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Glacier park winter permit area expansion

(9 posts)
  1. nickt
    Member

    I've just had a quick look at the e-mail I was sent by Parks Canada on changes to the Glacier Park winter permit areas. The map in the e-mail shows some significant extension of the permit areas. In particular McGill, Grizzly Shoulder and Cheops North are now permit areas (as is the Bostock Pass parking area). So it looks like only Illicillewat/Asulkan is avaliable without a permit.

    There are also significant changes to the permit process - including EVERY INDIVIDUAL will need to get their own permit and there will be some sort of annual permit (for those who attend orientation sessions).

    Posted 8 years ago #
  2. brendab
    Member

    I spoke with parks staff today. The annual permit will allow a person to verify on-line or by phone whether a permit area is open, and then just go there without stopping in at the visitor centre for a specific permit.

    They expect to hold orientation sessions at the visitor centre on Saturdays and more during the christmas-new year time frame in order to make the annual permits more accessible to those of us who don't live in Revelstoke. They're just waiting on the visitor centre construction to come closer to completion.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  3. aparker
    Site Admin

    Here is the original email sent by Parks Canada:

    The 2009/10 Winter Permit System will take effect in Glacier National Park
    in the coming weeks. There have been extensive changes to the Winter Permit
    System—including changes to Winter Restricted and Prohibited Area
    boundaries, parking, and permit registration.

    What is the Winter Permit System?
    The Winter Permit system allows backcountry users to enter Winter
    Restricted Areas that are affected by the highway avalanche program when
    artillery gunfire is not anticipated. This system protects the public from
    danger resulting from direct artillery fire, including shrapnel that can
    travel up to 1000 metres and the potential for sympathetic avalanche
    releases.

    The avalanche control work is conducted to keep the transportation corridor
    open, and does not render slopes safe for winter recreationists. Anyone
    travelling into the backcountry in winter should have proper training to
    assess avalanche terrain and conditions, as well as the appropriate
    equipment and skills for self-rescue.

    Why are there changes to the Winter Permit System?
    Changes to the Winter Permit System are based on concern for public
    safety—due to expanding terrain use by backcountry recreationists and the
    operational need to separate recreation activities from avalanche control
    actions. Boundaries to Winter Restricted and Prohibited areas have been
    adjusted in order to firmly apply accepted standards of 1000 metre standoff
    from artillery targets. The changes have also incorporated safe public
    parking areas during closures of the Trans-Canada Highway for avalanche
    control. Some changes have increased terrain accessible to skiers, while
    still preserving snow study areas for the avalanche control program.

    What has changed with the Winter Permit System?
    Changes include a decrease in the size of four Winter Prohibited Areas
    (Abbott, Fidelity, Macdonald West Shoulder and Cougar), and the addition of
    the Heather Hill Winter Prohibited Area. A Winter Prohibited Area is an
    area to which access for winter recreationists is prohibited. Most Winter
    Restricted Area boundaries have been expanded, and three new areas have
    been created: McGill, Cheops North, and Grizzly Shoulder Restricted Areas.
    Access to the Tupper Restricted Area and the Ross Peak Restricted Area has
    been re-established via routes that avoid crossing CP property – a solution
    found after working with interested backcountry users last spring. A valid
    Winter Permit is required to enter a Winter Restricted Area. Trailhead
    parking that requires a Winter Parking Permit now includes Bostock, Hermit,
    Rockgarden, Loop Creek, NRC Gully, and Stone Arch.

    NEW - Annual Winter Permits
    It is now possible to obtain an Annual Winter Permit to enter into Winter
    Restricted Areas. This will be possible by attending a Winter Permit
    Orientation Session, agreeing to a Waiver of Liability and Indemnity
    Agreement and accepting specific terms and conditions.
    Annual Winter Permit Orientation Sessions will be held:
    · November 25th in Golden at the Lutheran Church at 7pm
    · November 26th, December 1st & 15th in Revelstoke at the United Church
    at 7pm
    · Additional sessions will be held throughout the winter! Stay tuned
    for more details

    Daily Winter Permits
    Daily Winter Permits will still be issued in Rogers Pass. New this year,
    every individual will have to obtain their own Daily Winter Permit, as
    permits will no longer be issued solely to group leaders.

    Permit Validity and Violation Consequences
    Winter Permits are valid from the daily time of issue to midnight of the
    same day and are valid only for those Winter Restricted Areas which have
    been posted as open for entry and travel on that day. Overnight use or
    camping is not permitted in any Winter Restricted Area. Any person
    requesting a Winter Permit will first be required to agree to a Waiver of
    Liability and Indemnity Agreement.

    Individuals entering a Winter Prohibited Area or a Winter Restricted Area
    that is closed to entry, or not complying with permit conditions or parking
    restrictions, may be prosecuted, resulting in a maximum fine of $2000
    and/or permit cancellation. Vehicles parked illegally may be towed at the
    owner’s expense.

    Public Safety
    Parks Canada’s primary concern is for public safety. Winter Permits will
    not be issued to Winter Restricted Areas where access depends on trespass
    of Canadian Pacific (CP) property. Access to the Tupper Restricted Area and
    the Ross Peak Restricted Area has been re-established via routes that avoid
    crossing CP property. Parks Canada and CP are integrating suggestions from
    public consultation and investigating solutions for access to the remaining
    three Winter Restricted Areas that cross CP property: Fortitude (Flat
    Creek), Smart and Shaughnessy. CP Police patrol these sites and may tow and
    impound vehicles illegally parked on CP property.

    The Trans-Canada Highway itself is not part of the Restricted or Prohibited
    Areas, but highway plowing and avalanche control activities place
    restrictions in some areas. This includes no stopping inside signed
    avalanche areas along the highway, and the requirement to obtain Winter
    Parking Permits for parking at designated parking areas. Visitors are asked
    to obey all signs along the highway.

    Further Information
    For more information on the Winter Permit System and Orientation Sessions,
    please call
    250-837-7500

    Posted 8 years ago #
  4. aparker
    Site Admin

  5. aparker
    Site Admin

    More information on the Winter Permits in an email from Parks dated November 25th:

    The Winter Permit system in Glacier National Park is now in effect.

    A reminder that Orientation Sessions to obtain your Annual Winter Permit
    begin tonight in Golden. Please bring relevant vehicle license plate
    numbers to the session with you.

    Orientation Session dates:

    Golden Lutheran Church: November 25th at 7pm.

    Revelstoke United Church: November 26th, December 1st and 15th, at 7pm.

    Rogers Pass Discovery Centre: Thursdays and Saturdays at 3pm, commencing
    November 28th, and Tuesday December 22 and 29 at 3pm. Schedule may change,
    please call 250 837-7500 for updates on schedule.

    Frequently Asked Questions
    IMPORTANT CHANGES TO
    WINTER PERMIT SYSTEM IN GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

    This document is a supplement to the document issued November 14th,
    2009—titled IMPORTANT CHANGES TO WINTER PERMIT SYSTEM IN GLACIER NATIONAL
    PARK. Please refer to that document for description and details on this
    issue.

    1. When will the Winter Permit System take effect?
    November 25th, 2009

    2. When will the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre re-open?
    November 24th, 2009

    3. What do I need to bring with me to the Annual Winter Permit
    Orientation Session?.

    Please bring the vehicle licence numbers of vehicles you plan to park
    in lots that require a Winter Permit.

    4. If I do not live in Revelstoke or Golden, how can I attend an
    Orientation Session for an Annual Winter Permit? Commencing
    November 28th, 2009, Annual Winter Permit Orientation Sessions will
    take place at 3pm on Saturdays and Thursdays at the Rogers Pass
    Discovery Centre, as well as at 3pm on Tuesday December 22nd and 29th
    . Schedule may change. Please call 250-837-7500. Individuals can
    obtain a Daily Winter Permit for several days, until their visit
    coincides with an Orientation Session.

    5. How much do Annual Winter Permits cost?
    Annual Winter Permits are
    free. In order to obtain an Annual Winter Permit, individuals must
    fill out a registration form, attend a Winter Permit Orientation
    Session, agree to a Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement and
    accept specific terms and conditions. Each individual is required to
    have valid a National Park Pass in order to visit a national park.
    Passes are available for purchase at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre
    and Parks Canada’s Revelstoke office.

    6. How can I provide input and ideas on the Winter Permit System?

    Parks Canada will continue to work with backcountry users, Canadian
    Pacific, and other parties, to address issues affecting public safety
    and the Winter Permit System in Glacier National Park. Please
    continue to provide feedback and ideas by phone and email
    (250-837-7500, and rogerspass.winterpermits@pc.gc.ca)

    7. Where can I find more information about the Winter Permit System on
    the website?

    The website www.pc.gc.ca/glacier contains updated information on the
    Winter Permit System. Click on the tab on the right hand side of the
    page, or go to the Visitor Information link. The Winter Permit System
    page includes six PDF maps of Winter Restricted and Prohibited Areas,
    from which users can use PDF Reader to access UTMs/Latitude-Longitude
    information.

    8. If I have an Annual Winter Permit, will I need to go to the Rogers
    Pass Discovery Centre to find out the Winter Restricted Area Status?

    The Winter Restricted Area Status will be updated daily on the
    website www.pc.gc.ca/glacier and a phone line which will be provided
    during the Annual Winter Permit Orientation Session. This information
    is only relevant for Annual Winter Permit holders. All other
    individuals will need to obtain a Daily Winter Permit from the Rogers
    Pass Discovery Centre to enter Winter Restricted Areas and to park in
    parking areas requiring a permit.

    9. Are there any changes to the Daily Winter Permit?

    Yes. New this year, every individual will have to obtain their own
    Daily Winter Permit, as permits will no longer be issued solely to
    group leaders. Individuals wishing to obtain a Daily Winter Permit
    will need to sign a Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement and
    accept specific terms and conditions. Skiers will still carry a
    portion of the Daily Winter Permit with them, and leave the other
    portion on the dash of their vehicle where winter parking permits are
    required.

    10. If I have an Annual Winter Permit and my friend does not, can they
    enter a Winter Restricted Area with me?

    No. Every individual must obtain their own Daily or Annual Winter
    Permit.

    11. Can I ski up Connaught Creek when Grizzly Shoulder and Cheops
    North Winter Restricted Areas are both closed?

    Yes. There is a corridor between the two Winter Restricted Areas,
    allowing skiers access up Connaught Creek when both Grizzly Shoulder
    and Cheops North Winter Restricted Areas are closed.

    12. Can I ski up Bostock Creek when McGill Winter Restricted Area
    is closed?

    No. There is no access corridor between Fidelity Prohibited Area and
    McGill Winter Restricted Area.

    13. Can I park at Bostock parking area with a Winter Permit when
    McGill Permit Area is closed?
    No. Parking at Bostock with an Annual Winter Permit is not available
    when McGill Winter Restricted Area is closed.

    14. Can I still do the Balu to Bostock (Three Pass) Traverse?

    Yes. The Bostock Overnight Parking Permit is available for skiers
    doing a multi-day trip. Please inquire for further details.

    15. Can I access unrestricted terrain in the Flat Creek drainage?

    Parks Canada will continue to investigate potential access solutions,
    with the support of Canadian Pacific. A construction solution will
    not be in place this winter. Parks Canada requests that people not
    access terrain that requires trespassing CP property.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  6. nickt
    Member

    Just got my annual permit. It was painless and informative.

    The web site and phone line will be updated with openings as soon as the decision is made - i.e. some time after 7am. They will default back to everything closed after 5pm to avoid any possibility of someone getting out of date information.

    Posted 7 years ago #
  7. aparker
    Site Admin

    Here's the direct link for the daily Winter Restricted Area Status:

    http://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/tcond/cond_e.asp?oPark=100205

    Posted 7 years ago #
  8. aparker
    Site Admin

    And the phone number: 250-837-7547

    Not the same number as the avalanche bulletin which is: 250-837-MTNS (250-837-6867)

    Posted 7 years ago #
  9. nickt
    Member

    Today they didn't update the web page until just before 9am. And when they did the web page showed all the areas as closed when the phone line reported several of them open. I e-mailed them about it!

    Posted 7 years ago #

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