The Prince George cutbanks run along the Nechako River and are an iconic sight for locals and visitors alike. These steep banks have been the host to a long lost event and now bring hope to people in the north battling cancer.
This eye catching sandbank was formed thousands of years ago when the glaciers receded forming the Nechako and Fraser Rivers. With an elevation of 85 m from the base located at Northwood Pulpmill Road to the top lookout, the cutbanks are well known as a great place to get some outdoor cardio in without having to set foot away from the downtown bowl of Prince George and are often tackled by locals and tourists eager to make it to the top.
The historical event: Sandblast
The cutbanks, a couple decades ago, were home to the one and only event of its kind in North America known as “Sandblast”. This event, which ran for 31 years, was a downhill sand race which started with people skiing down the face of the cutbanks and evolved into numerous unique ways to descend the face. It ended over an accident involving riding a couch with bicycle wheels attached to toppling down the hill. You can gather more details about the final race by watching “Destroyed in Seconds”.
The current event: The Climb for Cancer
After many years with no formal events being hosted at the cutbanks, Prince George residents eager to make a difference came up with an idea to help a local non-profit organization: The Climb for Cancer.
The annual Climb for Cancer has been running for seven years and draws in individuals and teams to climb the iconic sand bank. This event raises money for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Kordyban Lodge, here in Prince George. The Kordyban Lodge caters to out of town patients and their caregivers while receiving medical treatment at BC Cancer’s Agency’s Centre for the North. Supported by not only residents but also local businesses, the Climb for Cancer has become an inspiring annual event. Register for the Climb for Cancer here.
Make it your own event
Get in a bit of outdoor exercise by visiting the cutbanks and making your way to the top to see what the view has to offer. Park at McMillan Creek Regional Park and walk your way along the bottom to the face or cut up along the face and take the tree covered edge. The cutbanks are south facing, so be prepared for some serious heat in the summer if you plan on going straight up the face. Pro tip: climb the cutbanks the day after it rains for an easier ascent.
The pleasure of living in Prince George is we are blessed with many beautiful outdoor accessible locations that are close to our downtown core. Adding to these places are the events that keep the community coming together to support a greater cause.
About the Author: Born and raised in Prince George, Kimberley spent a decade of her life exploring and working throughout British Columbia where she discovered a passion for surfing; however with a desire for local community and family she left her love for surfing behind. She settled back to Prince George working for Canfor and a local pulp mill. As a land locked surfer she rediscovered the local region by taking to the endless waterways on a standup paddle board. Reminiscing on her passion for surfing, she now represents the region as a sponsored stand up paddling athlete and gives back to the community as an instructor.