At an early age Mark Andreassen became a great skier and mountain enthusiast. In 1950 at 18 years of age Mark bought a cabin on Grouse Mountain for $300.00 which he sold shares in to his good friends. At that time there was no bridge and no lifts on Grouse Mountain so the boys used to take the sea bus across from Vancouver, the street car to the top of Lonsdale then hike to the bottom of The Cut on Grouse where Mark’s cabin “ICICLES” was located. It has been recorded that Grouse Mountain in those times used to receive over 20 feet of snow at the bottom of The Cut and it could take a better part of the weekend to dig the cabin out, even before they could hike to The Peak and start skiing.
Mark joined the Grouse Mountain Tyee Ski Runners Club in 1950 and enjoyed skiing, racing and the partying with the club members at the time. When Grouse Mountain put the chairlifts in on The Cut and then the Village Chair to access the mountain easily Mark decided to give up his cabin as it was much easier to go home after skiing than to work on the cabin. Mark rejoined the Tyee Ski Club in the early 1970’s as his son Blake was ski racing for the club and then moved on to the Vancouver Ski Team.
Mark was a great supporter of Alpine Ski Racing in Canada and he bought Patron Ski Passes for years to support the National Ski Team and went to all the World Cup events and functions to promote our sport.
When Whistler Village was just starting out in the early 1980’s Mark bought a small one bedroom condo above Tapley’s Pub in the town center and it was very common to have 10 to 12 people staying on weekends.
Whistler Mountain was the birth place of Masters skiing in Western Canada. The former Crazy Canucks Dave Murray, started up Masters Ski camps and the Canadian Masters Alpine Ski Series across Canada. Mark became an avid Masters Ski Racer, who would never miss a Masters Ski race he traveled all across western Canada.
Mark and son Blake had a common love for Alpine Ski Racing. The Andreassen boys both followed the Masters circuit all over western Canada, traveled to the US Masters Nation Championships in Winter Park Colorado, Heavenly Valley, Alpine Meadows, Mammoth California and Jackson Hole Wyoming to compete. They knew everyone and made friends at every ski resort they traveled to.
Back home at Whistler, Mark won the Dave Murray most improved Masters Racer award one year, was on several #1 winning teams at the Whistler Fantastic Over The Hill Downhill. Mark Andreassen’s name is on the most coveted Trophy for winning the Whistler Peak to Valley Race. His team which included Gar Robinson had the fastest combined time for the oldest age group, in the longest Giant Slalom race in the world.
In 2013, 81 year old Mark still enjoyed skiing with Blake, on the Easy-out run on Blackcomb and his favorite run of all times – The Cut – on Grouse Mountain, which looks out over the city of Vancouver where he lived all his life.
On May 2, 2013 Mark Andreassen passed away suddenly. Family members and hundreds of Ski Racing friends, were shocked and saddened that they were unable to take that one last run with their old friend Mark.