Troll Mountain is located east of Quesnel, BC on the road to Barkerville. The family owned and operated ski area first started in the winter of 1971/72 with its first Doppelmayr wooden tower Tbar lift. It has since been complemented by 3 other Tbars that service the mountain. Owners Hildur and Len are well known friends to CWSAA, and Bill Eisma has been at the ski area grooming and working on lifts longer than most can remember.
There are two primary base areas lodges, both are log structures and provide a warm inviting vibe inside.
In the spring, Troll observes Troll Time. This year, it began on March 18th to compensate for Day Light Savings. For the remainder of the season Troll opens and closes an hour later starting at 10am.
The Red Tbar is the primary lift at Troll and accesses groomed cruisers with marvelous fall line, as well glades that locals with hike. “Rush”, skiers right of the Red Tbar is a highlight run.
Hildur Sinclair on the ‘Face’ trail, one of the fab cruisers on Troll (skiers left of Red Tbar). Face is also used by the local Ski Academy (U13 to U16) for training, and many races.
Scott Zacharias started working at Troll in 2001 and then purchased the rental concession in 2006/07. Hildur and Scott actively work together on educating and promoting skiing and riding to school groups.
All the Tbar lifts are from Doppelmayr. The Blue and Red lift were bought new, and the original wooden towers now replaced with steel. The Silver Tbar came from Harper Mountain, and the Yellow Tbar came from Stewart Alaska.
The terrain park is located higher on the mountain and serviced by the upper mountain Silver Tbar. As school students are not allowed in the park, or on the Silver TBar, the location ensures students do not access to the park.
School students are brought into the rental area in small groups to provide quick movement onto the snow. Equipment is preset.
Who remembers Spade bindings? Scott’e rental shop and collection of jigs could be a ski tech’s museum.
Several things are notable about the Ski School meeting area. Easy to see and find by students, parents, and teachers. Classic ski school bell that announces the start of each lesson – Phoenix Mtn near Grand Forks also uses this. And, the teaching terrain from the beginner yellow Tbar does not have any through traffic from above. The entire slope is preserved for only those novice skiers and riders on the Tbar.
Troll Mountain does an exceptional job with schools. Troll visits schools in advance of arrival to introduce the concept of skiing/riding and answer questions, in addition to the orientation upon arrival at Troll. Students are first gathered in a lodge for orientation, and then moved in small groups through to rentals which prevents waiting in long lines. One of the most common questions from kids is whether avalanche is a danger…this certainly speaks to the influence of media coverage with the new generation.
Students are assigned a number that link to rentals, instructors and lesson times. Lists are posted to remind children (and parents) of times and numbers. Similar to Murray Ridge, students are only allowed up to a certain location on the main Tbar (tower 8). Above this point they must be with an adult. This confines the students to a limited and easily controlled area of the terrain. Tower 8, in fact, has its own sign that says ‘School District #28 unloads here.’
Advertising on the Tbar track has been introduced this winter as a fund raising strategy.
Troll, like many remote community ski areas, does not have cel phone reception. However, at the top of the Red Tbar, texts can be sent and received. Hence…the ‘Texting Station’ warming hut.
CWSAA is not allowed to reveal the recipe, but let’s just say that Hildur is willing to take on all challengers for the CWSAA Cinnamon Bun World Championship.