The Hope Slide - Canada's Largest Rock Slide, Hope, B.C.

By
Real Estate Agent with Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake

The Hope Slide was one of the largest landslides ever recorded in Canada. Early in the dark morning of January 9, 1965, a small snowslide forced four people to stop their vehicles a few miles southeast of the town of Hope, B.C. (two hours east of Vancouver), on a stretch of the Hope-Princeton Highway below Johnson Peak.  As those people contemplated waiting for clearing crews or turning around, a small earthquake below the mountain triggered the main slide, which obliterated the mountain's southwestern slope.

   

 

The slide buried the victims and their vehicles under a tonne of rock, mud, and debris 85 m thick and 3 km wide, which came down the 2000-metre mountainside . This mass of debris completely displaced the lake below with incredible force, throwing it against the opposite side of the valley, wiping all vegetation and trees down to the bare rock, then 'splashed back' up the original (now bare) slope before settling.

 

 That summer, when I was 8 years old, my family and I were driving across Canada to move to our new home in Vancouver.  We had just left Winnipeg and the Prairies.  Never having seen even a mountain before, and hardly recovered from the awe and no little bit of fear of just  having driven through the Rockies - our little black 1957 VW Beetle loaded up and stuffed to the rooftop with suitcases had just managed to make it through Rogers Pass........And then there we were, in the face of the Hope Slide.........

Its only on driving across the highway, and viewing the debris field, that you can truly appreciate the hopelessness of anyone caught in the slide's path, the massive size of the Slide being reflected in rocks the size of semi's...

Rescue crews only found two of the four bodies-the others have remained entombed in the rock, with their cars, since 1965.  The slide, it has been decided, was caused by water eroding the connective soils to the rock base.

Years later my family and I moved to the neighbouring Sunshine Valley - and we had a view of the Hope Slide practically out our front yard.......We drove past the markers and memorial on almost a daily basis - and its never failed to cause us to pause and be reminded of the power of Mother Nature.......and the fraily of Human Life...

 

                                                                                                 

                                                

 If you or someone you know is thinking of buying or selling property in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley or anywhere in the Fraser Valley Area of B.C. - or if you're considering a career in Real Estate or would like more information  please give Liz  Moras a call!  - 604-799-0459 or e-mail at lizmoras@gmail.com    

                                                  Copyright © 2008 By Liz Moras, All Rights Reserved 

 

                               

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Rainmaker
1,503,081
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Authentic Feng Shui Expert

Liz, Wow, those pictures were powerful....and frightening.  Those poor people didn't have a chance.  I was in the Northridge quake and it's one terrifying thing when the very ground beneath you is giving way!

Aug 31, 2008 07:32 PM #1
Rainer
141,208
Tanya V Fresh Eye Designs LLC
Fresh Eye Designs LLC - Lawrenceville, GA
Where Staged Equals Sold

Liz, these are great pics too.  Canada has some great scenery. I got lost once in Canada. After all that was going wrong that day, the scenery was very calming.

Aug 31, 2008 07:54 PM #2
Rainmaker
531,769
Liz Moras
Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake - Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford

Carole....I've never experienced an earthquake, well not anything to speak of anyhow.......but I can imagine.......and since we're on the San Andreas Fault its something people talk about all the time, expecting the Big One....as I'm watching New Orleans going throught this frightful time all over again, i wonder how long will we be spared?

Aug 31, 2008 08:43 PM #3
Rainmaker
531,769
Liz Moras
Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake - Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford

Tanya - thanks for coming by and commenting again..........what part of Canada did you get lost in?  :-)....Well I can tell you that the scenery doesn't always calm - but it sure does a lot of the time!

Aug 31, 2008 08:45 PM #4
Ambassador
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Jo-Anne Smith, Sales Representative
Oakville, ON
Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga Region Real E

Liz,

Wow, I have never heard of this rock slide. Your pictures are amazing and also very sad due to the story of the people who lost their lives there.
My sons David and Robbie are camping in Banff this weekend and their tent caved in at 3:30 am due to a snowfall. Now tonight I'm going to be thinking of them camping there (in a cabin tonight with a woodstove) surrounded by mountains.

As much as I think mountains are beautiful, they do kind of frighten me.

Jo

Aug 31, 2008 09:58 PM #5
Rainmaker
531,769
Liz Moras
Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake - Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford

Jo-Anne - yikes sorry - as a mom myself it doesn't take much to plan an itsy bitsy bit of fear as to the safety of my kids - especially when they're far from home!  Yep I think thats part of their majesty........the darn respect they demand because mountains have a certain haughty madness about them!  :-)

Aug 31, 2008 10:32 PM #6
Ambassador
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Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Liz, a slide would be truly a force of nature not to be reckoned with. The power of nature makes you stand back in awe sometimes.

Aug 31, 2008 10:45 PM #7
Ambassador
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Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Liz - What a horrible natural disaster. A great reminder that even if we think we are powerful and on top of the world, it takes just a few seconds for a natural disaster to change things.  I appreciated the shots you shared.

Aug 31, 2008 11:20 PM #8
Rainmaker
531,769
Liz Moras
Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake - Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford

Gary - No kidding - the route to Whistler is fraught with them too........so it'll be crazy with the Olympics.........coming

Sep 01, 2008 12:03 AM #9
Rainmaker
531,769
Liz Moras
Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake - Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford

Jennifer - thank you ..such true words you speak!

Sep 01, 2008 12:10 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,181,314
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Liz,

I remember driving through Canada, to Saskatchewan, and going past a slide at a place called Frank, may not be spelled like that. Is that in Alberta. Seems like a slide came down on a small town or something.

Sep 01, 2008 12:26 AM #12
Rainmaker
531,769
Liz Moras
Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake - Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford

Yikes Steve-I don't know about the slide in Alberta, and I've never heard of 'Frank'.........at least not so I'd tell anybody..;-)

Sep 01, 2008 02:09 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,349,784
David Saks
The Real Estate Mart of Tennessee, Inc. - Memphis, TN
Memphis, Tennessee

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves."

Sir James Matthew Barrie (author of 'Peter Pan')

That's what you do, Liz.

Sep 01, 2008 02:41 AM #14
Rainmaker
531,769
Liz Moras
Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake - Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford

Frank slide was in the Crowsnest Pass, between Alberta and BC in 1903.  Seventy people were killed.  It was caused by a combination avalanche/mine disaster.  Coal mining had undermined the mountain, and the town was built right underneath it. - Gary

http://www.frankslide.com/info.html

Sep 01, 2008 03:59 AM #15
Rainmaker
531,769
Liz Moras
Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake - Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford

David - wow - I'm not sure what lead you to say that.....but whatever it was I'm smiling!  :-)

Sep 01, 2008 07:24 PM #16
Rainmaker
1,349,784
David Saks
The Real Estate Mart of Tennessee, Inc. - Memphis, TN
Memphis, Tennessee

The Hope Slide story is very tragic, and, indeed, demonstrates how fragile we are when up against the forces of nature. I'm thankful that your family was never injured by the terrain. A reason to smile, although remembering, with sadness, those who perished in the days gone by.

My brother lives in New Orleans with his wife and two small daughters. His wife and children left the city a couple of days ago. He stayed behind to help the hurricane victims and the rescue effort. I haven't heard from him. I love him very much and pray for his safety. When I hear from him, or my parents, that he's fine, I'll smile with you. A big Cheshire Cat smile.

Sep 01, 2008 08:04 PM #17
Rainmaker
90,430
Matt Horton
Realty One Group- The Horton Team - Scottsdale, AZ
North Scottsdale Real Estate

Happy Easter! If you ever have someone looking down in Arizona, please don't hesitate to send them my way! Happy to give referrals! Matt Horton John Hall & Associates 480-227-3311 info@thehortonteam.com

Apr 03, 2010 01:09 AM #18
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Liz Moras

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