Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Hollyburn Lodge
Thank you for being part of the future!
Jackie Swanson

Celebrating 90 years of ski recreation and Grand Opening of the newly rebuilt Lodge.
(Opened) January, 1927 - 2015, (re-opened) January, 2017-


Welcome! Most of you here today have fond memories of Hollyburn Mountain and the original Hollyburn Lodge. For some of you, today might be the first chapter.

In 2015 a committee was formed to raise money to rebuild the decaying 1926 Hollyburn Lodge, in its own image and in its own footprint on the shore of First Lake. A remote lodge for everyone to continue to enjoy and recreate at, after almost nine decades of operation.

The committee set out to both raise the required funds, and to salvage as much of the original building as could be reasonably salvaged. Our first emotional discovery involved the hefty exterior boards milled on the mountain. In the early days, there were no interior boards or insulation. Patrons took to carving their initials, dates, and romances on the inside of these boards. A few years later around 1930, interior boards were nailed up likely to reduce the draft, covering the carvings forever. When we dismantled the Lodge, we discovered the carvings and Cypress staff put the images on Facebook, successfully tying carved names to actual people. Sections of these boards are on display in the new lodge. All the windows that were removed from the lodge were examined and any that could be saved have been refurbished by volunteers who each adopted a window. These 1920 frames are what you see suspended for display over the new aluminum windows that were required. Boards on the ceiling and walls are new, but in the same rough texture cladding that existed before. The interior boards that were salvaged have been reintegrated near the washrooms on the lower portion of the walls. The paint, inside and outside of the lodge has been colour matched to what was there at time of demolition. The Fondue Room walls are mahogany paneled, as they were. The hugely popular floor boards have been saved and de-nailed and will be incorporated into the lodge in some manner, in the future. Structural beams in the old lodge were removed but no longer were required for structure and no longer fit, as the new lodge has the same shape but a slightly bigger footprint. One such beam has been replaced, and you will see that on the ceiling near the washrooms. In the future, faux beams will be installed to represent the originals. The chimney has been installed and a new wood-burning stove will be brought in at earliest convenience. Original sentiments grace the Lodge Entrance.

The heritage work described here was substantially completed by a strong community of volunteers. The building of the Lodge, now a potential four-season operation, is thanks first to the political journey, then to the hard work of Cypress Mountain staff, outside trades, and services. A huge thank you to the corporate and private donations noted on the donation board outside and on websites. These tributes will appear as promised, as part of the new Heritage Plaza to be constructed this summer beside First Lake. Hollyburn Lodge is a masterpiece of devotion and cooperation. Thank you District of West Vancouver, BC Parks Olympic Legacy Fund, Hollyburn Heritage Society, Hollyburn Ridge Association, and Cypress Mountain, all founding donors.


As the story goes:

During the winter of 1926/27, a young lad named Frank Flynn ["Paddy" Flynn, as he came to be known on the mountain] bunked overnight at the newly-opened Hollyburn Ski Camp. Some five years later, he and a pal were building cabin #180, lately occupied my Merle Michael. Frank roamed The Ridge for some 20 years before leaving Vancouver in 1948. Last August, Frank celebrated his 101st birthday.

He loves to talk about his days on the mountain, and since I go far enough back, I can relate to some of the people and places he also knew. Both Frank and I send our best wishes to all of those in attendance on this impending New Year's Sunday event.

I believe January 15th, 2017 will be remembered as a special moment in time when the past, present and future coalesce. For upon this heritage site stands this new lodge built in the image of its predecessor, thus to reclaim what passes for hallowed ground on Hollyburn. And, who knows, some 90 years from now, like Frank, perhaps some old-timer will look back and say: 'I remember visiting this lodge the year it re-opened'.

Now, as usual, when I give thought to the mountain, I often come up with a poem to express same. As you know, Hollyburn Mountain means a lot to me, and since my sentiments concerning it are best expressed in verse, I've composed a short poem to commemorate what I'm certain will be grand event. Attached to this missive please find my contemplative 'ode' to Hollyburn Lodge entitled logically enough: "The Old Red Lodge".  Regards, Tony


Oil painting on a cedar shake by Eilif Haxthow - early 1930's


For ninety years, this landmark
weathered snow and summer heat,
Though its passing was foreshadowed,
parting ways seems bittersweet.
When the old lodge left us as it came,
we bid our fond good byes,
Now this new lodge bears a legacy
and traditions to reprise.

Recall the schemes of yesteryear,
and Saturday night soirees,
When shadows danced on rough-hewn walls
midst smoky-fire haze.
Those winter days when a John Deere crawled
to Popfly's diesel roar,
And summertime: when packboards and rucksacks
lay outside the door. 

To have wandered up a sunny trail
past the margin of First Lake,
and found the lodge had vanished,
would have made a stout heart break.
That old ski camp was a haven,
for folks inclined to roam;
As decades passed it became a place
where people felt at home. 

Oscar, Fred and dearest Ev:
in their presence, anyone could see,
Why Hollyburn existed,
and what The Ridge was meant to be.
So when future generations
behold this sylvan glade,
They'll learn about a mountain lodge,
where history was made.


A.G. M. (TONY) FLOWER (Winter of 2016/17)
This poem is dedicated to: "The founders of Hollyburn Ski Camp,
whose vision inspired this mountain's enduring spirit"

To open/download a pdf copy of the "Hollyburn Lodge Opening - Handout.pdf", CLICK HERE.