Words and photos by Sharon Bader and Lee Lau unless otherwise noted.
China Ridge has been the home of a small group of passionate cross country skiers who have nurtured an incredible network of ski trails. Since incorporating as a society they have accessed funding to expand the recreational opportunities in the area. One nice thing about an XC ski area, its make for great oppotunities for trails in the summer.
In 2009 they were able to hire Whistler native and experienced trail builder – Duncan MacKenzie – to build the Rail Trail, 10km of hopefully many more single track mountain bike trails. This along with the current Parker Trail system this is the start of the mountain bike network on China Ridge.
The Princeton Chugger held on June 12 2010 was a 40km loop starting in Princeton. After a steady 7km, 570m climb up the West China Creek road off the Coalmont Hwy you end up at the Longhouse, the main lodge for the cross country ski area. From here you follow the Parker trail that parallels and crosses the main cross country ski trails for ~7km gaining another 150m to the China Creek Hut. This area offers stunning views towards Coquihalla mountain. After a lunch, you turn back and retrace your steps to the Rubin Jones hut, below which the new Rail Trail starts. The Rail Trail elevation loss is 630m over 6.8km
Princeton Gazebo – GO!
Lee carries our supplies for the day.
I guess we’re heading up into the ridge beyond!
We pass the old ski area.
After the Longhouse we enter the first section of Parker singletrack.
Matt was nice enough to rake this before we got here!
We went from the ski trail to single track most of the way.
The Rueben Jones hut. Can you see the single track?
China Ridge Hut, nice place for lunch.
Mary, Charlotte and Kevin. Coquihalla mountains in the back.
After we ate we rode back to the Reuben Jones hut and down the road a bit to the start of the Rail Trail.
whoop de doops! Sharon and Matt.
Dennis before he broke his hand
Sharon on the Rail Trail.
Rod on rail trail
Bottom of Rail Trail
Great use of terrain! Most trails would just go straight down, but NO this trail utilizes as much terrain as possible!
Soaking our feet by the Tulameen River.
Once off the trail you end up on the KVR. Here we spotted a group of Kayakers running a section of rapids.
Along the Tulameen – which means Red Rock in the Native language – is this section of red rock. Lee wants some.
One of the many deactivated trestles and old tunnels along the KVR.
Back at Matt’s we enjoy a BBQ and Brew! Then we watched England TIE the US in the World Cup match.
Map of The Chugger