Banff Mount Norquay – 90th Anniversary – Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame
The storied slopes that rise above the town of Banff have been part of our history, contributed to our culture and to our legacy as a ski racing nation. Since Gus Johnson made the first clearing of runs back in the early 1920’s, Norquay has been where Canadians learned to ski, watched in wonder as fearless jumpers soared off the jumps and World Cup racers challenged the historic slope of the North American.
Banff Mount Norquay is the oldest ski resort in North America. From the modest slopes and lodge for local winter enthusiasts of the Banff Ski Club, Norquay hosted Olympic champions and movie stars such as Toni Sailer and Marilyn Monroe. When Banff sought to build a reputation as an international winter destination, Norquay hosted the Dominion Ski Championships in 1937, 1940 and 1948. The resort was an integral part of two Olympic bids in 1964 and 1968, which led to hosting FIS World Cup races for men and ladies in 1972. Today, it is a proven training ground of champions: World Cup, Olympic and World Championship medalists are Canadians, graduates of the home club: the Banff Alpine Racers.
“To see the multiple generations that have grown up skiing at Norquay is pretty special”, said Andre Quenneville, the mountain General Manager. “When we host the annual Bruno Engler Veterans Race (49th edition this winter) it’s not unusual to have families with three generations who have skied our mountain.”
Don’t be surprised to ride a lift sitting beside legendary personalities. Leo Berchtold probably holds the benchmark for continuity, having skied the mountain sixty winters in a row. SkiBig3 Ambassador, Vice Goyette, who works evenings as the pizza delivery for Carlito’s, will do 187 days of skiing with many of those boarding at Norquay. Ed Hunter was born the year Norquay opened and skis every slope including Head Hunter. Giv’er Grandi, Monod’s Legacy and Bruno’s are runs named to reflect the sense of place that makes Norquay part of our history. The new training run, Silver Legacy, is a statement of accomplishment and hope: recognition for athletes from the Banff Alpine Racers who have scored World Championship silver medals, with the hope their accomplishments will inspire our future champions to aim for gold.
“Norquay is a valued partner of our sport”, said Nigel Loring, President of Alberta Alpine. “The Weekend Warriors program has been the first introduction to the mountains for thousands of new skiers. The support of the mountain for races at every level is incredible. We are thrilled to give special recognition as our way to say ‘thank you’ for the support to our athletes, to the entire ski and snowboard community and for providing incredible leadership in our sport.”
Alberta Alpine and the Friends of Alberta Ski Team congratulate Banff Mount Norquay for 90 years of introducing enthusiasts to snowsports and support of ski racing. Join us to recognize her contribution to alpine ski racing at the 47th Return of the Champions at the Calgary Petroleum Club on Tuesday, November 10th. The “Return of the Champions” is an Alberta Alpine event. All funds raised are to support athlete development and Alberta Alpine programs.
Below left: Mount Norquay 1972 World Cup. Below centre: Marilyn Monroe riding the chair at Mt. Norquay Below right: Quikies Group at Mount Norquay circa early 80’s