Campbell Mt. - South Entrance - UPDATED

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Campbell Mt. - South Entrance - UPDATED

Post  Admin on Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:12 am

Recap of the Penticton City Hall Meeting, re; 1701 Penticton Ave.

See this link for full details

Numerous members of the hiking community (far outnumbering riders… lets try to change that in the future shall we) came forward with reasons why said stairway should be built. Most of the reasons seemed to be rooted in a fear of losing access to Campbell Mt. altogether. Others appear to be simply demanding that since the developer said he would build a staircase, then he has to follow through - whether it’s a valid project or not.

Several speakers went a bit far in expressing negativity toward the developer, who was also in attendance. This was unfortunate, as the fellow struck me as a gentleman and a real genuine kinda’ guy. I had the opportunity to meet with him at the Penticton Ave. project site prior to the city hall meeting, and he openly & honestly described the project logistics as well as the lay of the land as far as ownership and land title was concerned.

During the city hall meeting, I represented the biking community and spoke to the need for a rideable route up the south face of Campbell Mt. To this end, I provided wall-projected, GPS accurate maps which detailed two such routes (see below). During a brief speech, I demonstrated that we must urge council to reach an access agreement with Stanmar Services Ltd., the company that owns the trailer park which hosts the two dual track roads we have been using to access Campbell Mt.’s south face (illegally) for many years.

I further stated that the singletrack trail supported by members of the hiking community; the same trail which was to be fed by the proposed wooden staircase, was not a realistic option, as that route was eroded beyond repair, appearing naturally due to wildlife travelling upon poor soil (very sandy mid-summer). In addition, it exists on a slope / pitch that offers no hope of a long term future for the trail surface. Those interested in learning what a low maintenance, resilient multi-use trail looks like should visit this site. A brief hike into the area in question will demonstrate that the vast majority of it's length does not even approach BC Forest Service / US Forest Service / IMBA trail design guidelines.

It would appear that, of the significant public turnout, only two other speakers had bothered to actually hike the proposed singletrack route. As such, presenter after presenter determinedly spoke in support of a trail whose sorry state they had never actually witnessed with their own eyes. The one speaker who had in fact visited the site, noted the eroded condition of the trail on several occasions during his monologue. It was his position that the singletrack trail “could be frequently maintained”.

This however, runs counter to what I have witnessed in 25 years of living in the valley; that is, aside from a small handful of individuals, most of whom are PACA members, very little detailed maintenance is actually ever carried out on Okanagan valley trails - the Penticton Outdoors Club's high alpine trails being the exception to the rule. It’s a simple fact that it is often difficult to get volunteers to show up for trail-maintenance days. I know, as I organize several each year.

This is but one of many land access issues that we as outdoor recreationalists will have to deal with in the coming years. This city is growing and trailhead after trailhead will have to negotiated over. I strongly encourage you to get involved at a municipal / political level, and do take the time to physically check out the land in question prior to attending council meetings.

Click here to view a map showing all three of the southern Campbell Mt. access routes. The yellow trail is the eroded route proposed by the hiking community at large, the blue route is our traditional two-track access - fenced off in 2010. The purple line is another two-track route, but one that requires some rock-face mesh prior to possible use by the public. Note that both two-track options originate on private property (Stanmar Ltd.)

My suggestion is that we / the City of Penticton, negotiate for access to the purple trail; if only because residents all along the road leading to the (fenced off) blue trail are already far to P.O.'d at the outdoor recreation community to effectively deal with...

Andrew D.
PACA President


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