Historic backcountry ski lodge gets facelift

After being closed for a year, the remote Mount Assiniboine Lodge in British Columbia’s Rockies has reopened its doors following a monumental restoration.

“When I travelled the world, I had this image that I would take with me of Assiniboine,” said 2006 Olympic silver medallist Sara Renner, who grew up at the lodge.

“If I ever felt sad or lonely,” she adds, “I could just imagine this place. For me, it was a real pillar of strength.”

Renner’s parents have run the lodge just across the B.C. border from Canmore, Alta., for three decades.

She credits the high altitude lodge for turning her into a world-class cross-country skier.

Built in 1928 by the Canadian Pacific Railway as the first ski lodge in the Canadian Rockies, B.C. Parks rebuilt the building’s crumbling foundation.

The log lodge had been sinking into the ground.

The restoration also included extending the lodge’s kitchen breezeway and basement.

Renner’s father, Sepp Renner, says he plans to return to the lodge regularly and hopes to even continue guiding hikers next winter.

“I’m going to be here quite a bit: climb, ski, hike,” he told CBC News.

While Sepp takes advantage of the beautiful surroundings, running the lodge has been handed over to his son and a business partner.

With files from CBC's Carla Beynon