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John Dittli - Personal Communication

E-mail correspondence, 22 August 2003
to Lowell Skoog

John 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:
When 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!

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).

John's list of ski patrols includes the following:

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