2020 Opening Update #5

Posted by on May 20, 2020


The Province of BC still advises to restrict travel to communities to essential traffic only. Keep our communities safe and explore BC Later.

Unfortunately things are not going well for Tom this year and yesterday he had an incident and is unable to work for a while. We would like to wish Tom a speedy recovery and thank him for the huge effort he put into opening the road up this year. He had several mechanical issues which he worked at all hours to fix and his efforts are much appreciated.

Another contractor has been contacted and they will be moving their cat up to the Hurley and bring Tom’s down for repairs. It will be a couple of days before the other cat is able to move up there and then a couple more days left for plowing. BJ will give us another update after the new operator starts working.

We would like to share a comment from our local Avalanche Tech, Conny who explains why the conditions are so hard for snow removal this year.

“For the past 15 years Backcountry Snowcats has run a snowcat up and down the Hurley. They have done this to get supplies and to level the snowmobile road for public as well as for their guests. The Pemberton Snowmobile Club has jumped in there in the past three or four years as well grooming and clearing. Late every season the snowcats start peeling the top off the snowpack road. Every pass they push off anywhere from 3-8? reducing the total snow on the road by over half in places. When this is not done the weight of the snow itself will compact deeper layers so much so that at times you struggle to push a knife into it. This season the tourism industry ended abruptly in the middle of March and little if any further snowcat work was done on the road.

Also in snowpack studies we did around around the Hurley we found a layer of snow several feet thick in the middle of the snowpack that was uncharacteristically dense. In general the snow in the Hurley area is about 15-20% more dense than typical for this time of the year. This is just a result of how the storms lined up through the winter in terms of wind, moisture and precipitation amounts.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Tom and the clearing crew for several years. I’m sure they are more frustrated about the mechanical issues than anyone. I also know they will be up there to finish the job the moment they have their parts…..regardless of the time of day or night.”

2 Responses to 2020 Opening Update #5

  1. Charles Townsend

    Thats a real shame about Tom getting hurt. Hopefully he makes a speedy recovery.

    Thanks for the update, Chuck.

  2. Wayne

    Tom, get well soon.
    Thanks for the update and great description of snowpack density.

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