Sunshine Scrapbook Memories We have arrived at the end of our SkiBig3: How Did We Get Here series. So far, we have looked into the humble beginnings of skiing in Banff by getting to know the men and women who believed in the sheer goodness that skiing can bring to people and a community. They worked tirelessly through years when they barely broke even or hardly kept their doors open, all for the love of the sport and the mountains that supported it. We will now take a look at how that hard work was repaid, affirmed, and immortalized by the locals and visitors who visited Sunshine Ski Resort via their photographs and scrapbooks.
These days everyone and their dog has a cellphone and can capture and share their powder days with the world, sometimes right from the top of the mountain itself. However in the early 20th century when skiing was a new pastime, camera film took time and money to develop (let alone share with others). Photographs and scrapbooks took time and dedication to create,…
In 2018 visitors to Banff National Park have the
great privilege to ski at three world-class resorts: Banff Sunshine, Lake
Louise Ski Resort and Mt. Norquay. Skibums and boarders alike can pick their
favourite or try all three while staying in the beautiful Banff and Lake Louise
area. But how did we get here? Who first skied these
mountains? What did it take to carve the runs into the mountainside? Who built
the first cabins and started the first ski clubs?
The following series of blog posts entitled SkiBig3: How Did We Get Here?, will feature one key ski pioneer who made the difference in the early days of each (or multiple) of our beloved SkiBig3 resorts.
Cliff White and The Mighty Quay
Clifford White Sr. was born in Banff on February 13th,
1902 to Dave and Annie White. Along with his brother Peter, Cliff White was
among the first in Banff to pursue skiing in the Canadian
Rockies. Thanks to the well-known and well-celebrated Austrian climbing guide Conrad Kain, Cliff and other Banff
One of the things that you might notice while reading SkiBig3: How Did We Get Here? series is that at
each step of the way someone made a unique impact on a place. For Mount
Norquay, it was Cliff White whose determination to develop skiing in the
Canadian Rockies shone through to build that first cabin and establish the
first ski club. Cliff then shifted his gaze towards Lake Louise and the Skoki
Valley where he would, once again, launch a dream; this time of a backcountry
ski lodge. In 1931, Skoki Lodge opened and was initially run as a club
operation. The first season saw 48 signatures in the register, almost all of
them Banff residents. At this point the lodge did not appear to have a manager.
Over the years, and for many different reasons Skoki would be managed by a
number of different people, including our founders Peter & Catharine Whyte.
However, this post will celebrate a woman whose hospitality, knowledge of the
mountains and charm left…