Tag: Gondola Run

Getting Ready for the 1973/74 SeasonGetting Ready for the 1973/74 Season


It’s not unusual, as we approach the reopening of the lifts each November, to hear conversations about the coming winter – what to expect, what will be new, and what will be different. In their Fall 1973 issue, Garibaldi’s Whistler News (GWN), the publication put out by Garibaldi Lifts Ltd., tried to anticipate such questions and provide some answers. So, what could could skiers (it would be another sixteen years before snowboarders were welcomed on Whistler) expect of Whistler Mountain fifty years ago?

GWN began with the announcement that all lift rates would remain the same as the previous season. This meant that an adult skier could expect to pay $155 for an annual pass (just over $1,000 when adjusted for inflation), while day rates ranged from $5 half to $7 weekend days. Annual passes could be purchased by cheque if accompanied by two passport size photographs or in person at the ticket office, where photographs for passes were taken free of charge. With this pass, skiers could access over twenty runs and eight lifts.

Garibaldi’s Whistler News was used to promote the ski area to potential skiers by sharing the good news and offerings of Whistler Mountain. Garibaldi’s Whistler News, Fall 1973

Skiers who were familiar with the terrain on Whistler Mountain would notice changes to some of the runs after a major summer works program. On Upper and Lower Franz’s, $10,000 had been spent widening over 2km from 15m to 45m. Blasting on the Downhill run had completed the leveling and grooming of certain pitches. Around the Green Chair, the lift line had been widened in anticipation of installing another parallel lift for the 1974/75 season. The lift company had also enlarged and upgraded the kitchen facilities at the Roundhouse, as well as installing a concrete floor.

For skiers who were new to the Whistler Mountain area, GWN provided a guide on “How to Handle a Big Mountain.” According to the guide, “Whistler is a huge, friendly, thoroughly enjoyable ski mountain, but for some skiers, seeing it for the first time, it’s overpowering,” and so they provided “hints” and tips to make it more approachable.

The view of the top of Whistler Mountain, sure to encourage skiers to visit. Garibaldi’s Whistler News, Fall 1973.

According to GWN, the first thing to do was to check the weather conditions on the weatherboard located next to the ticket office. Then, it was recommended that skiers familiarize themselves with the international trail marking signs to indicate the difficulty level of a run (the same green circle, blue square and black diamond that you’ll see today) before heading up the Gondola or Olive Chair to the Red or Orange Chairs. GWN suggested Whiskey Jack, Ego Bowl, Pony Trail, and Olympic Run as the first runs to try out, though those who headed down Olympic Run needed to check the bus schedules at the Information Booth to ensure they got a ride back to the lifts.

The guide also provided tips on where to eat lunch (the Roundhouse or L’Après, both owned by the lift company), where to find information on the mountain, and which runs to take at the end of the day. One piece of advice they included, which is often repeated today, was to “bear in mind that most ski accidents happen late in the day – so don’t take that last extra run when you’re tired.” While GWN didn’t instruct skiers to expect long lineups, bad traffic, or less than optimal conditions (not surprising in a publication intended to promote the ski area), experienced skiers would have known that those were possibilities.

Skiers in line to take the gondola up Whistler Mountain in the early 1970s. Whistler Mountain Ski Corporation Collection.

Those who head up Whistler Mountain this winter will find that a lot has changed over the past fifty seasons, from opening new facilities to merging with Blackcomb Mountain to adapting to changing weather conditions, and might even find some changes since last winter.

This Week in Photos: January 18This Week in Photos: January 18



Whistler base from the Gondola Run, as it looked on January 14, 1980.

Paul & Jane Burrows added a bit of warmth to the paper with more travel photos, this time from New Orleans.

Cars got buried in snow in Alpine Meadows.


Paul Burrows holds a copy of the winter edition of Whistler Magazine. The magazine is still published today.

Fuel-soaked cardboard ignites as Bentham (far right) readies to run. (If anyone knows why this stunt took place or has any further details, please let us know at the Museum.)

Bursting through the blaze as crewmen with fire extinguishers head towards Bentham.

Getting the treatment from four extinguishers including brother Harry Bentham (wearing the ski toque).

In the aftermath, Bentham is bandaged by his brother Harry.


A weekend snow storm effectively buried many cars and had many people heading out with shovels.

“Through the hoops” – a Myrtle Philip Kindergarten student shows their form during the school ski program at Blackcomb. The students go skiing once a week for four weeks.

Dennis Waddingham, North Side Ski Shop Manager for Whistler Mountain, Resident of Whistler Cay.

Dogs enjoy playing in the snow in Village Square.


Cross-country skiers kick out over the new trail system around Lost Lake on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The same trail was the scene of a 20 km race earlier in the day.

Have you cleaned your chimney lately? If not, these fellows may pay you a visit shortly. Fire Inspector Gerry Fosty reports there have been four chimney fires at Whistler since the New Year – all of them preventable.

Over 200 applicants turned out at the Keg Monday, January 17 for a variety of jobs being offered by the restaurant. The Keg is scheduled to open its doors sometime in early February.

All hands were on deck for the first series in the third annual Boat Race between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains Wednesday at the Longhorn Pub. Crowds cheered the Blackcomb team on to victory in the Women’s and All-Star (mixed team) events. Whistler Mountain personnel were the top tipplers in the men’s division and will have a chance to regain the All-Star title Wednesday, March 2 at the Bavarian Inn.


Divers prepare for a plunge into Nita Lake.

An RCMP E-division diving trainee prepares to climb out of the frigid water of Nita Lake at last week’s training session held in Whistler. The divers combed the lake bottom in pairs learning how to recover lost objects such as vehicles, weapons and bodies.

The shaken occupant of a van that was struck at the Lorimer and Nesters intersection last Thursday morning leaves the upturned vehicle. About $4000 damage was done to the two vehicles, but there were no serious injuries. The accident occurred when a car turning off Nesters Road collided with a second vehicle, which was travelling on Lorimer Road. The driver of the first car was charged with driving without due care and attention.