The early history of Ski Wentworth

Jamie Heap
Published on January 14, 2014
Skiers ascend the ski hill at Ski Wentworth on Saturday, December 28, 2013. During the 1930s, ski lifts such as this one, notwitstanding snow groomers, were non-existent as skiers had to pack the snow themselves as they ascended up cleared sections of the hill to descend.

Cumberland Roots

For over eighty years, Ski Wentworth, Nova Scotia’s largest ski hill, has provided skiers and snowboarders alike with tons of fun in the Valley of the Snow.

When Truro skiers such as George Wilson, Charlie Stanfield, Claude Chapman, Bob MacLellan, "Ducky" Cream, Doug Embree, Sam Stallard and Sleepy Kerr first travelled to the impassable community of Wentworth by rail for some skiing during the 1930s, lifts and groomers were non-existent; skiers had to pack the snow themselves as they ascended up cleared sections of the hill to descend.

From 1939-1945, Ski Wentworth was used only by military personnel from Camp Debert as part of their training. In 1946, the visionary Stan Leblanc wanted to develop a ski resort in Wentworth Valley opposite the present Wentworth Motel. It was hoped that LeBlanc’s vision would become reality through the monetary backing of such people as George Wilson, Chas Stanfield, Claude Chapman and Bob MacLellan. Two mild winters later and the plan was abandoned by LeBlanc.

By 1952, such Truro skiers as Sunny "Tiger" McDonald and Albert Abraham joined Wilson, Stanfield, Chapman, MacLellan, Cream, Embree, Stallard, Kerr John Snook and Foster Cox on the slopes. In 1955, the 160 members of Halifax Ski Club rented a house from Ma Purdy on the Old No. 4 road adjacent to the Wallace River. At the spring 1957 meeting of the Halifax Ski Club, Embree and Wilson informed its membership that volunteers from Truro would construct a 1,000 foot rope tow from the foot of the hill to half way up the Beaver slope for $1000.00. In addition, the Truro group proposed to build a second 1,000 foot lift the following summer to the top of the Beaver at a cost of $1,000. Not only did the Halifax Ski Club approve their proposal, but they renamed their club the Wentworth Valley Ski Club in recognition of the contributions being made by the Truro ski group.

For more information, please visit

And, for the latest information about Ski Wentworth, Valley of the Snow circa 2014, please visit the main page of their website: