Revelstoke Museum & Archives Curator Cathy English takes one of the new First Tracks books out of the box. The book is now available for sale at the Revelstoke Museum & Archives bookshop.

A first look at the Revelstoke Museum’s First Tracks

Revelstoke Museum’s newest book chronicles more than
12 decades of ski history in the area

Late last week the Times Review got a first look at the Revelstoke Museum & Archives’ newest publication First Tracks: The History of Skiing In Revelstoke.

We’ve barely had a chance to read through the 208-page book, let alone follow up with its volunteer committee, but can offer an early first look. We hope to follow up with a more extensive review next week.

Starting with the early pioneers of the late 1800s, First Tracks takes a chronological journey through the history of skiing by dividing the sport into its disciplines.

After the early history, the book jumps into the ski jumping era, which was arguably the most popular form of the sport in Revelstoke for the first 50 years

Subsequent chapters explore the history of alpine skiing, the evolution of plain-old skiing into the cross country and backcountry genres, as well as the roots of heli-skiing, ski touring, lodge operations, alpine skiing and cat skiing.

The early pioneers such as Bob Lymburne, Nels Nelsen, Isabel Coursier are well represented. But the lesser-known pioneers of more recent history also take their place in history of the development of skiing in the region, including ski hill pioneers like Paul Mair and Don Sinclair, and modern era ski racers like Larry Nelles and Kendra Kobelka, to name just a few. The chapters follow right through to the present, exploring recent developments at Mount Macpherson, and the saga that led to the creation of Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

Mount Mackenzie and Mount Macpherson now host the main alpine and Nordic facilities, but for much of Revelstoke’s history Mount Revelstoke was the focus of skiing in town. This included the Nels Nelsen and the Bigh Hill ski jumps at its base and alpine runs like Haner’s Hill and The Hickory Run.

The history of these developments spanning the past century have been organized in an orderly fashion. Likewise, the development of lodges on the mountain, and the reasons why skiing shifted elsewhere are laid out.

First Tracks follows on a people-first narrative, focusing on the personalities that drove skiing, including leading competitors and the organizers behind clubs, tournaments and businesses.

The book’s strengths are balanced between an organized approach to the subject and great photo editing with an eye that balances historical value with visual impact. The writing is clear and accessible.

First Tracks is a great introduction for newcomers to Revelstoke’s ski history, but also has lots of new information for history buffs.

You get a great sense of how much things have stayed the same while everything changes – like an excerpt from the Feb. 3, 1921, issue of the Revelstoke Review, noting folks were struggling with unleashed dogs on the jump in the park. “Don’t bring your dog – it will be shot if found on the course,” they wrote.

First Tracks: The History of Skiing in Revelstoke is available at the Revelstoke Museum & Archives for $45.

 

Just Posted

Applications for 2019 Revelstoke Community Foundation about to close

This year there is more than $65,000 to distribute

‘This province has never ending secrets’: Canada jays in Revelstoke largely unstudied

John Woods spoke at the last CRED Talk on Canada’s unofficial national bird

Readers weigh in: Should shock collars on dogs be banned?

We asked and you had a lot to say. Here’s some of what

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

Shuswap facility adds 60 long-term care beds

Mount Ida Mews hosts grand opening of second phase in Salmon Arm

Crews continuing to clear rock north of Summerland

Site has had no movement for the past eight days

No gas in Okanagan town as lone station closed for renovations

Falkland’s Petro Canada will remain closed for renovations until March 1

Most Read