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PHOTOS: Province releases never-before-seen photos of 1965 slide in Hope

It created a swath of destruction two miles long and killed four people

January 9 marks the 55th anniversary of the devastating Hope Slide on the Hope-Princeton Highway.

When the massive slide came down, it created a swath of destruction two miles long, scarring the landscape forever when it all came tumbling down at dawn.

“It was on January 9, 1965 that the southwest face of the mountain gave way, filling up the valley floor with rock and mud to a depth of 275 feet,” according to a story in the Chilliwack Progress on April 12, 1978, 13 years after the slide.

“More than 100 million tons of rock thundered down, obliterating Outram Lake and spilling water and mud up part of the opposite mountainside before settling back again.

READ MORE: The Hope Slide in history

“It is regarded as an event unequalled in the history of the province. The slide was apparently triggered by the second of two small earthquakes which it is recorded had epicentres in the Nicolum Valley.”

Four travellers were killed in the disaster and two of the bodies were never found, despite a huge search effort led by Search and Rescue volunteers.

The highway link was severed, and also telephone and power lines. But not for long. Temporary lines were installed within days, and a passable road was blitzed through the huge boulders in about a week.

The slide site was later described as resembling a barren, lunar landscape filled with rocks.

READ MORE: Obituary for one of the first on-scene at the Hope Slide


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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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