Abandoned structures like this have been removed from the Forbidden Plateau Ski Hill (Wood Mountain). File photo

Wood Mountain clean-up complete

The mess at the abandoned ski hill site at Wood Mountain on Forbidden Plateau has been cleaned up for good.

Volunteers completed the first portion of remediation in the fall of 2017. They removed four buildings at the former park — including the ski hill’s main lodge — and two oil tanks that powered the ski lifts.

Work was limited in summer 2018 due to intense heat during fire season.

“This year, we got lucky with the weather and equipment and availability of manpower,” said Greg Sawchuck, chair of the Forbidden Plateau Reclamation Society. “I spent about 50 days up there this year. It worked out pretty good. We got it cleaned up, and done.”

The non-profit volunteer group received permission from the province in 2017 to remediate the Forbidden Plateau Ski Hill. Since closing its doors in 1999 following a ceiling collapse of the main ski lodge, the hill had housed abandoned structures marked with graffiti and a non-functioning chairlift.

“There was quite a bit of infrastructure there where the top bullwheel was,” Sawchuck said. “We left it as a monument to indicate where the ski lift ended. We took out the bottom infrastructure. It was quite a bit of work to take away the concrete foundation.”

To reach the area, volunteers needed to rehab the access road. Mike Hamilton offered his excavator for the job.

The team hauled out the chairlift towers by truck, and used a skidder to pull out two miles of cable.

“There were a number of individuals. They cut the cable to get the chairs,” Sawchuck said. “There were over 200 chairs, and we only ended up with eight or 10.”

The society is trying to raise money to pay for expenses. Sawchuck figures volunteers invested more than $200,000 worth of work.

“Every contractor stepped up and did it as a big community project. Most of them didn’t even take fuel money. There was wear and tear on their equipment. They were really fabulous. It was a big job by a lot of folks.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Island College alum goes from refugee to full scholarship winner

Submitted by NIC North Island College alumnus Jack Basha is preparing to… Continue reading

Independent school to open in the Comox Valley

A new school is opening in the Comox Valley. Local educators and… Continue reading

Nanwakolas Council makes donation to North Island College to support First Nation students

The money was raised at the 2019 Nanwakolas golf tournament.

North Island College launches virtual orientation

New and returning North Island College students are being welcomed to the… Continue reading

Courtenay-Alberni MP requests expanded application period for fish harvester benefits

Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns is asking the federal government to offer a… Continue reading

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

B.C. fish harvesters receive long-awaited details on pandemic benefits

Applications to the $470-million federal assistance programs will open Aug. 24

B.C. fish harvesters receive long-awaited details on pandemic benefits

Applications to the $470-million federal assistance programs will open Aug. 24

Most Read