A toast to those who went before

With freeskiers shredding, the day lodge cutting ribbons, and Winter Carnival just around the corner, it’s a full-on celebration! Imagine yourself in Rafters and raise your full glass with good cheer.

With freeskiers shredding, the day lodge cutting ribbons, and Winter Carnival just around the corner, it’s a full-on celebration! Imagine yourself in Rafters and raise your full glass with good cheer.

A toast to the spirit of Olaus and all the pioneers he represents, the hard working men and women who found joy on their skis. In those days, the rafters of Rafters were timbers in the Black Bear Mine compressor building.

Look up at Rafters’ bare decking, donated lumber raised by volunteer hands in 1947: A toast to the Red Mountain Ski Club and the roads, chairlift, and lodge they built in 90 days. Back then, Al Fisher was glading runs and Richie Mann was cutting timbers for western Canada’s first lift.

A toast to the great mountain man “Captain Jack” Carey, the longtime director of the freeskiing championships. He passed on not long ago.

Captain Jack was one of Howard Katkov’s dearest friends, working to bring Katkov here since 1995. “He’d say in his New Hampshire accent: Howard, Red Mountain is the greatest mountain in North America,” Katkov recalled.

Katkov fell in love and bought the struggling hill in 2004. But, like Rossland today, Red’s lodge was badly in need of new infrastructure.

A toast to Katkov, his team, and all the people in this community who renewed the dream, holding hard to their deep pride in the legacy of this building and their ambition to sustain its soul and vibe.

Now knock back what’s left with gusto and slam your glass on that 700-year-old counter. May the love in this building serve us for generations to come!