This season Tremblant is celebrating its 75th anniversary season. Many things have changed since Joe Ryan official opened the ski area on February 12th, 1939.
The quote below is taken from the Frank Elkins’ 1941 The Complete Ski Guide. Here is what is written about Mont Tremblant in the “Where to Ski” chapter, in the Canada, Laurentians section.
Mont Tremblant – Boasts two of the Dominion’s outstanding racing descents, the Kandahar and Taschereau runs, served by one of the world’s finest chair lifts of 4900 feet with a vertical ascent of 1300 feet. Has wide popular appeal, for its exceptional terrain is suitable for both novice and expert. There are at least eight trails and as many open in this vicinity; new Thomas Fortune Ryan intermediate-expert run. New 3500-foot “T-bar” lift to connect with top of chair lift.
The map was drawn in November 1939 by G. Lorne Wiggs, Consulting Engineer and is located in The Complete Ski Guide. A few of Tremblant’s original trails remain; trails like Nansen, Père Deslauriers (now La Passe), Sir Edward Beatty (now Curé Deslauriers), Flying Mile and Kandahar, however the original skiers wouldn’t recognize them or the resort 75 years later. The following map list the single chair that was removed in 1980 and marks for future Aerial Ski Chair Lift, instead the Alpine T-Bar was built in 1941 (now Alpine trail). The expansion towards the North side of the mountain was a decade away.
Here are a few important Tremblant dates:
1932 : First Quebec Kandahar race on Kandahar trail
1934 : Old Taschereau ski trail and 1st Taschereau ski race
1938 : Staying at Gray Rocks Inn, Joe Ryan overheard Lowell Thomas and Tom Wheeler of Gray Rocks talk of an excursion to the top of Mont Tremblant. Ryan asked if he could join along. Later that year in start developing Mont Tremblant Lodge. Nansen trail by Jackrabbit Johannsen and supervised by Kare Nansen, son of famous Fridtjof Nansen.
1939 : Ryan opening with a single chair.
1941 : Alpine T-Bar now gives lift access to upper mountain.
1948 : opening of North side with Devil’s River Lodge and three trails (Devil’s River, Lowell Thomas and Sissy Schuss) serviced by another single chair and two rope-tows on the upper mountain.
1965 : Tremblant changes hands. Mary Ryan sells the resort after having managed it since her husband’s passing in 1950. They would be a few ownership changed until Intrawest would arrive.
1988 : First top to bottom lift; Tremblant Express High Speed Quad.
1991 : Intrawest became new owners. In 1993 High Speed lifts are added, the huge Grand Manitou chalet at the summit plus a new part of the mountain is developed; the Edge.
Intrawest became owners in 1991
1999 : development of Versant Soleil.
2009 : Casino opens at the bottom of Versant Soleil.
This Tremblant Base Village is very different from the one that sits at the bottom of the mountain nowadays. Joe Ryan’s vision was an imitation of a typical Quebec rural village; today’s Tremblant architecture is based urban setting: the Old City in Quebec City.
Happy 75th Anniversary Tremblant!!!
Historical information was taken in Frank Elkins 1941 mentioned above, in Louise Arbique’s Tremblant book, Following the Dream and confirmation of some dates in Tremblant 75’s Timeline
Previous Mad Addict’s Attic features on Mont Tremblant: