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American Ski Annual, 1942
* Lowell Skoog has a copy of each article marked with an asterisk.

I have not seen this issue. I ordered selected articles from NESM based on the index listed on the ISHA website.

p. 5: McNeil, Fred H., "Skiing and National Defense" *

This article was written near the end of 1941, after the 15th Infantry and 41st Division ski patrols were active, but before formation of the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment. The author mentions some activities of these patrols, such as the Cascade crest traverse by the 15th Infantry and the participation of army men in the Mountaineers Patrol Race and other tournaments.

In the spring and summer of 1940, Charles Minot Dole and John E.P. Morgan offered the services of the National Ski Association and National Ski Patrol to the government and lobbied military and political leaders to start training U.S. soldiers as ski troops. The first response by the War Department was to begin investigating equipment. In autumn 1940, the National Volunteer Winter Defense Committee was authorized to assist the army by furnishing advice in technical training and equipment selection, and to assist in home defense by becoming familiar with local terrain in the northern states. Bestor Robinson was named chairman of the Advisory Committee on Equipment. After much experimentation and reconciling of requirements, the committee drew up specifications for many basic items of equipment, which are summarized in this article.

The author says little about the contribution of units such as the 15th Infantry ski patrol in the development of these standards, but he names several of the skiers and mountaineers now serving in the 15th. Walter Prager gets star billing (including a photo) although he was inducted in the summer of 1941, after the winter training and patrols were complete. Members of the patrol during the winter of 1941 included Capt. Paul R. Lafferty, Lieutenants Ralph M. Morgan and John Woodward, Sergeants Reese McKindley, Thomas Pearce and Alphonse Waverek, Pfc. Donald Hoffman and Privates Earl Griffin, Tom Hill, Tony Knutsen, Jack McKee, Eldon Metzger, Harold F. Olson and Ray Zoberski. (This may not be a complete list, and it's not entirely clear who may have been inducted after the winter.)

p. 31: Lunn, Arnold, "American Memorie" *

"American skiing is even more infected by the downhill-only disease than our own. In the remote past, skis were welcomed as the key to the winter Alps, as the passport to untracked snow and unexplored slopes. The pioneers were explorers, and not racers. Sun Valley has never passed through that phase. There is a large notice on the summit of Mount Baldy warning skiers that it is forbidden to leave the trails! Those who have a taste for solitude and distaste for trails had better avoid Mount Baldy."

"Surely the time has come for those in authority to revive real skiing. Downhill only racing is a magnificent sport, but it is a by-product of real skiing, and racing is not what it was. A race like the Murren Inferno from the top of a peak to a valley over seven thousand feet below over untracked snow, wind blown, powdery and sun crusted as the case may be, still bears a recognizable relation to cross country skiing, and still tests snow craft and mountain sense, but racing down a prepared track, with every bump of which the skier is familiar, has no relationship to skiing as understood by the pioneers, magnificent though it be as a test of stamina, courage and quick thinking."

"Every effort should be made by the authorities to encourage ski exploration. The Sierra Club of California has set a good example by instituting a really tough ski mountaineering test."

p. 51: Sorensen, Harald, "Ski Patrol--US Army" *

The author describes his experiences with the 44th Division ski patrol at Old Forge, NY in the winter and spring of 1941. The technique taught to this patrol was "Scandinavian cross country employing the snow plow and lifted stem Christiania." The author offers observations and suggestions on equipment, but these are his personal opinions not standards developed by the army. In a test race against some of the best snowshoers in the Andirondacks, the men of his unit finished just out in front, dispelling the contention of the natives that snowshoeing was the fastest way to travel on snow. The article is accompanied by a photo of a ski patrol by John Jay, probably taken during the filming of "The Basic Principles of Skiing" at Sun Valley.

p. 61: Laughlin, James, "A Plea for Huts in America" *

"I have nothing very fancy or original to say in this article, but I think the subject is an important one, which should be kept constantly under discussion until results are achieved. Here it is: we must have huts in America for high mountain touring. Not just the occasional isolated huts here and there, but groups of two and three (and later more) related huts in our principal mountain areas. Until we have them, the run of American skiers will never know what it means to tour, and, as anyone knows who has toured abroad, touring is the real cream of skiing." The author describes the advantages of huts in Europe and suggests strategies for developing them in this country.

p. 69: Hearon, Fanning, "Skiing in the National Parks" *

This article describes skiing opportunities and facilities at National Parks throughout the country. It says little about Park Service policies or future prospects for skiing in the parks. Skiing at Mt Rainier grew from 8,867 skiers in 1923-24 to 22,131 in 1932-33 and 136,220 in 1940-41. At the time of this writing, there are four portable tows and one large fixed tow in operation at Paradise. The author mentions the training of the 15th Infantry and 41st Division ski patrols on Mt Rainier in 1941, but provides few details. The article also includes information about the Deer Park ski area in the Olympic National Park. A single rope tow is in operation at Deer Park at the time of this writing.

p. 96: Cady, H.S., "Trends in Ski Equipment" *

"There seems little room for argument in the assertion that the cable binding with its diagonal downpull was the greatest forward step in ski equipment in this century." The author writes that, for the moment, ski equipment has become fairly well standardized. An exception is ski design. Laminated skis have proven their strength and serviceability and are becoming popular, but one-piece hickory skis are still the favorite. The flat-mounted Lettner edge out-sells all other types put together. The Saf-Ski release binding has recently been introduced, but most skiers still use toe-irons. The Superdiagonal is a wide rubber band passed around the ankle and used like the old Amstutz spring to keep the heel even more in contact with the ski. Steel ski poles are becoming more available, although tonkin poles remain the standard. Adjustable, telescoping poles have also appeared, but the author writes, "we like to gelandesprung and we're not taking any chances of one shrinking in mid-air!" He also discusses ski boots and fabrics.

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