Forbidden Plateau logging starting sooner than expected

UROC has been asked to communicate the following harvesting information from TimberWest. Although this area falls outside of the URoC – TW land use agreement area we will work with TW to minimize impact to trails where operationally possible and remove debris for trail reconstruction.

“We are planning to log the block CW001 near Forbidden Plateau beginning later this week or early next week. Generally some sections of the impacted trails will be cut but they will have to be closed during harvesting operations. The harvesting will be done by a contractor and we will do our best to minimize impacts to the trails.”

Affected trails to include:

Upper Cabin Fever, Cabin Fever, Gecko, Two Sheiks, Screamin Deamon, Iron Horse.

Please follow any signage and please respect the boundaries of the logging activities.


Bike trails at Mount Washington headed in a new direction

COMOX VALLEY, VANCOUVER ISLAND – Following a three-year hiatus, the chairlifts will once again be spinning this summer for lift-accessed mountain biking at Mount Washington Alpine Resort. The trail crew has been working steadily throughout the spring for an anticipated mid-July opening. They have been using new techniques to re-build some of the old trails and working to add new trails to the range of offerings.

Mike Manara, who is responsible for the design and construction of the Bike Park, recently spent three days riding over 100 kilometers of trail in the Park City, Utah area. While there, he met with Charlie Sturgis, the head of the Mountain Trails Foundation, to discuss their trail network, which the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) designated five years ago as the world’s first Gold Level Ride Destination.

The meetings focused on new trail design and building techniques that helped Park City achieve its vaulted IMBA status – there are still only five Gold Level destinations in the world. This is not the first trail research Manara has done; he states “By spending time with industry partners we have been working on best practices with our connections at Whistler Bike Park and Silver Star to absorb knowledge from the top Parks in the industry.” His objective has been to bring these best practices in the mountain biking world back to the trails at Mount Washington.

Manara’s trip to Utah was at the invitation of the resort’s new owners, Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. (PGRI.) One of the principals of PGRI has been involved in the ongoing efforts to make Park City a world-class mountain biking destination, so biking is something they understand intimately. An estimated $250,000 will be invested into the mountain biking trails at Mount Washington this summer with enhancements planned for each year thereafter.

According to Manara, the trip was extremely worthwhile, “We rode an amazing array of terrain; flow trails, gravity trails, cross-country trails, bike parks, skills parks and pump tracks. I even had the chance to ride the brand new WOW! Trail which is 14 kilometers of some of the best downhill trail I have ever ridden. When you go to a place like that with such a variety of top-quality riding, you can’t help but be inspired to bring back great ideas we can use here.”

Manara is an avid and experienced mountain biker. He has been involved with the trails in Cumberland for the last 15 years and is one of the founders and longtime president of the United Riders of Cumberland (UROC) in the Comox Valley. He has seen the explosion in the number of riders so he understands how important the trails are to the success of Mount Washington’s mountain biking offering.

“I am hands on with the crew,” Manara explained. “We are finding new ways to build great trails at the resort, including using smaller machines which require less reclamation work. This means the overall time spent on the trail work is more productive and less impactful on the environment, while producing more interesting riding because it can have a better flow with the terrain.”

The team is made up of 12 builders who share the same ideas and values of building fast, flowy, smooth and fun trails on Vancouver Island. “The crew building the trails are riders,” stated Manara. “It is important that the people building the trails understand the flow and style that makes the experience great for a rider.”

Mario Fehrenberg and Scott Stansbury from Cumberland are on the Mount Washington trail crew. Both builders are especially proud of their work on the trail called Vanilla, a flow trail that is part of the Cumberland system. Joining them are Bill McLane from Nanaimo and Jeremy Baker from Courtenay. McLane worked on the trails for “Builder,” a mountain biking trail film. Baker helped build the original “Monster Mile,” one of Mount Washington’s signature trails, in 1997. Fehrenberg, Manara’s right hand man, noted, “We’re having a blast putting together the trails this time around. There are definitely huge improvements, and we’re making sure they are dialed and work great for the riders.”

“We are rebuilding the trail-system in three phases,” noted Manara. “The first phase has been focusing on sculpting a new Bike Park entrance to the Hawk Chair with a series of berms that will be fun for every skill level. Additionally, our beginner trail Green Line, is being reworked and Back in Black has received a face lift. In phase two, we are connecting a number of trails into one new line which will create the first new intermediate run; Hot Wheels. Phase three will see the top sections of the mountain linked together in a new way. We are also rebuilding a scenic 10 km cross-country (XC) bike loop with a modest total elevation change of 200 meters, The Finger Trail, which can be ridden from the base area without requiring lift access.”

The weather the first few weeks of June, while being a rainy challenge, has been an opportunity to see how the work that has be completed sets up in the alpine environment. Fehrenberg explains “When it rains, we build bridges over sensitive terrain and source out areas of possible erosion so we can create a more sustainable trail using grade reversals and low impact drainage. We want the trails to be here for the long-term so they need to be able to stand up to the weather in our region. It works out well for the riders, too, because it gives us natural opportunities to create the flow that today’s mountain bikers have so much fun riding.”

With four to six lift serviced, gravity fed trails expected for opening day, Mount Washington will have an experience available for every skill level and style of rider. The downhill and cross-country mountain biking trail systems will continue to expand throughout the summer season. The bike crew will work on new trails as weather permits. At the same time, they will ensure that the current trails remain in great shape through daily maintenance.

Peter Gibson, General Manager at Mount Washington commented “We are thrilled to be back in the bike business. The trails are looking amazing and having Mike heading up the team gives us a lot of confidence that the trail system will be top notch.”

“The decision to reintroduce the Bike Park wasn’t taken lightly,” Don Sharpe, Director of Business Operations at the resort divulged this week. “Our new owners are committed to a successful long-term plan for summer development, so they wanted to make sure that whatever we did was sustainable. We have all been working on bringing mountain biking back to Mount Washington since last November.”

Best practices from around the mountain biking world, sustainable trails, and bigger smiles on the riders’ faces from fast and flowing trails. Mount Washington’s trail builders may have hit on a winning formula.


  • Mike Manara
  • Mario Fehrenberg
  • Bill McLane
  • Scott Stansbury
  • Tony Radomi
  • Arne Neumann
  • Chris Snodgrass
  • Jef Gurney
  • Nick Dunn
  • Peter Dunn
  • Joseph Schnurr

Read more about their bios online

Mount Washington Bike Park June Update

Great news coming from the hill! It’s great to see some of our local builders working to bring some new trails and flow.

13412062_10157153382295515_7268415435604281536_oBy mid-July we expect to have 4-6 trails open with something for every riding level and type. We will have flowy, technical and cross-country. Crews will be working all-season long to expand.

Below are photos of a Bike Park trail walk from last week. The lower half of the mountain is drying up nicely and crews have been busy shaping Green Line and Back-in-Black. The snow has begun to melt on the upper mountain, things are still wet but have been drying up fast.

Rocky Mountain Bicycles have been chosen for our rental fleet. The two bikes we will have available are the Maiden Park, a fully carbon DH bike and the Altitude 730, a great bike for our new flowy trails! There is a small repair and rental shop set up in the Alpine Lodge to deal with minor repairs such as flats and brake tuning. For larger repairs we encourage you to support your local bike shop.


More Photos from the progress.

Cumberland harvesting to begin this week

ACTIVE HARVESTING to begin late this week – see maps below.
V063 will have a significant impact on riding during operations as the road up above Sykes Bridge will be very active. Trails affected: 42nd ave, Teapot, and Climbmax.

V002 will impact Trent Canyon, and some of Trent River trail.
Operations will take place Monday-Friday 5am to 10ish pm for approximately 6 weeks.

Please respect all posted signage.

13147321_616769648472870_4102538654139484598_o 13173118_616769651806203_728569584388604985_o

It’s back! Mount Washington Bike Park is a go!

We are very excited to announce that, following a three-year hiatus, the Mount Washington Bike Park will reopen this summer for lift-accessed mountain biking!

With the support of our new owners, Pacific Group Resorts ULC, the decision to reintroduce the Bike Park is the first step in our long-term summer development plan. We’ll be investing approximately $250,000 into the Park this year, with enhancements each year thereafter.

15-year Mount Washington veteran and Snow School Director, Mike Manara, will be our Bike Park Manager, taking the lead on the planning and development of the trail system. He is one of the founding board members as well as the current president of the United Riders of Cumberland. He also sat on the Mountain Bike Tourism board and has been an integral part of the planning and maintenance of the Cumberland trail system for the last 15 years.

The Bike Park will have trail offerings for all ability levels, from never-evers to advanced freeriders. Our goal is to take the fun and relaxed feel of the local valley trails and bring them up to mountain, and we’ll be looking to partner with the riding community to help make that happen.

We’re in the planning stages right now so the trail building will take place as soon as the snow melts. With a quickly-eroding snow base, we anticipate having the park operational in early to mid-July. Stay tuned for regular updates on our progress, along with details of opening dates and pricing.

We can’t wait to see you all back up here this summer!

Whistler has a renaissance, is Mount Washington having a resurrection?

Hot on the heels of a massive announcement at Whistler Blackcomb this week, Mount Washington prepared for their final weekend of winter operations. Hidden in the weekly video were subliminal messages which should pique the interest of Island mountain bikers.

See for yourself…

Let’s slow that down for you…



It’s been a little less than 3 years since the bike park announced it was closing… Does this mean we’re going to have lift accessed biking again on Vancouver Island?

ps… better snap up those used DH bikes on Craigslist before the prices jump!

Forbidden Plateau Logging Starts March 24th

UROC has been asked to communicate the following harvesting information from TimberWest. Although this area falls outside of the URoC – TW land use agreement area we will work with TW to minimize impact to trails where operationally possible and remove debris for trail reconstruction.

“We are planning to start road construction tomorrow (March 24th) in block CW001 near Forbidden Plateau, see attached map. Initially only the feller buncher will be operating in the block and road construction crews will follow within the next 2-3 weeks.”

Affected trails to include:

Upper Cabin Fever, Cabin Fever, Gecko, Two Sheiks, Screamin Deamon, Iron Horse.

Please follow any signage and please respect the boundaries of the logging and possible blasting activities.



Cumberland Trails Agreement Finalized

January 5, 2016

Cumberland, BC – The United Riders of Cumberland (UROC), Village of Cumberland, TimberWest Forest Corp., and Hancock Forest Management are excited to announce that a land access agreement has been reached to formally allow non-motorized recreation on private managed forest lands adjacent to the Village of Cumberland.

This progressive and multi-faceted agreement not only authorizes public recreation on private and public forest lands south of the Village, but gives the private landowners the opportunity to better communicate and manage risks associated with people recreating on their land.

Photo : Dave Silver Photography
Photo : Dave Silver Photography

“This agreement represents the collective efforts of all parties involved and demonstrates what can be achieved through collaboration,” said Mike Manara, UROC President. “I am proud of the UROC board for their dedication to this project and the commitment to making mountain biking a legitimate industry in our community. We are stoked to put Cumberland and our amazing trails on the map! I would also like to thank the Village of Cumberland for their support in this endeavour, as well as all the volunteers that have contributed to our trail network over the years – you know who you are and we thank you!”

“Completion of this project is a very positive step,” said Domenico Iannidinardo, Chief Forester and VP Sustainability for TimberWest. “Years in the making, this agreement provides for legitimate access to mountain bikers and recreationists to enjoy a series of trails over multiple ownerships. Much credit must go to UROC and the Village of Cumberland for their efforts in bringing this agreement together.”

“Hancock Forest Management endeavors to give back to the communities that surround our managed forest lands and a Trails Agreement gives us an opportunity to do that,” said Matthew Merritt, Forester for Hancock Forest Management. “We are excited to move forward, working with the bike club to ensure a safe and sustainable use of the Valley’s resources.”

For the Village of Cumberland, the agreement helps to move forward Council’s goal of improving recreation opportunities in the community.

“Trails mean so much to our community from both a quality of life perspective, as well as an economic driver,” said Mayor Leslie Baird. “The parties know that working forests and trail-based recreational can be compatible land uses and that everybody – including residents of the Village – will benefit from this collaborative agreement.”

Under the terms of the agreement, UROC will take on key trail management and maintenance responsibilities for the approximately 70km Cumberland trail network, while also continuing to work in partnership with local trail builders and other stakeholders. UROC will be working closely with the Village of Cumberland and private landowners on several trail infrastructure projects, including new trailhead information kiosks and the replacement of bridges over important stream crossings. Next up, UROC will be completing an inventory of the trail network to determine trail maintenance priorities and confirming trail difficulty ratings.

Over time visitors to the area can expect to see upgraded trail signage, improved route information, and consistent and proactive trail maintenance.


• The United Riders of Cumberland is a Cumberland-based registered society that organizes events, group rides and other activities for mountain bikers of all ages and advocates for trails on behalf of all users. UROC requests that all trail users consider becoming members of the organization to assist the club in its new role in trail management. Check out for more info, or search them on Facebook for updates and trail notices.

• TimberWest is Western Canada’s largest private timberland company with 325,400 hectares / 804,200 acres on Vancouver Island and leads the coastal industry in the growing and harvesting of second-growth timber. The Company is a leader in sustainable forest management and is committed to Vancouver Island communities.

• Hancock Forest Management manages timberlands for large private investors. Hancock Forest Management is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hancock Natural Resource Group (HNRG), providing property management services for HNRG investor-owned properties. The Company manages nearly 6.8 million acres of timberland globally. In the Northwest Division, Hancock manages land in Washington, Oregon, California and British Columbia.

• The Village of Cumberland will continue to maintain trail management responsibilities for trails in the Cumberland Community Forest, Coal Creek Historic Park and other Village parks and trails with the support of UROC and other stakeholders. UROC will take on primary trail management responsibilities on the 193 ha of Village-owned lands in the Perseverance and Cumberland Creek watersheds.

Cumberland Land Use Agreement Signed!

Fountain Pen and Signature
Fountain Pen and Signature

A process which began almost 8 years ago has succeeded in the first comprehensive land use agreement on Vancouver Island. Historically eastern Vancouver Island was granted to Robert Dunsmuir for the creation of the E&N Railway.

Many hands later private forest land dominates the hills behind many island communities. The United Riders of Cumberland with assistance from the Village of Cumberland drafted an agreement with Timberwest and Hancock Forest Management which may become a guideline for other recreation groups on Vancouver Island.

More details to come shortly, but we would like to congratulate the UROC board on this great step forward.