Hanging Lake Trail Building

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Revision as of 14:46, 18 January 2017 by ScottN (talk | contribs) (October 26, 2013 – Hanging Lake Trail Clearing)
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Reference Points

This section assigns names to various sections of the trail for documentation purposes. These are listen in order starting at the WOP Biathlon Range

0km Biathlon Building Parking
Trail follow Olympic Biathlon XC trail to the low point past the bridge
km Olympic Explorer
Backcountry access trail follows Olympic Explorer snowshoe trail along an old narrow roadbed.
km Map Trailhead
This is the proper trailhead on the logging road above the highest WOP XC ski trail.
km Trailhead climb
The initial climb straight up through the forest above the map trailhead
km sidehill bridge
A small bridge on a sidehill section
km Uprooted Tree Bridge
A small bridge across a little stream just past the uprooted tree.
km bench bridge
Another small bridge a bit further uphill
km alder bridge
Another small bridge where the trail climbs into an open patch that was full of slide alder
km alder patch
km Uprooted Tree Traverse
km old trail junction
km Big Rock Meadow
An open area with a large rock in the middle of it. Trail goes climber's left of the rock
km gully traverse
trail traverses left across the bottom of a spring avalanche gully. The gully is not visible from the trail.
km gully meadow
km mountain swamp
km boulder climb
km boulder traverse
trail traverses right (steep at first) towards the new creek crossing
km new creek crossing
km yoyo meadows
km talus bench
km headwall climb
km Hanging Lake Bench
km Hanging Lake

Tasks & Schedule

Winter Tasks

  • Identify best site for bridge over stream just before the old creek crossing
  • Replace missing markers as needed (some trees were cut down, a few of the big hole markers fell off). Hanging Lake only has a few missing markers.
  • Raise markers on lower part of Hanging Lake trail for a deep snowpack.
  • Fix misleading markers below new creek crossing
  • Pull markers from old alignment of Hanging Lake trail
  • Align markers for switchbacks on boulder climb
  • Align markers for switchback through yoyo meadows
  • Align markers to switchbacks on headwall climb

Fall Tasks

  • Remove blowndown between sidehill bridge and uprooted tree bridge
  • Remove / clear blowdows between Biathlon Range and map trailhead
  • Do a better job of filling in the wet hole left by the uprooted tree at the uprooted tree traverse.
  • Bridge over stream just before old crossing of Hanging Creek.
  • Clear brush on boulder climb
  • Cut down the big dead leaning tree just before the main creek crossing
  • Clear brush at top of headwall climb and entry to Hanging Lake Bench


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.

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 – (trailhead bridge, sidehill bridge and alder bridge). The blowdowns from last winter were taken care of and we cut down all the trees marked with orange tape up to 1050m.

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 won’t allow this, so it bubbled up a bit around the screws. The map artwork underneath is totally fine though.

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.

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.

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 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 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.

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.

Hanging_lake_signJanuary 21st, 2010 – Final map

The final version of the map is ready to view. You can download a high res PDF here.

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.

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.

February 1, 2009

(Scott Nelson & Ben Singleton-Polester). We flagging a bypass section through the forest between the biathlon range and the logging road above the XC ski trails. (Note, this section is no longer used)

December 14, 2008

Exploratory ski trip to Hanging Lake

March 15-16, 2008

Exploratory ski trip up to Hanging Lake and down Beverley Creek

2009 Funding

MEC kindly provided $1948 for the Hanging lake and Beverley Creek trails.

National Trail Coalition of Canada (www.ntc-canada.ca) provided $1926.