Ward-Studios.com Tetrahedron Provincial Park KMZ
First a bit about the park. Tetrahedron Provincial Park is a 6000 hectare (14,800 acre) park located in the coastal range mountains of British Columbia, Canada. The park is bound roughly by the Salmon Inlet to the North, Rainy River to the East, Mount Elphinstone to the South, and Grey Creek to the West. The park varies in elevation from about 900 meters to 1800 meters and contains 3 notable local mountain peaks being Tetrahedron Peak, Panther Peak, and Mount Steele. The park also contains multiple subsidiary peaks to these three main peaks. The park contains 4 cabins which are maintained by the Tetrahedron Outdoor Club, a total of 10 sizable lakes, and many creeks including the headwaters of Grey Creek, Chapman Creek, and McNair Creek. Much of the Western side of the park has been clear cut and contains minimal growth to some minor new growth. Once East of Gilbert Lake and Bachelor Lake, more old growth forest is predominent. In the higher elevations the forests thin out as the tempatures become cooler and the ground less fertile to support larger trees.
Access to the park is via an old logging road called the Grey Creek access road which begins near Tuwanek and then roughly follows the power lines and Grey Creek canyon up to the designated parking areas. All seasoned park users recommend a 4 wheel drive or all wheel drive vehicle in the best of conditions. During the winter time the road is voluntarily maintained by a local who loves the park, however the road is not garanteed to be cleared of snow, and even when it is there is typically a layer of hard pack snow and / or ice left behind. During snow conditions at any point on the road a high profile 4 wheel drive vehicle is considered essential and snow chains should be carried along with the knowledge of how to use them. A shovel is also highly recommended.
The park features 4 primary trails, each of which lead to one of the 4 cabins, and 2 winter only trails which traverse the surface of frozen lakes. Even the longest trail (McNair) is less than 10 Km and can be traveresed by a healthy hiker or skier in about half a day. Use of the park during winter is risky. The Tetrahedron Outdoor Club website features a lot of details about how to better prepare to visit the park during the winter months. Survival and navigation skills are a must! Do not attempt to cross frozen lakes without consulting ice conditions before hand.
On to the fun stuff! The Tetrahedron Provincial Park KMZ for Google Earth
What is a KMZ file?
A KMZ is an advanced 3 dimensional "model" used by the Google Earth application (Download Google Earth) which contains information about specific features. They can contain paths indicating specific directions, much like a road in a GPS, they can contain specific points much like points of interest in a GPS, and they can contain overlays which is an image with additional details of a specific area which is textured over the base map in 3D.
Details of this package
This KMZ package includes:
How can this help prepare for a visit to the park?
Aside from the obvious straight down view of the trails, where they start, how they wind and where they end up, the KMZ file can be used to get a snap shot of the trail from the "side", showing every "up and down", also known as elevation change, along the entire trail. Using this information hikers and skiers alike can determine what elevation losses and gains they will experience along the trail, exactly at what distance on the trail they will be encountered and at what grades they will be ascending and descending the various elevation changes along the trail. This means that by using this feature, one can see how steep certain spots are along the trail. A 5 kilometer trail doesn't seem very long or intimidating, and might fool a user into thinking it is not going to be a difficult trail, until they look at the elevation profile and realize they will be climing several hundred meters up a steep grade at some point along the trail. (More details about this exciting feature towards the bottom of this web page.)
This sounds awesome! How do I use this KMZ file to plan my trip?
Wonderful! It is nice to see you're still here and eager to use this tool. Follow these insructions to "install" the KMZ file and begin using it efficiently.
Step 1: "Install" the KMZ file to Google Earth
Navigating the features of the Tetrahedron Park KMZ file
Advanced (FUN!) Features
The Play Tour feature. This feature can be used to take a bird's eye flight along any path. Simply select any path desired and click on the "Play Tour" button (circled in red in the image below). Sit back and enjoy a flight along the selected path. Path feature can be enabled (displayed) or disabled (hidden) while using this feature. The tour can be paused by using the control panel in the lower left corner (boxed in red in the image below) of the main display window. Once paused, the Google Earth window can be used to navigate anywhere in the world. When the tour is resumed it will automatically return to the point where it was paused and continue the tour from that point.
The Show Elevation Profile feature. This feature can be used to view the entire length of any path / trail in a "side view" profile. By viewing the profile, all the elevation variations along the entire length of the selected path can be seen along with exact distance from the start and the grade (steepness) of the trail at any given point. To enable the elevation profile, right click on the desired path or trail and select the "Show Elevation Profile" option from the menu. This will automatically enable the selected trail (even if it is disabled), pan and zoom to fill the Google Earth window, and will open a graph below the main window showing the profile from left to right.
As the mouse pointer is moved along the profile graph, a red arrow will appear on the trail in the main display window above. This red arrow indicates the location on the trail where this part of the profile will be encountered. The number on the left of the arrow shows the distance from trail head, the number above the arrow shows the elevation at that exact point, and the number to the right of the arrow shows the grade of the slope at that point on the trail. This information is displayed again in the Elevation Profile graph on a line where the mouse pointer is or was last located on the graph. This powerful feature allows users to determine not only how long the trail is, but how much climbing up and down hills or mountains there will be and how steep those climbs will be.
Clicking on the image below will open it full size in a new tab so that this amazing feature can be more clearly seen.
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