Amber Gregg, who was hired as the sustainable life co-ordinator for the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society is also the Wildsafe BC co-ordinator for the Cariboo Regional District and the District of 100 Mile House. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Amber Gregg, who was hired as the sustainable life co-ordinator for the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society is also the Wildsafe BC co-ordinator for the Cariboo Regional District and the District of 100 Mile House. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

DOWN TO EARTH: Outdoor enthusiasts now examining effects on environment landscapes

The start of winter is an emotional roller coaster for me

Amber Gregg

Special to the Tribune/Advisor

The start of winter is an emotional roller coaster for me.

I begin to let go of the last hint of fall as I store my bike in preparation for snow and winter adventures. But as the season begins and the snow doesn’t fall, I feel stuck in limbo. There is still plenty of great biking to be had but the cold weather challenges my motivation.

My partner and I start looking at the calendar to figure out when we can head into the mountains; provided Mother Nature will co-operate.

I learned how to ski in the backcountry almost seven years ago. I am not a strong skier; my main goal is to get some fresh air, spend some quality time with my partner, and shred a turn or two.

Every year my stoke level increases and I look forward to getting out into the mountains. It would never occur to me that someday the mountains as we know them will not be there.

READ MORE: The small but mighty act of fixing things

Professionals in the ski industry are now discussing concerns about the effects of climate change on the mountain terrain and the likelihood that it will change the landscape dramatically.

It has created a deeper conversation among many skiers and outdoor enthusiasts about the effect that our activities have.

Improvements to transportation such as airplanes, helicopters, and snowmobiles have allowed us to access skiable terrain much more efficiently than in the past.

This means that if you see it, you can ski it.

First descents are thought of as a feather in the cap of those capable of skiing them but the effect of the transportation required to get us there is leading to last descents; routes that were once there for the skiing, are disappearing forever.

In February of 2019, professional skier Cody Townsend skied a line down the peak of British Columbia’s 8,927 foot Mt. Joffre.

By May, a massive landslide caused by melting permafrost ripped off the entire face of the mountain.

Most of us discuss climate change in a theoretical way as though it is occurring somewhere else.

It is now starting to hit closer to home with eyewitness accounts like this.

Many backcountry enthusiasts are starting to rethink the way they approach the mountains, literally. Electric snowmobiles are hitting the scene and more and more skiers are opting for exploring terrain closer to home on foot instead of by airplane or helicopter, or searching for adventure in other parts of the world.

READ MORE: Earth friendly choices challenging but rewarding

At the end of the day, anyone planning to head into the mountains typically has a healthy knowledge of the training and equipment needed for backcountry travel, including appropriate avalanche safety gear.

It is now also important to recognize and understand the impact our adventures have on the terrain and how we can make choices to limit this impact so we can continue to enjoy the mountains for years to come.

Conservation tip of the month: Making your own granola bars or energy balls for backcountry snacks is an easy and delicious way to cut down on packaging.

Amber Gregg is the sustainable life education co-ordinator with the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society and the WildSafeBC co-ordinator with the Cariboo Regional District and the District of 100 Mile House.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A sign is seen this past summer outside Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Yunesit’in First Nation completes second round of vaccinations

A total of 26 people have since recovered from COVID-19 after having tested positive

A 100 Mile RCMP officer stands watch at the intersction of Highway 97 and Horse Lake Road. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Volunteers, police search Highway 97 for articles related to high-speed chase

Search will stretch from Canco Gas Station in Lac La Hache to 150 Mile House.

An aerial photograph captures snowmobile tracks in the Cameron Ridge area earlier this year, which is closed to snowmobilers. The closures are in place to protect sensitive caribou herds. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Snowmobilers fined for operating in closed caribou habitat near Likely, B.C.

The investigation revealed they had spent several hours in the closure leaving extensive tracks

The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)
WATCH: Two suspects arrested after multi-jurisdictional chase

A half dozen police cars were seen heading north on Highway 97

Commercial tenants at the Williams Lake Regional Airport have been granted an additional six-month rent reprieve. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Continuing rent relief for Williams Lake Airport tenants considered

City council discussed the option during a committee of the whole meeting

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Most Read