Blackcomb Winter Public Access – Phase 1 – Results

Engagement summary

The Province was seeking feedback on a new designated public access route that is being piloted by Whistler Blackcomb and provides free public uphill skiing access through the Blackcomb Controlled Recreation Area to Garibaldi Provincial Park.

Engagement timeframe

March 4 to May 31, 2022

Input received

The Mountain Resort Branch, BC Parks and Whistler Blackcomb initiated a public survey posted along the interim route, online in forums and on the MRB website. 288 respondents completed the survey.

See the results summary.

A few notables from the survey:

  • 51% of respondents are Whistler Blackcomb Season Passholders
  • 40% of respondents had used the Blackcomb Interim public access route
  • Of those that responded that had used & completed the interim route, 83% were able to access the Park in 4 hours or less.
  • Comments that wayfinding signage could be improved
  • Time restrictions were a challenge, especially for those travelling from the Lower Mainland on day trips
  • A number of respondents would like snowshoe access to Garibaldi Park
  • Aside from “access through the CRA to Garibaldi Park, backcountry skiing” respondents second most interest in using the route was “exercise route for uphill and downhill skiing with in the CRA (inbounds)”
  • Question 9: “To ensure safety of users, different management strategies are being considered to reduce risk. Select all management strategies that you think are appropriate efforts to manage risk” – Top 3 selected for this question, in order:
    • Signage
    • Development of an off-piste route, which may result in reduced ease of use (e.g., steeper terrain, technical skinning)
    • Closure of routes during snow control

Next steps

Utilizing the learnings and feedback from the use of the interim access route this past season, Whistler Blackcomb is actively working on opportunities to improve public uphill access through Blackcomb in the winter months. The Province is continuing to work with Whistler Blackcomb on a longer-term agreement for uphill winter public access through Blackcomb that will meet the requirements of the MDA while ensuring the safety of the uphill and downhill travelling public is maintained.