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Harold D. Smith - The Ski Chase at Stevens Pass
Although it is not really about ski mountaineering, this film shows the influence of the Fanck/Schnieder chase films on Northwest skiing. The film is short (less than 5 minutes), silent, and in color. According to the videotape jacket, it was filmed in the winter of 1943. The fox in the chase is Hank Seidelhuber. Among the eight or so hounds are Don Amick (wearing a white cap with goggles), Paul Gilbreath (wearing a white cap without goggles), Sig McGuire, Andy Anderson, and a skier named Rusty. These were some of the best Northwest skiers of the day.

The film opens with scenes of the Stevens Pass lodge. The chase begins with the fox climbing a powdery trail among snowy trees. The hounds soon follow. The skiers have waxed well and literally run up the hills. At the top of a ridge (probably Tye-Mill divide) the fox stops for a cigarette and is nearly caught. There are scenes of fast downhill running in sun and fine powder snow, probably on the Mill Creek side of the ridge. The scenes include some nice Arlberg parallel turns, terrain jumps, and several crashes. The fox stops to rest again and is almost caught. The chase continues along an undulating ridge and there are some slow motion shots of skiers jumping with the Chiwaukum Mountains in the background.

The ending credit says that the film was made near Stevens Pass and was unfinished due to World War II.

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Last Updated: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 8:52:06 PM