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Places & Faces: Murray Ridge

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Murray Ridge overlooks the town of Fort St. James, just north of Vanderhoof on BC’s Highway 16.  It is home to the longest TBar in North America, with a haul rope just shy of 4 km long (3950m) which runs at 3.4 metres / second.  The operation is run by a not-for-profit society and relies on some exceptional volunteers.  The examples of generosity and contribution by individuals and organisations to support this community asset are too many to list.

There are unloads at tower 4 and 8, as well as the top station on the 15 tower tbar.

The Doppelmayr Tbar is now driven by an electric drive, replacing one of the original donated diesel engines. Chris Greenway is the maintenance manager and grew up on the mountain.  A heavy duty mechanic by trade, he and a millwright colleague provide the maintenance for the ski area.

The Tbar used Doppelmayr’s hydro spring boxes. It used hydraulics (oil encased in the springbox) rather than brakes, thus much less dust and debris, and less maintenance is required. However, they are more expensive on the initial purchase.

 

Murray Ridge built a new shop last year to replace an old wooden structure. The 2007 BR 350 has about 5000 hours on it.

The trail map is designed by Ian Berry (IKB Graphics), a local forester, and member of the Board of Directors.

The lodge was built in 2007, and terrain park rails were added this year.

All the masonry around the bar was completed and donated to Murray Ridge by a local company. Most of the ski run names are also named after companies that have donated time and resources into the area.

The tables in the lounge were built and donated by a Murray Ridge local to help support the operation.

School groups are common and visits include mandatory lessons and helmets. Students are divided into ability levels and assigned areas they are allowed to ski. For example Group #1 & 2 are allowed on the handle tow. Group # 3 group is allowed to Tower 4 (not past) on the tbar.

The daylodge is a three level structure. The basement has an exceptional collection of lockers used by families and individuals. They rent for approximately $30 per yer, or $60 per year for the family size.

Murray Ridge has some local nordic trails and has a warming hut at the trailhead.

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