Thunder Hill Ski Area Grand Opening and 50th Anniversary

Submitted by:
Carolyn Baldwin |

On March 4, 2017 approximately 70 people stopped by the Thunder Hill Ski Area to enjoy a beautiful day over looking the Swan River Valley to celebrate the end of an eight year project for the Thunder Hill Ski Club.

Pictured above: Long time club member, John Cotton prepares to cut the ribbon for the Grand Opening of the JB Construction lift on the lower east side of the mountain, and the Brandson Express on the upper west side of the mountain.

The mild winter made for a very short season, with only 3 weekends of skiing to enjoy the new Doppelmayr lifts. However, as a belated grand opening gift, mother nature sent enough snow for a second round of skiing this season.

The ski hill will re-open Saturday, March 11, 2017.

Also, the ski area celebrated 50 years of riding the slopes. Greetings were extended from Ken Markoski of Kencoe Ind. Roblin, MB, Vivian Rooks – Swan Valley School Division, David Minish – Swan River West, Glen McKenzie – Town of Swan River, Gary Bartel – Minitonas/Bowsman, Rick Wowchuk – MLA Swan River. Door prizes winners: Marg McCullan-Cotton, Harry Ostachuk, Andrea Wohlgemuth, Glen Mckenzie, Lori Wowchuk, Bella Bordian.

Thunderhill Ski club (THSC) was started by the Benito Elks Club as a Centennial project in 1967. It began with a rope tow that was one of the longest in Manitoba. The lodge was the old school from Alpine. Over the past 50 years the hill has seen a few changes. The club replaced the rope tow with a fixed t-bar in 1977. In 1984 an addition was added to the lodge. In 1990 the club installed a rope tow to the lower east side of the mountain. In 2002 the lodge was completely renovated adding in water works. 2009 saw the beginning of THSC biggest project yet, two retractable Doppelmayr T-bars were purchased from Alberta. In 2012 the JB lift was opened serving the lower east side of the mountain, January 2017 the 2nd Doppelmayr t-bar opened on the upper west side of the mountain replacing the fixed t-bar.