WATCH: A former ski hill that has been closed for decades will undergo a reclamation project. Dean Stoltz reports.
The ski runs at Forbidden Plateau are long overgrown but you can still see some of the old ski lifts popping up through the trees.
Numerous other buildings are also hidden in the brush and visitors can see the foundation where the lodge once stood.
“It’s a very emotional hill for people in the valley who grew up here and where they learned to ski.” said Edwin Grieve, Area D representative for the Comox Valley Regional District and liaison for the Forbidden Plateau Reclamation Society. (FPRS).
The FPRS has spearheaded efforts to clean up Forbidden Plateau.
It now has provincial permits to do so.
“So I think the idea is to clean it up and remediate it as much as possible and return it to its natural state so it can be enjoyed for years to come.” added Grieve.
People visiting the park Friday say nostalgia aside, cleaning up the old ski hill is a good idea.
“I think there’s some advantages to removing some of the hazardous old infrastructure because people come up here, it’s a multi-season destination where you can ski-tour in the winter and you don’t want people getting hurt if there is poor snow coverage.” said mountain biker Geordie Peuttonen.
“I think it would be a good idea to clean up the hill, make it safe for those who are going to use it in the winter or summer.” added John Irwin, who was also ready to hit the park on his mountain bike.
Just down the gravel road is where the original forbidden plateau lodge used to stand and now on the same property William Mackenzie Lyle is building the new Forbidden Plateau Resort.
“About half of it will be campsites, and the other half will have a cafe facility.” explained Lyle.
He’s hoping a cleaned-up park with promised public access will continue to bring outdoor enthusiasts up the mountain.
“The stuff is pretty neat, we brought up all our nieces and nephews and they loved it and it’s very interesting but it’s very dangerous, take it down make it safe again and we’re really looking forward to it.” said Lyle.
The society hopes to begin work this fall, but it needs $100,000 and so far it has raised $40,000.