Dec 1, 2008 | Marmot, Winter 2008

Uphill for 30 Years!

As Mount Washington prepares a celebration for its 30th anniversary, the Marmot offers a timeline of major developments at the mountain since Alex Linton and Henry Norie first conceptualized a ski resort on the mountain.

1976 Plans for the development began with Alex Linton and Henry Norie, two Vancouver Island businessmen.

1977 Construction begins, Paul Mathews of Ecosign creates a master plan for future development of the site. Mount Washington was the first planned ski resort in B.C. – Blackcomb the 2nd!

Day Lodge construction1978 Peter Gibson is hired part-time to work on the ski trail layout; physical work such as marking ski trails and cutting trees begins.

1979 The first lots for Strata 799 (the Alpine Village) went on sale in the summer of 1979, and sold out within three hours.

1979 Peter Gibson is hired full time.

1979 Alpine Lodge is constructed, Mount Washington Ski Resort opens to the public, with a Borer Handle Tow lift, the Green Chair, a 1979 Mueller fix grip double chairlift, and the Blue Chair. Opening day lift tickets cost $9.

1980 The Red chairlift is built.

1980 The Operations shop is constructed and a manufactured home is converted into the lift operations building.

1980 A flurry of building happens at Strata 799 as eager buyers begin to build their chalets and condos.

1983 Maintenance shop is built.

1983 Whisky Jack chairlift, a 1983 Dopplemayr fix grip triple chairlift, is built.

1984 The General Store is built, just down the hill from the main parking lot.

1985 Nordic Lodge was built.

1986 RV Park (originally slated for strata title lots) and building were built in the summer.

1989 Alex Linton and Henry Norie sold their controlling interest in Mount Washington Ski Resort Ltd. to George Stuart of Campbell River and a group of shareholders.

1989 Also that year, Mount Washington opened for its first summer season.

1990 Alpine Lodge expanded.

1990 Borer Handle Tow lift modified and updated.

1990 The premier issue of the Marmot, a publication of Mount Washington Mile High Properties, hits the stands in the fall of 1990.

1991 Mount Washington earns a national award from the Canadian Ski Council for having the best skier development program in Canada.

1991 A condo at the 12-unit Snowbird building in the Alpine Village is worth $89,900.

1992 Fosters Place (24 units) broke ground.

Fosters Place1992 Sunrise Quad chairlift opens (a CTEC fix grip quad chairlift), the first quad chair for the Island and opening up brand new territory.

1993 Blueberry Hill (50 units) was built, giving the Resort its first drive-in/ ski-out condo development.

1991 Skier visits in Dec. totaled 58,346.

1994 Employment and Investment Minister Glen Clark and Comox Valley MLA Margaret Lord announce a financing partnership between the B.C. Provincial Government and Mount Washington to reconstruct and pave the access road to the Resort. The first shovelful of dirt was turned before the end of the summer.

1994 Ptarmigan Ridge (40 units) was built across the street and up the hill from Blueberry Hill.

Day Lodge construction1994 – Bradley Centre opens. Named for the late Herb Bradley, who taught scores of young men and women to ski and was also instrumental in the success of the Vancouver Island Skiing for the Disabled Society, the centre holds the snow school.

1994 Platter lift is opened in the beginners’ area (a 1994 Borer Platter lift). The ski season is so good the Resort stays open until April 24.

1995 Paradise Ridge (with the only swimming pool at the Resort), Creekside House and Mountainside (40, 21 and 28 units respectively) were built in a flurry of activity on Henry Road.

1995 Also in 1995, cable television came to the Resort thanks to Coastline Broadcasting Ltd. of Gold River.

1995 The Resort opened its first half-pipe for the snowboarding crowd.

1995 The Resort played host to the skiing events for the B.C. Winter Games, which the Comox Valley was hosting.

1996 Deer Lodge was built as part of Appia Developments’ Village Core plan and opened (in 1997) with 59 units.

1996 Sewage treatment plant is built on Nordic Road, putting in place the infrastructure for future expansion.

1996 The road to Mount Washington is finally paved from bottom to top and renamed Strathcona Parkway.

1997 Back on Henry Road, Parkview Place (13 units) was built.

1997 Ozone Tube Park opens with a Leitner lift, adding another way to enjoy snowsports at the Resort.

1997 Ticket kiosk is built in front of the Alpine Lodge, making it even easier to purchase a day pass at the Resort.

1997 The Alpine Lodge is expanded again to include Fat Teddy’s Bar & Grill and Fireweed’s Restaurant, and to expand Altitude Sport & Gift.

1998 The Eagle Chairlift, a CTEC detachable high-speed quad, is built, replacing the Blue chairlift.

1999 Mount Washington celebrates 20 years with a record snowfall of 19 metres.

Day Lodge construction2001 Raven Lodge is built, and becoming the launching pad for Mount Washington’s successful Nordic skiing.

2002 The Hawk CTEC detachable six-pack chairlift opens, bringing new technology to the Resort and replacing the Red Chair.

2002 The Marmot Recovery Centre opened at Mount Washington. A project of the Marmot Recovery Foundation, the centre provides a place to conduct a breeding program in an effort to revive an endangered species, the Vancouver Island Marmot.

2003 Bear Lodge opened its 59 units, adjacent to Deer Lodge. First building to incorporate rain-screen technology.

2004 Mount Washington celebrates its 25th anniversary.

2005 Mountain Tek Ski Shop receives an addition.

2004 The Boomerang chairlift, a Doppelmayr CTEC fix grip quad chairlift, is constructed. This is the first over-and-back chairlift for the West Coast, and opens up new black-diamond terrain in the Outback, west of existing terrain, near McKay Lake.

2006 First aid building relocated and was built.

2007 Victoria developer Chris LeFevre began clearing the way for Beaufort Heights.

2008 The first chalets in Beaufort Heights began to take shape.

2008 Peter Gibson is still working at Mount Washington, only now he is President.

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