A Sportsman's Paradise
Rudolph Jules Verne
The West Van News - July 10, 1929
Commenting on the northward movements of some distinguished American businessmen, who, with the approach of summer, found the Florida climate getting uncomfortably hot, Arthur Brisbane recently made the Jules Verne-like prediction:
"In times to come, when the aeroplane gets perfected and safe, it will be a rather usual occurrence to see big flocks of flying machines head north or south in true geese fashion." The humans would, he asserted, get the same habits as the migrating birds; when it got too cold north, they would fly south, and when the sun got too hot south, they would trek north again.
Brisbane is apparently located in one of the great Eastern cities where the climates of the two contrasting seasons are disagreeably inclined towards the extreme, offering an uninvited chance of a frost bite in Winter and a sun stroke in Summer. For if he was fortunate enough to live in British Columbia, or more particularly in Vancouver, he would soon realize that we have no reasons for cultivating any migratory habit. Apart from the fact that our climate strikes a happy medium, and in this respect can compete with any place in the world, it offers wonderful opportunities for out door recreation and sports of the most varied nature. It thus makes no difference whether you have the expensive habit of going to Switzerland for winter sports or to Florida or California for swimming and yachting. Within an exceptionally easy reach of a few miles radius, you can enjoy all this right here. We have everything right at our threshold that in variety and proximity, if properly cultivated and developed, in a not too far distant future will eclipse the sport attractions of such world famous resorts as St. Moritz, Davos, Engelberg, Cortina, Klagenfurt or Chamonix in Europe, or Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Banff or any of the numerous California sport places on this continent. I could write volumes in support of this statement but I might as well start an argument about who really discovered America. The world, however, would say that anybody could have done that. That very assertion was made to Christopher Columbus, and we all know his famous answer.
The writer of this article has visited all the above named great recreation centers and takes pride in having discovered a location that makes Vancouver, or more definitely West Vancouver, a worthy competitor to them all - Hollyburn Ridge mountain plateau. Since my first trip over its wonderful snow laden fields some eight years back, I have made an honest and unselfish attempt to prove the feasibility of Hollyburn as an all-the-year -round mountain paradise. From its previous obscure existence, its name has become known all over the world. While, it has not as yet attracted thousands of tourists, it HAS attracted thousands of our own sport loving young people to enjoy the facilities for healthy out-door sports, which is of far greater value. In the short time of a few years, West Vancouver with its Hollyburn has taken, a leading position in Western Canada winter sports. The Ski Club, formed in 1927, upon the initiative of the author, has furthermore helped to make the name of Hollyburn a household word in Western sport. It holds the distinction of having arranged the first organized ski meet in Western Canada, April 15-17, 1927. Members of the same Club have also been instrumental in forming the Western Branch of the Canadian Amateur, Ski Association, which Branch has been so successful that in the short space of two years, not less than nine other ski clubs have affiliated with it.
This outnumbers the parent body with not less than three clubs, although the Eastern organization has been in existence for some twenty years. In addition our Western Ski Champion this year brought the Dominion Championship to the West for the first time in Canadian history. Our own Hollyburn Pacific Ski Club simultaneously won double laurels for our city in being victorious in both the U. S. Pacific Coast Championship tournament at Portland and the Canadian Pacific Coast Ski Team Championship at Vancouver. In all the competitions the Club has partaken during a 4,000 mile ski trip last winter, West Vancouver was always ably represented and boosted, and as an official of the Ski Association, I take this opportunity to congratulate the Municipality of West Vancouver and its residents on the splendid sporting achievements since the Hollyburn Ridge was opened up for winter sport activities.
The said development deserves the full support of the residents of the municipality and its Council and Reeve, who in the past have showed a keen interest in the new movement. A fine expression of appreciation has been shown by one of the local residents, ex-CounciIlor James B. Leyland, whose donation of a fine cup has done much towards encouraging the wonderful ski sport, which is gaining in popularity the world over.
If the sport and its attractions are to continue to develop in the same splendid manner, it is necessary that the municipality lend its full support towards continued developments. This cannot be done without a clear vision for the possibilities of Hollyburn Ridge and a whole-hearted community spirit. The first step in the direction safe-guarding the future development of the Hollyburn Ridge and on which the West Vancouver Council is to be congratulated, is the Council's decision to bring about a reservation of the plateau as a national park. The importance of this cannot be overlooked and the matter should be very seriously taken up so as to get the Ridge and adjacent mountains under a safe control. When this has been done, and it cannot be too early, the Ridge will come a step nearer its great destiny of an unequalled recreation centre for both winter and summer. Plans for a development such as the municipality has never dreamed of could then materialize in the form of easy accessibility by means of overhead incline automatic railways which in twenty minutes could bring thousands of its residents and visitors up to the wonderful scenic and sportive resources on the mountain plateau, where the more lazily inclined, as well as the robust sportsmen, would find an ideal paradise Appreciation of what has so far been accomplished in the form of hard pioneer work of a few sport enthusiasts, who built trails and cabins and showed faith in the possibilities of the Ridge, will stimulate a continued development and foster the right kind of sporting spirit that does not seek its reward in commercial alienation and exploitation. Without that genuine sporting spirit, a sport enterprise will be a failure.
The West Van News - July 10, 1929