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In the heart of the Cypress Mountain Cross Country Ski Area sits a historic building which boasts a truly unique experience. The Hollyburn Lodge, built in 1926 is a popular destination for all ages. From their weekly music evenings supporting local talents and offering a unique venue experience to a daily stop for our Nordic seasons pass holders, there is something for everyone!
Containing a fully licensed cafe, with daily home cooked creations ranging from hearty soups to vegetarian or meat lasagnas, there are many tasty option for a cold day on the hill. Offered as part of a snowshoe package the 3 course fondue dinners are a huge hit.
Whether you have been a regular at Cypress Mountain for many years or whether it's you first time up on the hill, be sure to stop by the historic Hollyburn Lodge for a hot chocolate, great meal or a visit to check out the unique space!
History of Hollyburn Lodge
In 1923 Rudolph Jules Verne and some companions made their first trip to the North Shore Mountains. Aiming for Grouse Mountain, he ended up taking the ferry to West Vancouver and locating a trail that lead to the western end of Hollyburn Ridge; there he stumbled across the deserted buildings of the Nasmyth Shinglebolt Mill.
After venturing higher up, past the buildings to the Hollyburn Ridge, Rudolph Verne discovered expansive areas of snow on the plateaus below Hollyburn Ridge.
By the end of January 1925, Rudolph Verne and friends had set up a rental shop, lodge and ski school in the abandoned mill. Over night accommodation, ski rentals, meals and entertainment we offered at a charge however the access route took approximately 2-3 hrs to hike up from West Vancouver.
During the winter of 1925-26, little snow fell on the Hollyburn Ridge Area. Rudolph Verne made the decision then to move his operation up to the First Lake Area which was located at a higher elevation with much better snow conditions. With the help of 3 Swedish men (Oscar Pearson, Ole Anderson and Andrew Irvine) and a team of horses, Verne was able to move the dismantled camp on skids through a muddy trail system to the new site located on the west side of First Lake.
With salvaged logs, planks and shakes a new "temporary" structure was built with the intention to build a more elaborate lodge later on. This temporary building was named "Hollyburn Ski Camp".
|Photo Left: Hollyburn Ski Lodge, circa 1927; Photo Right: Hollyburn Ski Lodge - circa 1942; Hollyburn Heritage Society Collection
In January of 1927 the official Camp opened in its new location for business. Guests purchase over night accommodation, meals and danced in the dance hall complete with a gramophone player. Cabins were soon added as extra lodging, constructed from the forested area around the new site.
In 1931 Verne incurred some financial trouble and the operation was sold to the Swedes. The thirties, forties and early fifties were known as Hollyburn’s "Golden Age".
During the thirties and forties many hundreds of men and woman would make the trek each Friday evening up from the ferry dock in West Vancouver to the Hollyburn Ski Camp to spend the weekend.
Photo: Hollyburn Ski Camp - early 1940's; Hollyburn Heritage Society - Les May Collection.
In 1946 the Hollyburn Ski Camp was sold to the Burfield family from the Swedes (Oscar Pearson, Ole Anderson and Andrew Irvine). Increasing visits prompted the Burfield family to build separate Women’s and Men’s dorms and they then renamed the ski camp the "Hollyburn Ski Lodge".
Photo: Hollyburn Ski Lodge - Burfield Family in 1946; Hollyburn Heritage Society Collection.
Into the 1950 and 1960’s visits to the Holllyburn Ski Area slowed immensely with the exception of a dedicated group of cabin owners.
Photo: Hollyburn Ski Lodge 1962; Hollyburn Heritage Society - Alex Swanson Collection.
In 1973 a 13 million dollar highway was constructed to allow easier access to the newly developed ski area on Black Mountain and Mt.Strachan and a newly improved Nordic Ski area on Hollyburn which opened in 1976. The Burfield family continued to operate Hollyburn Ski Lodge, renting out skis to the growing number of cross country skiers.
In the mid eighties, the BC government announced that the Black Mountain, Mt.Strachan and Hollyburn Ski area would need to sell the operation to a private company as it had become to costly to operate by the government.
In 1984 Cypress Bowl Recreations Ltd. purchased the area. A 50 year Park Use Permit was included in the sale to sustain the operation of the ski facilities that included Black Mountain, Mt.Strachan and Hollyburn. The area as a whole was now referred to as Cypress Mountain and Hollyburn Ski Lodge was also renamed "Hollyburn Lodge", which is still the "temporary" structure that was built by Rudolph Verne in 1926.
Photo: Hollyburn Lodge 2002; Hollyburn Heritage Society - Bob Tapp Collection.