Monday, 6 August 2012

Tin Hat Reroute - August 2012

Western Forest Products is logging two cutblocks that are going up across the old Tin Hat Road access to Tin Hat summit and hut. That road is temporarily closed.

We have had an understanding that no logging should impact the SCT during the high tourism season in the summer, but somehow this was not possible here.

We requested that the new road being built to log the two cutblocks going up the old Tin Hat road be kept open for recreational access after logging is complete, and that a parking area / turn-around on one of their pull-outs be established near its topmost extent where the old road/trail carries on uphill through the forest toward the summit.

This location is less than an hour from the Tin Hat hut near the summit. Stuart Glen, operations planner with WFP, has agreed to this. The road access to the new  turnaround / parking area will be a considerable improvement over the Old Tin Hat Road as it has wider and thus more gently inclined switchbacks. In fairness this is a good compensation for the temporary inconvenience in that it will make Tin Hat more accessible to the public.

This picture is taken on the lower end of old Tin Hat Road advising you to not go up there because of active falling. Richard and his wife Cecile, two Dutch through-hikers doing the SCT, managed to find their way through after hours, but found it a little confusing. The mapping installed by WFP should be adjusted by now so this will help people get through.

Please study the alternate access to Tin Hat off Lewis Lake Main around the back of that lake's northeast end where the SCT crosses the main and climbs up Pipes Canyon past Cranberry pond up onto the East Ridge of Tin Hat Mountain. This is a much longer and difficult access and only suitable for experts - with a hiking time of about three to four hours. It is pretty though with old growth and views.

The easy access we have enjoyed driving up the old Tin Hat Road is unavailable at this time until the trees that are felled now have been pulled out, which we hope will be soon.

Later this summer the old Tin Hat Road will be reopened again, but the East Ridge approach will then be closed due to road building in the vicinity of the SCT, but not on it. Blasting for road building purposes requires a wide safety zone as rocks can sometimes fly several hundred metres. We are grateful that WFP found a way of not logging across the SCT on that part of the Tin Hat East Ridge trail section. A buffer has been provided in this instance.

Richard and Cecile carried on from Tin Hat south along the SCT through the Smith Range. They stayed at Elk Lake and Walt Hill huts, and took a picture of themselves at KM 135 fairly close to Stillwater Main and Eagle River where they finished their trek.

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