It starts with an idea and desire. Back 40+ years ago that is how the Wapiti Ski Hill started. It must have been a lot of desire especially from a town with a tenth of the current population.

With cooperation from the community, and Companies (Fording Coal), and the Projects Society construction started. Run clearing, brushing, land contouring, lodge construction, and setting up a small lift. That was just the first year.

Then in 1974 the current T-Bar was purchased and installed and run expansion continued. Volunteers worked tirelessly some up to 16 hrs a day on days off from the mine. This project really brought the town together and gave a sense of community.

In 1976 two new runs were built, Sunshine and Waterfall. Families tended to work on the hill in the summer and ski during the winter.

The Nancy Greene Ski Club started up and was filled with kids from town. They traveled to races all over the Kootenays and at the time racing had huge support from the hill and parents. The racing and coaching was so good that Kevin Wert started his ski racing career here and went on to join the national ski team and participate in the 1988 winter Olympics in Calgary.

1983 saw the construction of a new day lodge and has become the one we use today. In 1983 Elli and Gary Grieser started a ski/rental shop in the basement of the new lodge called “Bullwinkle’s”. In the early 1980s the hill purchased a used Thickol snowcat from Sunshine Village Ski Area. Unfortunately it came without an engine. This wasn’t seen as a problem. Rod Hooper said he could and did rebuild a new engine for it. We still have the old Thickol and is used as a back up for pre season grooming.

In 1990 a newer snowcat was needed, so off to Sunshine again and a Bombardier BR 400 was purchased and is still our main snowcat that does all of the grooming thru out the season. A couple of years later it was determined that a proper shop to store and service both snowcats was needed. In 1991 construction started on the new shop and was completed in 1992. It is currently still used for storing the two snowcats.

In 1992 the lodge got a fresh paint job, as itt had stood up to Rocky Mountain weather for almost a decade and freshening up was needed.

Things ran along nicely and during the 2003 -2004 season the club celebrated its 30th birthday. It was evident that equipment installed 30 years ago was starting to show its age. That summer all the light poles used for night skiing were replaced and Columbia Basin Trust Youth Link program helped to pay for them. A few years later with a grant from the District of Elkford, pole pads were purchased.

Lodge renovations started in 2005.  The interior was attacked first with volunteers from the club and contractors donating their time.  The walls and ceilings were repainted, tiling was added around the walls, new carpet was layed, and new washroom fixtures were installed.  This was all funded with grants from District of Elkford and Fording River Mine.

The next upgrade was the haul rope on the T-bar.  This was done the summer of 2007 with funds the club raised and a grant from the Distinct of Elkford.

In February off 2009 we had a free ski/snowboard lessons day with Nonstop Ski & Snowboard who provide volunteer instructors.  It was a huge success and has helped us get a ski school started up again.

With a huge grant from the District of Elkford the club was able to have the final renovation done on the lodge, a new roof and siding.

Our most recent upgrade is the snowcat/snow groomer.  As mentioned earlier the current one, a Br 400, has been around since 1990.  We have had good service from it for 20 years but unfortunately it is not able to do the job as well as it used to.  This starts to make hard to maintain our snow, groom it properly, and provide a fun and safe ski/snowboard experience.  We are happy to announce that a new model, a 2006 Br 350, will be delivered in mid December this year!