An historical monument

Inset: Patrick’s dad, Alec Osadchuk holds a trophy for the Valemount Winter Carnival Downhill Ski Race for boys aged 11 to 14, one of the few physical reminders of a volunteer-run ski hill operated on 5 Mile in the mid-60s. Left: Close-up of the trophy. //ANDRU MCCRACKEN

By Andru McCracken


Jack Osadchuk remembers the Valemount Ski Hill on 5 mile well. Jack, Pat and Jerry lived on 7th Avenue and would ride their Snow Cruiser snowmobile to the hill.

“The three of us boys would jump on that snowmobile with our skis,” he said.

“I read that article and it took me right back to that time.”

A story was published in the Goat just before Christmas called Valemount’s Forgotten Ski Hill and it got him and his dad Alec recalling the era, and they remembered they had a trophy from the hill in the basement..

“We thought maybe the museum would want that,” he said.

According to old timer Henry Olofsson, the ski hill was a going concern, started by Don Clark and his family. After a few years of operation, it was found to be located on private property and moved. It was later shut down altogether.

File Photo 2020

There are two winners engraved on the cup: in 1966 it was won by Grant Clark and in 1967 it was won by Alec’s late son, Pat Osadchuk.

Jack remembers some of the young men who made significant contributions, and it’s clear he really appreciated their efforts.

“Billy Holmin, Rocky Hewko, Don Ranta – all these young guys put hours and hours into that hill. That’s where I learned to ski,” he said. “Don Clark set up a ski shop right away. There was actually a ski shop here.”

He remembers the contributions made by Gunnar Hedberg, who ran a veneer mill in Cedarside.

“Gunnar pretty well donated everything,” he said.

Valemount Museum Administrator Anastasia McPartlin enthusiastically committed to finding a home for the piece in the museum trophy case.

McPartlin said that the museum has a collection of trophies where this piece will fit nicely.

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