Tag Archives: Garibaldi

This Week in Photos: March 29

1980

The view of Creekside for those skiing down Whistler Mountain.

Not quite a parking lot – the view for those enjoying the sun at the Roundhouse this spring.

Resort Centre excavation lies gaping in front of packages 3, 4 and 5. This massive crater will be back filled to provide a solid foundation.

The bumps of the Whistler Pro-Am race held March 26.

1981

The Resort Centre gears up for the summer – complete with H. Haebler’s sign on it.

The 90 members of the Squamish Youth Chorale as they performed ‘The Witness’ at the Myrtle Philip School.

A competitor exhibits fine style doing a spread-eagle during the freestyle aerials.

The first pour of the Mountain Inn slabs that was done on March 30.

Stevenson’s Mountain Inn crew takes a break – (from left to right rear) Al Frumento (foreman), Dave Nickerson, Angelo Formolo (foreman), Sisto Marini, Don Shaw, Angelo Seopazzo and Gerhard Klein (superintendent). Seated are Marcel Richoz and Jim Crichton.

Tongue in cheek signs at Garibaldi – Alpine Lodge signs Northbound (l) and Southbound (r).

1982

Ukranian Easter egg dyeing (Psanky) underway at noon hour at the Myrtle Philip School under the direction of Mrs. Epplett.

Bookworms Unite! Take a peek at Ted Nebbeling and Jan Holberg’s new bookstore in Forget-Me-Nots. With a great selection of both classics, best-sellers and magazines, there’s definitely something that will catch your eye.

Tethered to his instructor, this skier practices a hard left turn.

1983

Todd Brooker and Dave Murray take a shot at the Yukon Jack Challenge course.

The waiters’ race (an obstacle course with trays).

Furred and feathered mascots enjoy a little get together.

Up and coming Crazy Canuck Todd Brooker talks skiing with local aficionado Dave Roberts while John (J.C.) Colpitts sizes up the champ’s feet for Super Feet foot beds at The Downhill Shop on Thursday, March 24 during Brooker’s ski vacation here.

Anthony Brummet, BC’s Minister of Lands, Parks & Housing announced March 25 that $9 million will be made available to complete Whistler Village Facilities.

Ross Dinwoodie, a lineman with the Squamish office of BC Hydro shows Myrtle Philip School children how to avoid some shocking experiences during a demonstration last Wednesday.

Const. Rene Defosse, the newest addition to Whistler’s RCMP detachment gets ready for his line of duty in this resort town. Const. Defuse replaces Const. Gadabout who was transferred to Ottawa.

1984

Spring brings the rehabilitation of the Whistler Golf Course to prepare for the seasons ahead.

Bev Wylie shows off the new equipment in the medical clinic.

Keeping the roads clearly marked requires signs and stencils.

The 1976 Winter Olympics: A Dream Almost Realized

In May 1970 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gathered in Amsterdam to choose the winning bid for the 1976 Winter Olympics.  Vancouver/Garibaldi, Denver (USA), Sion (Switzerland) and Tampere (Finland) were all in the running to host the 1976 Winter Olympic Games.

However, Vancouver/Garibaldi ended up being taken out of the running because the IOC chose Montreal to host the Summer Olympics in 1976.  The Winter Games were awarded to Denver, Colorado instead.

The logo for the 1976 bid drew heavily on the design of the relatively new Canadian flag.

But the political climate the changing in the 1970s and in the face of growing environmentalist movements and concerns over the expenditures made to host an Olympic Games, Denver decided to hold a referendum on hosting the mega-event.  The “No Games” side won the referendum – and to this day, it is the only city and state to reject the Olympic Winter Games after successfully winning a bid.

The referendum was held on November 15, 1972.  It left the IOC in a lurch and the Olympic Committee, thinking it easier to have the Games remain in North America, offered them to Vancouver/Garibaldi.

The Government of Canada was willing to chip in $10 million to help Vancouver and Garibaldi host the 1976 Winter Olympics, as long as the provincial government provided matching funding.

The 1976 bid even had federal support from Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau who often skied at Whistler.

Dave Barrett, Premier of British Columbia and leader of the first NDP government in British Columbia, had been in office for two months when the issue of hosting the Games came up.  He felt the money would be better spent on other priorities as opposed to hosting the Olympics.

W.A.C. Bennett, who had just lost to Barrett and was the leader of the Social Credit Party, claimed he would have given the Vancouver/Garibaldi Olympic Committee the money.

John Fraser, President of the Garibaldi Olympic Development Association (GODA) at the time, felt that, because of the recent government change and as local support for the Games was at an all-time low following the initial bid rejection, it wasn’t the best time to host the Winter Games.  They too passed on hosting the 1976 Winter Olympics.

Whistler today would look very different if the 1976 bid had been successful.

Other commentators were disappointed, but at the same time relieved that the Garibaldi area and Whistler would be able to develop at a more leisurely pace.

John Jerome wrote an article in Skiing in 1971 titled, “I’m Glad Whistler lost the Olympic Bid – Glad, do you hear?”  In it he said “… I felt their immense disappointment keenly; I knew how bloody hard and long they had worked for that award; I loved them for their effort.  But deep down inside I was glad they failed.”

The IOC ended up reusing a past host site to hold the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, the site of the 1964 Winter Olympics.  This was the first time in the modern Olympic Games that a site hosted the Olympics twice.

Taking Stock of Glacial Loss in Garibaldi Park

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure to run into a pair of glaciologists performing research in Garibaldi Provincial Park. They let us tag along and see what a day of glaciological fieldwork entailed.

Their focus was the Helm Glacier, a slender icefield four kilometres southeast of Black Tusk most commonly accessed from the Cheakamus Lake trailhead.

Jason Vanderschoot and Mark Ednie arrive at the day's jobsite. Jeff Slack photo.

Jason Vanderschoot and Mark Ednie arrive at the day’s jobsite. Jeff Slack photo.

Helm Glacier is important because it has a solid baseline of data; it has been continuously monitored since the late 1960s. Moreover, multiple photographs taken by mountaineers as far back as the 1920s help give an even better indication of the glacier’s change over time.

This change has been consistent: rapid retreat. Between 1928-2009, Helm Glacier lost an estimated 78% of its mass, and it has shown no signs of slowing down. In fact, in a database of sixteen North American glaciers with extensive and comparable datasets, Helm has experienced the most rapid melting of them all.

The two glaciologists, working for the Geological Survey of Canada, were measuring vertical surface loss, that is, the extent to which the glacier’s surface has dropped since the previous summer. This is done by drilling six-metre long metal poles vertically into the glacier, then returning the following year to measure how much of the pole has become exposed. The drills are human-powered; all the drilling and the hike to the glacier and back makes for a long day of hard, physical work.

Fascinating caverns and tunnels are emerging along the edges of the fast-retreating glacier. Jeff Slack photo.

Fascinating caverns and tunnels are emerging along the edges of the fast-retreating glacier. Jeff Slack photo.

Last year’s results indicated that the glacier’s surface had lowered an average of 4 vertical metres on the lower glacier, and roughly 3.5 metres higher up. Numbers still need to be crunched, but preliminary data for this year suggests smaller losses, roughly 2.6 metres at the bottom and 2.2 metres at the top.

This is not surprising, as two winters ago our region experienced historically low snowpack levels, followed by a long, hot summer (remember those massive forest fires?). Last winter, Whistler Mountain measured a slightly above average snowpack, and this summer has been closer to average as well. Still, on September 29th (the day we were up there) there was hardly any seasonal snow left on the surface of the glacier. This year was not as hard on the glaciers as last, but we still lost a lot of ice.

Hand-drilling five metres down into the glacier is low-tech hard work, but these gus weren't complaining. Jeff Slack photo.

Hand-drilling five metres down into the glacier is low-tech hard work, but these gus weren’t complaining. Jeff Slack photo.

After the Helm Glacier research was completed, the pair headed up to their research station on the Place Glacier, north of Pemberton, to conduct further studies. When compared to similar data from hundreds of other glaciers around the world, this research is creating a fuller understanding of past, present, and future environmental change. Much thanks to these intrepid scientists for the work they do, and for letting us tag along for the afternoon!

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Where’s Waldo, glacier-style.

Helm Glacier Panorama. Jeff Slack photo.

Helm Glacier Panorama. Jeff Slack photo.