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Seattle Magazine, 1964

Seattle Magazine, Dec 1964, p. 16 - Schear, Rillmond, "There's Gold in Them Thar Hills"

The downhill skiing boom in the Washington Cascades started around 1956. Since the early 1950s, attendance at ski areas within a day's round-trip of Seattle has increased five times over. The annual growth rate is currently 29 percent. The number of regular skiers in the greater Seattle area is estimated at 170,000. Fifty new ski areas were opened in the U.S. last season. The Open Space Study, soon to be released by the Puget Sound Governmental Conference, estimates that skier visits at eight local ski areas will grow from last season's 800,000 to over 2,700,000 by 1985. The underlying causes of the skiing boom are increased leisure time, a higher percentage of family incomes earmarked for recreation, and a widespread public search for participation in sports. Capital investment in ski areas has increased dramatically and to compete ski area operators must now intensively groom slopes in both winter and summer.

The author discusses the early days of Mt Baker, Stevens Pass, Snoqualmie Summit, Ski Acres, Hyak, Crystal Mountain, and White Pass. He describes recent improvements and future expansion plans. With over 200,000 skier visits a year, Snoqualmie Summit is the most heavily skied area in America. The Open Space Study lists 13 areas within driving distance of Seattle that might be developed in the next dozen years. These sites include Morse Creek near Crystal; Commonweath Basin, Denny Peak, and Kendall Peak in the Snoqualmie Pass area; and Old Baldy Mountain near the northwest corner of Rainier National Park.

Seattle Magazine, Dec 1964, p. 48 - "Those Pioneer Days of Derring Do"

Most of the information in this article has been incorporated into this project from the original sources. The article contains errors. It is worthwhile mainly for the recollections of Harry B. Cunningham, who was a youth counselor in the Seattle school system for 25 years and who promoted skiing in Seattle's high schools.

Cunningham was born around 1892 and skied as early as 1916. During the Big Snow that year, he and a group of friends set off for the Queen Anne Counterbalance to try their skill at jumping and turning. The Seattle police chased them off the slopes for frightening the horses that were pulling horse-drawn carriages.

During Christmas and spring vacations, Cunningham took groups of up to 50 high school students on five-day jaunts to the hills below Snoqualmie Pass. The destination would be either Rockdale or Hyak. At Hyak they stayed in a bunkhouse belonging to the Highway Commission. At Rockdale, they stayed in huts at the site of the abandoned Carmack Mines. Trips from Rockdale to Snoqualmie Summit were infrequent because they required permission and a key from the State Highway Commisioner to traverse the barricaded precincts of Camp Mason, between Rockdale and the top. At first Cunningham conducted these outings on snowshoes, but each expedition produced a higher percentage of skiers until, at last, skis predominated. In 1921, he organized Seattle's first high school skiing club at Garfield.

In 1921, Cunningham bought an assortment of professionally-made ski equipment and started a rental business. This gave birth to Cunningham Ski Equipment Company, which opened that year in the attic of his house at 25th and Pine in Seattle. He sold the business in 1947.

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