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A Coronavirus Weekend: Olympics, Trail Closures and Dire Warnings

As coronavirus continues to affect the way we live, here are some changes and a new route

It seems like a life time ago, but it’s been less than two weeks since professional sports leagues started to announce that they’ll be postponing their seasons.

Now, most of North America has been ordered to work from home or laid off from their jobs. The best thing for climbers to do is to train from home, get our for runs and motivate their friends to only participate in low-risk activities.

These are uncertain times, but you can be sure that they’ll pass and we can return to getting out climbing as soon as health officials say that they’re in the clear for backcountry users to get back to the outdoors.

So, what did you miss over the weekend?

Olympics

Canada will not be sending any athletes to a summer 2020 Olympics, but would consider the Games if they were postponed. More here. Update: The Olympics are postponed until 2021.

Trail Closures

The Chief and other trails in Squamish closed over the weekend, as did the Halton conservation area near Toronto, which includes Mount Nemo and Rattlesnake.

Dire Warnings

Top climbers are warning climbers to stay home, including top climber Stefano Ghisolfi. Read more here.

Search and Rescue Wants Backcountry Closed

Whistler Search and Rescue wants B.C. to close the backcountry because they aren’t prepared to work with coronavirus patients. More here.

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We have made the decision to close all Conservation Halton parks indefinitely. On March 13, we reduced staff in our parks and gatehouses, closed all facilities, cancelled all programming and closed some of our parks, while leaving others open for people to engage in passive recreation. We also suspended our regular fees and encouraged visitors to pay what they can. The parks were still served by Park Rangers and other park operations staff with no direct contact with customers. They were monitoring conditions, parking and visitor safety for adherence to social distancing related to COVID-19. Our parks were extremely busy on Saturday with a spike in hiking visits from 12pm onwards. Although many of our visitors have respected social distancing, our Rangers observed and reported concerns with crowding in some areas, parking lot capacity and illegal parking, and people entering areas that are marked as closed. Considering these challenges, all Conservation Halton parks will remain closed indefinitely. These include Kelso, Mountsberg, Crawford Lake, Rattlesnake Point, Hilton Falls, Mount Nemo and Robert Edmondson Conservation Areas. For parents with children at home, we have prepared some online resources to support learning about nature without leaving your home. You can find them on our website. Stay safe and stay well.

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