Sima Slamfest to return next week

Mount Sima has not seen its last event. The ill-fated ski resort will be the scene of the Sima Slamfest downhill mountain bike event July 20 and 21.

Mount Sima has not seen its last event.

The ill-fated ski resort will be the scene of the Sima Slamfest downhill mountain bike event July 20 and 21.

Sima was supposed to host what would have been the second annual AFD Gravity Cup Downhill Mountain Bike Race that weekend, but AFD Petroleum Ltd. cancelled the event upon news that Sima was closing and participants would not have access to the chairlift.

“Our intent was to build upon last year’s success, but without the integral component of the chairlift and comfortable chalet, attendees would not enjoy the same experience,” said an AFD media release.

But Justin Mullan, who started Sima Slamfest in 2008, knows the event can take place without the chairlift – or the chalet.

“We didn’t have access to the chalet the first year,” said Mullan. “The first year we were bare-bones. The second year we had access to the chalet, but no lift. It was only in the third year we ran Slamfest and last year’s Gravity Cup that we had access to both the chairlift and the chalet.

“It’s nothing new. We’re prepared for that and we’ve already had some good, local businesses step in and help out with things like toilet facilities.”

Without the chairlift, riders and their bikes will be shuttled to the top of the mountain in pickup trucks at Slamfest, which was held in 2008, 2009 and 2010. (Construction of a new chairlift prevented Slamfest from taking place in 2011.)

Saturday will include an enduro race in which bikers race to the top and back down, which is aimed at “people who want the cardio with the skill,” said Mullan.

There will also be a kids event with an obstacle course on Saturday.

Sunday is the main event: a race from top to bottom. Last year’s Gravity Cup had 59 bikers take part.

“I was the one who originally started Slamfest with the help of others. I was looking forward to taking a break from the organizing, but I think it’s important that we keep that aspect of mountain biking available to the community,” said Mullan. “With the troubles Sima has had, I think it’s good to keep people involved with Sima, keep it fresh in their minds, so hopefully we find a solution to their problems. Hopefully they can get back up and running because I do think (Sima) is a very valuable asset to the community. So I think anything that brings them exposure is a good thing.”

The event will include a barbecue, possibly a beer garden, door prizes and placement prizes for the top finishers.

Registration is being held at Icycle Sport on July 19 and at Sima July 20 at 10 a.m.

Organizers are looking for volunteers. If interested contact Mullan at

More information can be found at the event’s Facebook page and at the Contagious Mountain Bike Club’s website.

Sima Slamfest is being held with permission of the Great Northern Ski Society that oversees operations at Sima but is in the process of dissolving.

Contact Tom Patrick at