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Rainbow Mountain from Alexander Falls
Timestamp Free: 2020.02.26 - 07:39:44
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
  (1 days)
Participants: Stanislav Liarsky, Sebastien Vignoud, Albert Argemi, Elia Mishkis, Jim Vercammen, Bill Maurer, Roger Barany, Pauline Joly de Lotbiniere, Jakob Storz, Mark Janzen
Difficulty: 3:
A description of the Whistler Olympic Park Backcountry Access Route to the Hanging Lake trailhead and subsequent ski up Rainbow Mtn.
We arrived at Whistler Olympic Park at 7:50. The gate was locked. We parked in the Alexander Falls backcountry lot and headed for the Hanging Lake trailhead via the Backcountry access corridor. From the backcountry lot you walk up to the switchback and then follow the Filtration Plant road to its end. On the rights side there is a track which connects with the East Madeley Creek loop x-country track. Follow this for about a kilometer From there we got onto a snowshoe track which heads uphill through the woods to the Biathlon Range. There are signs to the Hanging Lake trailhead on the east side.

There was a broken trail to Hanging Lake. Weather had been overcast to here but once past the lake we broke through the cloud and got brilliant views of Rainbow Mtn. As we were crossing the area above Rainbow Lake to the west flank of the mountain we could hear the whine of snowmobile engines in the distance.

Half way up the slope of Rainbow we heard 3 snowmobilers come up from below us. The first one initially stopped 30m away and when he heard us talking about him he came close enough that we could talk. I was under the impression that the entire area above Rainbow Lake was a non-motorized area. His understanding was that they could go anywhere on crown land. He knew about the area immediately around the lake being protected but felt they were free to go all the way to the summit of Rainbow if they felt like it. We encountered them at N50.17128, W123.05832. After initially threatening to shred all the slopes we'd be likely to ski down they left without further incident.

I've since been told that there are maps posted at the snowmobile access points so I'm not convinced they didn't know the protected areas but it was clear to me that I didn't and that this information...

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