British Columbia

Cypress Olympic closures irk backcountry skiers

A decision to close one of B.C.'s busiest backcountry ski and snowshoeing areas on Vancouver's North Shore because of the Olympic Games is upsetting those who use the wilderness trails for their winter recreation.

A decision to close one of B.C.'s busiest backcountry ski and snowshoeing areas on Vancouver's North Shore because of the Olympic Games is upsetting those who use the wilderness trails for their winter recreation.

B.C. Parks says some trails in Cypress Provincial Park will be closed from Dec. 1 until April 1, a total of more than four months. Public access to the rest of the area will be restricted from Feb. 1 to March 8.

Backcountry closures at Cypress Provincial Park

       
  • Black Mountain trails will be closed Dec. 1 to April 1.
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  • Howe Sound Crest trail including Bowen Lookout will be closed Dec. 1 to April 1.
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  • Hollyburn Hikers Access Trail will be closed above Water Board cabin Dec. 1 to March 8.
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  • The entire Hollyburn Hikers Access Trail will be closed Feb. 1 to March 8.

Ski area closures Feb. 1 to Mar. 8

       
  • Cypress Mountain ski resort including the Nordic area will be closed to the public without Olympic tickets.
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  • Road access to the mountain will be limited to Olympic and local traffic only.
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  • There will be no spectator or public parking at the Cypress Mountain venue during the Games.

The wilderness area is being closed because the Cypress Mountain ski resort located inside the park is hosting the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events during the 2010 Winter Games from Feb. 12 to 28.

Closures too long: skier

Glen Head, 70, said he normally skies in the area two or three times a week during the winter, but that won't be happening this year.

"It means basically the whole ski season for guys like me, we'll have no access to where we normally go, no access to it all. And to read their website, there will be security people there to make sure we don't go up there," he said.

Head said he understands why the area would be closed in February, but it's not clear why the area is being closed 2½ months before the Games begin and a month afterward.

"We're not going to argue Feb. 1 until March 8, of course. To close it for two months before and then a month after the Olympics, even for any security reason, I can't come up with any logical reason, and nobody is telling us anyway." 

The Environment Ministry, which oversees the park, could not be reached for comment.

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