Every year the Dakota Ridge Winter Recreation Area gets better. Driven in large part by phenomenal support from the community through volunteer hours, the success of the Ridge is visible by the well-groomed trails, excellent Facebook updatingon a daily and sometimes hourly basis, and on-hill amenities. Dakota reminds me of Whistler and Baker in the 70s - it's a fast-disappearing small-town 'discovery' experience, and to have this uniquely personal snow community so close to one of the world's great metropolis is frankly amazing.
Of course, all of this activity - whether it is volunteers or folks enjoying the Ridge - shows the Sunshine Coast Regional District that doing the work to identify grants and funding options to expand/improve services will result in more use, and that their efforts will be supported by continued volunteer hours.
Recent vandalism at the Hut and on the trails (last week) brought out a wonderful response from the winter recreation community - People are sharing information on the Facebook page for Dakota Ridge and creating an environment of public scrutiny on those who use the Ridge. If you're following the rules and caring for this wonderful resource, you've got nothing to worry about. For those who can't control imbecile urges or who drink & trash, hell hath no fury like volunteers and community folks whose trust has been abused.
Thanks must also go to Alpha Adventures Outdoor Store. Their scheduled runs in the Big Yellow Van reduces wear and tear on the road, and keeps non-experienced drivers from jamming up the road up or down. It's one road in and out, but the repercussions of an accident are much more severe due to temperatures and a lack of preparation by many to be able to cope with delays (food, water, biodegradable emergency tp, blankets etc). The Big Yellow Ride is great protection.
Alpha is one of the leaders of responsible use of the Ridge, and many visitors stop in to the store before or after their Dakota trip to share anecdotes, conditions, and feedback. Alpha is open 7 days a week, with full gear rentals, lessons, day fee collection, and some guided tours - this is a critical component of long term success of the Ridge. They are as much volunteers and ambassadors of the Ridge as they are a commercial entity.
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