Alpenglow Ski Mountaineering History Project Previous | Next | Home

American Ski Annual, 1946
* Lowell Skoog has a copy of each article marked with an asterisk.

This annual was published shortly after VJ Day, but several articles were written between the end of the wars in Europe and the Pacific.

p. 35: Draper, Arthur G., S/Sgt., "Doughnuts to Doughnuts With the Mountain Troops" *

An account of the 10th Mountain Division in Italy, this article describes the arrival of the 10th at Naples, the fighting in the Appenines, the push across Italy to the Po River, the advance along Lake Garda, and the German surrender in Italy on May 2, 1945. The article is accompanied by signal corps photos of 10th Mountain troops in action and being addressed by commanding generals. Of the big push across Italy, Maj. Gen. George P. Hays said: "Many times we stuck our neck out with exposed flanks. At one time we were 45 miles in advance and both our flanks exposed. The Lord had us by the hand."

p. 47: from The Blizzard, "The Tenth Says Goodbye" (filed under Housman, A.E.) *

Reprinted from the division newspaper, this editorial commemorates the 10th Division's first Memorial Day, April 6, 1945, when troops gathered beside fresh graves in a cemetery outside Florence to say goodbye to their dead. The article is followed by the 10th Division's Roll of Honor, a list of those killed in action. It concludes with a poem:

Here dead lie we, because we
  did not choose
To live and shame the land from
  which we sprung.
Life, to be sure, is nothing
  much to lose.
But young men think it so, and
  we were young.

          --A.E. Housman

p. 54: Sorensen, Harold G., T/Sgt., "The American Special Mountain Training Detachment" *

In December 1943, a detachment was selected at Camp Hale to work as skiing and mountaineering instructors for the British Army. The group shipped out to Sepino, Italy, where they conducted winter and summer training in 1944. Then they moved to Terminillo, where they continued training men through autumn and winter 1944-45. In the spring of 1945, they were transferred to the 244th Repl. Depot to train replacements for the casualties suffered by the 10th Division in spearheading two pushes. The detachment was commanded by Major Edward Link and included several Northwest skiers and mountaineers, including Lieutenants Patterson and Weldon, Mt Rainier rangers, T/Sgt. Eldon Metzger, and Sergeants Jack Kappler and Clifford Schmidtke.

p. 72: Snow, Samuel P., "Uncle Sam Plans For the Future" *

This article says little about actual plans being made by the government. The author notes that each National Forest has a detailed recreational development plan, but that meager budgets make it difficult to maintain existing facilities (especially buildings) let alone construct anything new. He urges skiers to give land managers reasonable assurance that facilities will be well taken care of. Within the National Forests, up to 1941, 254 winter sports areas were established, capable of accomodating more than 150,000 people at a time. The article includes photos and drawings of several lodges and shelters in the western U.S.

p. 128: Dudley, Charles M., "Ski Equipment" *

A good summary of the state of ski equipment at the end of the war, written on VJ Day. Very few new items of equipment are available on the market. The author discusses items developed for the armed forces and the probable surplus of army goods and how it may affect civilian skiing. Of army surplus skis he says, "Most of these were made to the original specifications. They are too long and too stiff… By all means, check for warpage and camber." There are no new bindings on the market, but there will be a considerable surplus of army bindings. The cables of these are too stiff, and the toe irons are so wide that they will fit only the combination ski and mountain boot developed for the mountain troops. Most ski poles this year will be made of Louisiana Cane or solid hickory. The picture for ski boots "is blackest of the black," due to leather shortages. Army ski boots are definitely not for civilian use. "They were made for mountaineering as well as for skiing and the mountaineers did not compromise with the skiers… The toe is so high and the boots are so wide that only the army binding will fit them." He discusses ski waxes from Mezzy Barber, Louis Georgas and Fritz Wiessner, who developed waxes for the army.

The author provides advice on equipment for beginning skiers, discussing skis, edges, bindings, boots, poles and sizing. He differentiates between equipment for downhill skiing and for ski touring. He says that the equipment generally sold in stores today is not satisfactory for ski touring. "It is too heavy and too stiff." It appears that he defines ski touring as skiing on relatively gentle terrain.

p. 178: Langley, Roger, "Fourth Air Force-National Ski Patrol Activity" *

The National Ski Patrol cooperated in emergency rescue operations with the Fourth Air Force in the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Nevada. In the year beginning September 1, 1944, the Ski Patrol took part in twenty-five missions. The Fourth Air Force emergency rescue plan saved 897 people during that period. The author describes the rescue of survivors who bailed out of a PV-1 aircraft north of Glacier Peak in the Cascades (date not specified). He quotes extracts from the report by Lyle St. Louis, Seattle Air Rescue Chairman, regarding the rescue of crew members who bailed out of a B-24 northeast of Fairfax, Washington (date not specified). The report reveals the problems overcome and the hard work performed by these ski patrolmen.


Previous Return to the Alpenglow Ski Mountaineering History Project home page Next

Copyright © 2002 Lowell Skoog. All Rights Reserved.
Last Updated: Tue Jan 14 21:27:09 PST 2003