The history of the Blue Mountain Ski Club Inc. (1940 Inc.) began when locals of the Collingwood area and some of the Toronto Ski Club Members formed the Blue Mountain Ski Club in 1940 (BMSC), now known at the Collingwood Ski Club (CSC).
Blue Mountain Ski Club (1940) Incorporated holds title to property currently leased to Blue Mountain Resorts.
One can’t overstate the importance of Blue Mountain (1940) Inc. in the history of both the Collingwood Ski Club and the Toronto Ski Club.
In the 1930’s, local enthusiasts became the first to use the escarpment here at Blue Mountain in the fledgling sport of downhill skiing. They climbed up and skied down the hills of what were then the Carmichael, Doherty, Plater, Kinsey and Goodchild farms. These pioneers formed the Blue Mountain Ski Club in March 1935.
During the first years, they rented a room at the rear of the Goodchild farm and used it as a clubhouse. In 1938, the club then bought the neighbouring Doherty farm for the princely sum of $1,200.
The early trails were reportedly quite treacherous. Rocks, stumps, ravines running across the middle of trails, and some trails that ended in the middle of a forest – all of these were apparently common things to encounter.
In 1940 BMSC owned and operated the South Slopes.
By late 1930’s the TSC, then the world’s largest travelling ski club with their base at Summit on the northern edge of Toronto, Dagmar and Caledon, began day trips to Blue Mountain. During those early years, the TSC provided needed technical assistance to many ski clubs in southern Ontario, including the Blue Mountain Ski Club with men such as Sam Cliff, Fred Hall, Ross Larway and Tom McGoey.
The Blue Mountain Ski Club benefited from the leadership of enthusiastic local businesspeople and members such as John Smart, Norman Boadway and Bert Brydon. Together these men saw the great potential for skiing in this area, and the benefit of working together to improve and expand the facilities.
Between 1936 and 1939, the two clubs engaged the services of a Swiss ski instructor by the name of Fritz Loosli, to organize the improvement of the trails, and to provide instruction.
During these years, an arrangement developed whereby the TSC would pay Loosli, and second his services to the Blue Mountain Ski Club in exchange for ski privileges for TSC members, at the facility owned by the Blue Mountain Ski Club.
Much of the labour for the trail cutting was performed by unemployed workers assigned to the job by the Town of Collingwood, which administered a relief program for higher levels of government.
During the late 1930’s, the Granny, Schuss and Kandahar trails were developed, and they remain the principal trails in the north end of the resort to this day.
In addition to owning the land on which the trails were established, the Blue Mountain Ski Club had access to some talented workers at the Collingwood Shipyard and the Collingwood Grain Terminals. With their expertise the first “lift” was built and installed on the Schuss in 1937. The Red Devil, as it was named, was reportedly an unreliable and sometimes dangerous piece of equipment, but it served as the main method of uphill transportation on the trails for almost 20 years.