In a break from tradition, Hudson Bay Mountain Resort (HBMR) has chosen two people instead of one as Legendary Locals for 2018.
Lois Marleau, 83, is a resident of Kitimat. Theo Sikkes, also 83, is a Smithers resident. Both are familiar faces on the mountain, where they have skied, respectively, for 43 and 48 years.
“As we get closer to 2019, when we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ski hill, we wanted to recognize two people who have been skiing here as long as there has been a ski area,” said HBMR president Gary Mathiesen. “Both Lois and Theo have been inspiring people on the mountain for decades.”
Mathiesen said Sikkes and Marleau shone from among the list of nominees. Both were nominated numerous times.
“Lois is an inspiration to all, especially to those of us who are senior skiers,” said Whitehorse resident Lori Eastmure. “She is a regular on the hill. She often skis alone and she is friendly to all. I look forward to her friendly wave. I hope to be as active as she is at her age.”
Lois said spending Christmas and March break at her family cabin on the hill every year is an important part of her winter. Enjoying good health all her life has allowed her to keep coming to the mountain year after year, although she acknowledges it could be the skiing that has helped keep her fit.
“There’s something about being there that is really magical,” she said with a laugh.
Theo and his family have been a part of the mountain skiing culture since 1969. He agrees the mountain has something special because even though he’s skied elsewhere, he’s always found the snow at HBMR to be, “… as good or better than anywhere else.”
“I just love the winters here,” he said. “It’s great to get up there, to be up there all day, then to come home tired and sleep really well.”
Theo is a source of encouragement to others on the mountain.
“We have watched him ski under the chair for years,” said Smithers resident David Schwab. “In spite of knee and hip and heart surgery, he is in great shape and he just keeps going.”
As Legendary Locals, both Lois and Theo receive their season passes free this year.
– Submitted by Hudson Bay Mountain Resort.