Tumble your way to a stellar hill climbing ridge in central B.C.

Best day ever: Making powdered memories in Tumbler Ridge, B.C.

by Kyle Born

Sean McCurdy rides a 2004 Polaris RMK 800 144 track.
Sean McCurdy rides a 2004 Polaris RMK 800 144 track. Photo courtesy Sean McCurdy

If you’re a phenomenal hill climber and looking to experience a new best day ever while out on a sled, tumble your way to central British Columbia. Sean McCurdy, a native of Fort St. John, B.C., had his best day in the mountains last April around Core Lodge, just outside of Tumbler Ridge.

“I was riding on the Beaton River area doing high marks on the side of the river with my good buddy, Kurtis Steck,” McCurdy said. “The conditions were good. The area got five centimetres of snow the night before. There wasn’t a ton of powder but we both still had a ton of fun.

“That day was beautiful. Blue sky for days. It wasn't too hot or too cold. It was the perfect day for riding. There were a lot of people out there because the weather was so nice.

Tumbler Ridge, B.C., offers sledders plenty of opportunities to hill climb.
Tumbler Ridge, B.C., offers sledders plenty of opportunities to hill climb. Photo courtesy Sean McCurdy

“The terrain is pretty mellow—nothing too crazy. That area has a bit of everything from big flat areas to lots of hill climbs.”

For mountain sledders, there’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh air and a two-stroke exhaust while climbing a hill.

“My favourite part that day was when I held the throttle wide open and did a hill climb—that felt amazing!” McCurdy said. “There are no words to describe that feeling you get when you hit that perfect line and nail it.”

Every so often, it’s not the line that gets nailed, it’s another sledder.

“Another moment that stands out the most from that day is when I started this little hill climb,” said McCurdy. “I was about halfway up when I looked to my right-hand side to see Kurtis rolling down the hill because he didn’t have enough speed. I was like, ‘Oh crap. I have to dodge Kurtis without slowing down.’ It was a big rush of excitement. My Polaris only has a 144 track. It’s not the best for deep powder or any sort of hill climbing. After all that, we had a good laugh. The sad thing is my GoPro wasn’t filming.”

Tumbler Ridge, B.C., is a beautiful place to ride.
Tumbler Ridge, B.C., is a beautiful place to ride. Photo courtesy Sean McCurdy

Many factors go into comprising the best day ever while out on a snowmobile. Some elements can be manufactured while others cannot. The best way to measure the quality of a day out is what you’d be willing to part with to live it all over again.

“It would be hard to recreate that day because the weather was so perfect,” said McCurdy. 

ESSENTIAL INFO

Trail name: Core Lodge area
Difficulty level: Beginner to advanced
Memorable quote: “The terrain is pretty mellow—nothing too crazy. That area has a bit of everything from big flat areas to lots of hill climbs.”

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