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Summit Magazine, 1955-59

Summit Magazine, 1956

Jan 1956, p. 10: LaVelle, Lester, "Why Do I Ski?"

"Skiing is positively unique in the possibilities of human experience. Of all the things you can do of and by yourself, skiing most nearly simulates flying," writes the author, who has been skiing nearly forty years. In the December 1955 issue (p.22), LaVelle is described as 65 and an associate editor of Summit magazine. He is pictured on skis at Mammoth Mountain, where he serves as a ski instructor, particularly for beginners.

Summit Magazine, 1957

Feb 1957, p. 2: Prater, Gene, "The Advantages of Snowshoeing"

The author and his friends in the Sherpa Climbing Club of Ellensburg decided against using skis because of the skill necessary to handle them, especially in unbroken snow on wooded slopes. Skiers who have been in their parties have found that a heavy pack eliminates any great advantage of skis over snowshoes in rough, timbered country. Snowshoes are lighter than skis and it is possible to wear soft, insulated boots with them. Prater and his snowshoeing friends have yet to sprain an ankle in a fall, a definite safety factor when deep in the mountains. The article includes some photos of snowshoes and techniques.

The author got started using inexpensive army surplus snowshoes. He has found that the long, narrow type with a turned-up nose (the "Yukon" style) is best. He has sawed the tail off behind the first rivet for better maneuverability and wrapped rawhide around the side pieces from front to back for better traction. Commercial bindings are adequate for everything except going downhill. Bill Prater designed a binding which is larger to distribute lace pressure over more of the foot, with hooks rather then holes for the lacing, and laces across the front of the boot as well as over the top to keep the boot from sliding forward when plunge-stepping downhill. The author carries an ice axe with a ski pole basket attached near the glide ring stop. He describes snowshoeing technique, avalanches, boots, clothing, camping and cooking. He prefers camping in trees so he won't need a gas stove. He describes fire making and building a bough bed for sleeping.

Jun 1957, p. 8: Prater, Gene, "Snowshoe Mountaineering in the Cascades"

This article describes a winter climb of Dragontail Peak from Ingalls Creek by Barry Carlson, Doc Lasher, Bill Prater, Ralph Uber and the author. This was probably the first winter ascent, which Beckey's Cascade Alpine Guide (Vol. 1, 3rd Ed.) says was by Gene Prater, Barry Carlson and Ralph Uber on March 3, 1957. Lasher, Carlson and Bill Prater left after the climb and Uber and the author continued up the valley hoping to climb Mt Stuart. They abandoned that plan after a heavy snow storm.

Nov 1957, p. 9: Spring, Bob and Ira, "Above the Clouds with Skis and Camera"

This article describes the challenges and rewards of ski touring for photography but does not describe specific outings. In particular, it offers no clues (apart from its title) about when the Springs filmed "Skiing Above the Clouds" on the glaciers of Mt Rainier. The article is accompanied by a photo of two skiers camping high on the Nisqually Glacier.

Summit Magazine, 1959

Jan 1959, p. 6: French, Roberts W., "Skiers Travel 100 Miles Across Mountain Ranges"

In early June [1958, I presume] the author, with Barry Corbet, Sterling Neale and leader Bill Briggs, completed a 100 mile ski traverse from the Bugaboos to Rogers Pass, B.C. Only the last fifteen or twenty miles of the route was mapped and, as far as this party knew, sixty miles in the middle of the trip had never been visited before. The party packed for twelve days but thanks to fine weather completed the route in ten. Their packs averaged 43 pounds each. The three items of equipment most critical to their success were Head skis, Kelty packs and Trima climbing skins. Their skis were equipped with cable bindings and Arlberg straps and they wore ordinary mountain climbing boots. The article includes photos of the skiers at the start of the trip and at two points enroute as well as detailed food and equipment lists.

Nov 1959, p. 3: Heald, Weldon F., "The Wilderness Alps of Washington"

The author finds it remarkable that the North Cascades are relatively unknown and almost completely neglected by out-of-state climbers. "For they contain by far our largest and finest alpine region, with more challenging peaks, heavier glaciation, and a greater variety of snow, ice and rock climbing than any other range in the United States. In short, it is preeminently a mountaineer's country which has been largely bypassed by mountaineers." His explanation is that the range is well hidden from the outside, maps show only moderate elevations, and these mountains are still wilderness. He describes each region from Stevens Pass to the Canadian border and writes that the heaviest snowfalls recorded anywhere on earth are found here. He describes road access but writes that Lake Chelan, which rivals "the Norwegian fjords or Alaskan inlets," will probably always be the most popular way into the North Cascades. At the time of this writing, it is possible to fly by float-plane from Chelan to Trapper Lake, where there is a fisherman's camp.

Dec 1959, p. 20: Borghoff, Michael W., "The Agonies of Angus McDill"

A poem about a hapless skier. Excerpt:
This business of downhill skiing, my friend
Is a bit more involved than it looks --
You need buckles and long-thongs and cables
And gadgets and gizmos and hooks.

Yes, and pneumatic ankle supporters
Are available in better ski shops,
As well as torsional tension click bindings
For unexpected embarrassing flops.

And only a yokel would venture
On the slopes in a pair of blue jeans --
Boogner elastic ski trousers
Are you end, and your way, and your means!

And the latest designs in boot making
Give the fashionable skier great news!
Two boots (one inside of the other),
Make them as heavy as a diver's lead shoes.

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