Officials with the Metro Vancouver Regional District are taking public safety precautions by closing the most popular trails in the North Shore mountains ahead of the arrival of the first of three windstorms expected to hit the region over the next few days.
Until further notice, the regional district says all 100 km of trails within the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve will close beginning tonight at 8 pm, while the Grouse Grind will close beginning tomorrow.
The expected high winds are a hazard for hikers as tree branches and other debris could fall. And with heavy rainfall, which will be heaviest in the mountains, creeks could quickly rise with fast-moving water. Up to 60 mm of rain is expected for the North Shore mountains from the first storm alone.
North Shore Rescue were called to aid a pair of hikers a few years ago at Elsay Lake on Mount Seymour after heavy rain led to the flooding of the lake. The small streams that they crossed earlier in the day were blocked by raging rivers when they tried to leave, forcing the individuals to seek shelter in a nearby emergency huts. The lake waters rose so high that it flooded the main floor of the hut.
The first storm will hit tonight and during the early morning hours of Thursday, and it will be followed by a second
Rain and winds will redevelop from Thursday night to Friday morning when the second storm makes landfall.
The most powerful storm of the three-storm parade is set to hit on Saturday as it is feeding on moisture and wind energy of Typhoon Songda. This storm is also expected to bring heavy snowfall to the upper elevations of Whistler Blackcomb.
When weather conditions are not adverse, the Grouse Grind is open daily from 6:15 am to 4:30 pm. The trail’s season typically ends in November when snow and ice builds up at the final quarter section of trail.