New trail alert: Cumberland is getting a chairlift

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UPDATE – Please note this news was posted on April 1st, April fools day 2023.

The Cumberland trail network is about to reach new heights of destination travel and lift assisted trail user experience.

Permitted access to the private forest lands is top priority to UROC and finding ways to enhance the experience will always be a forefront agenda item. The Cumberland trail network provides a world class trail experience on Vancouver Island and enjoys over 200k users to its 200km’s of trails every year. The installation of a multiuser chairlift will provide greater access and elevate the trail experience to new heights while helping to accommodate the influx of trail users choosing to visit Cumberland. 

Mount Washington Alpine Resort has been a long-standing supporter of UROC and when it was realized that the resort was considering replacing their Whisky Jack chair lift, we leapt at the chance to nudge forward the opportunity.

The Whisky Jack chairlift was a brand-new purchase for Mt Washington in the early 80’s and it has served the resort well, so well that the resort wants to give back to the local community and pledged the sale of the chairlift to UROC for one Canadian dollar…. you read that right … one Canadian dollar. UROC has contracted some chairlift professionals to dismantle and re-erect the lift to its new location in the Cumberland Forest. The chairlift’s route will follow the path of the historic Miners trail along the contours of the Cumberland Creek while passing several natural beauty viewpoints to deliver users to the heart of the Gravity zone within the trail network. 

Who is going to foot the bill is likely your next question and that’s where a funding model from Destination Tourism comes into play. A full funding package has been approved for dismantling and installation of the lift which includes a 3 year start up package to ease UROC into the running costs. The full green light has been given and the works will be under way this spring when the mountain resort ceases winter operations. 

Mike Manara from Mount Washington Alpine Resort commented: “we are beyond delighted and pumped that we’re lifting UROC and the Village of Cumberland to new heights while keeping the Whisky Jack Chairlift in the Comox Valley” Mike went on to say: “On Vancouver Island we have seen an extraordinary growth in outdoor recreation in recent times and we could not have considered a better recipient than UROC and the Cumberland Trail network to keep the spirit of the Whisky Jack chairlift alive”

“we are beyond delighted and pumped that we’re lifting UROC and the Village of Cumberland to new heights while keeping the Whisky Jack Chairlift in the Comox Valley”

Mike Manara, Mount Washington Alpine Resort

UROC intends to keep the Whisky Jack name for the lift and proposes to mark the route as a new climbing trail for any trail users. The new lift will provide several employment opportunities for the community, and we propose to be running the lift from 10am till 3pm daily except the month of January. Access for users comes with an annual UROC membership or a $5 tip tap donation per ride to assist with the running costs of the lift.

If you wish to support the trails and all the ongoing work of UROC you can buy your UROC membership here or donate to UROC here.

Sponsorship opportunities for local businesses exist on every chair and you can find more details here.