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Mount Seymour

This is an open letter to Mt Seymour Resort (from Mick Bailey)
Readers, please feel free to SHARE it so that a respectful discussion can occur and a workable solution can be reached. To begin with, we must raise awareness or this problem will likely continue 
This regards an issue that has been smouldering within the hiking, skiing and climbing community for the better part of the last decade...
When someone shows up early to access Mt Seymour for a sunrise hike or a mountaineering, hiking, or back country skiing excursion that requires a very early start, they are met at the gate below and told they cannot access the mountain until 7 am.
As Mt Seymour Provincial Park is a public space, this does not sit well with the outdoor community at all. Starting early makes safety possible on shortened days, and without early access, it's not possible to see a sunrise at all.
It seems to me a better solution, if there are security concerns, would be to require identification, if needed, at the gate at 5 am, at which time people could also be reminded as to where they should park. It makes little sense to simply restrict access and incur the anger of people who simply want to access their own provincial parks, in my mind. Why not broker a solution to this problem?
Sadly, I'm hearing of a growing number of park users who don't wish to patronize the ski resort until these restrictions are lifted. My hope is that we can accomplish this, and thus restore important experiences for those who wish start their day earlier. Mt Seymour Resort has always had a good community reputation and I hope they can help straighten things out
Mick Bailey

I'm just looking at the Mount Seymour Provincial Park website and I see that: " Overnight parking is permitted in parking lot 1." Based on the parking lot map, that means that anyone who is doing an overnight trip needs to park down at the hairpin corner which is a full 1.7 km away from the trailhead. In recent years, there were a handful of designated overnight parking stalls in Lot 2 and that worked out well. Does anyone know if this new policy was in place in the 2017/2018 season?

January 16, 2018

What are the problems at Mount Seymour Provincial Park?

  1. Public parking. The public is relegated to parking in winter in lower lot 5, which is about one kilometer from the hiking trailhead. They must walk up the busy road to reach the trailhead. There is no other route.
  2. Provincial park master plans are supposed to be revised every 5 years. The Mount Seymour master plan is 34 years old and out of date. Half the ski area is not within the CRA boundary. Some of the runs are outside the provincial park and inside the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve.
  3. The park road is gated at the bottom between 11 pm and 7 am. The gate prevents access to all the lower trails in addition to the summit area. Opening the gate earlier would alleviate congestion and provide expanded recreation opportunities for park visitors.

BC Parks was supposed to implement a west side snowshoe trail from lower lot 5 but it never happened. Part of the problem is that the trail is outside the park in the Lower Seymour Conservancy. It would take inter-agency cooperation. Is that difficult?

BC Parks don't have staff or funds to undertake the planning process at Mount Seymour. Staff is currently working on Pinecone Burke park planning leaving insufficient resources to tackle the massive Mount Seymour planning process. The FMCBC already had a meeting with Jennie Aikman, regional director of provincial parks for southwest B.C. The FMCBC asked that the park master plan, the park use permit for the ski area (PUP 1505) and the ski area development plan be done concurrently. Ms. Aikman agreed.

This information comes from Alex Wallace of the Federation of Mountain Clubs of B.C.

During the winter months the Seymour Mtn road is closed and gated from 10pm to 7am. 

Link to a BC Parks discussion paper on parking capacity at Cypress and Mount Seymour Provincial Parks: