After 14 years of publishing Mountain Life in Ontario, we finally gained access to The Vault—Blue Mountain Resort‘s historical archive stretching back to 1941, the year Slovak immigrant Jozo Weider founded the resort. For our upcoming 75th anniversary winter-issue tribute we’ve searched through many boxes of unseen material and conducted interviews with BMR insiders including Jozo’s son George Weider. We’ve selected 75 Highlights: images and anecdotes that commemorate and celebrate life at Blue since that long-ago first winter season of ’41/’42. These five are a taste of what’s in store.
The Night Shift: Rob Sheridan has been working at Blue since 1977, three years before the launch of night skiing at the resort, initially on O-Hill and Big Baby. “I worked night skiing in ’82 and it wasn’t anything big,” says Sheridan. “It just wasn’t attractive. It was the long, cold rides up—a 12, 15-minute ride up. Night skiing only started growing in the late 1980s and early 1990s once we started running high-speed quad lifts and could offer shorter rides. Since then we’ve been constantly expanding.” We don’t have a date on this archive photo but it looks to be in the first decade of night skiing at Blue.
Jean vest, centre-part, sparks flyin’… This deep-Seventies photo just keeps on giving.
Moguls: from the Austro-Bavarian dialect word mugel, meaning “small hill”. Testing quadriceps on Mogul Alley, 1980s.
Ernie McCulloch’s Ski School: One of the top North American skiers of the 1950s, a young McCulloch took the 1949 Quebec Kandahar Cup from the French team, then considered unbeatable. Later an Olympic coach of both US and Olympic teams, he founded the Ski School at Blue in the late 1960s and wrote two books and dozens of articles on instruction. Among his pupils in the early 1970s was a teenaged Todd Brooker. McCulloch is pictured here with his instructors, circa 1970, kneeling at centre front, seventh from the left. Behind the instructors is the original “Ski Barn” lodge, refashioned from a farmer’s barn.
From K-Way jackets to mustard ski tights, there’s a lot going on in this shot. So we decided to let you choose your own caption.
ML—Blue Mountains winter issue out in early January.