Cam Campbell and Peter Marshall on a trip up Beverley Creek to rate the terrain and do some snow observation.  Low down conditions are still a little thin with some exposed creek, but up high there is a lot of snow.  4.4m to be exact.  On the way down we cut over from the lake to the bridge over madeley creek on Norwegian Woods trail.  This was really easy - we just followed the Rainbow-Madeley trail northwest until it started to go downhill and crossed a substantial stream.  Then we followed the stream downhill until it made a sharp left turn.  At this point we cut over to the right  to join the Norwegian Woods XC trail right by the bridge over Madeley Creek.  We crossed over the bridge and returned to the car via Madeley Road trail.  The ski out was quick - just 1.5 hours from upper Beverley Creek to the car.
 
January 21st, 2009 - Final map

The final version of the map is ready, and is posted as an attachment below.  The jpg version is smaller and faster to view, but the pdf looks much better when rendered and you can see all the details.

March 6th - 7th 2010

A gaggle of VOCers joined me on a beautiful Saturday to hang trail markers.  Battling the brutal, icy conditions and muddy patches we managed to mark as far as the intersection with the Rainbow Madeley Trail on Saturday.  Christian, Line, Phil, Vicky and Janine headed home for the day (via the shortcut over to the XC trails) while Roland, Maria, Anna, Peter, Theresa, Sandra and I headed up to camp on the banks of Beverley Creek.  We arrived just as it got dark, had some delicious food and were quickly off to bed.  The next day Anna and I tackled the upstream trail while the others went downstream from the camp.  The downstream crew did a fantastic job, but Anna and I ran out of markers before we could finish up.  When we went down to find the others, they didn't quite have enough markers to cover the gap, so we all packed up and headed out, leaving about half a kilometer without markers, but with perfectly good flagging in place.  We also took the shortcut out to the XC trails to avoid the heinous lower section of trail, and everyone made it back to the car in one piece.

March 14th, 2010

Ilze Rupners, Sandra and I went up Beverley Creek to finish the job on Sunday, March 14th. With a nice coating of new snow right down to the parking lot, we found only a trace of the icy death crust that plauged us last week. After a couple hours of skiing we arrived at last week's camp site, had a snack and started putting up more markers. This this time the primary hazard was tree bombs, which fall rather frequently when you start cutting off limbs and hammering on tree trunks. I got hit in the ear, in the eye, and of course down the neck.

A couple hours later all the marker hanging was done, so we decided to find something to ski. We went up to the end of the trail and starting climbing up towards Beverley Lake. There's lots of micro terrain in this area and it took us off to climbers left, and eventually we found ourselves in sight, but slightly above the pass with the Soo river. Here we started heading straight uphill, working our way up micro terrain ramps on both sides of a loosely defined ridge. The clouds closed in and it started snowing harder as we climbed. We hit the top (or close enough - 1600m) at 2:40pm old time and started a really fun run down.

We dropped over all sorts of little steep rolls until the bottom of the run where there was a rather large cliff. traversing right didn't work, so we went skiers left and eventually found a way around and down into the narrow talus gulley that runs between Beverley Creek and the Soo River. Some entertaining "Smurfland" skiing brought us back to the end of the trail and the start of the 6km glide, double pole, sidestep and skate back to the truck.
 
March 27th, 2010
 
Maria Markov, Anna Szeitz, Ben Singleton-Polester, Chris Michalak, Skyler Ces Roches, Jean Francois Caron and Sandra Nicol joined me for the final round of hanging trail markers.  We covered the whole trail from the Biathlon Range to Hanging Lake on what turned out to be a fairly nice day.  The first section of trail between the Biathlon Range and the logging road above the XC trails was in really rough condition with little snow and lots of bushy trees, but the rest of the trail went really well.  The main creek crossing wasn't filled in either, but it was pretty easy to cross back and forth about 50m upstream where the creek braids out into several channels.
 
October 11th, 2010

The trailhead signs are now complete.  These signs were moved from their original locations at the request of Whistler 2010 Sports Legacies Society (the new owners of Whistler Olympic Park), who did not want the signs to be visible from the XC ski trails.

October 14, 2011 - meeting with Lindsay Durno and Soren Robinson

(Scott Nelson and Bryce Leigh).  We met with Lindsay to discuss access signage on WOP property.  Lindsay and Soren agreed to put up signs directing backcountry users to the established trailheads where backcountry skiers can leave WOP.  Backcountry users will be allowed to use the XC ski trails to reach the backcountry.  The small road that runs from the Biathlon Range to the Hanging Lake trailhead sign will be designated as a snowshoe trail and may be used by backcountry skiers and snowshoers.  We also brushed out the connector between this small road and the bigger logging road where the trailhead sign is located.
 
October 20, 2012 - Hanging Lake trail

(Scott Nelson, Matt Parisien, Russell Porter, Jake Alleyne,Gili Rosenberg, Olga Lansdorp, Andrew Cavers, Sam Slota-Newson, Jo, Adrian Armstrong, Will, Rob Kay) VOC and BCMC Crew.  We widened the trail and built a few bridges from the logging road sign to the creek crossing.
 
October 21, 2012 - Beverley Creek trail clearing

(Scott Nelson, Matt Parisien, Simone Williamson, Ignacio Rozada, Michael Huber, Angela Boag, Colleen Budzinski, Jonathan Ross) VOC and BCMC trail crew.      We widened the trail and built a few bridges from Madeley Loop XC trail to the steep climb with the big boulders (~950m).  We also cut a new trail down from the low point in the Olympic Biathlon trail.

February 9, 2013 - Hanging Lake trail reroute exploration

(Scott Nelson, Ross Nelson).  We figured out a better route that avoids the steep difficult part of the climb. The new variation is quite a bit easier to ski. We flagged it with pink ribbons, but they are not as frequent as the permanent markers, so a little bit of searching might be required. The new route leaves the old one at the creek crossing and stays on the climber's left side of the creek for a further 500m. Then it cuts back to the right just as things start to get steep, crosses the creek and rejoins the old route above the difficult climb.

March 16, 2013 - Hanging Lake trail reroute marking

(Scott Nelson, Bill Maurer, Elisa Kreller and Goran Babic). BCMC group marked the improved route with permanent markers.  We also remove the first few markers at either end of the bypassed section so they are not visible from the new alignment.  Most of the old markers are still up.

October 5-6, 2013 - Hanging Lake Trail Clearing

(Scott Nelson, Austin Badger, Dan Domanski)  BCMC trip cleared the rerouted trail section that was marked in March.  The new stream crossing was easy, even with high runoff.  It is just below a pretty waterfall where the creek cascades down bedrock.  One big fallen tree at the first open meadow could be problematic in early winter.  We widened a naturally occurring gap in the tree but it may be too steep to climb on skis.  I will have to check it out after the snow falls and decide if more work is necessary.  At the trailhead the plastic coating on the sign artwork is shrinking significantly.  The screws wont allow this, so it bubbled up a bit around the screws.  The map artwork underneath is totally fine though.

October 26, 2013 - Hanging Lake Trail Clearing

(Scott Nelson, Matt Parisien, Ben Singleton-Polster, Adam Palmblad, Tracy Wilkinson, Matthew Paley, Robin Curtis, Leor Oren).  We built three new bridges on the Hanging Lake trail - At the trailhead road ditch, directly above the trailhead, and just below the first big clearing.  The blowdowns from last winter were taken care of and we cut down all the trees marked with orange tape up to 1050m.

October 27, 2013 - Beverley Creek Trail Clearing


(Scott Nelson, Matt Parisien, Evan Morris, Marlaina Rhymer, Luke Busta).  We built two bridges on the Beverley Creek trail and completed clearing between the trailhead on Madeley Loop XC ski trail and Key Lake.  Above the ponds, 40m of trail was rerouted to pass a large fallen tree.  This section needs to be remarked along the new alignment.

Jan 4, 2014- Hanging Lake Ski

(Scott Nelson, Matt Parisien) no work done on the trail, but a good assessment of what travelling the trail is like in extremely thin snow conditions.  At the trailhead, the snowpack was just 5cm of ice and frozen tree bombs so we strapped our skis to our packs and hiked up to 1200m.  Travel was surprisingly fast thanks to the clearing work. 
  • We still had to step over a few fallen logs and there were plenty of stumps poking through too.  Travel would have been a little easier if the trail was cleared to full hiking trail standards (i.e. cut every single log across the trail).
  • Bashing our way through the blueberry bushes and devils club stems was not a problem. 
  • Bridges were not holding any snow yet. just 1cm of ice.
  • All creeks were solidly frozen.
  • Puddle near the big uprooted tree (1000m) was not frozen.  The icy logs that we threw into the puddle last fall were tricky to walk.
  • Just below the main creek crossing we went underneath a big leaning tree.  Going above it was not possible with the thin snowpack - perhaps 30-40cm at that point.  Last spring we went above this tree.  At this point it's not clear if there is an awkward snowpack depth where neither over nor under work.
  • We went below the big dead tree that was cut down near 1250m.  The fallen tree itself was still blocking travel on the uphill side.
  • Travel was easy for the uncleared portion above 1250m.  Clearing higher than 1250m would not be beneficial.
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Scott Nelson,
Jan 21, 2010, 1:34 PM
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Scott Nelson,
Jan 21, 2010, 8:06 PM
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Scott Nelson,
Feb 12, 2013, 7:08 AM
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