Group size restrictions in Glacier National Park due to bear activity

04 Aug 2016 6:37 PM | Anonymous

Hello climbing enthusiasts,

On behalf of Parks Canada I would like to bring to attention a group sizing restriction that will be in place in Glacier National Park of Canada as of August 6, 2016. Your help distributing this information to climbers within your community would be greatly appreciated. Specifically, this restriction affects anyone planning to climb Mount Sir Donald located Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada.

The Superintendent of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks has enacted a mandatory restriction on the majority of trails in the Illecillewaet and Asulkan valleys, including the access trail to Mount Sir Donald. This restriction means that by law, visitors may access the trails only if they are in a group of four or more adults (adult defined as 12 years old and over), and remain within 3 metres of each other.  Non-compliance is subject to a fine. Group of four restrictions allow for bears and hikers to coexist in key habitat areas while reducing the chance of human-wildlife conflict.

Grizzly bears, including a female with cubs and two juveniles, use the Asulkan and Illecillewaet valleys as their home range. The summer of 2016 has seen a tremendous berry crop. When bears are focused on feeding on berries they can easily be surprised by hikers at close range. On at least two occasions, this family group of bears was surprised by hikers at close range resulting in defensive displays by the female. The group of four restriction reduces the likelihood of surprising the bears and thereby protects both the park visitors and the bears.

We appreciate any help you can provide to share this message with your climbing community as part of a collective effort to keep park visitors and wildlife safe. If you have social media feeds where this information could be distributed please feel free to post it there as well. If you would like us to post these types of messages directly on your Facebook page in the future, please let me know in a reply to this email. (We anticipate no more than 3-4 messages each year.)

Thank you in advance. If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact me.


Marta Savill

Partnering & Engagement Officer | Partenariats et Engagement

Mount Revelstoke & Glacier National Parks of Canada | Parcs nationaux du Mont Revelstoke et des Glaciers
301 B, West 3rd St., Revelstoke, BC, V0E 2S0/301 B, Ouest 3ième rue, Revelstoke, CB, V0E 2S0
Climbers' Access Society of British Columbia began in 1996 and is a registered charity. 

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