Whitehorse included in downhill race series

Whitehorse's Mount Sima will be kicking off the downhill mountain bike season with an event that extends beyond the Yukon.

Whitehorse’s Mount Sima will be kicking off the downhill mountain bike season with an event that extends beyond the Yukon.

The ski resort-turned-year-round attraction will be the second stop in the inaugural season of the Gravity Cup Downhill Mountain Bike Race Series.

Sima was selected to host a Gravity Cup through AFD Racing, a division of AFD Petroleum, which has an office in Whitehorse.

“So many people at AFD Petroleum enjoy outdoor activities and mountain biking. It seems to be something that they are into,” said Kristy Jacklin, AFD’s marketing and community investment co-ordinator. “The downhill mountain biking aspect is pretty exciting, and we know at both locations that we’re doing these events – that we have AFD branches – downhill mountain biking is popular. So we thought it would be a great way for us to provide a fun, family-oriented event.”

The Gravity Cup at Sima will be held July 14 and 15, a month after the first Cup in Hinton, Alta.

The series is offering $5,000 in cash prizes at the Sima event, with $1,000 going to the winner of the elite men category.

There will also be a dirt jump competition, kids races, plus other activities.

The event will be emceed by mountain bike and snowboard legend Brett Tippie, considered to be one of the founding fathers of downhill mountain bike racing.

“Brett is a very high-energy personality who will ensure everyone is having a good time,” said Jacklin.

Sima has hosted downhill races before. The most popular race was the Sima Slamfest, last held in 2010. (Construction of the resort’s new chairlift prevented Slamfest from taking place last summer.)

Sima is expanding the Slamfest trail, making it the longest and most elaborate the mountain has ever had.

“We’re taking pieces of the existing trail that was built for Slamfest two years ago, which is mostly on the Chilkoot side of the mountain,” said Sam Oettli, Mount Sima’s outdoor operations manager. “We decided, from past experience of making trails, that we wanted to get more community involvement in planning the trail, bringing expertise in. So we created a volunteer trail committee and it has volunteers from different aspects of trail riding – everything from Contagious Mountain (Biking Club) to Icycle Sports, a couple of the local downhill riders, and AFD riders, and myself and some other Sima reps.

“We’ve mapped out where we want to put these trails.”

The Gravity Cup race will basically kick off the downhill season at Sima. The resort will then offer downhill mountain biking with the chairlift transporting cyclists to the summit.

“It’ll be our first big day of biking and from there on we’ll be into having the mountain bike park open for the entire summer,” said Oettli. “In the committee there’s talk to get other races organized,” he added. “We’re all focused primarily on getting this trail up and going, making it what we want it to be.”

Registration for both Gravity Cup events is now open. For more information contact AFD Racing at info@afdracing.ca.

As for other happenings at Mount Sima, the WildPlay Yukon adventure park is on schedule to open next month. The five-acre Monkido climbing structure area will open on June 1 and the zip-line and the “Panoramic Chairlift Tour” will open on June 15.

Contact Tom Patrick at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Diane McLeod-McKay, Yukon’s Ombudsman and information and privacy commissioner, filed a petition on Dec. 11 after her office was barred from accessing documents related to a child and family services case. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government rejects Ombudsman requests for documentation filed to Supreme Court

Diane McLeod-McKay filed a petition on Dec. 11 after requests for documents were barred

Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens, left, celebrates his first NHL goal with defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen during the second period of a game against the Washington Capitals on Jan. 22 in Washington. (Nick Wass/AP)
Cozens notches first NHL goal in loss to Capitals

The Yukoner potted his first tally at 10:43 of the second period on Jan. 22

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Former CEO of Great Canadian Gaming, actress charged after flying to Beaver Creek for COVID-19 vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

The bus stop at the corner of Industrial and Jasper Road in Whitehorse on Jan. 25. The stop will be moved approximately 80 metres closer to Quartz Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Industrial Road bus stop to be relocated

The city has postponed the move indefinitely

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

Most Read