* Lowell Skoog has a copy of each article marked with an asterisk.
This annual contains a number of articles that describe the transition from war-time to civilian skiing activities.
p. 49: Brower, David R., "Skiing the Sky-Land" *The opening article of this annual is an introduction to ski mountaineering by the editor of the Manual of Ski Mountaineering, published in 1946. At the time of this article, Brower was Chairman of the Ski Mountaineering Committee of the National Ski Association. He helped produce for the Sierra Club a full-length, 16 mm color film, "Skis to the Sky-Land."
The article describes lessons learned over the years by ski mountaineers, which have now been codified in the NSA's ski-mountaineering test and in the Manual of Ski Mountaineering. It describes skiing and waxing skills, navigation, first-aid, avalanche study, camping and touring skills, and clothing and equipment advice. The article does not go into detail on these subjects, but offers impressions of what needs to be learned. The article includes photos by the author of ski mountaineers at several locations in the high Sierra of California.
A quote: "Yes, I have convinced myself that ski mountaineering is the thing. It didn't take me long, either. I couldn't get away from Emerson's law of compensation--the more you put into something, the more you get out."
p. 84a: Hessey, Charles D., Jr., "Scratching the Surface of the North Cascades" *The author's bio says that Hessey, a native of Yakima, Washington, was born in 1908. He began skiing in 1928 and beginning in the 1938-39 season he spent four winters, from October to May, at a Boy Scout ski cabin just outside the East boundary of Rainier National Park introducing youngsters to skiing. Hessey was a writer of fiction, living in Naches, Washington at the time of this article.
On 5 January 1946, just fifty-two days after release from the service, the author and Irwin Hall of California began their "personal Veteran's Readjustment Program" by leaving Yakima for Lake Chelan. They purchased supplies for five weeks, skied Chelan Butte from summit to toe, then rode the Lady of the Lake to Stehekin. They traveled 16 miles up valley to a cabin at the junction of Bridge Creek and the Stehekin River. They also made use of a trapper's cabin at Park Creek during their stay. Their hope was to pioneer ski runs in the area of Cascade Pass, Doubtful Lake basin and Horseshoe Basin. For a few days later in the month they were joined by Marion Monter of Yakima.
Unfortunately, it was a very stormy winter. On many occasions, they would take advantage of a fine day to break trail up-valley, then the next day, when they hoped to push into the high country with packs, it would start snowing again. They concluded that mid-winter was a poor time for skiing in these mountains. The highlight of the trip came on February 15, their last day before going out, when they skied up the Berry Creek slide on the north flank of McGregor Mountain to a ridge 4000 feet above the Stehekin River. Here they had spectacular views of the North Cascades and were rewarded with fine powder skiing back to the cabin.
During the first week in April, Hessey and Hall were joined by Gene Louman (Lowman?) and Cliff Casebolt, also recently out of the army. They headed back up Lake Chelan, this time to the mining town of Holden, where they got advice and assistance from Lynn Bennett, "an ardent skier and climber." On April 6, they skied to a cabin near Lyman Lake, where they eventually stretched their intended three week outing to four. April 14 was a highlight, as they skied corn snow on North Star Mountain until they were completely worn out. On April 19, they climbed and skied Chiwawa Mountain via the Lyman Glacier. They skied Spider Pass and other slopes surrounding Lyman Basin during their stay, leaving on May 2. Of the mountains between Glacier Peak and Clark Mountain (Dakobed Range), the author wrote: "To see them was to wish to ski them, and each hungering look fed that despair in the knowledge that life is too short to do all those things we'd like to do."
p. 84b: Photo of Charles Hessey, Jr. *Fine, but tiny, photo of the author standing on skis in front of Mt Rainier.
p. 86: Photo by Charles Hessey, "Slope below Phelps Pass looking across at upper section of Lyman Glacier" *Photo of two skiers beginning the descent of this slope.
p. 89: Photo by Charles Hessey, "Dumbell peaks from Mount Chiwawa" *Fine photo of three skiers sitting atop Chiwawa, admiring the view east toward Dumbell Mtn.
p. 92: Photo by Charles Hessey, "The 'practice slope' at the head of Lyman Lake" *Photo of slopes below Chiwawa Ridge, north of the summit of Chiwawa.
p. 111: McNeil, Fred H., "The Skier and Uncle Sam" *The author's bio says that Fred McNeil is a Portland, Oregon newspaperman and was the first president of the Pacific Northwest Ski Association (PNSA). At the time of this article, McNeil was Chairman of the National Ski Association's Public Lands Committee.
Following the end of the war in autumn 1945, there was a frenzy of enthusiasm by winter sports lovers to "go back." However, ski areas in Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks were not immediately reopened. Protests by local clubs reached the National Ski Association, which created a committee on winter sports activities on public lands. The committee surveyed the extent of public land use for skiing in the West, and the article summarizes its findings. The article urges skiers to embark on a long-term effort to lobby Uncle Sam for more installations, better road maintenance, and more overnight facilities.
p. 246: Granstrom, Allan E., "PNSA Reports" *
The 1945-46 season was a boom year for Northwest skiing, one of the heaviest snow years in some time. Skiing started early in November and lasted until June. During the war, Snoqualmie Pass was the only area open with ski tows operating. Mt Rainier remained closed for most of the 1945-46 season, causing over-crowding at other areas. "This season [1946-47], with the re-opening of several of our pre-war resorts such as Sun Valley, Snoqualmie Ski Bowl, Mt Rainier and Deer Park, and with the anticipated development of several new areas, there should be room for all to ski."
The reports from various clubs include some concerns. Facilities at Mt Rainier are described as antiquated. Olav Ulland of the Seattle Ski Club notes that the future of ski-jumping around Seattle is jeopardized by the difficulty of maintaining jumping hills and reluctance of younger skiers to shoulder more of the work. The Snoqualmie Ski Bowl has been renamed to the Milwaukee Road Ski Bowl to avoid confusion with the Snoqualmie Pass Ski Area.
Previous Return to the Alpenglow Ski Mountaineering History Project home page Next