Mother Nature has done an excellent job in providing residents of British Columbia with outstanding solutions to outdoor cardio experiences. To name a few examples, Squamish has The Chief; North Vancouver has the Grouse Grind; Fort St. James has Mount Pope; and Prince George has its notoriously steep Cutbanks.
The Prince George Cutbanks are more than just a pre-or post-work cardio blast; they’re an icon here in Prince George. In fact, the climb up them can easily be considered a metaphor for life. Sometimes you just have to persevere when things get tough and continue to put one foot in front of the other.
Getting to the cutbanks
For many visitors and locals alike, the best way to get up the cutbanks is by foot. A designated trail exists on Prince George Pulpmill Road, on the north side of the Nechako River and just south of the John Hart HWY (approximately 250 meters east of the old Cameron Street Bridge location). This popular location allows city residents to take advantage of an extraordinarily challenging climb with stunning views of the Nechako River and downtown Prince George at the summit.
A social activity
Living in Prince George, it’s difficult to avoid the substantial amount of fantastic outdoor activities the city has to offer. Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a significant increase in the amount of people who are attracted to the cutbanks. It’s become more of a social activity, rather than a solo achievement. This led me to start challenging friends and family to start conquering the climb with me on a regular basis. I’ve now climbed the cutbanks with dozens of friends from out of town, co-workers, family members and various acquaintances. The rewarding feeling you achieve when you reach the top together is what keeps people coming back.
A great workout
One of the best things about the Prince George Cutbanks is that the steep climb, which may seem daunting at first, can be accomplished by anyone if they try. Of course, your hamstrings will be on fire, your quads won’t stop trembling and you may be using your t-shirt as an ad hoc towel to wipe the flow of sweat off your forehead; but it doesn’t matter, as long as you make it to the top.
Most recently, my mom challenged herself to climb the cutbanks with me. Although very intimidated at first, she conquered her goal and made it to the top. We both stopped several times to catch our breath and enjoy the panoramic view; consequently, this made the trip up that much more enjoyable, and it’s memories like these that city residents make together on their respective climbs up the Prince George Cutbanks that will last a lifetime. This reminds me that even if for every two steps up the cutbanks you sink one step back, you’ll always reach your goal of getting to the top if you never give up and keep on pushing forward.