Mount Sproatt, or as it is known locally as simply "Sproatt", is one of the many towering mountains visible from Whistler Village. Above and beyond Alta Lake, directly across from Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain, you will see this quiet giant. Its unremarkable appearance hides the growing network of trails that stretch through some startlingly beautiful terrain. Free of snow enough to hike by most by mid June 2016. Expect plenty of snow sections until the first week in July. Next time you walk through Whistler Village and cross the pedestrian bridge(with Village Gate Boulevard below you), you will see Mount Sproatt in the distance. It is the rocky giant, abruptly steep on one end and gently sloping on the other. At its summit you may be able to make out the small weather recording structure. What you can't see from Whistler Village is the extraordinarily beautiful alpine paradise that lays beyond it. Lakes and tarns everywhere you look. Fields of alpine flowers and wonderfully mangled, yet strikingly beautiful forests of krummholz. Hostile looking fields of boulders and absurdly placed erratics the size of RV's. Beyond, of course, endless stunning view of distant, snowy mountains.
From the towering elevation of much of the Sproatt Alpine Trail you often look across or even down on distant mountains. Rainbow Mountain looks incredible from much of the trail. Four teeth-like, jagged grey peaks in a row that face you from Rainbow Mountain, just 5 kilometres away look enormous. A couple kilometres closer you spot Hanging Lake and the Lord of the Rings style valley that stretches 2 kilometres from its shores to the abrupt cliffs at your feet. Several times along the trail you see the clearly defined ski runs on Whistler and Blackcomb and once in a while you can spot Alta Lake and Whistler Village.
Though a hive of snowmobile and ski/riding activity in the winter and spring, Sproatt is infrequently hiked in the summer. The reason for its lack of popularity is that it is comparatively difficult to access. There are several ways to reach it, though none are clearly marked and most require bushwhacking and some careful planning to navigate. That was then. The future of Sproatt looks far more inviting as new trails are constructed every year and there is a massive 10 kilometre multi-use, hiking and biking trail being built right now that spans this enormous and challenging terrain. In 2014, the Sproatt Alpine Trail was flagged and construction began. The new trail begins 1.4 kilometres from the Rainbow Sproatt Flank Trail trailhead in Function Junction. The trail is already quite easy to follow, though it is constantly steep and winding. Though you are mostly in deep forest, occasionally you emerge to fantastic views of the valley below and Black Tusk beyond.
The Sproatt Alpine Trail is being built by volunteer and paid trail builders from WORCA(Whistler Off Road Cycling Association). Construction is underway from both ends of the trail. One end being the Function Junction, Flank Trail end and the other being the Callaghan Valley, Northair Mine end, more than 10 kilometres away. If you don't mind a bit of a drive and a couple kilometres of very bad forest service roads, then the Northair Mine end is the more scenic and easier choice. The alpine terrain from that end is spectacular and if you manage to 4x4(or atv) close to the trailhead, then the amazing alpine views are less than an hour away on foot.
The Function Junction end the Sproatt Alpine Trail is the more convenient and easier end to get to from Whistler Village and destined to be the more popular trailhead. As trail construction continues into 2015/2016, there will likely be no trailhead signs or mapboards at either end of the trail until 2016. The construction still to do on the trail is for the most part ramps, bridges and wonderfully elaborate features to make it into a world-class bike trail. If you are hiking the trail, however, it is effectively ready to go already(with the exception of signs and mapboards). You will likely encounter "Trail Closed" signs on the Whistler end of the trail up beyond the Flank Trail until the summer of 2016. These closed signs are up to keep bikers off of the unfinished route. If you are on foot, however, you will be OK making your way through the unfinished sections of trail.