December 20th, 2018

BC Coastal Range Gets Pounded by Winter Storm

Just two weeks ago, sledders on the Coast were wondering if winter was going to come this year.

Despite calling on the winter storm with some serious snow dancing, we could only watch as rippers in the Interior enjoyed the white gold while we continued to bask in sunshine.

After going for a ski on Whistler Mountain shortly after their opening day, I too was left wondering if Mother Nature had forgotten about us this year. So I decided to take a drive inland to one of my favorite destinations, Grizzly Lodge, for some much need throttle therapy. And it was worth the drive with light pow and sunshine! Awesome!

Epic Winter Storm on the BC Coast

Fast forward, and in the last week we have literally had over 300 cm of snowfall during the course of this epic winter storm. There have been days of bottomless pow, but also a few warming trends in-between to keep things interesting. However, all that matters is that the snow is stacking up and we are back on track for a great season on the Coast!


Epic Winter Storm on the Coast

Usually our coastal snowpack develops in good order, but because of the sudden start and warm-to-cold cycles, we are experiencing some higher-than-normal early season avalanche danger. There have been six reports of inbounds skiers going for rides at Whistler (no burials, thankfully).

The backcountry is extra sketchy at the moment, so it’s time for all of us to heed the warnings of Avalanche Canada and play on slopes of 20° or less and keep it mellow. It should not be long before we see things tighten up and get back to our regular riding programs.

Winter Storm on the Coast

Closure of Sproatt Riding Area

On another note, if you have not seen the social media on what is happening at Sproatt riding area this year, it’s time to pay attention. This area has a watershed boundary that has been closed to sleds for many years, yet a few still think they can ride anywhere they want.

Many years back I worked with the government on a video to try and curb non-compliance before the government closed the gates. Once again, the case of a few bad apples are in danger of ruining it for the masses, with the threat of an imminent closure again this season! A big shout-out to Ryan Thorley, who stepped up and put in a huge effort to gather and unite sledders from the Whistler area and afar in an effort to keep this closure from happening.

Everything you need to know about Snowmobile access on Sproatt

Hey Folks, if you were unable to make the information meeting, watch this short clip, Ryan Thorley will talk you through everything you need to know. To report your compliancy go to: send any reports of compliancy/ or non compliancy related issues to: reporting@savesproatt.comTo learn more or email us at share all your sproat riding and backcountry use photos to our facebook

Posted by Save Sproatt on Sunday, December 9, 2018

Here is the video I made back in 2013 about the very same issue, which has still not been resolved due to continuing non-compliance.

If you live or ride in British Columbia there are two things you can do to keep riding areas open.

  1. Make sure you arm yourself with the knowledge of where you can and cannot ride. Our tracks are there long after we are, and don’t think people are not watching.
  2. Please, please join a local snowmobile club and be part of the BC Snowmobile Federation. Groups that are against sledding are numbered and well-organized. Unless you belong to a club, you are not counted as far as the government is concerned. Let’s show the government how big we are as a united group!

You can follow the Save Sproat Facebook Page for the most recent updates here.


Now get out there and ride! Happy Holidays!

– Dave