Climbers, hikers and campers in Squamish have been making a stink for a while and now a new program has been launched to help deal with the problem – poop bags.
These poop bags aren't intended for picking up after your pet when you're hiking with your dog however; instead they're for cleaning up and packing out human waste, which is becoming an increasing problem in the area.
Surrounded by granite monoliths, Squamish has grown extremely popular for rock climbing and bouldering over the years as well as hiking and camping, but not all those who visit the area are familiar with the principles of Leave No Trace. The CBC reports that while human waste is usually discovered by dogs in the forested areas around the bottom of the cliffs, occasionally climbers have reach into a ledge or hold only to discover that another climber has left a very unpleasant deposit there.
To help curb the program and avoid health issues, the Squamish Access Society (SAS) in partnership with B.C. Parks has launched the Waste Alleviating Gel (WAG) bag program sponsored by businesses in the climbing industry to place five poop bag stations around the area, with another four on the way. These look a lot like poop bag stations for your dog, but the bags are much more robust and keep the smell inside once you've rolled them up.
Going forward, climbers and other users are asked to use the poop bags rather than the more commonly accepted method of pooping in the woods – digging a hole and burying it – and take it away when they leave.
As we've explained before, many rock climbers will already be used to pooping in a bag, but it seems that other area users may need to now embrace this new method to keep Squamish pristine for everyone.
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Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.