ISHA (skiinghistory.org) held its first-ever Skiing History Day on February 21 at Whistler/Blackcomb in British Columbia. Twenty-seven skiers and four guides attended the one-day event, and everyone had a grand time. After a First Tracks mountain-top breakfast, we skied with retired Whistler/Blackcomb executives Hugh Smythe, Roger McCarthy and Bob Dufour, plus Stu Rempel, the resort’s senior vice president of marketing and sales. They told great tales of the mountains’ development (for instance, the first snowmaking pond was excavated with a case of dynamite).
The plan was to split into four skiing groups, but the 30 expert skiers, most of them old friends, wound up skiing in a 35-mile-per-hour pack, mixing it up on the lifts to tell more stories. After lunch at Steeps Grill, we skied a few more hours and then repaired to Merlin’s Bar and Grill. Another 60 folks attended an evening lecture at the Whistler Museum (www.whistlermuseum.org) on “Celebrity Athletes and the Growth of Modern Skiing.”
ISHA plans to run more regional Skiing History Days next winter. Let us know if your local hill would like to host one!