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

Cariboo Art Beat artists Tiffany Jorgensen, left, Brittany Murphy, with her daughter Ruby, 3, and Sarah Sigurdson have created a Santa painting for photo opportunities that will be placed outside their studio on Oliver Street below Caribou Ski. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake artists create Santa painting for Christmas photo ops

Cariboo Art Beat hopes it will fill a void caused by COVID-19 restrictions

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

The Bella Coola area also received a large dump of snow as seen here Friday, Nov. 27, but by the afternoon it had started to rain there. (submitted photo)
Update: More than 900 Bella Coola customers without power, expected to last overnight

Highway 20 remains closed between Anahim Lake and Bella Coola Friday, Nov. 27

More than 60 cm of snow has fallen at Ulkatcho First Nation since a snowfall warning went into effect Thursday, Nov. 26. (Ruby Squinas photo)
VIDEO: More than 60 cm of snowfall in Chilcotin since Thursday, Nov. 26

Graham West of Ulkatcho First Nation captures the scene on video

Newly elected Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson participated in a virtual oath ceremony with the BC Liberal Caucus on Friday, Nov. 27. Here he poses for a photograph with Kate Ryan-Lloyd, clerk of the legislature. (Screen image taken of YouTube live stream)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA participates in BC Liberal Caucus virtual oath ceremony

First-time MLA Lorne Doerkson will represent the region

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

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

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

After twice have their wedding plans altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, Suzanne Schmidt and Andrew Sturgess got married in Bakerview Park last weekend, with the only guests being their two daughters, Zoey (foreground) and Tessa. (Darren Ripka photo)
From New Zealand to Bakerview Park, B.C. couple weds in ‘backyard’

Twice scaled-down wedding ‘proof that good things still happen during bad times’

Most Read