This article has been changed from its original.
For those of you who have been to the Grand Wall boulders at the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park lately, the forest appears to be in an unnatural state. Ropes, stages, fake boulders and florescent flagging tape line the boulders, as a film crew sets up for a shoot that will take place at the end of the week. When walking through the area, it feels as though the boulders have been invaded without care from BC Parks, who granted access for filming in this location, or the film crew, who has been setting up since last Monday.
To make matters worse, communication between the film crew, BC Parks, and the general public has not been forthcoming about closures to the area and it has lead to a number of altercations between the film crew security and local climbers. BC Parks has not posted any closures in the area yet there has been at least one incident of security for the film telling climbers the area is closed.
There has been a number of reports over the past few days from climbers using the area. Here are the ones we know about: (It should be noted that SCM did not observe these events directly, but rather, were reported to us by climbers in the area.)
Over the weekend, at least one group of climbers were told that the Easy Chair warm up area was closed.
A number of dots had appeared Monday on a few problems including Sloppy Poppy.
Set up crew was observed trying to scrub off chalk using metal brushes.
The holds on the problem The Bulb appear to have been sprayed with a resin of some sort. When the film crew was asked, they indicated it might have been spray foam residue.
A dead tree was removed last week in consultation with parks.
A tree was removed today by the film crew that was deemed unsafe and purportedly dead. They then removed the tree from the forest and covered the stump with dirt.
Squamish Climbing Magazine contacted the Site Co-ordinator for the film crew today and was assured that the film crew, from now on, will be instructed to wash the chalk off boulders with only soap and water and nylon brushes. When asked about the tree that was cut down, the coordinator ensured us that the film crew only has permission to cut down ‘deadhead’ trees or snags, and these trees are required to stay in the forest at the location in which they were cut. They also reported that BC Parks is always contacted and present before and during the removal of a tree.
A number of local climbers have organized observation of the film crew tomorrow to make sure that the resin on the boulders is properly removed.
Over the past few hours, both BC Parks and the Site Co-ordinator for the film have been responsive to the concerns presented by the climbing community and users of the forest location. BC Parks is currently trying to coordinate an extra BC Parks Liaison to increase accountability for film days. They also reported that they will be reviewing their policy for filming in the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park. Currently, the policy does not allow filming during the months of July and August and they are now discussing an extension of those dates from May to November. The film Co-ordinator has ensured us that they will do their best to minimize the impact that is made to the shooting location.
UPDATE #2: Thanks to a coordinated effort from a few local climbers and the film crew, the resin-like substance (which was reported to be a shellac) has now been removed. Special thanks to local climbers Peter Michaux and Scot Ellis for taking the time out of their day to talk with the film crew and organize the clean up.
If you have been affected by the film crew in this area of the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park, please contact the following and voice your concerns about filming in this area.
Center Forward Productions inc.: 1-604-453-4900
Squamish Town Council: firstname.lastname@example.org
BC Parks Film Liaison: Megan.Beveridge@gov.bc.ca
For more information of filming in BC Parks, please click here.