At the time of this writing, the Forest Fire hazard in Southeastern BC and Southwestern Alberta remains high and, in particular, the forests around Crowsnest Pass (Alberta) are closed. The long-range forecast for the region calls for nothing but blue skies and seasonable temperatures, so while this is great news as you will likely need your sunscreen more than your rain jackets and fenders, it also means that there is little chance of the forest closure being lifted. (Of course, riders from the United Kingdom probably don't think this is good news as they seem to have a very unhealthy love of mud.)
Rest assured that we are monitoring the situation very carefully, and forest fires are always one of the potential conditions which receive a very high level of contingency planning. The vast majority of our route will remain open for the race and we have put lots of effort into developing solid alternative routings so that we can and will deliver you 7 great days of mountain biking in the Rockies.
As it stands, there is a strong possibility that this year's race will arrive at Elkford one day later than planned and that we will not be visiting Crowsnest Pass. We would like to thank all of our host communities for their hard work in preparing for the event and their flexibility in helping us accommodate these contingencies. In particular, we'd like to extend our thanks to the people of Crowsnest Pass for all the work they put into preparations. We'll look forward to seeing them in 2008.
While final routing will be released at registration, we felt it important to give those of you who have friends meeting you along the route or who booked accommodations in Elkford a chance to make any itinerary changes.
See you in Panorama!
Well I certainly can't say I'm the least bit surprised as there has been a lot of speculation on the TR message boards about this, with one racer from the Calgary area posting a map of current forest closures -- Crowsnest Pass lies right in the center of the main closure area. Rumors are circulating that we'll be spending a second day in Nipika and doing some sort of out-and-back up to the Continental divide. The race got changed at the last minute several years ago do to forest fires and the race went on and it was apparently still a very epic experience. Whatever they have to do is fine with me -- as much as want to cross into Alberta by bicycle, I'd much rather prefer we don't cause (or get trapped in) a forest fire in the process.