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Christie signing new guide to outdoors Saturday

There aren’t many people who know more about the outdoor opportunities to be found in the Sea to Sky region than Jack Christie.

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The Vancouver author and television host put all that knowledge in one book, the Whistler Outdoors Guide, which went through two editions in the 1990s. But with the region’s growth in popularity, and the ever-changing face of nature, he decided it was time for brand new revised and expanded guide – which he will launch with a book signing at Armchair Books on Saturday between 4 and 6 p.m.

"The prospect of 2010 lit a fire under the publisher, Douglas and McIntyre, and there’s just a lot more interest in the area," Christie said of the book’s timing. "There’s a lot more interest in the Stein Valley, for instance, in the last few years."

There have also been changes. The west entrance to the Stein was lost when bridges were washed out a year and a half ago, so now the best access is off the Duffey Lake Road. Likewise access to the Meager Creek hot springs is no longer possible by car.

"But the volatility of nature is matched by people like WORCA and SORCA and others who have been cleaning trails and building new ones," said Christie. "That enthusiasm matches the enthusiasm of early people in the area, like Franz Wilhelmsen who cleared the ski trails."

The new Whistler Book offers beefed-up coverage of mountain bike trails, with specific chapters on mountain bike trails in Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton. There are also pull-out sections with information on where to get maps, bike shops and other practical information.

Like the two editions of the Whistler Outdoors Guide the new Whistler Book includes a Paul Morrison photo on the cover. But inside there are two new 16-page sections with colour photos by Louise Christie. The new book is 256 pages in total.

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