Alpenglow Ski Mountaineering History Project Home
Sam Wormington - The Ski Race
This book, by a Canadian author who became general manager of Schweitzer Ski Resort in Idaho, deals mostly with early skiing in southern British Columbia and eastern Washington. The author's intended scope is the Columbia River watershed. Much of the material is copied verbatim from newspaper reports, but sadly the source of the reports is not documented so there's no easy way to double-check this information.
Three areas in Washington are documented: Cle Elum (and a little bit of Ellensburg), Leavenworth, and Spokane.
The Cle Elum information is entirely from newspaper reports. I've found all of this information during my own research and documented it here.
p. 330: Just two articles are included for Ellensburg. They describe ski jumping events in 1932 and 1933. The 1932 event took place at what is described as a new ski course for the Ellensburg Ski Club, located about eight miles from the city. I believe this is Robinson Canyon, west of Ellensburg, which was the site of later events described here. The 1933 event apparently took place at the same location.
p. 333: The chapter on Leavenworth credits Walt Anderson as being the "Daddy of Wintersport" in Leavenworth since he was a main force in getting the course constructed. The author includes newspaper accounts of events from 1929 through 1948. Since Leavenworth ski jumping is largely outside my scope of interest, I've included no details here. On p. 363 is a photo of tournament officials in 1959 at Leavenworth: Gus Raaum, Magnus bakke, Olaf Ulland, unidentified, and Sam Wormington.
p. 387: The information from Spokane is extensive and quite interesting. It begins with an account from "Spokane Corona" by a Mr Becher, which recounts a short story by C.T. Stranahan in "Pioneer Stories." The story involves a group of 14 men on American Ridge who set out to capture a band of horses, using rope and Norwegian skis. The episode took place in Bear Creek in December of 1882. The men successfully captured at least two of the horses. (I believe that "Pioneer Stories" is an account of early life in Idaho, so is outside the scope of this project.)
p. 388: Spokesman, January 17, 1913: "This afternoon for the first time in the history of sports in this section of the country Spokane will have a chance to see a ski running and jumping exhibition. The contest will be held on Brown farm on Moran Prairie. Aside from the Rossland (B.C.) carnival this is the only exhibition of this kind that has ever been held in this territory."
This was apparently the first of several ski events held near Spokane that winter. Subsequent pages have information about other events and a few newspaper photos. I consider Spokane outside the geographic scope of this project, but these early ski events are interesting and noteworthy.
Return to the Alpenglow Ski Mountaineering History Project home page