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Olympic N.P. - Hart Lake Ski Development File

Dick Owens photo, "Olympic Ski Area?"

This undated photo, from an unidentified newspaper, shows the proposed location of a tramway and three T-bars in Hart Lake Basin.

Bremerton Sun, Sep 1, 1960 - Gilje, Svein, "Giant Ski Development"

On June 4-5, 1960, Bob Millpointer, administrative manager of the proposed Seven Lakes Basin development in Olympic National Park, was accompanied by Walter B. Little, Dave Newton, and Richard Owens, Jr. on a trip to Hart Lake shelter to investigate the area. This article includes photos of the party on foot and on ski and describes the proposal, centered in Hart Lake Basin. (Promoters refer to neighboring Seven Lakes Basin because it is better known.) According to Park Service Director Conrad L. Wirth, "Seven Lakes Basin was one of several areas thoroughly investigated in initial planning for winter and summer use in the park." Hurricane Ridge was selected as best suited for these purposes. "Appraisal of winter use at [Hurricane Ridge] clearly indicates that a duplicate ski area at Seven Lakes Basin is not justifiable."

Bremerton Sun, Sep 2, 1960 - Gilje, Svein, "Ski Trails"

The writer expresses his support for the proposed Seven Lakes Basin ski area. He argues that Hurricane Ridge is underutilized because it offers little for intermediate and expert skiers. He also complains that he has been unsuccessful in obtaining facts and figures from the "thorough investigation" of Olympic park areas undertaken before Hurricane Ridge was selected. He feels that the ski area would have minimal negative impact and "would encourage the public to explore, hike and ski farther into the park."

Bremerton Sun, Oct 21, 1960 - Gilje, Svein, "Ski Trails"

In this article, the writer summarizes comments from George W. Abbott, Assistant Secretary of the Interior, and E.T. Scoyen, Associate Director of the Park Service, in response to letters Gilje sent to Park Service Director Conrad L. Wirth and Senator Warren G. Magnuson. According to Scoyen, the proposed Seven Lakes Basin development is not in keeping with the stated purpose of National Parks and would detract from the excellent backcountry qualities of the basin. It would also require a great deal of public money for facilities and operation of the area, even if private capital is offered to help construct the road and tramway. Abbott's comments reiterate this position. Gilje argues that the development is justified by the growth of skiing in the state and will do little damage to the park. Gilje's column in the 11/25/60 edition of the Sun includes a response from ski area spokesman Bob Millpointer.

Dec 7, 1960 - Letter from Oscar A. Sedergren to Svein Gilje

Sedergren, Acting Superintent of Olympic National Park, wrote Svein Gilje to summarize points he made during a recent meeting. Segergren argues that proposed new ski areas such as Crystal Mountain, which is much closer to Seattle and Tacoma, would result in "severe and devastating competition to the proposed Seven Lakes Basin area." He further notes that "skiers generally consider skiing conditions as poor when it is snowing, blowing and fogged in." Based on weather data from the International Geophysical Year (IGY) study on nearby Mt Olympus in 1957-58, it is apparent that conditions at Seven Lakes Basin would be poor for skiing most of the time. The slopes available in the basin don't compare with those at other destination areas. Finally: "The loop trip around the Seven Lakes Basin and the Sol Duc Park areas is the finest two day overnight hike we have in Olympic National Park." It will continue to increase in popularity by virtue of its wilderness quality and the ski area would destroy its wilderness character.

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