What We Do
The WNMS is made up entirely of volunteers, and has been registered as a non-profit Society in BC since 1994. Our mission is to promote and develop all aspects of people-powered outdoor recreation in the Tumbler Ridge area. We design, build and maintain hiking trails, in cooperation with BC Rec Sites & Trails, BC Parks etc. – currently 30 trails, almost 100 km. Brushing and removal of deadfall and danger trees occurs in spring and in late summer on most trails.
We organize three races:
- Emperor’s Challenge Mountain Run. The Emperor’s Challenge 20 km mountain run is the biggest off road running event in BC, with a capped field of 1000 entries. In 2014 these spaces filled up in 36 hours. It has become one of the two major tourism events of the year in Tumbler Ridge.
- Ridge Ramble Biathlon for the past 24 years, which in 2014 morphed into the TR Triathlon, held in spring.
- Ridge Ramble Cross Country Running Race, which is part of the regional Wolves Cross Country Running Series and is held in the fall.
Proceeds from the Emperor’s Challenge and membership fees are used to fund hiking and cross country skiing trails and projects. WNMS led Tumbler Ridge in entering the BC Walking Challenge in 2011 and winning the event, leading to a $60,000 prize which has been used for trail improvements. The trail system and the Emperor’s Challenge contribute to diversification of Tumbler Ridge’s economy through recreation and tourism. The trails and tourist potential were a factor in the survival of Tumbler Ridge in the early 2000s when the coal mines closed. The trails and volunteer-led summer hiking schedule form a major attraction of the Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark (WNMS is a main partner in this initiative).
We assist the District of Tumbler Ridge with maintenance of district hiking trails, and the Visitor Centre with promotion of tourism products. An important part of our work is liaising with various government, industry and other groups to try to preserve where possible regional natural and geographic features of importance.
We maintain, groom and trackset 10 km of cross country ski trails and maintain Lost Haven Cabin, and promote the use of Flatbed Creek between the two bridges as a 10 km backcountry ski route.
We produce and update a comprehensive series of brochures on hiking trails, including maps and descriptive text, and provide these on our website, to the Visitor Centre, and at brochure boxes at most trailheads.
We lead group hikes to local destinations, which are coordinated and led by WNMS volunteers – an average of about twelve events per season.
We coordinate the Itchy Feet series (travel presentations) in partnership with the Tumbler Ridge Public Library, and arrange an annual Banff Mountain Films evening each October.
WNMS has received a number of awards in recognition of our work, and our efforts and programs were the major contributor to Tumbler Ridge winning the national True Sport Award in 2004.