A pictorial view of Murray Ridge
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By DEVON BUDD, #SkiNorthBC
In 1977, the community of Fort St. James pulled together to create Murray Ridge, a relatively unknown ski hill in Northern B.C. Located 175km northwest of Prince George and only 14km from Fort St. James, home of the volunteers that make the lifts spin each day. Murray Ridge offers one of the North’s best examples of how a small community can create something that is truly special.
Accessed by the longest T-Bar in North America, Murray Ridge offers everything a skier or rider can ask for. Pristine groomers for the family or ski racer at heart, steep technical terrain with loads of natural cliffs and a new terrain park that can be hot lapped all day.
Many of the 23 runs you will find at Murray Ridge sport the names of local companies and families that have put their hearts into making Murray Ridge run year after year. The volunteerism that keeps Murray Ridge alive goes so deep, that all of the runs were cut by a local logging company. Each summer, the brushing and glading is done by local diehards who just want the hill to run its best.
The lodge at Murray Ridge is humble in appearance, but it is bustling on the inside. Downstairs, you will find a massive wood stove heating the building and drying out soaked mittens, along with a cafeteria serving up poutine that lives up to the hill’s slogan “Big Heart, Small Prices.” Upstairs, you will find classic ski hill apres done right, with an excellent wine list and tap selection. Enjoy a burger and live music by bands like regional favourite, The Alkemist.
Murray Ridge boasts an impressive list of events throughout the year, making it one of the main hot spots for winter fun in the region. Recently, the annual Mt. Everest Challenge went down where riders race to get a cumulative 30,000 ft, or the Sherpa Challenge where you ride all 23 runs in a day.
The Ridge also hosts a Retro Ski Day, a Rail Jam and a Big Air Comp (one of the only ones in Northern B.C.). There are a few classic and not-so-classic spring events that are still to come this season, like the Slush Cup and Bathtub races which have been happening annually for over 30 years. If you’re looking to enjoy some spring skiing and lots of fun, Murray Ridge is where you want to come.
When You Go
Get a sense of the community, head over to the Murray Ridge Facebook page and set your compass for a destination that cares.
Know where you are headed. Learn more about the area.
For all your Travel Northern BC details, the folks from Northern BC Tourism can help make the planning process smooth.