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Frank Fickeisen - Personal Communication

A walk in the woods, 4 May 2001
by Lowell Skoog

I spoke to Frank briefly during the Dirty Harry Balcony hike with Pete Schoening, Duke Watson and others. Frank joined the Mountaineers in 1951. He was a lift skier earlier and joined the club to get into climbing. He got into ski mountaineering several years after joining the club. In 1959 he led a Mountaineers outing to Mt Waddington, which he said accomplished the fifth ascent of the peak and the first by climbers who were not well known.

Frank went on at least one surveying trip to Crystal Mountain with Walt Little. He recalled that on this trip they skied the slope that became Exterminator, perhaps for the first time. Originally (after they gave up on Corral Pass) the surveyors were interested in an area about three miles up Silver Creek, on the west side of the valley. This proved to have poor snow conditions and they moved their investigations to the current ski area site, six miles up the valley. Frank recalled that several of the surveyors were, like Walt Little, regular skiers at The Mountaineers' Meany Ski Hut.

Frank said the Mountaineers ski mountaineering course was restarted in the early 1960s. By that time he had begun doing trips with folks like Stella Degenhardt, Gene Dodson (deceased), Keith Gunnar, and Cal Magnusson. He said Gene Dodson took good photographs, but had no local family, so the photos could be difficult or impossible to find.

Frank was on the McGregor Mountain ski attempt that Stella Degenhardt described to me. He said Vic Josendal and Hal Williams were also along. He said that in the early 1960s there was a cabin near Hannegan Pass that people used for ski trips. He said Stella or Keith Gunnar would know more about it.

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Last Updated: Wed Jan 19 09:39:46 PST 2005