Maps form the essential information for almost every hike and climb in this e-book. You should not consider attempting any trip without the necessary maps – and the know-how to use them. This is big country and most of it is wilderness, so getting lost is easier than you might ever imaging.
Maps are necessary in this large area, where access problems enlarge the map area needed to deal with the region as a whole. Such maps
are difficult to include with the text because their volume is several times that of the text.
The government NTS maps (on a scale of l:50,000, 2 cm equals 1 km; each square on the map is 1 km on a side)
UTM Grids. Another reason to possess the government NTS maps is because much use is made of map coordinates in KMC literature, which is a precise way of locating basecamps, approaches and mountains, etc. Whipple also uses the Universal Transverse Mercator Grid (UTM) system, as used in NTS maps, to give map coordinates.
Most older maps use grids based on the North American Datum 1927 (NAD 27), while newer maps use a more recent 1983 datum – NAD 83. Due to incomplete coverage of NAD 83 maps, some coordinates based on the NAD 27 maps are used in older books. If you are using a NAD 83 map, you will have to convert the NAD 27 coordinates in Whipple’s and Jone’s books to NAD 83 ones: the approximate values are: for Easting add 77m; for Northing subtract 214m. The NTS maps have a horizontal accuracy of only 50 to 100m, which must also be taken into account, particularly if you are using a GPS unit. Thus, latitude and (especially) longitude on ‘old’ and ‘recent’ maps
will not agree. Longitude errors may be far greater than 100 meters. In some cases, it may be best to locate features relative to named or prominent mountains, lakes (e.g., north end), or river confluences.
The numbering proceeds from the south and east, going first west and then north, alternating. The numbering is an ancient
Distance: km (0.62 miles; two cm are equivalent to one km) apart with contour lines being in feet (older maps) or meters (newer maps).
Canadian maps are sometimes produced by computer-controlled printing machines which can alter the 1:50:000 scale. However, the sides of the grid squares will still represent one kilometer, but will not be two centimeters long if a printing error is made.
Altitude: If an altitude of a mountain does not end in a zero, it will have been surveyed (but not necessarily climbed). One time out of ten, on the average, the altitude of a surveyed summit will end in zero. Estimates of peak altitude by the map contours end in zero. One should note that snow peaks are variable in height from season to season, and year to year, depending upon snowfall and ablation.
Other Information: The NTS maps give not only topographic data and areas of glaciers and forests, but also show highways, logging roads and trails of use to
the mountaineer, and are well worth the price. The NTS mapsheet number and name are given in the Introduction for each area, starting
with the most important sheets followed by peripheral maps to the area for access or other peaks.
The government NTS maps (on a scale of l:50,000, 2 cm equals 1 km; each square on the map is 1 km on a side) are available from
Compass Directions. Since the local declination is approximately 20 degrees east of north, errors by as much as 45 degrees can be possible due to incorrect setting of compass declination.
Directions of left or right assume that the climber is facing the rock in the case of a climb, or looking upstream in the case of hiking a valley or watercourse.
1. Maps B. C.
Surveys and Resource Mapping Branch, Ministry of Environment
Victoria, B. C. V8V 1X5 (B. C. Provincial maps also)
2. Geological Survey of Canada (not mail orders)
3303 – 33rd Street, N.W.
Calgary, Alta. T2L 2A7 (403) 292-7000
3. Private outdoor stores. The most useful on short notice, all the following towns have maps: Golden, Revelstoke, Nelson, Kaslo, Cranbrook, invermere, and Creston.
4. World of Maps Inc. (mail orders, GSC maps)
1235 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K1Y 3A3 613-724-6776 or 800-214-8524
Fax 613-724-7776 or 800-897-9969
5. Metsker Maps of Seattle (206) 623-8747
1511 First Avenue
Seattle, Wash. 98101
6. Mountain Equipment Coop – select stores only, including
130 West Broadway
Vancouver, B. C. 604-872-7858 (1-888-847-0770)
7. A source of B. C. TRIM maps (1:20,000, with metric contours) is
Clover Point Cartographers Ltd.
152 Dallas Road
Victoria, B. C. V8V 1A3 250-384-3537 fax 250-384-2679
8. CD (for computers; titled “Interior Ranges of B. C.”) of maps is available from
Navitrak International Corp.
603 Argus Road, Suite 201
Oakville, Ont. L6J 6G6 (905) 842-1553 fax (905) 842-4928.
MAPS from the INTERNET
b. www.caltopo.com. The source I like the most. Watch the YouTube videos.
c. Jeff’s Topos. Not all the features of caltopo.
d. The internet also carries information on mountain access.
www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/ (B. C. Prov. Parks)
www.backroadmapbooks.com (trails, roads, etc.)
www.bivouac.com (Canadian Mtn. Encyclopedia)
One should remember that some statements may be outdated, for reasons listed in the paragraphs below and in the beginning of the Halvorson
Group. No one publication, neither map nor brochure, is complete or up to date and the acquisition of multiple sources of information is
advantageous, as is consultation with the B. C. Ministry of Forests personnel.
Maps of a scale of 1:100,000 (1 cm = 1 km; also 1:125,000) of B.C. Provincial origin are available at the same government agent’s offices (some offices have privatized map sales locally) and often are more up to date than the government maps. However, they have only half the detail (covering four times the area) of the government maps.
USGS – it publishes two series of maps that are useful for on-the-ground use. These are the 15-minute series with a scale of 1:62,000 or nearly 1 inch to a mile. These are mostly phased out as the newer 7.5 minute series (with a scale of 1:24,000 or nearly 2.5 inches to a mile). The 7.5-minute quads cover an area of 6 X 9 miles. They can be inaccurate as to roads, trails and human development.
USGS – United States Geological Survey
Denver, CO 80225
Forest Service Maps – They tend to show numbered roads and trails and many newer ones land status.
GPS VS MAP AND COMPASS
A study showed that GPS users traveled longer distances and made more stops during the walk than map users and direct experience participants. They also traveled more slowly, made larger direction errors, drew sketch maps with poorer topological accuracy, and rated wayfinding tasks as more difficult than direct experience participants.