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Peggy Mills - Seventy Years of Mazama Skiing, 1897-1967
This chronological history is derived from Mazama annuals and bulletins between 1897 and 1967. It is devoted mainly to club activities (races, carnivals, classes) that are of little interest to this project. The Mazamas organization and individual members didn't participate in ski mountaineering very much, apparently.

p. 1: The earliest mention of skiing in Mazama records is the account of a February 1897 expedition to the eight-year-old Cloud Cap Inn by Will Langille and congressman Malcolm Moody of the Dalles (both Mazamas) and Mr. Balfour of Lyle Washington. The account describes the party's equipment, consisting of nine-foot homemade skis with toe-strap bindings and a single long pole. During the first decade of the 1900s, Mazamas were guests each winter of O.C. Yocum at Government Camp. No mention is made of skiing.

p. 2: The first Mazama winter sports expedition was launched on January 9, 1913 by Col. L.L. Hawkins, Martin Gorman and T. Brooke White with a lot of publicity. They hiked with their homemade skis from Tollgate to Government Camp where they were guests of Yocum. None of the party had previous experience but they came back much enthused. (Note: Other sources say this expedition took place in 1903.) Skis were scarce and remained a novelty for several years. Most trips were made on snowshoes. Peggy Mills mentions trips involving skis in 1913, 1914, and 1916.

One of the most extended early trips was made in 1917 by Frank I. Jones and Rodney Glisan. Over six days they skied from the end of the plowed road beyond Fort Klamath to Crater Lake and back. They found the lake mostly frozen and spent two days at the rim photographing.

p. 3: The 1917 Annual contains an account of a ski trip from Mt Hood to Mt Jefferson by Dan Van Zandt, C.E. Blakney, and Chester H. Treichel. They started out with 60-lb packs and carried snowshoes as backup for their skis. From Government Camp they skied part-way up Mt Hood. Over the next week they traveled south toward Mt Jefferson. They veered off the Cascade Crest somewhat short of Jefferson Park and skied out to Breitenbush Hot Springs. A few days later they snowshoed to Detroit.

p. 5: In 1924 the first Mazama lodge at Twin Bridges was dedicated and the first regular winter outing of the club was held on New Years. The May 1925 bulletin contains tips on taking care of wood skis with linseed oil, varnish, and blocks to prevent warping.

p. 7: Winter sports received a boost in 1927 as the State Highway Commission worked to keep the road to Government Camp open throughout the winter using snowplows. (The Mt Hood Loop road was completed about three years earlier.) A toboggan slide, a ski run, and a jump were constructed by newly-created Mt Hood Winter Sports, Inc.

p. 13: The first slalom races on Mt Hood were held in March 1934 at Timberline.

p. 20: By 1938 the popularity of skiing was growing tremendously and probably more Mazama members were taking an enthusiastic interest in this sport than in any other branch of the club's organization.

p. 22: In the spring of 1939 the U.S. National Championships and Olympic tryouts were held on Mt Hood to select teams for the 1940 FIS World Championships and Winter Olympic Games. 125 racers competed. The slalom was held at the Ski Bowl and the downhill was from Crater Rock to a point 1/4 mile below Timberline Lodge.

p. 30: Mazama interest in ski mountaineering surged in 1950. The first official Mazama ski mountaineering ascent was up Mt St Helens on May 27. Interest in the sport dropped the following year as many younger male skiers were called into the armed services (due to the Korean War).


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Last Updated: Fri Nov 6 16:39:55 PST 2009