Folks who hike regularly may be familiar with the advice to “leave only footprints” behind.
But the endless stream of teapots left on Teapot Hill in Cultus Lake Provincial Park are the exception to that golden rule.
A recent batch of broken shards were removed from Teapot Hill recently by a concerned local hiker and artist who was saddened by what she found.
“I filled my backpack with smashed teapots hiking back from Teapot Hill,” wrote Sylvie Roussel-Janssens in a Facebook post.
She said she’d “never seen such a mess” on the hugely popular trail. She couldn’t get all the intact or broken teapots as she could only carry out what she could fit in her backpack, and there are so many up there.
“Let’s take care of our parks,” she gently urged fellow trail users. “It is our common responsibility.”
Of course the teapots could have broken from the repeated cycle of freeze-and-thaw of winter, and not be smashed intentionally, but it’s hard to tell.
“COVID or not, pick-up a bit of trash,” Roussel-Janssens said. “You can wash your hands later of course. It is too late for adults if they do not know that it is our job to do, but kids are watching.
“A lot of them saw me and noticed.”
People hiding teapots all over Teapot Hill is actually a relatively new phenomenon, said Rob Wilson, area supervisor for BC Parks and Protected Areas in the South Fraser area, in an interview with the Progress.
The area was logged around 1940, and they built what was known as ‘Road 918’, now the Cultus Lake Horse Trail, and the trail that leads up to Teapot Hill. During road construction, an equipment operator walked over to the hill and found a single teapot. That’s how Teapot Hill got its name.
In the decades since, park users started placing teapots in various spots on Teapot Hill for fun, like on rocks or in trees. Some make it a point to seek them out every time they come.
The contractor who maintains Cultus Lake Provincial Park however has been dutifully removing teapots especially the broken ones, upon the request of park management for safety and environmental reasons.
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