The new Whitehorn suspension bride was complete on December 4th. It had to be replaced after sustaining damage during a flash flood in 2021. /MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT

By Spencer Hall, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, RMG

The Province says all portions of Berg Lake trail have reopened to the public for the winter season after the installation of Whitehorn bridge earlier this month.

According to BC Parks, installation of the new suspension bridge wrapped up on Dec. 4th. As of Dec. 5th, the trail opened for winter use all the way up to Berg Lake.

But BC Parks recommends those using the trail check avalanche conditions by visiting the Avalanche Canada map to plan their trip ahead of time, ensuring they have the proper gear for accessing avalanche terrain and know how to use it.

“BC Parks has worked with Avalanche Canada to add Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale ratings to its trip planning tool which show the levels of risk along the Berg Lake Trail. This is an excellent tool for planning
trips along the trail,” the agency said.

As of December 11th, the area was listed on the Avalanche Canada website as having a moderate avalanche danger rating, meaning there was a heightened avalanche risk in certain areas, with natural
avalanches unlikely but a possibility of human caused avalanches.

Crews worked over the summer and fall to install the Whitehorn Bridge and a second bridge north of Kinney Lake Campground — named Hugo’s Bridge after Valemount councillor, Hugo Mulyk to commemorate his 29 year career with BC Parks — which was redesigned to withstand future flooding

These redesigns came after a flash flood in Berg Lake Trail occurred in July 2021, taking out a bridge and requiring campers in the area to evacuate.

Photo Courtesy of SEAN CARSON

Staff also conducted assessments to begin planning and designing improvements along the remainder of the trail, with construction of these improvements slated for summer of 2025.

“The trail will close again [on April 30th, 2024] north of Kinney Lake to allow for construction works to occur,” BC Parks told The Goat.

The agency plans to fully reopen the trail year round in the 2025 hiking season.

The new Whitehorn suspension bridge is made of steel and was built to be more fire-resilient. One of the bridge construction contractors was Valemount’s Robson Design Build, which specializes in mountain construction and recreational infrastructure.