On the slope above this rock is the cutline used by ski jumpers in the 1920s. Ski jumping and later “sliding” or downhill skiing was one of the latest winter sports to grab the attention of early Banff residents. Ice-skating, curling and hockey were already popular when Conrad Kain, an Austrian mountain guide, created a ski club in Banff in 1911 and helped build this small ski jump. A few years later, the Banff Winter Carnival was born. A January 1917 article in the Crag and Canyon newspaper noted that “ski-ing, tobogganing, ice-boating, hockey, snowshoeing, speed and fancy skating, trap-shooting, swimming contests in the hot sulphur pools, etc. will each and all be staged.” A large ice palace located along Banff Avenue became a central attraction.
Did you know? By 1920, local residents and mountain guides were beginning to explore new slopes in the Bow Valley and in 1927 the Norquay Ski Company Ltd. was created. The era of winter recreation and tourism was now well established.