Hope Slide

Photo: Flickr

Welcome to the Vancouver Lexicon. Its purpose is to pin down the patois of the City of Vancouver by recording its toponyms, nicknames, slang terms, personalities, places, and other Van-centric things. Full A-Z here.

Hope Slide | geological event, disaster, historical | On the early morning of Saturday, January 9th, 1965, 47 million cubic metres of mountainside suddenly fell down the Nicolum Valley. The devastating landslide completely buried a section of the Hope-Princeton highway (aka Highway 3, Crowsnest Highway), killing four British Columbians: trucker Thomas Starchuck, ’57 Chevy convertible driver Bernie Beck and his two passengers (who remain entombed in the debris), Dennis Arlitt and Mary Kalmakoff. The path of the Hope Slide reached 2 km in width and was up to 500 ft deep in places. Until the Mount Meager collapse in 2010 it was considered the largest recorded landslide in Canadian history. There is no scientific consensus on what caused the mountainside to give way, though two small earthquakes were recorded in the area on the same morning of the disaster. The highway was rerouted around the scar of the landslide, which remains visible to this day.

Usage: “It always feels a little spooky driving past the Hope Slide knowing that there are two people still buried under all the debris…”

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