Category 2 open burning prohibitions will be rescinded
September 25, 2023
The TransRockies Gravel Royale has been cancelled due to Wildfires in the region.
Aaron McConnell, TransRockies President, commented, “It’s with heavy hearts and a commitment to safety as our top priority, we regret to announce the cancellation of the highly anticipated TransRockies Gravel Royale 2023. The decision comes in response to the ongoing wildfire situation that has affected the race route and surrounding areas. Despite our dedicated efforts and consultations with BC Wildfire officials over the past week, it has become apparent that proceeding with the event would pose too great a risk to participants, staff, and the local communities.”
The TransRockies Gravel Royale has been a testament to the spirit of adventure, camaraderie, and endurance since its inception. Aaron continued to say that he understands the disappointment that this cancellation brings, but the TransRockies responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all involved is paramount.
Several key factors contributed to this difficult decision:
1. Wildfire Proximity:
The Horsethief Creek Complex, comprised of the Horsethief, Yearling, and Mia Creek fires, poses a significant threat along the route. All three fires have been classified as “Out of Control,” creating an unpredictable and potentially hazardous environment.
2. Evacuation Concerns and Emergency Respose:
Although the evacuation order for Nipika has been lifted, the area remains under an “evacuation alert”. In the event of further closures or emergencies, the options for transporting a large group of riders out of Nipika are limited, raising safety concerns in case of unforeseen circumstances.
3. Course Disruption:
A section of the race course near Nipika, particularly Cochran Creek, remains closed due to wildfire activity. This closure necessitates a reroute, which could impact the overall race experience.
4. Uncontained Mia Creek Fire:
The Mia Creek fire continues to spread, with limited containment progress. BC Wildfire authorities have expressed apprehension about potential fire spread, especially if wind conditions change. The inaccessibility of the area further complicates firefighting efforts. Portions of the planned route are within the current Area Restriction and closure.
5. Air Quality and Smoke Concerns:
While smoke has not been a significant issue at present, the situation is unpredictable and could rapidly worsen. Given the nature of the race as a point-to-point event, it is challenging to adjust stages to account for poor air quality.
7. Permit Uncertainty:
Ongoing evacuation alerts in the Nipika area could lead to officials withholding of necessary permits, creating additional obstacles for organizing a safe and successful event.
The TransRockies administration have communicated with registered participants regarding deferral options and also express their commitment to exploring future opportunities to bring the spirit of TransRockies Gravel Royale back stronger than ever once the wildfire situation stabilizes and conditions permit. Next year’s event is scheduled for August 23-26, 2024.
The Entire TransRockies Team We would like to extend their sincere gratitude to all participants, sponsors, volunteers, and local communities who have supported the TransRockies Gravel Royale. While this cancellation is undoubtedly disappointing, the health and safety of everyone involved remains our utmost priority.
Stay safe, stay informed, and let us work together to support the firefighting efforts and recovery of the affected communities.
The TransRockies would like to thank all the Fernie supporters including GearHub Sports, the City of Fernie, Fernie.com, Tourism Fernie, Park Place Lodge, Red Tree Lodge, Raging Elk Adventure Lodge, Fernie Lodging Company, Fernie RV Resort, Stanford Resort, Snow Valley Lodging and the Fernie Fox. Fernie was ready for an epic finish…
The TransRockies Singletrack 6 Returns to Fernie on July 12 to 14th for a Spectacular 20th Anniversary Mountain Biking Adventure.
In 2002 the TransRockies began in Fernie with the TransRockies Challenge, the 7 day point to point stage race, and now the Singletrack 6. Fernie has been the perfect place to start, finish and host some of the TransRockies biggest and most important races for 20 years.
The TransRockies Singletrack 6 has become a highlight on the mountain biking calendar, attracting riders from around the globe to challenge themselves and immerse themselves in the thrill of world-class singletrack. In 2023, participants can expect an exceptional race that combines technical descents, lung-busting climbs, and awe-inspiring scenery, all while fostering a sense of camaraderie and adventure. “We are thrilled to bring back the TransRockies Singletrack 6 for the 20th anniversary of this incredible mountain bike race,” said Aaron McConnell, TransRockies President. “This event offers riders the opportunity to explore some of the most iconic trails in Western Canada and create lifelong memories along the way.”
In 2022 Fernie rider Carter Nieuwesteeg won the Singletrack 6 and he’s back this year. Carter will be riding the BC Bike Race coming into the Singletrack 6, 13 days of staging racing in 17 days. Carter commented, “It’s a quick turn around to defend my ST6 title that once again starts on home trails right here in Fernie. Taking on two of the most iconic week long stage races where anything can happen and I can’t wait to see where this thing goes!” Carter is the organizer of the Fernie Gravel Grind, a weekend long festival for 500 riders that’s raised over $20,000 for the local community.
Gearhub Sports is the Stage 1 title sponsor and support shop for this year’s ST6 and has two team riders participating. Steve Kelly and Dylan Bailey will be representing Gearhub and both will be riding Rocky Mountain Element’s.
The TransRockies crew is a dedicated group and the friendships continue to this day. Dan Savage, Fernie organizer, commented, “I’m stoked that Fernie continues to host this World Class event. The Transrockies was the seed that helped define Fernie as a mountain bike destination. It’s great in 2023 to have permission to include the Elk Valley Trail and finish in Sparwood!”
The 2023 TransRockies Singletrack 6 will span six stages, each with its own unique challenges and stunning surroundings. The schedule and stage locations for the Fernie are as follows:
Stage 1: Fernie, BC – July 13th (36km distance / 1150m elevation)
• Fernie will again provide a thrilling start to the week of racing, with riders embarking on a demanding course that showcases the area’s natural beauty.
• Spectators are encouraged to gather at the Fernie Aquatic Centre to witness the excitement as riders cross both the start and finish line here, celebrating their first stage accomplishment.
• Race start time is 8AM, with the first riders projected to cross the finish line at approximately 9:30AM.
• The Beer Garden, Food Trucks, Awards Ceremony and Course Briefing will take place at 2PM from the Fernie Aquatic Centre.
Stage 2: Fernie, BC to Sparwood, BC – July 14th (45km distance / 1100m elevation)
• The Fernie Aquatic Centre will once again set the stage for an exhilarating day of riding, as participants tackle technical terrain and embrace the rugged wilderness.
• Spectators are encouraged to gather at the Sparwood’s Titan truck to witness the fast-paced finishes and cheer on the riders as they complete another challenging stage.
• Race start time is 8AM, with the first riders projected to cross the finish line at approximately 9:30AM.
• The Beer Garden, BBQ, Awards Ceremony and Course Briefing will take place at 2PM from the Sparwood Visitor Centre.
Following Fernie the ST6 will move to the Crowsnest Pass for two exciting stages before heading to Canmore for the final two stages.
TransRockies would like to thank all of our local Fernie and Sparwood supporters including the City of Fernie, Fernie.com, Tourism Fernie, Fernie Trails Alliance, Park Place Lodge, GearHub Sports, Red Tree Lodge, Raging Elk Adventure Lodge, Fernie Lodging Company, Fernie RV Resort, Stanford Resort, Snow Valley Lodging, Coal Creek Heritage Society, the District of Sparwood, Sparwood Chamber of Commerce, the Sparwood Trails Alliance and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Best wishes to all the riders and organizers on the 20th Anniversary Mountain Biking Adventure!
Registration for the third annual Fernie Gravel Grind (FGG) by Anything Goes Event Series (AGES) is launching on December 2nd, 2022. The FGR is a weekend long gravel cycling experience located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, home to some of the best gravel riding that Canada has to offer. Over the course of the weekend, riders will race up picturesque mountain roads, experience historical downtown Fernie and connect with a growing community of gravel cyclists. Following our mission, Anything Goes With Gravel, the race itself is open to any and all riders and offers multiple distances, race categories and fun activities for the whole family all weekend long.
Carter Nieuwesteeg, Founder and Organizer, commented, “We start it all over again, this time for the third annual #FernieGravelGrind. What a journey it’s been to be here, bringing to life an event for its third year let alone a series coming to a back road near you. Spaces are limited and based on the vibes from 2022, we don’t expect them to be up for grabs for very long. See you in June, if not earlier.”
Canada’s Greatest Gravel Party Itinerary
Friday Night, June 23th – Industry Night 5:00-10:00pm
Start the weekend off right by picking up your race package and hanging out at our Industry Night located at the Historical Station Square, Downtown Fernie. Here you will enjoy two nights of live music from up and coming Canadian artists, vendors from across the industry, local food trucks and Canadian Award Winning Beer by Fisher Peak Brewing. Don’t forget! Both days of festivities at Station Square are open to all participants AND the public, so bring your friends and family!
Saturday, June 24th – The Gravel Grind 10:00am-4:30pm
With three of the most scenic gravel routes to choose from, riders will spend the better part of Saturday morning and afternoon racing (or riding!) these iconic routes throughout the Elk Valley. The Mini, Short, Medium and Long Haul routes will be carefully marked featuring the classic FGG Stoke Stations, fully loaded with the best ride food, XACT Nutrition, and enthusiastic volunteers to make sure every rider finishes with a smile.
Saturday, June 24th – Post Race Celebrations 12:00pm-10:00pm
After a great day of riding bikes, we urge you not to make any evening plans as we invite everyone to dance the night away at Station Square with performances by electronic funk & jazz specialist, Alex Maher, before welcoming the Fernie Gravel Grind’s Weekend Headliner and Canadian hit band, TEN02. In similar fashion to the Friday Industry Night, we invite riders and the community to enjoy our amazing outdoor venue located in the heart of Downtown Fernie. Award and Initiative presentations will be held before welcoming our bands on stage to rock the house. Grab a drink, and come hang for the night.
Sunday, June 25th – Sunday Social Group Rides
The Sunday Social is the creme de la creme, the icing on the cake, the cherry on top of the FGG weekend! Here, we treat the Full Weekend Riders to a relaxed day out on the town starting with a Coffee & Gelato Social, No-Drop Group Rides showcasing Fernie’s local gravel hits lead by special guests, and Post Race Beverages with more Live Music. Not only do Full Weekend Riders get a Bucket List Sunday, they also get their very own custom FGG X 7MESH Jerseys in addition to more swag from sponsors such as Shimano & Lazer. The Sunday Social is only offered to registered Full Weekend Riders. If you are registered for the Single Day Experience, you have access to all Friday and Saturday Festivities, as for Sunday we’ll leave that up to you!
If you came to race, perfect, thats what Saturday’s Gravel Grind is for! The Sunday Social Group Rides will be laid back, fully intended for socializing and exploring our lovely little town on those tired legs of yours. The Sunday Social is only open to Full Weekend riders which is capped at 30 females and 30 males. Further details about the Sunday Group Rides and Full Weekend Experience will be released to registered participants closer to the event.
Single Day Experience
Adult Single Day – $149.99 + tax and registration fees (Junior Single Day – $89.99 + tax and registration fees)
The Single Day Experience is a great starter pack to the Fernie Gravel Grind, featuring everything from the Friday’s Industry Night to Saturday’s Gravel Grind and Post-Race Festivities Downtown Fernie. As for Sunday, we’ll leave that up to you!
The Single Day Experience includes:
Friday’s Industry Night at Station Square featuring venders from across the industry, local food trucks, a large beer garden and fantastic live music including with two live performances by kickass Canadian artists.
Saturday’s Gravel Grind starting from Historical Downtown Fernie that embarks on epic gravel roads with the highest quality Stoke Stations, course marking and first aid. All distances are para and hand-cyclist friendly.
Saturday’s Post-Race Festivities & Concert back at Station Square with more music, beer gardens and awards with prizes for everyone!
Single Day Rider Package includes a Fisher Peak Brewing Co. beer ticket and plenty of event goodies and epic swag from our sponsors.
Sunday activities are not included in the Single Day Experience. To join the Sunday fun, check out the Full Weekend Experience.
Full Weekend Experience
Adult Full Weekend – $199.99 + tax and registration fees
The Full Weekend Experience is the full meal deal and gives you access to everything the Fernie Gravel Grind has to offer from Friday and Saturday’s festivities and racing to the laid back Sunday Social Group Rides with custom FGG jersey from 7mesh Cycling Apparel and Lazer-Shimano Canada swag. Space is limited as registration is capped at 30 females and 30 males.
The Full Weekend Experience Includes:
EVERYTHING included in the Single Day Experience PLUS…
Access to Sunday’s Social Group Ride. Starting off with the pre-ride coffee & social at Beanpod Chocolate and Gelato before a tour of Fernie’s hidden gravel scene at a relaxed no-drop pace. Riders will finish at the Kodiak Lounge for cold beverages accompanied by even more live music for one last hurrah. Sunday is on us, so come on out and enjoy this awesome day showcasing Fernie’s best!
Full Weekend Rider Package includes everything included in the Single Day Rider Package PLUS your very own FGG X 7MESH Sight Jersey and epic swag from more supporting companies.
With the upcoming 2023 mountain biking season just over the horizon, TransRockies Race Series is proud to be heading back to Fernie with its flagship mountain bike stage race TransRockies Singletrack 6. The Singletrack 6 will once again take centre stage with 6 days of racing, starting in Fernie, continuing east to the Crowsnest Pass, and then North to Bragg Creek and Canmore.
For the 2023 Singletrack 6, the event returns to prime-time mid-July dates (13th to 18th) to provide additional benefit to the tourism industry in the host communities. The race will take place with two stages in Fernie. Then two stages in the Crowsnest Pass and a single day in Bragg Creek and Canmore, Alberta. The event offers 6-day and 3-day options for riders.
With the first 2 stages taking place in Fernie, the Singletrack 6 participants will get a taste of everything this beautiful community has to offer. And with $10 per rider, per day, going back to local trail groups, we hope to make sure that these trails continue to be maintained for everyone to enjoy.
Stage 1 will start and finish from the Fernie Aquatic Centre. Racers will get to experience a stellar ride on Fernie’s legendary Ridgemont, Montane and Castle Mountain trail networks. With a few epic climbs and fast rolling descents throughout the stage, it will guarantee to get their stoke levels high for the upcoming week.
Stage 2 will again start at the Aquatic Centre and usher riders from Fernie to Sparwood on the Elk Valley Trail with a variety of stunning climbs and flowy descents on classic singletrack trails as they make their way to the finish line in Downtown Sparwood.
About TransRockies Race Series:
TransRockies started in 2002 with the TransRockies Challenge stage race. In 2014 the format was changed to the Singletrack 6, focusing on the best mountain biking trails around authentic BC mountain communities. With a field limit of 300 riders, Singletrack 6 attracts riders from over 15 countries every year. The focus of the event is marathon cross country loops on the best local trail networks. Riders have the opportunity to experience the host communities as well as the local environment.
TransRockies Race Series operates 11 events over 35 days annually in Western Canada and the United States. Specializing in multi-day and endurance cycling and running events, TransRockies serves over 2,500 participants annually. The organization has operated over 285 days of stage racing since it was founded in 2002 with the fist stage held in Fernie.
TransRockies Race Series completed a successful inaugural TransRockies Gravel Royale this past August. The event brought 200 athletes from eight countries and 22 states and provinces to explore the vast gravel roads of the Kootenay Mountains from Panorama Resort to Downtown Fernie. The 2023 edition of the event will take place August 28-31 and the TransRockies team will bring out even more athletes to the starting line for this four-day stage race.
The Gravel Royale Team is grateful to be returning to the four amazing host communities for this event. Panorama Mountain Resort, Nipika Mountain Resort, Canal Flats, and the City of Fernie were all welcoming to the TransRockies gravel community.
This unique gravel event takes riders on secluded gravel roads through the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa Nation Indigenous people. With a large variety of terrain from hard-pack roads to technical singletrack, the full four-day course covers 400 km (200 miles) and around 7,500m (25,000 ft) of climbing. Riders can expect vast mountain views, native wildlife, crystal clear rivers, and a gravel adventure like no other.
One of the best aspects of any TransRockies event is the participant experience at camp after each stage. Gravel Royale is a camping stage race with camp set-ups in Nipika and Canal Flats. With 20 years of experience, the TransRockies team has the camp logistics dialed, a true royal flush. Participants don’t have to worry about moving their gear or setting up their tents for each night, it’s all covered by volunteers and the TransRockies team.
At camp participants enjoy catered meals, lounge chairs, cold beverages, and great conversations with fellow racers. Massage and athletic therapy stations are available along with mechanical support and a bike wash for participants. Each evening ends with a group dinner as well as a slide show and video from the day’s events.
The 2023 edition of Gravel Royale will have a participation cap, riders will have to ‘double down’ early to get a spot at the starting line. Registration opened at 9am MT on Wednesday, September 28. The link to transrockiesgravelroyale.com.
About TransRockies Race Series
It has been nearly 20 years since the first TransRockies Challenge mountain bike stage race first rolled out of Fernie, BC for an epic 7-day adventure taking riders over the Canadian Rockies to finish in Canmore, Alberta, helping to kick start the global mountain bike stage racing craze and the face of cycling in the Rockies. TransRockies Gravel Royale is the latest event produced by the company that brings endurance athletes the TransRockies Run and Singletrack 6, among other iconic events.
The TransRockies Race Series operates 10 events over 32 days annually in the Western U.S. and Canada. Specializing in multi-day and endurance cycling and running events, TransRockies serves over 3,500 participants annually. The organization has operated over 200 days of stage racing since it was founded in 2002.
This summer, TransRockies Race Series will be returning to Fernie with an unprecedented two stage-racing events. On August 25th, 2022, the city’s downtown will host the finish of the inaugural four-day gravel stage race, the Gravel Royale. Then, less than two weeks later, on September 6th and 7th the Fernie Aquatic Centre and Fernie Alpine Resort will host stages one and two of the six-day mountain bike stage race, Singletrack 6.
This isn’t the first year the TransRockies Race Series will be visiting Fernie. The community has been an important part of TransRockies’ events since it hosted the first edition of the TransRockies Challenge back in 2002. In the twenty years since, Fernie’s welcoming outdoor culture, exceptional trail system and robust tourism industry have kept the event coming back.
“In 2001 the vision of the TransRockies came to Fernie from Europe and it’s been coming here ever since.” says Dan Savage, Fernie event organizer. “The TransRockies events have helped create Fernie’s status as an International bike destination and the events continue to benefit the community, trails and businesses to this day.”
“Right from our first race two decades ago, Fernie has been a go-to host community for us”, says Aaron McConnell, TransRockies Race Series President. “The singletrack, the stoke and the mountain bike community are second to none. And this year, we couldn’t be happier that, in addition to our flagship mountain bike event, we’re able to include Fernie in our new and exciting Gravel Royale stage race.”
Beginning in Panorama, BC, Gravel Royale will pass through the Nipika Mountain Resort and the town of Canal Flats before ending at the finish line in downtown Fernie. The popularity of gravel racing is exploding in North America—and around the globe—and this unique event will introduce up to 300 racers to Fernie and the surrounding Canadian Rocky Mountains.
“For Gravel Royale, we’ve resurrected much of the original TransRockies Challenge route,” notes McConnell. “It’s a spectacular location for gravel racing, and having our finish line in downtown Fernie is a fantastic way to end the race. It will really showcase the best of what this part of the world has to offer.”
Together, Gravel Royale and Singletrack 6 will bring up to 650 riders, plus families, crew and volunteers to Fernie from all over the world, which will have significant economic benefits for the town. Based on data collected from previous TransRockies events, the two races are expected to generate over $500,000 in local economic activity through spending on hotels, restaurants, shopping and other services.
“We’re thrilled to once again sponsor and support TransRockies riders coming to Fernie”, says Mark Hall, owner of Gearhub Sports. “Welcome back and good luck to the hundreds of riders and their families coming for these epic events!”
In addition to increased economic activity, the influx of racers will bring other benefits to the area. A portion of each rider’s entry fee for Singletrack 6 will go to the trail organizations in each host community to help them build and maintain trails.
“We’re proud of our vast and diverse network of world-class singletrack, and we’re excited to continue our long-standing relationship with TransRockies,” says Megan Kelly, Board Chair of the Fernie Trails Alliance. “We look forward to showcasing some of the best riding Western Canada has to offer.”
“We’re delighted to welcome Singletrack 6 back to the Fernie trail system,” says Pat Gilmar, Trails Manager for the Coal Creek Heritage Society (CCHS). “Stage 1 will be largely on the Montane and Fernie Ridge trails, which CCHS manages, and this year we’ve made some exciting improvements by building and rebuilding trails for TransRockies riders to enjoy.”
TransRockies appreciates and gives thanks for the ongoing support from the trails organizations, the City of Fernie, Fernie Alpine Resort, and Fernie sponsors, volunteers and organizers.
TransRockies Race Series, operates ten events, over 32 days annually, in the Western US and Canada. Specializing in multi-day and endurance cycling and running events, TransRockies serves over 3,500 participants each year. The organization has operated over 200 days of stage racing since it was founded in 2002.