Heading on a hiking or biking trail this summer? The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is reminding everyone to be adventure smart by being prepared and always respecting the environment.
“Being prepared and protecting our natural habitat should be core to any backcountry or alpine trip. Last year we saw more people than expected out on the trails who were not prepared,” said Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.
“Before you head out, ask yourself if you are physically ready and if you have everything you need. When you are on the trails, stay away from wildlife, do not flick cigarette butts or matches, and stay on the trail.”
Learn the skills for safe trail travel and to bring all necessary gear. Areas like the Alpine Trail Network and Rainbow Lake provide backcountry experiences that require hikers and bikers to have a high level of fitness and be prepared for a day-long journey in remote, strenuous alpine terrain.
- Recognize your ability and understand the risks with all trails.
- Expect the unexpected and plan for delays, changes in weather and injuries.
- Plan ahead. Tell someone where you are going, and check local trail reports and maps, as well as trailforks.com.
Respect the environment
When you are on a hiking or biking trail, you are also in wildlife and wildfire country. Respect the environment to protect wildlife, sensitive alpine vegetation, the Whistler community and Whistler’s water sources.
- Pack out all garbage, use outhouses, take only photos and leave no trace.
- Stay on designated trails and obey all trail signs. Avoid shortcuts and trail braiding to protect the natural habitat.
- Be aware of current fire danger ratings. Do not flick butts or matches, and where campfires are permitted, drown campfires before leaving.
- Prevent the spread of invasive species by cleaning your gear before entering and when leaving a trail area.
- Protect Whistler’s water supply. Do not fish, camp or defecate in the watershed.
- Keep dogs on leash and out of the watershed. Off-leash dogs can create conflict with bears and other wildlife.
Environmental and safety considerations are always paramount in all trail planning. This season trail rangers will be located on the Sproatt and Rainbow alpine trail systems. Their focus will be on inspecting the trail systems, providing information to the public and managing the surface of the trails.
Whistler Search and Rescue has invited the trail rangers to participate in an emergency exercise, related to a mid-elevation bike incident, so both teams are aware of each other’s resources, skills and emergency protocol.
Learn more at whistler.ca/AdventureSmart.
About the Resort Municipality of Whistler
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is a destination resort community, local government organization and leader in providing municipal programs, services, progressive planning and infrastructure for almost 12,000 residents and three million annual visitors. Situated in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Our vision: to be the premier mountain resort community as we move towards sustainability. How we’re doing: whistler.ca/monitoring