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Adventure Sports Journal website - "An original, firsthand account of the remarkable first ski crossing of Tioga Pass"
This previously unpublished account was written by Dennis Jones in the late 1950s.
According to the author, Miss Milana Jank, "one of Europe's foremost skiers at that time," was in the United States sponsored by her native Germany as a goodwill ambassador of skiing. She had crossed the Alps alone, a feat requiring 147 days--the Dolomites of Italy; the Carpathians of Russia and the Black Mountains of Serbia. After studying maps of all snow areas in the western part of the United States, she believed Tioga Pass would present the greatest challenge.
The author's father had a winter resort near Donner Summit in California. Knowing of his skiing experience, and after watching him in a cross-country ski race, Milana Jank approached the author with the idea of skiing across Tioga Pass. He writes: "To gain confidence in each other, we made several crossings of the Sierra to Tahoe. I was soon convinced that if I were to try the crossing, she certainly would be my choice of a companion. She changed my opinion that a woman's place was definitely only in the home."
The pair began skiing near Topaz Lake on March 1, 1932 and reached Bridgeport that day. The next day they continued to Mono Lake. They spent the second night at a power company station near the base of the Lee Vining grade. On the third day they skied over Tioga Pass and descended westward through Tuolumne Meadows and spent the night in an open bivouac near Tenaya Canyon. On the fourth and final day, they skied up Mt Watkins to get their bearings then descended a trail to Snow Creek Lodge in Yosemite Valley. The author writes that they traveled 130 miles in 36 hours of skiing.
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