Part of my weekend was spent at Murray Ridge Ski Hill in Fort St. James.
What a fantastic little hill. Snowboarding has been a hobby of mine for a number of years, yet this was the first chance I had all winter to finally get up to our local hill.
The conditions were out of this world – I think I must have picked one of the best days of the season to go up. Bright blue skies and temperatures not dropping below -5. Bliss.
I had been nervous beforehand about the dreaded handle tow lift – the only lift at the hill.
With the majority of my ski experience being in some of the large resorts in the French Alps with their various chair lift and bubble cars – I never really had to use one of these before.
Thanks to the helpful lifty, and a friend’s instruction I was able to make it up in one piece (bar one fall).
I was lucky to have my friend and colleague with me, Ruth Lloyd, who has become very familiar with the hill over the winter and was a great guide. We traversed along to a fantastic gully with plenty of fresh powder to go round.
Whilst tucking into some poutine in the restaurant, many around me were discussing when the hill was closing for the season.
Unfortunately it was the general opinion that it would not stay open past the end of the month.
Many cited a lack of funds as one of the predominant reasons.
Whilst the hill had been pretty packed that day, in general, numbers haven’t been as great as they could be, I heard.
This hill really is a little tucked away gem and is so accessible to the surrounding communities.
I was lucky enough to spend a season at the Whitewater Ski Resort in Nelson a couple of years back, slightly bigger but still a relatively small hill. I remember constantly meeting many who had come from all over the country to sample the Kootenay’s powder. I’m surprised Murray Ridge hasn’t developed a similar reputation.
It would certainly be good to see this hill thrive a bit more. And if you haven’t been up yet – I really recommend it.