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John Dittli - Personal Communication
E-mail correspondence, 22 August 2003John sent me a list of early-season patrols he did on skis as a backcountry ranger in the North Cascades National Park in the 1980s and early 1990s. He offered the following background:
to Lowell SkoogWhen Bill Lester started the climbing ranger program at NOCA in the early '80s, his objective was twofold: to obtain an in-depth knowledge of the entire park and to establish a ranger "presence" among the climbing community. The goal was to have knowledgeable rangers with "real world" experience. It was then hoped that this knowledge could be used to assist the visitor in one, having a safe visit and two, doing so with a minimum amount of impact to park resources. Of course what this meant for us climbing rangers was much climbing and exploring & of course it also meant many, many trips to places such as Boston Basin and Sulphide Glacier!John's list of ski patrols includes the following:
Early on, I recommended to Bill that perhaps we should be skiing our early season patrols (I was working winters at a XC ski area in Mammoth and Jeff Clark had worked as a ski instructor in the Alps during his stint in the Army). While Bill never said no, it was clear that if we ever got hurt that would be the end of it. So in 1982 I loaded my Karhu XCD comps on my pack and hiked in Big Beaver in my Asolo Extremes. I remember seeing trail crew near Beaver Pass; the foreman exclaimed "Well I never thought I'd see the day..." (he was a BC skier from the Methow).
- 1982, July 3-10 (circa), John Dittli solo: Whatcom Pass area, Tapto, Middle and East Lake basins, Red Face Mountain ski descent. Copper Ridge ski traverse to Hannegan Pass.
- 1983, June, John Dittli solo: Hidden Lake Peak.
- 1984, June 24-25, John Dittli solo: Sourdough Ridge to near Elephant Butte.
- 1984, early July, John Dittli, Jeff Clark: Boston Basin to Eldorado Peak ski traverse. Lake Ann (Mt Shuksan).
- 1985, June, John Dittli solo: Easy Pass, Fisher basin. T-Bone Ridge, Little Devil Peak area. (Also Mt Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier patrols with Jeff Clark and Saul Weisberg.)
- 1986, June-July, John Dittli, Jeff Clark: Mt Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier. Hidden Lake Peak to Eldorado Peak ski traverse. Inspiration Glacier ski traverse, including Austera Peak (from summit rocks) and Primus Peak ski descents.
- 1988, June, John Dittli, Dave Lee: Ruth Mountain, Copper Ridge.
- 1989, May 31-June 5, John Dittli, Scott Croll: Mt Watson to Whatcom Pass ski traverse, including ski descents of Bacon Peak, Mt Blum, Mt Challenger (from summit rocks), and Whatcom Peak.
- 1989, June-July, John Dittli, Jeff Clark: Boston-Sahale area. Hidden Lake Peak.
- 1990, June, John Dittli solo: Thornton Lake.
- 1990, late June, John Dittli, Jeff Clark: Hidden Lake Peak to Eldorado Peak ski traverse. Mt Shuksan, Sulphide Glacier.
- 1991, May 28-30, John Dittli, Scott Croll: Galene Lakes to Depot Basin ski traverse.
- 1991, June 5-8, John Dittli, Scott Croll, Mark Long: Depot Basin to Whatcom Pass ski traverse, including Mt Redoubt, south side ski descent (from summit rocks). Mark Long was not a Park employee.
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