A Vancouver-based company owned by a Nelson man has applied to the province for a Crown land tenure to run guided hikes and ski trips in a 9,400 hectare area situated between Balfour and Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park.
Fresh Adventures owner Alex Ross says this is not a heli-skiing or cat-skiing venture.
”I’m looking to run really minimal-impact base camp experiences,” he told the Nelson Star.
In the current application he is not proposing to build any permanent structures, but he says he may eventually apply to construct an “environmentally low impact base camp/lodge” on the same tenure.
Fresh Adventures conducts a variety of guided hiking, walking, snowboard and ski tours on Vancouver Island and in parks such as Yoho, Banff and Jasper.
Most of the company’s activity on the proposed project would be in the area of Mount Yuill.
Certified guides would conduct multi-day backpacking or skiing experiences between different sites, camping on snow or on constructed surfaces, not on the ground, Ross said. Hiking and skiing groups would not comprise more than six people plus a certified guide.
Helicopters would only be used to initially bring guests to and from the site in the winter. In the summer he would use existing roads.
Ross says the size of the proposed tenure would allow him to disperse his activities across a large area, “ensuring that we can modify our activities to minimize interactions with wildlife.”
Initially, because of the pandemic, Ross wants to offer trips to local people who wouldn’t have to travel from elsewhere and who might not undertake such a trip on their own.
Fresh Adventures’ application to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development has triggered a public comment period that ends May 7. The application can be found, and comments submitted, at https://bit.ly/31KBU2p.