Unlocking North Vancouver History

Wilderness on the Doorstep: Vancouver’s Mountain Playground

Grouse Mountain Ski Club

Forty years before Whistler became a world-class winter playground, Grouse Mountain offered winter recreation to Vancouver’s sporty set. The Grouse Mountain Ski Club, founded in 1927, brought some organization to the sport, offering lessons, equipment rentals, groomed slopes and a ski jump. Early skiing, however, was a recreation rather than a sport before the existence of rope tows or chairlifts. Those who participated developed a strong camaraderie, in part due to the time, energy and devotion required. An early Mount Seymour skier, Roy Howard, remembers: “I was a member [of the BC Mountaineering Club] when I started to ski. I proposed that they form a skiing section … Some of the old diehards … well, to them skis were ridiculous. We would hoof it up over the old logging roads and trails … and we’d come back and tell them, ‘What beautiful skiing up there!’ And we were put down as nuts.”

A young group of early skiers enjoys a fine day on Grouse Mountain.

The group stands just outside the Grouse Mountain Ski Club chalet, which had its own clubhouse on the mountain.

This photo was taken in 1934 on what looks like a warm day–possibly during spring skiing.

Judging by their clothes and equipment, these cheerful young people were fairly well-off.

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