The iconic Ski Racing history at Red Mountian budded from a small seed planted in Rossland’s culture by Olaus Jeldness, a Norwegian mining engineer who settled in Rossland during the gold mining boom at the turn of the century. As he became part of the community, he shared his love of skiing and grew a community of avid skiers. In the 1890’s, he formed the Norwegian ski club and in 1897, he hosted the first-ever recorded ski race in western Canada. The shared passion for skiing exploded into one of the most prolific ski communities in North America rich with history.
In 1968, Rossland hosted the first FIS World Cup in Canada on The Face of Red mountain. In storybook fashion, Hometown hero, Nancy Greene who was coming off an Olympic gold and silver took World Cup gold in front of the entire community inspiring Red Mountain’s next wave of world-class ski racers. Throughout the late 1900’s Red Mountain Racers put more ski racers on the Canadian and US National teams than any other team in North America.
Norwegian Ski Club was formed
First Downhill race held from the top of Red Mountain down the south side to the site of the present Rossland Museum – Olaus Jeldness takes Gold
First Canadian ski championships as part of the Annual Winter Carnival – Downhill and Ski Jumping – Olaus Jeldness takes Gold in both events
End of the Norwegian Ski Club
Trail and Rossland Ski Clubs are formed
First Gas-Driven rope tow is installed on Red Mountain – to about towers 2 – 5 today
Rossland Ski Club hosted the first Grey Mountain Grind – an attempt to keep the sport alive during the war.
Trail and Rossland Ski Clubs merge to form the Red Mountain Ski Club (RMSC)
Base Lodge built by the RMSC – Rafters Lounge was originally set up as overnight accommodation
First chair lift built buy RMSC and volunteer labour, equipment from old mining tramlines, and on-site lumber
Birth of the Red Mountain Ski Patrol, Ski School and the Red Mountain Racers
Installation of the Granite Mountain Chair
First World Cup Race held in Canada hosted by RMSC – 7000 fans cheered on Nancy Greene as she won the Giant Slalom – Race course started at the top of the Cliff and down the Face
Nancy Greene wins Olympic Giant Slalom Gold in Grenoble, France
Red Chair as we know today is installed
Paradise Chair installed
Second World Cup race held at Red Mountain – Downhill and SG
Kerrin Lee-Gartner wins Olympic Downhill Gold in Albertville, France