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I feel like keeping Jumbo wild is coming to an end one way or another. Instead of sitting on opposing sides of the table and bickering, why doesn’t everyone come to a progressive conclusion fueled by humility and empathy? I am well aware of the fact that developing a ski resort at the headwaters of Toby creek is a bit of a lofty aspiration (massive understatement); the road that follows Toby Creek into the old mill site (proposed resort location) is suicidal at best in the spring with slide paths making the road impassible at more than a half dozen points along the way. “Whats the big deal? There is already a big mess at the mill site, why not turn it into a resort?” isn’t buying my vote on why we should develop the area either. The idea of building a year round resort based on the usage of rapidly receding glaciers is ridiculous and unsustainable. However, I don’t feel like anyone should condemn Mr. Oberti as a villian because of his dream. A dream for a year round ski facility in the Purcells. A dream that he hasn’t given up on despite being backed into a corner for 20 years. A dream to build a business into legacy. A dream similar to the dream of Yvon Chouinard, the founder of the American company Patagonia, the main sponsor of the film Jumbo Wild. Patagonia’s humble beginnings can be traced back to 1957 when Mr. Chouinard sold handmade pitons out of his car and now his ideas and dreams have flourished into a privately held incorporated company with annual sales of $575 million and expected growth of 15% per year. In 2012 Patagonia’s plea to ‘buy less’ didn’t exactly pan out as planned with a 6% ($158 million) increase in profits after a 9 month marketing campaign. Not exactly keeping it wild, or grassroots. Funding Jumbo Wild was no accident either; getting on board with a trending environmental issue in another country is just great marketing plain and simple, especially when the product’s image is directed towards environmental sustainability. I was given the opportunity to have a voice in the film Jumbo Wild and chose not too. Although humbled to be considered for input into this project here is why I chose not to reply to the kind gesture: With all the hype generated by the promotion of the film we have just opened the floodgates of curiosity for the Horsethief and Toby drainages near Radium. It will no longer be wild anymore and is now on the ‘to do list’ of anyone with an ounce of adventure in their body as well as national and international media. We also can not condemn the makers of the film as I’m sure the intent was to raise awareness of a current sociological and environmental issue. However, this past summer was the busiest I have ever seen both of those valleys and I expect this winter to be the same.
I must say that the odds are not in favor of JGR and I personally am VERY opposed to the idea of a resort up there (for a lot of reasons), but I think we need to give Mr. Oberti credit for not giving up on his dream. How about a scaled down version of his resort? How about working with the hunters, loggers, miners, trappers, hikers, sledders, skiers, mountain bikers, climbers, grizzles, snowboarders, Ktunaxa, and every other group with an interest in the land instead of an all or nothing approach. One more thing, Instead of ‘Jumbo Wild’ all the time, how about ‘Clean up Farnham’ for a weekend. Everytime I go up there I try to bring some of the space junk that has been left up there by previous tenure operators and visitors, (bamboo, ski poles, heli flags, etc) and encourage everyone else to do the same.

I promise never to write anything this long on here ever again.

P.S. JGR don’t you dare gate off access to the Farnham.

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