Alpenglow Ski Mountaineering History Project
Port Angeles Evening News
My search through the Port Angeles Evening News was made possible by
the index provided by Jacilee Wray, Cultural Resources Department,
Olympic National Park
All issues were reviewed on microfilm at
Port Angeles Public Library
Describes the progress of five CCC camps in constructing roads,
trails, bridges, fire breaks, telephone lines, shelters,
buildings and other works, beginning in the summer of 1933. The
article includes a table and continues, "Prosaic figures--yet
they are full of romance. They represent a capital investment in
the future of the state and nation, first, in manhood, and
second, in natural resources."
Describes progress on two new roads, from the Elwha River to
Idaho Camp (Hurricane Ridge) and from Slab Camp to Deer Park.
"The public will find the Idaho Camp and Deer Park roads not
broad highways. [Now there's an understatement.] But travelers
will discover them to be a high type of access into the very
heart of a wonderful Olympic mountain region."
"The road will be extended from Idaho camp, where the terminus
now is [to] Obstruction Point, a distance of about nine miles.
The road starts at the CCC camp on the Elwha river."
The Salal Ridge (Idaho Camp) road is scheduled to open on
Saturday afternoons and Sundays. "The road has a fairly steep
grade much of the way and makes many switchbacks, but is well
provided with turnout places where vehicles may pass... Drivers
should use no gear higher than second when coming down the long
series of inclines... At the top, a branch goes up Hurricane Hill
but foresters discourage public use of this fork of roadway."
Construction of the Deer Park road from Danz's ranch has now been
completed and the road is open to traffic every day of the week.
The proposed road would cross the heart of the Olympics from west
to east, starting at Lake Quinault, extending up the Enchanted
Valley over Anderson Pass, then down the Dosewallips River to Hood
Canal. [It was never built.]
"According to unofficial word from Olympia today, the forestry
service plans construction of a lodge, individual cabins, a ski-way
and general recreational features at Deer Park, terminus of one of
the new CCC roads in Clallam county."
"Motorists are advised to be very careful on the Idaho Camp road.
As long as they use caution and do not drive fast, they will find
the trip one of great pleasure and scenic thrills. Grand views
of the Olympic mountains, the Elwha river basin and surrounding
country on all other sides are offered."
Otto Sanford, outgoing president of the 425-member Washington Ski
Club in Seattle, recommends "erection of ski huts throughout the
Cascades, to increase the areas available for winter sports."
The Deer Park road has been graded in hope of keeping it open
throughout the winter. "Snags are to be cleared out at Deer Park
for a toboggan slide and ski run about 500 or 600 feet in
Improvments underway include a "mile-long ski-way," widening the
roadways, a community center to accommodate at least 32 people
overnight, a Boy Scout council fireplace, and camp grounds.
"Skiers should be gladdened by news that there is three feet of snow
on the ski runs at Deer Park and that the U.S. forest service
announces it will keep the road to that point open during the
winter. Twenty intrepid winter sportsmen registered at Deer Park
last Sunday and enjoyed a day of skiing."
The previous Sunday saw an estimated 200 persons and 50 cars,
"the largest crowd noted at Deer Park since the visit of Seattle
skiers a year ago." The article notes: "Automobile parking space
was congested, because of the unusually large number of cars, and
officials of the Forest Serivce took note of this as one of the
problems to be worked out as soon as possible..."
The Olympic Winter Sports Association held the first ski races of
the season, a men's and women's downhill over a quarter-mile
course. Jim Cahill of Port Angeles and Betty Morse of Bremerton
won their respective classes.
This front page photo shows a large number of skiers on an open
slope with glades of trees in the background. The caption says
the picture shows "part of the crowd of more than 500, including
100 Seattle Mountaineers, who invaded the region last Sunday.
The 400 or more persons not appearing in the picture were having
their fun over the many surrounding acres of easy, rolling slopes
and sharp pitches that make Deer Park a skier's paradise."
A good summary of use during the winter. The largest number
of visitors was on February 7, when the Seattle Mountaineers
assembled there. Additional developments are planned during the
summer, including a CCC camp, ski lodge and more ski runs.
The road has been reopened for the summer, but remains rough in
places. The Deer Park road is in good shape. Interesting for
historical context is the front page headline: "EARHART PLANE
DOWN IN PACIFIC" above a photo of missing flyer Amelia
Several articles paint a picture of Deer Park skiing
during this time. I haven't made notes about them, but here are
1-12-38, p. 8: "Deer Park Now Winter Magnet For Ski Addicts"
A record crowd of over 800 visited the ski area for the Olympic
Ski Club's first annual Deer Park ski championship, sanctioned by
the Pacific Northwest Ski Association (PNSA). Kjell Qvale of the
Seattle Ski Club won the combined downhill-slalom championship.
The Olympic Ski Club now is the second largest organization in
PNSA, with a membership of 230 or more. 150 members of the
Seattle Mountaineers were also present, on a special outing. Dr.
Otto Strizek of Seattle was the course setter. "[Strizek]
declared he sees possibilities for one of the finest ski regions
in existence in Deer Park and adjoining Olympic ranges. He
envisioned the establishment of shelters at intervals and the
development of cross-country skiing. 'It's a perfect setup
here,' he asserted."
Max Borst, Deer Park lodge caretaker, and some leaders of the
Olympic Ski Club announced plans for a 17-mile cross-country ski
trip from Deer Park to the Elwha over the connecting ridges. "We
plan a survey of the cross country skiing possibilities and
likely sites for ski huts," Borst said. "We're taking some movie
cameras along and will make a pictorial record of the trip to
show skiers and other interested persons on the Peninsula just
what the lay of the land is in this mountain country."
Led by Max Borst, fourteen skiers left Deer Park at about 5:30
a.m. Sunday and completed the 17-mile trip by 5 p.m. A CCC
truck met the group on the Elwha-Hurricane Ridge road above the
9-mile mark. The skiers were enthusiastic about the ski terrain
they crossed, but returned "thoroughly convinced" of the need for
huts along the way. Three motion picture cameras and a number of
still cameras were taken along. A party of three Port Angeles
boys, Dick Owens, Guy Montgomery and Frank Herron, made a
"preview" trip over the same country on Saturday.
The news item is small, at the upper left corner of the page.
The editor writes, "Little comment is needed now that the
president has signed the Olympic national park legislation
excepting to voice the hope that should he elect to expand the
boundaries his ideas be not too liberal."
1-17-38, p. 6: "Skiing By Moonlight In Snowstorm Enjoyed by Visitors At Deer Park"
1-19-38, p. 8: "Victorians At Deer Park For Winter Sports"
An accompanying article quotes Rep. Mon C. Wallgren of Everett,
the bill's author: "I have urged against construction of expensive
hotels and similar conveniences, urging instead development to meet
the needs of the average tourists." Wallgren said he was of the
opinion that the first addition to the park, under the power given
to the president to add to its boundaries from time to time, would
be the Deer Park area. "He pointed out this area is particularly
adaptable to winter sports and would make a 'skiing paradise.'"
A ski tow has begun operation for the first time at Deer Park.
"The tow consists of an endless line powered by a small gas
engine." The tow is presently 675 feet long but will be increased
to 900 feet. The motor will be upgraded to pull four persons at
a time up the hill. Rates range from four rides for 25 cents to
an all-day fee of 75 cents.
More articles capture the local flavor of Deer Park skiing:
10-25-38, p 4: "Deer Park Ski Meet Again on P.N.S.A. Slate"
This special edition celebrates the twenty-five year anniversary
of the Port Angeles Evening News. It contains many short pieces
covering local history during the period.
1-31-39, p. 5: "Ski Enthusiasts Seen in Different Garbs and Antics at Deer Park"
2-7-41, p. 6: "Ski Club Will Close Season With Big Party"
The article describes a trip on May 25 to the north slope of the
High Divide by a group of skiers including Merritt Corbin,
president of the Olympic Ski Club, Jim Lucas, ski club instructor
and Deer Park Lodge operator, Charles Webster, Evening News
publisher, and several others. The purpose of the trip was to
determine skiing conditions on the High Divide after the snow had
gone at Deer Park. "Leading skiers have increasingly felt the
need of making available some other Olympic mountain area where
the length of season would compare with that of the Cascade
areas." The group was enthusiastic about the skiing, but
concluded that new road construction to the foot of Soleduck Park
would be required to make it accessible.
Ferry Service Observing 10th Birthday Soon
The Ballard-Ludlow ferry began operation in May 23, 1931. The
ferry run was designed to fill a need for transportation between
the Olympic Peninsula and the north section of Seattle at
Dam, Mill, Railroad Started New Era Here
The lower Elwha Dam was dedicated on February 13, 1914.
Immense Scenic Area Devoted to Recreation Use
A brief history of Olympic National Park, from the
earliest explorations to the creation of the park on June
29, 1938 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the
Wallgren bill. The park was originally 640,000 acres,
but was increased to 835,411 acres in January, 1940 by
Roads, Trails Lead to Scenic Wonderland Inside Great Park
A good survey of roads and trails at the time of publication.
Popular Skiing Area of Olympic Park Near City
A good overview of Deer Park at the time of publication. The
area includes practice slopes, "a downhill run of about one
mile," and a class B jump (nearly completed). A 1000-foot rope
tow pulls skiers up 300 feet in elevation. The tow operates on
Sundays and holidays. The lodge facilities are detailed. Uphill
traffic on the road is not allowed after 2 p.m. and downhill
travel starts at 3 p.m.
Loop Opens Olympic Peninsula
On August 26, 1931 the Olympic Loop Highway, State Road No. 9,
was officially opened.
Old Hot Springs Hotel
What appears to be a loose clipping captured on microfilm depicts
the old Olympic Hot Springs hotel and store "25 years ago or a
little earlier." The building, operated by Mr. and Mrs. William
Everett was destroyed by fire about 1916 or 1917. The present
hotel was rebuilt on the same site.
Copyright © 2002 Lowell Skoog. All Rights Reserved.
Wed Dec 30 16:57:41 PST 2009