Fruitvale has sledding tenure

It’s official—the Beaver Mountain Snowmobile Association of Fruitvale, B.C., has been granted a tenured sledding area

by Marie Milner

Deanna Gordon, snowmobiler, Fruitvale, B.C.
Deanna Gordon of Fruitvale, B.C., is the secretary of the Beaver Mountain Snowmobiling Association. Photo courtesy Deanna Gordon

The snowmobile club in the little community of Fruitvale, B.C., has recently been granted a tenured area for its favourite sport. That means members of the Beaver Mountain Snowmobile Association (BMSA) are responsible for the trails and trail signage for the designated snowmobiling area near the village.

Deanna Gordon, secretary of the BMSA, said that the best features of the area around Fruitvale are its beauty, its varied terrain and its minimal avalanche risk.

“If you enjoy extreme riding or hillclimbing or boondocking, it’s all available here,” Gordon said. “On just one mountain alone, the variety is huge. Our groomed trails are wonderful for families and relaxed riding, and we have lots of ungroomed trails. This is not a high avalanche area, because so much of the area is thickly treed and quite safe. There are quite a few logged-off areas that are open but not steep. The altitude of the parking lot at Archibald staging area is about 914 metres (3,000 feet) and the top of Beaver Mountain is about 1,829 metres (6,000 feet).

“The nice thing about snowmobiling here is that every area has at least two ways to get in and out, so everybody can choose the level of challenge that suits them. There are two mountains, Kelly and Beaver, and just about every trail will take you up one or the other.”

Gordon herself is an avid mountain rider. She loves deep powder and tree riding, usually with a group of six to eight friends. The season usually runs from early December until May, and there have been times, she said, when they have gone snowmobiling in the morning and golfing in the afternoon.

“What I love about riding is the peace,” Gordon said. "It’s a way to unwind and reduce stress and have some good, old-fashioned fun. Lots of people get winter blues, but if you’re a snowmobiler, you don’t get that.”

The Fruitvale sledding area is virtually undiscovered by the outside world, but now that the club has a tenured area, members hope to promote the sport to a bigger audience and to grow the club from its current 65 members.

Name: Deanna Gordon
Riding since: 9 years old
Current sled: Ski-Doo 800 Summit
Favourite riding style: Mountain riding in trees and deep powder with friends
Favourite riding area: an area known to locals as Little Revy on Beaver Mountain

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