Roe Creek Ski Trail Application

From VOC Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The applcation form is a Microsoft Word document, so I've cut and pasted the relevent sections below to make it editable by everyone. Please have a read through it if you'd like and post comments on the discussion page.


An individual or group may use this form to apply to the Recreation Sites and Trails Section to construct, rehabilitate or maintain a trail or recreation facility. The numbers on this form correspond with the explanations found in the following section titled “Forest & Range Practices Act, S57 and the Application Process Information Package". If required, attach additional pages

Name of individual or group

Varisty Outdoor Club Address: Box 98, Student Union Building, 6138 Student Union Mall,Vancouver, BC Postal Code: V6T 2B9 Contact Person: Scott Nelson

Overall purpose of the proposed work

The purpose of the proposed trail is to provide safe winter access to the Brew Hut. The existing hiking trail from the railroad tracks near Brandywine Falls is not suitable for winter use because it travels up several steep, highly avalanche prone slopes. Also, the topography of the trail does not lend itself well to skiing, as there are many ups and downs and in several places the trail is too steep to ski. Traditional winter access has been from a western spur of the Brandywine Creek FSR, but the road is becoming very overgrown now, and the avalanche hazard on this route can be high. Also, the lower part of this route on Brandywine FSR presents major user conflicts between skiers and snowmobilers.

The Brew hut is located at the height of land just south of Mt. Brew. The hut was rebuilt by the VOC in the summer of 2005, and it is operated on a non-commercial non-exclusive basis. The exact location of the Hut is 10U 486404E, 5542900N, NAD27 Datum at 1686m altitude.

Brief description of the proposed work

The proposed trail will be used for backcountry ski touring and snowshoeing only, and therefore there will be no ground disturbance associated with building the trail for most of its length. High intensity reflective trail markers have already been put up along the route. The VOC proposes to clear the trail of bushes and small trees that are not easily covered by early winter snowfall. Low branches will be removed from larger trees that are adjacent to the trail. The upper 1/3rd of the proposed trail travels through open meadows and minimal clearing work will be required. Tree branches will also be cut back wherever they obscure the trail markers.

Bridge structures are proposed for 2 locations – at the trailhead and across a stream about 700m up the trail. At the trailhead there is a ditch on the uphill side of the road, with an embankment above the ditch. We propose to bridge the ditch with a small bridge, with a span of about 1 to 1.5m, to be built using dimensional lumber. We also proposed to reslope a small part of the embankment above the ditch so that it is easier to negotiate on skis. The area that needs resloping is relatively small – perhaps 2m by 3m. The second bridge structure would be located about 700m up the trail where the route crosses a stream. This stream is usually open in early winter and has steep banks. The bridge would allow easer access across the stream and reduce the potential for erosion of the stream bank. A 2-3 log stringer bridge made of wood from the site is proposed. The span of this bridge would be about 4-5m and the bridge deck would be about 1.2 m above the stream at the highest point.

Additional signs are proposed at the junction of the Roe Creek road and branch R200, and then again at the trailhead. These signs will indicate the distance to Brew Lake and Brew Hut, and they will have an arrow that indicates the direction of travel from the junction.

Location of the proposed work

The trail location is in the Squamish Forest District in the vicinity of Mount Brew. Access to the trailhead is from Chance creek FSR and then taking the branch road up Roe Creek. The start of the trail will be at the first switchback of branch 200 of the Roe Creek logging road. The end of the proposed trail will be at the south shore of Brew Lake, west of the creek that flows out from the lake. The length of the trail is about 3.5km Please see the attached map.

This proposal is for (please check):

  • [ ] a managed trail or recreation facility
  • [ ] an un-managed trail or recreation facility
  • [X] a new trail or recreation facility.

Please ensure that:

  • [X] a map showing the project area is attached.

Expected dates on which the proposed work will begin and finish (month or season, and year)

The proposed work will begin as soon as it is approved. I would like to complete the work by September or October 2006 before any snow starts to fall. Trail clearing work will take priority over constructing any bridge structures.

Expected use

The expected use of the trail is for backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. The season of use will be from early November to late May, depending on snow conditions. Users will park their vehicles at the snowline and ski / showshoe up the roe creek road to the trailhead, and then continue up the trail to Brew Lake. Brew Lake can be reached as a day trip, or parties may continue on to the Brew Hut which is located on the ridge north of the lake. The route has fairly gentle terrain throughout which makes it a good choice for beginner backcountry skiers. In mid winter a fairly long ski up the road can be expected, but this is usually shorter in April and May. The route was flagged in spring 2005, and in the winter of 2005-2006 the route received perhaps 100 user days, with most people staying overnight at the hut.

Summer use of the route is expected to be low, even though the route will offer a shorter access to Brew Lake than the existing hiking trail. The VOC will discourage summer use of the route, and there are many natural obstacles that make summer use of the route difficult. The clearcut section at the start has very dense, 6 foot high blueberry bushes that will not be cleared because they are easily covered over by snow. The route crosses a small lake at 1.1km and three boulder fields at (0.9km, 1.4km, 2.0km) that are poor traveling in the summer.

Standards or other provisions to ensure that the trail or recreation facility doesn’t conflict with other resource values or uses, is safe, environmentally sound, and durable, given the purpose and expected use

The trail will be designed to handle one way traffic, usually uphill in the morning and downhill in the afternoon. Since most of the trail is on hills (or a is a runout area from a hill), a clearing width of 3m will be used throughout. The target clearing height will be 5m at the trailhead, increasing to 6m or more higher up. The existing route makers (placed in March 2006) will be used as a guide to establish the clearing height on different parts of the trail. The trail would be classified as a type III or IV ski trail under the BC Ministry of Forests Recreation Manual standards.

The VOC has consulted with Terminal Forest Products about their logging plans for the area. A site visit was conducted in spring 2005 with one of their foresters to assess the potential for logging near the trail. The conclusion was that logging of the first few hundred meters of the trail was possible, but only under good market conditions. However, Terminal has now designated the area at the start of the trail as an Old Growth Management Area in their new Forest Stewardship Plan. The VOC has also agreed not to cut branches off the top 1/3rd of the cedar trees planted in the clearcut at the start of the trail in order to minimize the impact on the growth of these trees.

Powder Mountain Catskiing conducts guided snowcat skiing near the head of Roe Creek. There is a sharing agreement in place between PMC and the VOC with regards to reducing conflicts in this area. PMC runs their snowcats up the Roe Creek road which makes skiing up and down the road much easier than it otherwise would be, because the snow is packed down by the cat.

The Sea to Sky Winter Backcountry Recreation Sharing Forum has recommended this area for non-motorized recreation only. (i.e. snowmobiling is not permitted), so we do not foresee skier/snowmobiler conflicts occurring on this trail. Current snowmobile use in the Mt. Brew Alpine area is effectively zero.

Demonstration of capability and commitment to provide maintenance over the long term

The VOC was established at UBC in 1918 and has a long history of outdoor recreation stewardship. Club membership each year is typically about 350 members. The club presently maintain four backcountry cabins, all of which are located in the Squamish Forest District. Brew Hut was just rebuilt last summer and the club is planning a renovation of the Burton Hut this summer as well. Club members are always keen to volunteer for hut and trail maintenance events. For example, last September a hard working VOC party of 20 people dismantled the entire old Brew Hut in one weekend, and cut much of the lumber up for firewood for the new hut. The VOC has also maintained the hiking trail from Brandywine Falls to Brew Lake for many years.

Actions or assistance requested of the Recreation Regional Manager

Please check the appropriate box(es):

  • [X] Consent to proceed with the proposal
  • [X] Inclusion of the trail or recreation facility in the Recreation Inventory
  • [X] Creation of the trail or recreation facility as a map notation
  • [ ] Re-establishment of the trail or recreation facility after timber harvesting or other development activities
  • [ ] Cooperative management of the trail or recreation facility
  • [ ] Inclusion of the trail or recreation facility as a managed facility on maps and the Recreation Sites and Trails website
  • [X] Establishment of the trail or recreation facility as a Recreation trail or site
  • [ ] Establishment of the trail or recreation facility as a “Resource Feature”
  • [X] Other Forest Service actions or assistance; please specify: We would like assistance in designing bridge structures suitable for winter use with a snowpack of up to 2m.