The 'Golden Age' On Hollyburn Mountain
1927/1928 & 1928/1929 Ski Seasons
Canadian Ski Year Reports, Daily Province Sports Stories, Photos from HHS Archives
Hollyburn Ski Camp circa 1929
Hollyburn Pacific Ski Club (1927/1928 Ski Season)
Rudolph Jules Verne
The past season proved to be a banner one for the- ski sport on the Pacific Coast, and as our Club took a leading part in all its activities, we had a very busy and successful season.
The general public in Vancouver are taking a more active interest in ski-iug and are beginning to realize the possibilities for recreation on our mountain tops during the winter months. The average Vancouverite does not know that when it is dull and foggy in the city, the sun is often shining on the mountain tops 4,000 to 5,000 feet above them. Once they have been up top and taken a few deep breaths of the invigorating mountain air and have seen the bright sun shining on the clean white snow, they are soon converted to winter sports.
Ski-ing takes the lead as a winter attraction because conditions aloe so suitable for it. It is rarely cold enough here for outdoor skating but there is always five months of fine ski-ing weather. Our snow came to stay early in November last year, and the keen skiers were still at it when May 24 rolled around. Our average depth of snow was six feet up to the end of February, but then it started to snow and by the end of March there was twelve feet which stayed a long while.
Last year was a busy one with competitions every week-end for nearly three months at home and in other parts of the province, and as all our supplies and skis have to be back-packed up to the camp a competition away from home means some hard work.
Fifteen members of the Club made the trip to Banff and Revelstoke where our A Class men gave a good account of themselves, although they did not win any first places. This trip took ten days and the party travelled nearly 2,500 miles in that time. The week-end following the Western Canada Championships at Banff, four of our members motored 375 miles south to Portland, where a newcomer to our Club, Fred Finckenhagen, won the U.S. Pacific Coast Jumping Championship. At Vernon, which is about 250 miles inland in the Okanagan Valley, on the next Friday and Saturday, Axel Sneis, our Club champion, placed second in the cross-country race, and third in the combined.
Sneis proved to be our most consistent winner as he placed in every competition he entered. He is outstanding as a cross-country man, and is the present city cross-country champion. He was never in competitive ski-ing until three years ago, so we have great hopes in him for the future.
Fladmark, the 1927-28 Club champion, had the misfortune to break three ribs soon after returning from Banff, which spoilt his chances for repeating his triumphs of last year.
To interest the public and to get more skiers in competition a team event was held last winter. This is to be an annual affair open to all Western Clubs, and takes the form of a short cross-country race in the morning, with jumping in the afternoon. There were two competitions, with the clubs entering eight men each, one on Grouse Mountain and the other on Hollyburn Ridge, with the trophy going to the club getting the most points in both competitions. Our Club won both events in competition with the two other local clubs so we are now the proud possessors of the Tupper and Steele Trophy. This trophy is a magnificent one, and the ski sport is indebted to Messrs. Tupper and Steele for their generosity and sportsmanship.
A marked improvement was shown by our novices last year, and with the able coaching of our hard-working Club Captain, Chris Johnson, they will soon be giving a good account of themselves.
As it is a 4 mile hike from Marine Drive in West Vancouver to the ski camp which is 3,000 feet above the city, the boys and girls do not start ski-ing at as early an age as in the East. The hike serves as a very good conditioner, however, so progress is usually rapid once they get started. We are looking forward to the time when the Eastern skiers will make the trip West to try out our hills and wonderful ski country, and we feel sure they will be as enthusiastic about it as we are. Our members are always ready to show any of you who are fortunate enough to be out here the trails which lead to our snowy playgrounds, and we hope to have that pleasure soon.
1928 Sports Articles & Photos
Ski-ing on Hollyburn (1928)
Clarke W. Hoffman
On Hollyburn we have our own peculiar snow conditions-wet and sticky in the middle of the day, with an icy crust early in the morning and late in the evening, making very fast running in the early and later part of the day, and waxing necessary. The snow begins to fall about the middle-of November, lasting until the latter put of June, with a depth of from nine to twenty feet and even deeper on the Peaks.
Hollyburn Ridge is a plateau, two miles wide by five miles long, sparsely
wooded and with gentle rises, an ideal ski country.
The Club members start out from Vancouver in the late afternoon with a good two hours' hike before them, but the time passes quickly and before we know it we are at the Camp, three thousand feet above sea level. Some spend the evening dancing, a crowd gathers around the piano for dose harmony, while others fix their skis for an early morning run.
The girl members show keen interest in the sport, taking part in all cross-country runs, the more ambitious making long trips to Mount Strahan and Hollyburn Peak-true sportswomen all. The boys of the Club also have shown sportsmanship of the highest order.
"Winning with smiling face:
Losing with good grace."
In the crisp morning air, any time between March and June, you will see parties of from five to twenty boys and girls starting for Hollyburn Peak or Mount Strahan.
On the way to the Peak we first encounter the morning mists, these giving place to the bright sunlight which comes stealing through the trees. When we arrive at the Peak we find a wondrous beauty of sunlit snow hanging from the trees in sparkling crystals. We are now forty-eight hundred feet above sea level, with the Fraser River winding to the south, Howe Sound and Vancouver Island to the south-west, and majestic snow-clad peaks stretching as far as the eve can see to the north and north-east.
Dropping down fifteen hundred feet into the valley between Hollyburn Ridge and Mount Strahan we approach Strahan Meadows, an ideal spot for ski-ing, open and rolling country. Next we encounter more wooded areas, soon arriving at our destination--the top of Mount Strahan, a snow-clad plateau.
From here a magnificent view of Howe Sound with its many islands is obtained. We rest for a while, awed into silence by the grandeur of the scene. Then comes the return journey. Speeding with the flight of a bird we reach the valley between Mount Strahan and Hollyburn in about three minutes. From here we climb fifteen hundred feet to the plateau of Hollyburn, with a swift descent from there to the cabin.
Arriving safely at the cabin we put away our skis until the next week-end.
After enjoying a mug of Oscar Pearson's famous coffee we gather our belongings and light our bugs (old cans with holes punched in the bottoms in which we stick our candles), groups of which, like fireflies, are soon twinkling down the trail.
A short trip on the ferry takes us back to Vancouver and to the duties of everyday life, which we attack with fervor, feeling very fit after our healthy, invigorating week-end trip.