Two facts for you: Secret Spots are sacred
- If you’re one of the people who asks “Where’s this?” in the comments of a social media post, you kinda suck.
- If you’re posting photos of a hallowed spot on social media and you say exactly where it is, you’re actually the worst. You are ruining our secret spots.
Of course, there’s a line to be drawn. And that line is fuzzy, drawn in grey paint and exceptionally tricky to see.
Translation: it’s up to you to figure that shit out. Don’t blow out the secret spot
For instance, you don’t need to be sneaky and say “Whistler Mountain” when you’re standing on top of Second Peak on The Chief (or vice versa). These are places with paved parking lots, signs on the highway and a well-established spot within the circuit of BC tourism.
But let’s say you head up to___________for the day and come home with an epic ‘grammer (read: Instagram photo), one that’s bound to blow up your phone and make you feel like a fucking champ.
Do everyone a favour, let them figure out for themselves where that secret spot may be.
It’s part of the fun, right?
Is Social Media Ruining Our Secret Spots?
At its best, social media can stoke people up and inspire them to get outside and get after it. At its worst, social media can be responsible for the piles of broken glass that you find at your favourite swimming hole. Or the mogul fields in the couloirs of Blackcomb’s immediate backcountry.
Tipping Point at Joffre Lakes
CBC wrote a hard-hitting piece of journalism in the summer that posed the even more hard-hitting question, “Has social media ruined hiking?”
(OH THE HUMANITY!)
The piece was prompted by an amateur video that showed a line-up of parked cars stretching a couple kilometres along the highway from the traditional Joffre lakes parking lot.
The spot, as they say, had been blown out. And yes, social media is partially to blame. And yes, for all the hundreds of lemmings who decided to go up Joffre Lakes that day, the experience was compromised. But if they’d just gone a little further up the road and/or been more creative with their objective, the age-old act of “hiking” would not have been “ruined”.
Some Places Can’t Be Blown Out
There are certain places in the lore of Sea to Sky recreation that are impossible to blow out on account of sheer difficulty. Squamish’s Cobra Crack, for instance, is a local 5.14(+) climbing route that roughly 0.1% of the world’s climbers will even consider tackling. And even if someone names the spot, you still have to wander through the forest to find the thing.
There’s also the lines that local Squamish resident Trevor Hunt likes to ski off of Mount Atwell, the Leviathan beast of a peak that sits at the north end of town. The story goes that when he skied the Georgian Express, he had to eat his own arm while bushwacking back to the highway afterwards.
I’m no social media expert, but I’m pretty sure that your average Instagram user isn’t about to go to such great lengths to get their daily ‘grammer. And aside from the unfortunate (and completely untrue) story about the arm, I’d say Trevor had a great day out there.
Social media didn’t ruin shit.
The Local Chugach Range
There’s another hallowed Squamish locale that’s been receiving a lot of attention lately, and rightly so. It’s a sprawling headwall of spines, couloirs, ice, rock and snow that looks like a southern-reaching tentacle of Alaska’s Chugach range. Everybody knows where it is. But with the Squamish River fending off advances from the valley floor, the zone is approached most sensibly via helicopter. And while the spot itself would be tricky to blow out entirely, the hut that accommodates would-be extremists blows out after roughly 12 ppl get in there.
Don’t Be That Guy- Tips For Social Sharing Secret Spots
So what do I propose in response to all this?
Creativity, misdirection and just the right touch of sarcasm.
Let’s say you’re standing at the top of Mount_____________ in the zone I was just talking about, consider calling it “Ruby Bowl” or maybe even “Revelstoke Mountain Resort”.
Those who know will think it’s funny. Those who don’t will drive east. Or maybe they’ll look a little harder at the WB trail map. Realistically though, they’ll probably just do a little homework and figure it for themselves. But like I said earlier, that’s part of the fun.
We’ve all got a responsibility to keep the sacred sacred. There’s nothing wrong with getting people jazzed. Just try not to provide a roadmap to the goods.
And the next time you feel compelled to ask, “Where’s this?” on someone’s social media post:
1. Do it in a private message.
2. Ask your cousin’s buddy, Daryl, where that photo of his buddy Daryl was taken.