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Teapots left by hikers on B.C. mountain is making it a 'dump', says volunteer

Sunday, June 30th 2019, 2:46 pm - 'Teapots are not meant to be on mountains. It's become a major hazard'

A group that provides education and advocates for sustainability in B.C.'s outdoors says one of Prince George's most beloved mountains is unsafe because of teapots left behind by hikers.

Michelle Jackson, president and founder of Rock ED Backcountry Society says, in recent years visitors to Teapot mountain have started placing teapots on the trails which are actually quite dangerous.

tea pot cbc Michelle Jackson, president and founder of ROCK ED Backcountry Society says social media has increased the popularity of Teapot Mountain. (Andrew Kurjata)

"They're basically getting scattered all over the site. And the other issue is that teapots are not meant to be on mountains. It's become a major hazard," said Jackson.

Tamara Kozak is a youth care worker. She first started putting teapots on the mountain three years ago.

Kozak wants to find a way to keep teapots up there and also organize scheduled cleanups.

"To see all those teapots makes me smile because I know that everyone's walked it … but I do agree on the maintenance because I did see a couple of my pots smashed and that saddened me."

tea pot cbc 2 Jackson says the broken teapots provide several barriers and dangers for people who regularly hike on the mountain. (Andrew Kurjata)

"I, myself, will go up and collect the tea pots at the end of the year and deal with them," Kozak said.

ROCK ED Backcountry Society has teamed up with Teapot Mountain owners Recreation Sites and Trails B.C. to restore the site to its original condition. Prior to the collaboration, Recreation Sites and Trails B.C. were considering closing the site.

Mikel Leclerc, recreation officer for site and trail programs, says the site is a disaster and they're looking forward to making Teapot Mountain safe again.

"There's tons of broken teapots all over the place. It's becoming a bit of a dump. It was so beautiful ... It was a bit of a shock actually for me," said Leclerc.

tea pot cbc 3 'There's tons of broken teapots all over the place. it's becoming a bit of a dump. It was so beautiful ... It was a bit of a shock actually for me," saId Mikel Leclerc, recreation officer for site and trail programs. (Ben Gibson)

Teapot Mountain, about 45 minutes north of Prince George, is accessed via a 1.4 kilometre-long, strenuous hike.

Recreation Sites and Trails B.C added fences and other safety precautions about eight years ago. But, Jackson says all the hard work was not sustained because of an increase in tourism.

TEAPOTS FALLING OUT OF TREES AND GETTING STEPPED ON

"There are sections that have been really worn out ... it's become a lot harder to get up there for sure," she said.

Jackson started to see teapots on trails about five years ago.

"I think what's happened is, because of social media, this popularity has grown ... not just for the mountain but for the teapots as well that are up there."

She says people put them on trails, in stumps and in trees. Jackson says she's seen them falling out of trees and getting stepped on.

"They're basically getting scattered all over the site. In the winter, they just crack due to the cold and they'll just break," Jackson said.

RESTORE AND REHABILITATE

"People enjoy nature and not necessarily seeing a trace of human beings out there all the time ... hopefully, this time people will care enough not to destroy the whole place again," said Leclerc.

She says they are looking forward to starting the rehab work soon, but they're still looking for volunteers to help with the project.

With files from Daybreak North.

This article was originally published by CBC News.

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