A few weeks ago rogerspass411.ca hit the streets which prompted me to examine the possibility of opening up other area’s in BC.
** Note: A follow up publication to this post is now available. See Coquihalla Ski Map on Google Earth.
One of the biggest challenges with starting to ski tour is knowing where to go, the other is the education needed to do it safely. This is the challenge with releasing google earth guides and maps to skiing area’s is that are you encouraging people to venture into area’s when they shouldn’t?
John Baldwin has produced some amazing maps and a guidebook but something is lacking when compared to climbing guidebooks. These guidebooks are often seen as a way to allow people to safely enter the sport and to point them in the right direction rather than allow them to flail in what could be dangerous terrain.
The Coquihalla is one of the best touring areas in the province for both ski quality and accessibility. It’s popularity is growing with more and more cars there every year. The skiers unfortunately are clustered in three areas which leaves many other quality runs and terrain untouched. If there were pictures, run descriptions, and more information it may make people step outside of their normal spots. Providing information on the other areas may actually make for a safer skiing experience for all as traffic creates its own set of challenges.
Since I began touring I was armed with a GPS and have used it to track good runs, key drop in points and also to make places to avoid and improve my skiing experience. Have we come to a point where we can ignore the lawyer talk and liability BS and allow for the development of free source maps and guides? However the authors fear of litigation because some person blames you for their bad/educated judgment holds back the expansions and accessibility of the sport.
To wet the whistle a little of the possibilities check out the embeded map below. With enough interested and some legal consulting we could have our very own guide for the Coquihalla for all to enjoy. The GPS tracks are created and a personal map and guide has been in the works for years. I am interesting in hearing feedback and whether this would be something that would be of value. So touch base reach out and feel free to contact me if you have any thoughts and ideas.
Remember, backcountry skiing is an inherently dangerous activity that requires experience and knowledge to travel safely. Any of the routes on this site may be dangerous depending on conditions. You are responsible for your own safety in the backcounty.