Tag Archives: Nancy Greene

This Week In Photos: September 20

While we have information for the photos we share here, we have many more photos that we have questions about.  That’s why tonight we’ll be hosting Naming Night at the Museum – we provide 100 photos (tonight’s edition focuses on the 1990s and ’80s) and ask community members to help add names and stories to the images.

1978

Bridge girders in place over 19 Mile Creek. The main highway has been closed since August 21 for this and residents of Alpine Meadows are concerned that the detour should not last more than a month.

The driver of this truck ended up straddling a 24″ log after having driven past four warning signs, two flashing lights and a barricade on Friday evening.

Just a sampling of what the local forests have to offer those who know what to look for.

1979

The view from the top! Looking down on the Town Centre from the air, September 14, 1979.

The Town Centre two-level parking structure under construction.

The Roundhouse expansion under construction by Quadra.

The view from the Roundhouse showing the new washroom building.

Looking down the “Toilet Bowl” while the drill rig heads down to blast some more rock.

The Blackcomb runs as seen from the air.

Constable Tom Hansen stands beside the new RCMP machine.

1980

Two big coolers are fully stocked with all types of fine meats and cheeses you’d expect to find in a delicatessen. Hilda’s is now open in the Town Centre.

Just one of the many houses that were raised for basement work this summer.

A tree over wires at the south end of Mons overpass was one reason for Whistler losing power.

Increased line tension snapped this pole in half just down the line.

Hugh Naylor takes a closer look at one of the displays at the Pemberton fair.

1982

These enterprising young vendors had a refreshing pause for participants in the Terry Fox Run on Sunday.

All shapes and sizes of cars, from go-carts to the formula cars took part in Whistler’s first hillclimb competition held September 18 – 19 on Blackcomb Way.

A tribute to the joys of earlier days and ways, Renaissance Night at Delta Mountain Inn Tuesday proved to be a hit with visiting travel agents.

Dave Roberts and Curtis Beckon join the merry throng at a medieval dinner thrown for P. Lawson Travel and Bon Voyage Tours at Delta Mountain Inn.

Taisto Heinonen and co-driver Lynn Nixon buy some airtime on the Callaghan Lake leg of the Pacific Forest Rally. They went on to win the event in Heinonen’s Toyota Celica.

This kayaker is swept away in competition excitement during the Cheakamus Indian Summer Race.

1983

Amateur race driver Dan Pantages sits at the helm of his Lotus Super 7, a four-cylinder exposed wheel racer capable of about 160 km/h. Pantages joined about 35 other car enthusiasts over the weekend for a hillclimb race of the steep, winding road to Blackcomb Daylodge. Slightly modified cares races as well as exotic speedsters, but out of all the cars the fastest time was turned in by a dune buggy. Drivers competed in a slalom course in Blackcomb parking lot as well. The hillclimb and rally were sponsored by the Burnaby-Coquitlam Motorsport Association. Competitors came from as far away as Prince George.

An improved road leading into the Club Cabin area from Highway 99 needs a stop sign, having been without one since roadwork was completed in the early summer. The intersection is located about 1 km north of the Gondola area on a streak of highway with poor visibility in either direction. Ministry of Highways District Manager for the area, Ron Winbow, said Tuesday, “We’ll take care of it.”

Chris Carson and friends performed Scandinavian folk dancing during Whistler’s Class of ’83 arts and crafts show Friday.

Workmen from Alpine Paving completed paving on Village Stroll Monday. Coastal Mountain Excavations also placed three drainage basins ten days ago, ensuring that last year’s puddle problems aren’t repeated next spring. Curbs have also been placed along Whistler Way and Mountain Lane. Paving of those roads should occur next week.

When Peter Brown throws a party, money is not the biggest concern. Brown, head of Canarim Investments, treated employees to a weekend of baseball and assorted fun activities. The company limousine, complete with telephone, spent Saturday in the shade of Whistler Resort Association’s Arabesque tent, along with a weekend supply of appropriate refreshments.

Sydney Humphries, Philippe Etter, Bryan King and Ian Hampton return for the second encore at Sunday’s performance of the Purcell String Quartet at Brackendale Art Gallery.

Whistler’s newest and only board game features a mock Highway 99 plus ski runs and apres-ski challenges.

1984

Bartending course student Sandy Vallender practices the fine art of making a layered liqueur drink. Ross Smith, instructor of the three week course offered through Capilano College, teaches the 12 students everything they need to know about tending a bar professionally – including the recipe for a perfect Martini.

About 45 modified competition cars gathered here again this year for the Burnaby/Coquitlam Motorsport Association hillclimb and rally over the weekend. Entrants ranged from formula cars to souped-up Datsuns.

Whistler Fire Department members Craig Barker (left) and Dave Steers were among the 22 firemen who rushed to the burning house at 9516 Emerald Drive early Sunday afternoon. Although the blaze appeared to be extinguished, it re-ignited early Monday morning.

Kin Lalat, a quintet of exiled Guatemalan musicians, entertained a sympathetic audience Sunday at the Pemberton Legion. The group uses traditional instruments including marimbas, maracas, drums and guitar, and gives a strong voice to freedom-fighting Guatemalans.

Mark Angus, Pascal Tiphine and Umberto Menghi were jointly asked Whistler’s Answers this week. Although they all agreed that yes, we need more cultural events here, they disagreed on the type of house wine village restaurants should use.

The Raines: Willy, Charley, Nancy and Al, returned to Whistler just before school started after two years in Crans, Montana, Switzerland. Al and Nancy were ski instructors in the 1,500-person resort while the 14-year-old twins went to school in the French speaking community.

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This Week In Photos: August 16

1978

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean aerial practice ends.

Mayor Pat Carleton stands by one of the Municipality’s trucks, complete with the Municipality’s logo. (In a side note, the “City Hall” sign hanging above the trailer’s door has recently been added to our archives.)

The Christiana Inn is currently closed to the public, as this sign makes clear.

1979

Fire Chief Lindsay Wilson puts up one of the many No Campfire signs now appearing in the Whistler area due to the extreme fire hazard rating.

One V.W. easy over! Stewart McQuarrie of North Vancouver escaped uninjured when he lost control of his car near Daisy Lake.

Stevenson workers work on Package 5 while the piledriver works on #6 at the Whistler Town Centre.

The new temporary addition trailer to the Whistler Municipal Hall.

Neal Davidge shows Rotary President Doug Read the location of Nanisivik in the Arctic.

1980

Cover this turret with copper, fix up the other finishing touches, and put it on top of Parcel 16 and you’ve got Whistler’s very own clock tower. The clock is visible as skiers head down the chairlifts of either mountain.

Two members of the party unload skis off the sea plane at Garibaldi Lake before heading up the route.

A lone skier descends down the glacier to Garibaldi Lake.

Peter Chrzanowski stands in one of the warm mini-lakes at the foot of the glacier. Camera’s lens is 1/2 submerged causing a strange distortion below the water’s surface.

Like toothpaste from the tube, cement oozes from a hose handled by a construction worker as he balances along the top of the “dressing room walls” of the Resort Centre.

1981

Whistler Question publisher Paul Burrows loads one of the 40 bags of mail that left the Post Office on August 12 after the mail strike was over.

FIRE! Lightning strike sets fire to Rainbow Mountain Ridge. Sunday afternoon cocktail sippers got this view from Stoney’s terrace.

Hilda Davey and daughter-in-law Nancy smilingly await the arrival of the new soft ice cream machine at Hilda’s Deli which recently re-opened in the Village centre.

L&A Contracting CAT 225 loader sits in the waters of Green Lake after road widening ledge collapsed on August 11.

Dave Cathers exhibits fine form during the mixed double finals at the Inside Out Tennis Tournament.

The swimmers and sunbathers on the beach and the new dock.

1982

Bon Voyage! The Raine family – Al, Nancy and twin boys Charley and Willy – gather on their front porch for a parting shot shortly before leaving for Switzerland Sunday, August 22.

Petanque player shows his form while President of the Whistler Petanque Club, Jean Jacques Aaron, looks on.

Thieves were determined to get into the office of Whistler’s Husky station as this battered door evidences.

Whistler’s original sluggers, Doc A’s, took part in the Pemberton Ladies’ Invitational Softball Tourney August 14 – 15. (L – R, top row) Brillo, Jan Simpson, Kathy Hicks, Linda Henderson, Cathy Dickinson. (L – R, bottom row) Barb Simpson, Valerie Lang and Laura Nedelak. Missing – Ann Chaisson, Katie Rodgers, Jan Haldimand and Wendy Meredith.

New owners of The Going Nuts Shop (l – r) Brenda and Doug Horton and Chuck and Claire Kingzett take a break from busy preparations.

1983

Jerome Rozitis, right, took first place and Andrew O’Keefe second in the Children’s Triathlon Saturday.

The Whistler Community Arts Council sits with collection boxes for a Book Drive and Auction, while also advertising the Class of ’83’s Arts & Crafts Show.

It was a hot time in the old town of Whistler August 12 – 14 as jazz musicians and their fans poured into the valley for Jazz on the Mountain. Skies stayed sunny and spirits soared, including Larry Coryell’s. A pioneer jazz fusion and one of the most innovative performers featured at the three-day event, Coryell cranked it out with saxophonist Richie Cole and blues belter Ernestine Anderson for a real show-stopper Sunday afternoon. J. Bartosik photo.

Whistler’s new $15,000 tent had its inauguration during the August 12 – 14 jazz festival, much to the pleasure of 4000 jazz buffs who turned out for the event held at the base of Whistler Mountain. Friday night’s concert, offered at no charge, featured the stylings of West Coast Jazz Orchestra and Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation in Village Square. At press time, no official report had been released on the financial outcome of the festival.

1984

Cyclists in Friday evening’s White Gold criterium race averaged about 37 km/h in the 50 km event. Ninety-three racers from the Lower Mainland, the rest of Canada and other parts of the world took part in the criterium, which was part of a five-event series that ended Sunday in Gastown.

Whistler windsurfer Sue Cameron picked up four medals at the Western Hemisphere Championships (District 11) on Chestier Lake in Calgary over the weekend. Cameron, who plans to enter professional competition, placed high in three separate events to pick up the overall crown. The championships will be aired on September 8 on CTV.

The Melloyds, an a cappella group, grabbed the spotlight as one of the most entertaining acts during the weekend Music Festival.

A wide variety of musical acts took part in the festival, including Olatunjia (a band featuring African drums and dancing), Mojo and Vancouver’s Jim Byrnes, who created a local following after just one show.

This Week In Photos: August 2

1978

Pictures taken last week of the unsightly mess left by the receding waters of Alpha Lake.

Mud, water and more mud threaten to engulf this worker at the bottom of the new sewer line. Casano Construction ran into difficulty last week when an old creek hidden underground was unleashed.

The heavy equipment preparing the site for the Whistler Vale Condominium site. Approval for this 36-unit development was given on Monday night, July 31.

Stella and Murray Coates’ party over the weekend produced a fine turnout of locals in the balmy weather.

1979

The largest ballroom in town! – the completed A building of the Town Centre parking structure.

The group at the Sailer Fischer Ski Camp party catered by the Keg. (L to R) Wayne Wong, Wayne Booth, Schultz, Nancy Greene, Toni Sailer, Rookie, Alan White.

Some of the headlines recently appearing in the Vancouver newspapers about Whistler.

Gulf Oil truck pumps gas into the Husky tanks during the gas shortage due to Trimac dispute.

Vicki Vogler and Laura McGuffin with the new Whistler hiking book they produced – now on sale at the Information Centre for 75 cents.

Four excited kids take part in the 3-legged race at the Summer Recreation sports day. P. Hocking photo.

1980

Mountain Inn – as it’s been for two months. New construction should start soon.

Blacktop was laid along the Blackcomb Mountain access road from top to bottom. Reports are that a skateboard contest may be held there.

Pacific Blasting is currently at work carving out the rock in the Bayshores subdivision. Whoever buys this lot will have a magnificent view of the valley all year long.

1981

Alta Lake Beach is crowded with sun-seekers on Sunday, August 2.

Don Wildfong, project manager of Pemberton airport, takes a moment off work to pose in front of sign that welcomes recreational fliers to Pemberton.

The Ham/Murphy residence in Alpine Meadows that was damaged by fire on July 30.

Axes fly at Squamish Logger Days.

Sails flapping, windsurfers in the first heat of the men’s Triangle races skim away from the starting line during the BC Windsurfing Championships.

Ms. Sue Christopher, the new teacher at Myrtle Philip School who will be teaching the primary grades, replacing Mrs. Alexia Turner. Ms. Christopher previously taught for 5 years at Signal Hill Elementary in Pemberton.

Elisa Wilson, Anton Deduluc, Melanie Busdon and Samantha O’Keefe test out the new playground equipment at Myrtle Philip School. Built by Industrial Arts students at Howe Sound Secondary School with lumber donated by Garibaldi Building Supplies, this structure is just the first phase of the facilities. The Whistler Parent/Teacher Group has raised the funds which will raise the equipment.

ON YOUR MARKS… GET SET… and the 90 participants in the Whistler Rotary Fun Run were off. Men and women, boys and girls of all ages took part in the race on a sunny August 2nd, Sunday. The Rotary Club hopes to make it an annual event.

1982

They’re off and running at the Rotary Fun Run which started at Myrtle Philip School Saturday, July 31. Runners registered for a 2.5km or 7.5km run around the Lost Lake area.

Willie Whistler strikes up the band to celebrate their third-place ribbon received in the Squamish Logger’s Sports Parade held Sunday, August 1.

These three answered the question of the week: Jenny Busdon, Housewife, Whistler Cay resident; Larry Gunn, Whistler Courier, Alpine Meadows resident; Dave Kirk, Alta Vista resident.

They were swingin’ in the rain throughout the slow-pitch tourney, but Chris Streatham, with his dry sense of humour, came up with this catchy solution.

Andrew Stoner, owner of Whistler Windsurfing, now has to take a definite step up in the world to jump the gap between his docks on Alta Lake. The two docks, one floating and one stationary, were at equal levels one month ago.

Dave Phillips and Doug Hoy go through one of their routines during the Great West Ski Show in Village Square Saturday, July 31st. Phillips executes a somersault – one of many freestyle manoeuvres he displayed for appreciative audiences.

A grader sets to work levelling roads in the Alpine Meadows subdivision, where paving operations will begin shortly.

1984

Steve Martin? No, this wild and crazy guy is parks worker Ted Pryce-Jones who was out last week painting arrows and yellow lines on Valley Trail curves and bends. The new lines and arrows are designed to give cyclists and pedestrians warning and keep users to one side.

Swimmer Shelley Warne was one of 36 swimmers who participated in the Sixth Annual Molson’s Fun Swim on Alta Lake Sunday. Warne swam from Wayside Park to Alta Lake Inn and back under the watchful eye of Marilyn Moore, who dusted off her bathtub derby craft for the occasion. Fun swim organizers report the event went off without a hitch. Other competitors in the swim included Sharon Daly, Joan Parnell, Mike McCroden, Leslie Bruse, Molly Boyd, Shawn Hughes and Daryl Stone. Men’s and women’s winners were John Puddicombe and Shirley Fay, who completed the three-mile course in times of just over a half-hour.

George Kelly of Seattle was the 10,000th golfer to tee off at the Whistler Gold Course this year. Kelly, a food service distributor, played his round July 24. Bookings on the course are at 100 per cent most weekends and 80 per cent weekdays. Numbers are up considerably from last year when the 10,000th player came through in the second week of September. The only problem the course is having now is that players are having a hard time getting tee times.

Members from the Alta Lake Community Club officially opened one of its five benches last Wednesday that it recently donated to the municipality. The club donated $1000 and parks planner Tom Barratt used the money to build the benches located along the Valley Trail. Trudy Gruetzke cut the ribbon opening the benches with other ALCC members, Heather Gamache, Nancy Treiber, Louise Zinsli, Evelyn Cullen, Marg Fox and Suzanne Wilson.

This Week In Photos: March 8

One of the best part of the Whistler Question Collection is that it shows different sides of Whistler as a developing resort, including skiing, contests, parties, school events, construction and scenes of everyday life.

1979

Toni Sailer runs the Molson World Cup Downhill course on Tuesday.

Toni Sailer and Nancy Greene-Raine on the World Cup Downhill course.

A Beetle is carted out of Creekside.

One of the Tantalus Creations seamstresses at work on a vest, part of a line of custom ski wear.

1980

Construction continues in Whistler Village despite the snow on the ground.

The new Public Service building has its finishing touches added and new cells installed, currently unoccupied.

Myrtle Philip pays a visit to a class at Myrtle Philip School, sharing photos and tales of her early days in the valley.

‘Downhill’ Bill Gregory leads a group of cross country skiers down the water town hill in the Fischer Cup.

Myrtle Philip teachers & parents prepare the climbing apparatus for the PE workshop on March 8.

1981

The lineup at the bottom of Whistler Mountain looks like it could use a little more snow, or any snow at all.

It’s not the usual slalom course you see in Whistler, but that didn’t stop this group of kayakers.

The crowd gets out onto the dance floor at Club 10.

Mayor Pat Carleton (centre) congratulates Michel Segur (left) and Jean-Jacques Aaron on the opening of their new club.

How many people can you fit in one hot tub? Looks like we’re going to find out.

1982

Guide Mike Jackobson heads the pack as the powder skiers make tracks on an open slope near Bralorne.

All that remained of the lower portion of the Blackcomb skiers bridge that collapsed Saturday, March 6 injuring two.

Action! Fitness instructor Sue Worden pedals her heart out for Action BC testing Saturday, March 6 while Kevin Ponnock, fitness consultant, records pulse rate. The government-sponsored program includes flexibility training and a diet analysis so that participants can asses their fitness level.

Don Armour (seated) and Peter Zandon give the new WRA computer system a workout. The computer is a major step towards co-ordinating reservations throughout Whistler.

1983

A new sound wafted through the air of Whistler Village Saturday, March 5 thanks to Otto Baumann and his Alp horn. The horns were originally designed to call cattle home or signal nearby neighbours. Baumann, 25, a native of Lucern Switzerland, made this horn himself. It measures 12 feet in length.

At it again! Blackcomb and Whistler Mountain staff squared off for the second round (actually there’s been far more than two rounds guzzled in this competition) of their boat races.

Doc Fingers and the Gortex Blues Band kept the crowd on their feet at the Canadian Telemark Team Benefit, Sunday March 6 at Bullets Cabaret. (L-R) Robin Ferrier, Doc Fingers and Jack Levin belt it out for the full house. Not shown is Ferrier’s crutch – supporting his ankle, broken March 4 scant days before the telemark racing season really gets underway.

Foot in the Door titillates the telemarkers at the Canadian Telemark Team Benefit held at Bullets Cabaret Sunday. (L-R) Mark Schnaidt, Craig Barker, Charlie Doyle and Rocco Bonito helped the team net $500 toward sending the team to races in Colorado.

M. Robert Gourdin, North American sales rep for Moet et Chandon and Hennessy Cognac, topped off this $24,000 tower of Baccaret crystal glasses with a few bottles of bubbly during a special presentation at Delta Mountain Inn March 3. And how to open a bottle of champagne on such a special occasion? Why, with a Napoleonic sabre, of course.

1984

A typewriter graveyard? No, these are just a small part of the many tons of equipment, from pencils to lasers, being used for Molson World Downhill coordination.

It was a tough choice for judges at Saturday’s air band contest. The contest, held at Stumps in conjunction with the Volvo Ski Show, featured four bands. The Energy Pals, a duo, eventually won and took home two pairs of Blizzard skis. In second place were The Superbs followed by the five-member Culture Club.

Speaker Series – “Celebrity Athletes and the Growth of Modern Skiing”

A few weeks ago we profiled Stephanie Sloan, freestyle superstar and featured presenter at our upcoming Speaker Series event “Celebrity Athletes and the Growth of Modern Skiing.” The event will explore how professional skiers have harnessed their top-level skills and name-recognition to introduce cutting edge techniques to skiers. This phenomenon has long been a major driving force for the sport, otherwise, we would all still be doing telemarks and stem christies.

Here in Whistler, the first high-profile skier to hitch his name and skills to the new resort was Austrian ski-racing star Toni Sailer, who began operating summer ski camps on the Whistler Glacier in 1967. The following year big-mountain ski pioneer Jim McConkey was hired to run the Whistler Mountain ski school.

Before (and during ) his time in Whistler, McConkey made a name for himself as an early ski film star. Here he is enjoying some of Alta, Utah's famous champagne pow.

Before (and during) his time in Whistler, McConkey made a name for himself as an early ski film star. Here he is enjoying some of Alta, Utah’s famous champagne pow.

Then in 1970, fresh off her historic gold medal performance at the 1968 Grenoble Olympics, Nancy Greene and her husband Al Raine built a cabin in Whistler and became heavily involved in teaching skiing, promoting the sport, and developing the resort.

The following image shows the coaching staff at the 1969 Toni Sailer summer camp. Sailer is back row, 2nd from right, and Nancy Greene is front row, 2nd from left. Almost all the other coaches were World Cup level racers.

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This trifecta of early ski stars set the standard, but there have been countless others over the years. One who has most skillfully made the transition from competition to coaching is John Smart. A moguls specialist John was a two-time Olympian, 13-time World Cup medallist, 3 time Canadian Champion and World Pro Champion during a career spanning from 1987-1996.

In 1992 he founded Momentum Ski Camps which focused on training the next generation of freestyle ski champions every summer on Blackcomb’s Horstman Glacier. Today, Momentum is bigger than ever, having fully embraced the Freeski revolution and hosting some of the sport’s biggest names as their coaches each summer.

But some might say the real highlight of John’s career came in 2013 when he taught renowned Canadian ranter Rick Mercer how to jump onto an inflatable crash pad.

Rounding out the panel discussion will be Rob McSkimming. Rob brings several decades of experience in the ski industry to the table, including a stint as a coach at Dave Murray Summer Ski Camps in the 1980s.

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Dave Murray Summer Ski Camp 1987 – coaches group photo. Among many legends of Canadian Skiing pictured here, Rob McSkimming is seated front row, 3rd from the left.

Rob went on to become the snow school’s general manager for several years before moving onto his current position with Whistler-Blackcomb as VP-Business Development.  Clearly, Rob has a wealth of knowledge that will complement John and Stephanie’s recollections on the panel.

We hope you can join us on Sunday February 21st for “Celebrity Athletes and the Growth of Modern Skiing”! The event is being held in conjunction with International Ski History Day, being organized by the International Ski History Association who will have a delegation in attendance. They’re also offering a full-day ski package, concluding at our Speaker Series, that is incredible value. Details available through the above hyperlink.

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When: Sunday February 21st; Doors at 6pm, show 7pm-9pm
Where: Whistler Museum (4333 Main Street, beside the Library)
Who: Everyone!
Cost: $10 regular price, $5 for museum members and W-B Club Shred.

We expect this event to sell out, so make sure to get your tickets early. To purchase tickets stop by the museum or call us at 604.932.2019.

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Al Raine – Ski Industry Legend, Visionary, and a Pretty Cool Dude

When ski racing legend Al Raine made the move to Whistler in 1973, he had already established himself as head coach and program director of the Canadian National Alpine Ski Team at the age of 32. Around this time, the provincial government was looking for an individual to provide technical expertise and coordinate provincial ski expansion, as well as oversee the development of Whistler as a tourist destination resort. With his extensive background in the ski industry, Raine was the perfect candidate to act as a liaison between the municipality and the provincial government. Thus, Al was approached about a position and he accepted in May 1974. As acting Ski Area Coordinator of B.C. and alderman for the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), one of Al’s first tasks was assisting in the building of a sewer plant that would service the entire valley.

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With the completion of the new sewer system, the Whistler council turned their attention to creating a central village. When the government asked their appointed ski coordinator to report on the realistic achievable goals for Whistler, Al remained positive that it had the potential to become a world-class ski resort, despite the weakness that was B.C.’s coastal climate. He was confident that with good skiing on the upper mountains, solid lifts, and a village, success would be imminent. At the same time, this meant that more lifts were vital, seeing as upward of 2400 people could be seen standing in line for hours at a time, waiting to get onto a mountain with a capacity of 600 skiers per hour.

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The original Resort Municipality of Whistler Council. Pictured from left to right: Alderman Bob Bishop, Alderman Al Raine, Treasurer Geoff Pearce, Mayor Pat Carleton, Alderman John Hetherington, Alderman Gary Watson

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Al Raine and wife, Nancy Greene Raine, enjoying a day out on the slopes

With local government starting to take shape, Al began to look toward the possibility of a future for Blackcomb. In September of 1976, he put out a proposal call to develop the mountain. After months of silence, a bid finally came in from the Aspen Ski Corporation of Colorado in joint venture with the Canadian Federal Business Development Bank. Once final terms were ironed out and the deal agreed upon, investors had the go ahead to complete phase one of development, and on December 6, 1980, Blackcomb Mountain opened with 1240 vertical meters of skiing available.

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Al Raine shaking hands with Whistler’s first mayor, Pat Carleton, ca. 1975

Al’s position as B.C.’s ski area coordinator included more than just Whistler. He also studied 45 areas province wide, giving site evaluations on their probability. In 1980, Al stepped down from his position and took the job of General Manager of the newly formed Whistler Resort Association. The organization was responsible for scheduling events at Whistler while providing basic information, central reservations, and marketing promotions for the resort. Today, Al and his wife Nancy can be seen in Whistler skiing, golfing, and playing tennis. After years of hard work and dedication, Al Raine has the opportunity to enjoy the vision of Whistler that he assisted in creating.

Summer Skiing? A Whistler Tradition.

Skiing  in summer? In Whistler, that isn’t as crazy an idea as it sounds. With its year-round glaciers, everyone from pint-sized campers to larger-than-life ski stars have taken advantage of Whistler’s unique setting to squeeze in some turns during the “offseason.”

The sun-filled sky acts as a perfect balance to the chilled mountain air, leading to peak skiing conditions – pun definitely intended.

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Since the first lifts were installed in the 1960s Whistler has always been  was a popular ski destination. Perhaps a victim of its own success, long lineups during the Winter discouraged many impatient skiers, but during the summer this was not the case. Many become occupied with the variety of summer activities available in the Whistler area, such as canoeing on Alta Lake, so the mountain was left to the die-hard skiers.

Whistler’s Glacier Bowl was also the only permanent snowfield in Canada that was easily accessible by lifts, a convenience factor which trumped earlier summer skiing efforts powered by helicopters, or simply placing one foot ini front of the other with your ski gear on your back.

The first summer ski camps on the Whistler glacier were pioneered by Toni Sailer, a medal-winning member of the Austrian ski racing team. Sailer’s motivation behind developing the ski camp program on Whistler was largely driven by the need for competitive skiers to stay in shape and to improve their techniques between competition seasons, but as word of the camps spread recreational skiers also became active participants.

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Four types of instruction (Advanced Racing, Intermediate and Novice Racing, Recreational, and Freestyle) became the norm, and accommodated skiers of all levels who received personalized instruction by internationally known skiers such as Nancy Greene Raine, Wayne Wong, and Jim McConkey.

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These ski camps inspired many young skiers to enter the competitive world of ski racing, among them being Dave Murray, who attended his first Toni Sailer Summer Ski Camp at the age of 15. Murray quickly rose to fame as one of the Crazy Canucks – the Canadian ski racing team – who took the European-dominated ski racing world by storm with their reckless style of skiing.

After 10 years on the competitive ski racing circuit Murray retired to become the director of skiing at Whistler Mountain, as well as the organizer and lead instructor of the summer ski camps. In 1984, the name of Whistler’s most popular summer ski camp was officially changed to the Atomic Dave Murray Whistler Summer Ski Camp, and its fame grew to attract many skiers from Europe and Japan.

During the late 1980s the popularity of snowboarding on Blackcomb Mountain was also growing, prompting a need for the development of summer camps that catered to this new breed of mountain rider. The Snoboard Shop Camp of Champions (established in 1989) was one of the first summer camps to cater to snowboarders, and by 2008 60% of Whistler-Blackcomb campers were snowboarders, indicating a mass migration away from camps dedicated to the traditional snow sports.

Camps for all types of snow sport – as well as for the newer mountain biking market – have continued to grow in popularity in Whistler as the draw of the year-round glaciers continue to provide excellent conditions for Whistler’s summer ski and snowboard camps.