Last week the Resort Municipality of Whistler sent out a press release explaining which forest service roads and backcountry areas would be off limits for security and various logistical reasons during the Games. Some of it made sense - I don't think anybody expected the Interpretive Forest Trails and roads surrounding the athletes' village to remain open or the back roads into the Callaghan Valley.
But I was taken by surprise by a map that showed that the Microwave Tower Road further north of the athletes' village was also closed, the Cheakamus Lake entrance into Garibaldi Park, as well as "all roads/trails near Cheakamus Lake Road." In capital block letters a legend on the map proclaims that "THIS ENTIRE AREA IS CLOSED," indicating the trails above and surrounding Spring Creek.
That was news to me, except that it apparently wasn't. I made inquiries and was told that this was announced way back in October (although nobody at Pique can remember seeing that information at the time, which is not surprising given the huge quantity of Olympic-related information that we've been asked to absorb in the last few months).
To date I've had one piece of advice for locals stressed about driving their kids to daycare and picking up groceries, about the lack of parking in the village, about the seemingly senseless cones/markers on the highway, about any of the other inconveniences big and small that we have no choice but to absorb: take a deep breath. All the information is out there, I tell people, and we've had months to get used to it and to plan around these obstacles. The Olympics are coming and then they'll be gone. Might as well enjoy it.
Then I got caught with my literal pants figuratively down. Let the whinging begin:
Closing all the trails to the south of Spring Creek means that I won't be able to take the Spring Creek connector trail to work in Function Junction - pretty much my only option to get to work given there's still no southbound transit service from Spring Creek and the fact that the highway will no longer be pedestrian-friendly with three lanes of traffic. I used to be able to walk to work along the other side of the barrier on the west side of the highway but after the upgrades of last fall the barriers have been pushed back to the edge and the open area is only a foot or two wide in some areas with a steep drop into the wetland. With a crown of snow piled on the other side of the barrier it's completely impassible.