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Lake Country on Hollyburn Mountain (Videos)

Hollyburn Plateau Lakes

Contemporary HD video & photos of the Hollyburn Plateau Lakes - Third Lake, Fourth Lake, Fifth Lake, Sixth Lake,
Triangle Lake, and the ponds on Hollyburn shoulder - are featured in this video.

West Lake & Blue Gentian Lake

During winter on Hollyburn Mountain, there are many trails for cross-country skiers to explore. The Brothers Canyon East trail leads to a lookout on the north side of West Lake. When the snow is deep enough, skiers can descend a steep zigzag trail and then proceed along the steep, northern shore of the lake. Skiers on the West Lake Loop trail often stop at a viewpoint on the southern side of the lake. In the summer, after the snow and ice have melted away, hikers enjoy a view of the tranquil lake waters.

About 100 along the cross-country trail is the former site of West Lake Lodge. In the fall of 1932, a handful of Scandinavian woodsmen under the direction of R.D. Brewis began to build the lodge. In spite of record snowfalls, they continued to work throughout the winter. In this vintage photo, we see the lodge interior filled snow. Remarkably, before all the winter snows had gone, the lodge building was finished. On May 11th, 1933, West Lake Lodge officially opened for business.

During the 1930’s, West Lake Lodge was a popular rest stop for hikers heading to Hollyburn Peak. Many chose to spend the afternoon at the lodge, enjoying its food and beverage services. On occasion, riders on horseback stopped by the lodge. Some visitors paddled about the lake in rudimentary watercraft. Others simply sat on a log bench, enjoying the summer sun.

When the lake froze in the late autumn, skaters sped across the bare ice. A few attempted reckless leaps over brave companions. With winter snows came the skiers. Among them were an intrepid group of ski jumpers, who wanted to compete on Hollyburn’s ‘big hill’. On Sunday, March 11, 1934, the first Vancouver City Championships were held on Hollyburn. Nordal Kaldahl won the ski jumping tournament at West Lake, and Irish Beaumont, co-builder of the West Lake trestle won the B class jumping competition.

In 1938, the Municipality of West Vancouver Municipality decided to include the land around West Lake in its watershed. For some time, Brothers Creek, which ran out of West Lake, had been part of West Vancouver's water supply. Now that the land was officially part of the watershed, all buildings had to be removed, including the ski jump trestle.

In the ensuing years, skiers continued to enjoy their sport on the slopes around the lake.  In the late 1940’s, a unique double rope tow designed by Bob McLellan was installed at West Lake and operated there for a number of years. Today, West Lake is mostly a quiet place, enjoyed by small groups of skiers and hikers who value its solitude.

Starting at West Lake, Blue Gentian Lake is about a 20-minute hike down the Brothers Creek Trail. It is a popular destination for those who have a passionate interest in natural history. Most of the time, the only sound heard there is that of a gentle breeze.

Contemporary video & vintage photos are included in this video about West lake & Blue Gentian Lake
located on Hollyburn Ridge, West Vancouver, Canada.