Thunderill Ski Hill
Hit the slopes with skis or bikes
The Thunderhill ski area was started in 1967 by the Benito Elks Club as a centennial project. The Elks first used a rope tow to transport skiers up the hill. At the time the rope tow was one of the longest in Manitoba. The Elks club ran the area from 1967 to 1972.
In 1974 a group of people got together to form the Swan Valley Ski Club to operate the area. The rope tow was used as a lift until 1977 when a used T bar was purchased from the Roblin ski area. Also in that year the club's name was changed to the Thunderhill Ski Club Inc. The cost of the T bar was $8,000.00. Money was raised by selling non interest bearing shares. In years of surplus revenue, these shares were gradually all paid back. New extended slopes are now under construction and the dream of the ambitious volunteers of this group is to open these in 2010.
In 1984 an addition was put on to the ski lodge. The addition included the present concession, rental and seating area. In 1990 the club added a new rope tow to the lower section of the ski hill. About four new runs were opened up with the use of this new rope tow area. The club also had a machine shop built on the site. During the 1980's and early 1990's the club claimed more than 400 members. In those years we would sometimes have 200 plus people per day. At present 100 to 150 per day is common. During the years of operation the club has experienced the highs and lows of fickle winter weather. The earliest the club opened was December 1, 1984 while the latest the club opened was on January 18,1975 and 1998. During 1979 and 1982 the club was open until the first few days of April. The hill's ski runs which existed in 1967 are similar to the runs used today. There are approximately 16 runs that are used. The vertical is 250 feet. In 2001 and 2002 the ski lodge was completely renovated with new roof, new siding, new washrooms and redecorating of the interior. The rental room was expanded and relocated within the lodge.
In the last several years the ski area has been used for mountain biking and is one of the best biking trails in the province. The local club is called "Tread the Thunder". Currently we have ski and snowboard rentals, a small concession and free instructions to beginner snowboarders and skiers. This is also a popular place for hiking, horseback riding and many artists frequent the area to paint and sketch.
For more information on Thunderhill contact the lodge at 1-204-539-2626 or weekdays at 1-204-734-2573