Apex: How it all began

How it all began:

  • 1949: Jack Stocks lead his 1st Penticton Scout Troop into the Apex area for his first winter trek on skis – during the Christmas holiday season, an annual trek that occurred for 12 years – until the opening of Apex.
  • 1960: First public skiing when the rope tow (moved from Summerland) was installed on Beaconsfield Mountain. This tow started from the bottom of what is now “The Face” run; the upper terminal was at the elevation of the former location of Tower 5 of the Poma Lift.
  • 1961: Over $100,000 raised locally to develop Apex Alpine Ski Area. 20 acres of ski terrain cleared.
    The $50,000, 3,800 ft long, Poma lift installed; longest in Canada at the time. Construction completed in December. 5,000 square ft log lodge built. Ed Foged is resident caretaker.
  • December 10, 1961: Apex officially opened by B.C. Minister Frank Richter and Penticton Mayor-elect Mauice Finnerty. Joseph Gmuender (from Switzerland) hired as the first Head Ski Instructor.
  • 1962: Over 350 enroll for first offering of ski lessons offered by the “Penticton Herald Free Ski School.”
  • 1963: Roland Ebneter (also from Switzerland) was hired to replace Joe Gmuender to run the ski school.
  • 1964: A 3,000 foot “Teleski” T-bar lift installed on Mount Riordan. An adult season’s pass was $60 a student pass was $40 and a couples pass was $100.
  • 1968: $60,000, 2,400 ft long, Mueller T-bar installed on Okanagan Run.
  • 1969: Upper level of the day lodge was converted to a ten-unit motel to provide the first public accommodation on the mountain.
  • 1971: Mueller double chairlift installed on Mt. Riordan – replacing the problematic Teleski T-bar lift.
  • 1973: Apex Volunteer Ski Patrol huts were built.


  • 1974: First ‘Apex Comes to the City’ event held in Penticton.
  • 1977: Apex Master Development Plan developed; submitted to and approved by the Provincial Government in 1978. 14 km power line completed from Hedley to Apex.
  • 1978: Access road constructed to lower base area (bottom of T-Bar). Day lodge constructed at base of T-Bar (beginning of Apex Village). Riblet double chairlift (Mill Chair), 4800 ft long, installed on Beaconsfield Mountain. Poma Lift shortened to Tower 8. Lower half of Apex Mountain access road paved (from the Apex Ranch to Shatford Creek). Ski terrain for planned triple chairlift laid-out and cleared.
  • 1979: Alpine shuttle installed at top of shortened Poma lift to access the top of the mountain.
  • 1980: First half of Beaconsfield Lodge built – as well as Strayhorse and Clearview condos. Stocks Triple Chairlift installed. Water and sewer systems installed.
  • 1981: $12 million expansion plan implemented. Telephone service introduced to the mountain. Second half of Beaconsfield Lodge completed as well as the Administration Building: also added were the Mountain Shop building; games room; playschool and grocery store; “The Longshot” restaurant and lounge; Strayhorse townhomes; Big Bend; and more Clearview condos. Shortened version of Poma was relocated as beginners tow in village. Whitetail subdivision developed. Sewer and Water system expanded . Upper lodge converted to Gunbarrel Saloon restaurant and lounge. Stocks triple chair installed.
  • 1994: Doppelmayer Quickdraw chair replaces Mill Chair and Alpine Shuttle. Summer activities included horseback riding and mountain biking – serviced by quad chairlift. First phase of snowmaking installed. Lights for night skiing installed. 89 room hotel built (now the Apex Mountain Inn).
  • 1998: Gunbarrel Saloon moves to village.
  • 1999: Tube Park opens. Saddleback Lodge and Sheeprock Lodge opened.
  • 2000: Skating rink and skating loop opened.
  • 2005: International caliber mogul run and half pipe courses built.
  • 2006:  World Cup Freestyle comes to Apex.

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