Forbidden Plateau clean-up complete – for now

It took volunteers a week’s worth of eight- to 10-hour days, but the derelict remnants of the ski hill once standing on Forbidden Plateau are now gone.

In addition to removing four buildings at the former Wood Mountain Park, including the ski hill’s main lodge, workers, including assistance from John Edgett, Robbie Leighton and Dan Larison, also removed two oil tanks that powered the ski lifts.

Dave Mellin and Greg Sawchuck are directors of the Forbidden Plateau Reclamation Society. The non-profit volunteer group received permission from the provincial government earlier this year to remediate the ski hill, which has been abandoned since the late 1990s.

“There was a lot of grunt work,” said Mellin. “But a lot of incredible people stepped up to clean this mess.”

He said because the park is considered a sensitive area, it can only be recreated by foot, and cannot be accessed by any motorized vehicles.

“We did as much as we can – especially because of the weather – and in the spring we will go back and make a decision on how to remove the (chairlift) towers.”

Since closing its doors in 1999 following a ceiling collapse of the main ski lodge, the Forbidden Plateau Ski Hill has housed abandoned structures marked with graffiti and a non-functioning chairlift.

There are about 17 towers which remain, and Sawchuck noted they are considering removing them by helicopter in the spring.

For now though, the first portion of remediation of the Class C part is complete, and Mellin noted there already is an improvement for families and individuals who want to use the park throughout the winter for a variety of recreational opportunities.

-With files from Scott Strasser

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