EDDIE + DOUG: A lifetime of friendship and family in The Canadian Rockies
Although we’re quick to romanticize a day spent floating over deep powder, it’s likely that it will be the more subtle moments; the ones spent with friends and family, that will ultimately become the indelible memories of our lives.
Just ask Eddie Hunter and Doug Robinson.
After a lifetime spent on skis, the duo has done it all: They’ve coached generations, built Olympic race courses and even managed to film The Canadian Rockies for Hollywood.
But with the passage of time it’s the personal connection that remains.
When Doug was inducted into the “Banff Sports Hall of Fame” in 2008, it wasn’t the memory of his many champions standing atop a podium, shrouded in gold medals that made him feel content. The true gratification came when he sat down to read the many thoughtful letters, penned by former athletes and friends, to the committee recommending him for induction.
“To see how many people appreciated what I’d done, I wasn’t doing it for that, but when you get older, these are the things that are pretty precious.”
In Eddie’s memoir, The Spirit of Norquay, he recalls having his daughters on the slopes as soon as they could stand, frozen diapers helping to keep them upright while they managed their fist turns.
“Norquay was really our backyard playground. Then it became a playground for my children.”
That playground would continue to grow and has enabled Eddie to ski, first with his children and later with his grandchildren, across all three ski resorts in Banff National Park.
In the final chapter of his book, he imagines that the younger generations will flip through the pages and reflect on just how many years their family has skied in The Canadian Rockies.
He writes: “They might have trouble imagining my pine skis, back in the 1930s, with nothing but a toe strap and a heavy rubber band cut from an old tire tube holding the ski to a snow boot. I hope they understand that it’s as much fun as any high-tech ski or board they may be riding, perhaps more. My mother and father skied Norquay in the 30s, but I believe I skied there before they did.”
The equipment has changed, but the feeling has not.
Now in its 90th season of operation, it’s easy to see how Mt Norquay and the ski resorts of Banff National Park have developed the reputation of being a home for families.
See for yourself. Take your family, or your best friend, and ride “The Big Chair” to the top of Mt Norquay. Take a deep breath, gaze out across the Bow Valley and watch the clouds wash over the summit of Mt Rundle or the light dance across the cliffs of Cascade.
And then once you’ve soaked it all in, have a look back down onto the tree-lined runs of Mt Norquay.
There you just might see Eddie Hunter, nearly 90 years old, slicing perfect turns into freshly groomed runs; his daughter and his grandson at his side, a smile on his face.
I love the world when I stand on skis,
surrounded by sunny peaks or snow giving clouds.
The gift of motion from mountain slopes that
look up to greet my turns.
The flight of snow particles back-lighting my descent,
the joy in my body riding skis and snow
to anywhere I want to go –
a celebration of freedom!
The Rockies fulfill people in many ways,
I’m glad this is mine.
To book your next ski vacation at Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine, check out our featured ski and stay vacation packages or call us at 1-844-762-7190.
Video by Devaan Ingraham
Co-Produced by Carolina Novotny, Kym Hill & Jillian Tester
Produced with Banff-Lake Louise Tourism