Snowboarding at Mount Washington Alpine Resort

(Mount Washington Alpine Resort photo)

Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Culture & History

Mount Washington was named by Captain Richards as he explored Canada's Pacific Coast in 1860 as a salute to Rear Admiral John Washington, Official Hydrographer to the Royal Navy.

Flash-forward to the 1970s. Visionary Campbell River businessmen Henry Norie and Alex Linton proposed Mount Washington as the first planned ski resort in British Columbia. Village land went up for sale in 1979 and sold out in three hours flat. Mount Washington Alpine Resort opened later that year. It was considered state-of-the-art – in part because it included the first indoor washrooms of any ski facility on Vancouver Island.

Resort Development

The resort grew and grew with additional units, the Whiskey Jack Lift, the RV park, summer facilities, Deer Lodge, Fat Teddy's Bar & Grill in the Alpine Lodge, and Raven Lodge for cross-country skiing. The Tony Barrett Marmot Recovery Foundation, home to 100 marmots and front-line in the Vancouver Island marmot rescue program, was established. Canada's first-ever over-and-back chairlift, the Boomerang Chair, was installed, and night skiing was expanded. Also, two International Paralympic Committee World Cup events were held here.

Mount Washington Ski Culture

Today, Mount Washington's downhill skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing season runs from mid-autumn to April. And Mount Washington maintains a world-class status while remaining affordable, easygoing, intimate, and committed to family.

For more information about the culture and history of Mount Washington Alpine Resort, contact the Comox Valley Visitor Centre in Courtenay.