by JENNIFER FEINBERG for The Chilliwack Progress Jan. 10, 2020
The 55th anniversary of the Hope Slide this week has jogged some memories.
Gerald Pash, 75, remembers helping to put the first radio reports together on the terrible Hope Slide which occurred on January 9, 1965.
Pash, who now lives in Victoria, was a 20-year-old radio news reporter at the time, working for CHWK and living in Chilliwack when he became one of the first to get wind of what happened.
“After arriving at work at 5:30 a.m. I started the regular police checks up the valley,” Pash said.
He called RCMP detachments from Abbotsford to Boston Bar, checking for overnight incidents like fatalities on the 401, which Highway 1 was called in the mid-60s.
But on that fateful morning, the Hope RCMP watch commander told him there’d been a couple of small slides up the Hope-Princeton, and that they had sent a car to investigate.
“He called back a half hour later and we learned that the whole mountain had come down,” Pash said.
They had no idea it would be recognized as the most devastating landslide disaster in the country at the time.
Read more HERE.
In the early 70s I started driving truck By the late 70s I was driving on the HWY. Every night dozens of trucks would leave West Pender to go to Kamloops or Prince George. Many would head for Trail, Kelowna, . When you left hope on Hwy 3 you climbed steep hills 2 mile then 9 mile. When you got to the top of 9 mile you drove past the “slide.” Back then it was still stark and barren. Enormous boulders and you could still see where the Hwy disappeared at the West and East sides of the slide. The thought that there was even a road under the mountain of debris was ominous. The fact that bodies and vehicles remain under the mountain of debris made you respect the power of nature. Over the years Ive stopped at the view point . Still hard to believe it happened