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Tacoma Public Library - Clippings, Washington, Mt Rainier, Sports
In each reference below, the number in brackets is the page of the article in my clippings folder.


Tacoma News Tribune, Jan 2, 1912 - "Prof. Flett Hit By Snowslide, Escapes" [1]

The article describes the misadventures of Prof. John B. Flett during an attempted climb of Eagle Peak near Mt Rainier. He was caught in three avalanches before turning back from his objective. Thor Bisgaard of the Northern Pacific headquarters joined the party the following day. Bisgaard on skis and Flett on snowshoes made the trip from Messler's to Longmire, about nine miles, where they spent the night. On the slopes of Mt Beljica, Bisgaard made a 50-foot jump on his skis. Overall he found the conditions unsatisfactory, the snow being too soft. After the snow has settled later in the winter, "he believes there will be ideal skiing on Mount Tacoma, as fine as the finest he remembers enjoying in Norway."

Standard Oil Bulletin, Sep, 1919 - "A Midsummer Ski Tournament" [2]

This bulletin features the third annual ski tournament held on Mt Rainier in 1919. There are photos (some retouched) of a ski jumper in flight, spectators hiking near Alta Vista and standing by the ski jump, and Miss Olga Bolstad standing with two tall ski poles. There is also a photo of winners and officials standing below Mt Rainier near Paradise. Included are Olga Bolstad, extra prize winner; Thor Bisgaard, referee; Jack Holen, extra prize for longest jump; and S. Johnsen, first prize.


Tacoma Sunday Ledger, Jun 12, 1921 - "Mt Tacoma Ski Tourney Promises To Be Greatest Of All This Year" [5]

The tournament has been scheduled on July 4 to attract more spectators. In 1920, a record crowd of 500 watched the tournament and more are expected this year. The tournament is said to attract some of the world's greatest experts. "The fact that the Northwest has been among the favorite places for the migration of Norwegians accounts for this, in part, it is believed." The favorites are L. Larsen of Aberdeen, Sigurd Johnson of Tacoma, and Chris Bakken of Roy, who won several contests in Norway and took third on Mt Rainier in 1920, wearing skis for the first time in 10 years.

Tacoma Sunday Ledger, Jan 6, 1929 - "Longmire Springs Is Sunday Mecca For Lovers Of Nature" [6]

"Americans no longer are afraid of winter," declares this article. It describes the attractions of Longmire, including the toboggan chute, skiing, snowshoeing, and dog sledding.


Tacoma Ledger, Dec 23, 1932 - "Winter Sports Carnival Set" [10]

The second annual Tacoma winter sports carnival is scheduled for January 21-22, 1933 at Paradise. The road will be open at least to the canyon rim at Ricksecker Point and possibly to Narada Falls.

Tacoma Times, Apr 17, 1934 - "Ski Aces Cross Mount Tacoma" [12]

Three Seattle skiers, Dr. Otto Strizek, Ben Spellar and Orville Borgersen, completed what was believed to be the first crossing of Mt Rainier on skis at an altitude of 11,000 feet. They made the crossing while training for the upcoming Silver Skis race. The 25 mile trip was made in approximately 12 hours.

Tacoma Ledger, Nov 13, 1934 - "Tacoma Back of Plan" [15]

The Tacoma Chamber of Commerce has thrown its support behind an effort to secure the 1935 national ski championships at Mt Rainier. This article has good quotes from Hans Otto Giese.

Tacoma Sunday Ledger, Apr 14, 1935 - Gorrie, Frank G., "Miss Smith, Schroll Win In Downhill" [7]

While beating Dick Durrance's second place time by more than a minute, Hannes Schroll passed five men who had left ahead of him at one-minute intervals in the dense fog at Sugar Loaf at 8,500 feet. Durrance fell once but Schroll "rode her out." Ellis-Ayr Smith of Tacoma won the women's downhill, falling only once. "Most of her competitors were somersaulting 5 to 15 times in their do-or-die races against time." A Ledger article on 4/15/35 ("Skit Smith Takes Title For Women") [9] describes the slalom race, also won by that "human avalanche," Hannes Schroll. Ethlynne "Skit" Smith won the women's slalom.

Tacoma Times, Dec 12, 1935 - "Park Slalom Championships To Get Under Way Dec. 22" [12]

"The distinctive surroundings of the Paradise Inn lobby and dining room are available to skiers for the first time... All inn guest rooms will be available. The building, constructed as a summer resort, has been strengthened and weather-proofed so it will be comfortable throughout the winter."

Tacoma Times, Jan 10, 1936 - "New Style Slalom Poles" [11]

"Many ski organizations now are considering replacement of the conventional short pole that protrudes only a foot or two above the snow by the tall standard which will carry a flag four feet above snow level. It will make a big difference in slalom races if and when the high poles are standardized in this country."

Tacoma Daily Ledger, Feb 23, 1936 - "Northwest to be Ski Capital of World" [11]

Thanks to publicity from the 1935 national downhill and slalom championships at Paradise, people are coming from distant parts of the country to ski on Mt Rainier. Paul Sceva of Rainier National Park Company says that spring skiing is an attraction not available elsewhere. Spring skiers "dress with about as little as custom will allow, the men with trunks only, the women with shorts and a little more, and they set the tan which the sunlight, ultra violet rays and other special high-altitude rays burn on, with oils and vinegar rubbed over their bodies. After a little, they are healthily and happily near-black."

Tacoma News Tribune, Oct 2, 1936 - "Plan Big Ski Season" [13]

The policy of leasing facilities at Paradise for the entire ski season, "originated in the park several years ago," will be continued. However, cabins will be leased only for the early part of the winter. When snow buries the cabins necessitating tunnel entrances, use of these buildings must be suspended. Construction of board tunnels or shafts from cabin doors will be prohibited. Use of snow-covered cabins has been condemned by the fire control expert, safety engineers, and the sanitary engineer of the National Park Service.

Tacoma Times, Nov 28, 1936 - Brady, Janet Watson, "Winter Season at Paradise Will Be Opened on Dec. 19" [6]

For the first time this year the road will be plowed to Paradise, with stage service from Narada Falls. The Paradise Inn will be open for its second winter season, following renovation and the addition of new rooms. New flood lights have been erected on the lower slopes of Alta Vista, where night skiing will be available. The new lights supplement the system of spot lights and street lights installed a year ago. Accomodations will also be available at the Paradise Lodge, the Tatoosh club, the Sluiskin club and the Guide house. A full schedule of races and carnivals is set. A Ledger article on 12/13/36 ("Road To Be Kept Open To Valley") [12] and a Times article on 12/17/36 ("Paradise Inn Open Saturday As Ski Season Gets Underway") [11] have more details.

Tacoma Sunday Ledger, Dec 20, 1936 - "Otto Lang Due At Mountain Today" [13]

Otto Lang will arrive at Mt Rainier to open the Northwest's first Arlberg ski school. Lang will also open a ski school at Mt Baker this winter. Ken Syverson, ski instructor at Mt Rainier last year, will be Lang's assistant. A TNT article on 4/15/36 ("Shoot Movies Of Skiing On Slopes Of Mountain") [10] describes the visit by Otto Lang and Jerome Hill to Mt Rainier during which they filmed "America's first technical film on the Arlberg style."

Tacoma Times, Dec 9, 1937 - "Growth of Skiing Shown by Years" [12]

The article lists the number of cars and persons entering Rainier National Park each winter from 1927-28 (22,265 people) through 1936-37 (65,936 people).

Tacoma Times, Feb 9, 1938 - "Annual Ski Meet To Be Held At Paradise" [14]

This article notes that the first annual Tacoma Day carnival at Mt Rainier in 1932 was held at Longmire. On those days, only a hundred or so pair of skis could be found in the state, making it hard for the planners to line up enough boards for the anticipated guests. Many of those attending the carnival had to view the spectacle from snowshoes or the front porch of the National Park Inn.

Tacoma News Tribune, May 3, 1938 - "Petition Asks Ski Area For Yakima Park" [12]

The Seattle Chamber of Commerce submitted a petition with 5,000 signatures to the National Park Service for a ski area at Yakima Park (Sunrise).

Tacoma Times, Nov 22, 1938 - Meagher, Ed, "Chances Slim For Ski Improvement In Park" [14]

During the 1937-38 winter season, 96,194 persons entered the park, but they expended a total of only $91,000, an average of about 94 cents a person. Paul H. Sceva, general manager of the Rainier National Park Co., says improvements, such as better lifts, new lodges, and the opening of Sunrise for skiing, are unlikely unless the government provides assistance to the company, which has never ended a winter season in the black.


Tacoma Ledger, Apr 14, 1940 - Clifford, Howie, "Silver Ski Racer is Killed" [16]

This short article describes the circumstances in which Vince Broz and Paul Sceva, Jr. were injured during the race in which Sigurd Hall was killed.

Tacoma News Tribune, Sep 3, 1949 - "Shift Park Skiing Area Next Winter" [6]

"With the announcement that the Rainier National Park company will cease operation of its facilities at Mt Rainier at the end of the year, John Preston, park superintendent, announced Saturday that ski activities will be shifted to the Cayuse ski area." Plans are underway to establish at least three rope tows in the area. No effort will be made to keep the road open to Paradise in winter. In a 9/6/49 letter to the editor [19], Roger A. Freeman of Seattle writes that this means "mighty Mt Rainier will be completely inaccessible nine months out of the year." He adds that development of the Cayuse-Tipsoo area "can in no way compensate for the closing of the mountain itself." He says the next American Ski Annual will contain an article about the south side of Rainier, "The Highest Ski Run in America," which ironically will coincide with the closing of Mt Rainier to the public "if the park service has its way."


Tacoma News Tribune, Dec 15, 1953 - "40 Meet To Boost Rainier Ski Program" [16]

Governor Langlie invited representatives of chambers of commerce, ski organizations, railroads and airlines to discuss a proposal to promote Mt Rainier as a winter sports center. The Governor suggested to Interior Secretary Douglas McKay that an aerial lift be constructed from Paradise Valley to Camp Muir at the 10,000 foot level of the mountain. He also suggested that overnight facilities for skiers be provided, possibly of the hotel type. An editorial in the same paper ("Winter Sports at the Mountain") [16] supports Langlie's proposal and notes that currently no overnight or restaurant facilities are available during the skiing season nor is the road to Paradise kept open. A 12/16/53 article ("Aerial Tram Backed for Mt Rainier") [17] has details of the Langlie meeting. The only dissenting voice was from Leo Gallagher of Tacoma, a member of the Mountaineers who attended the meeting as an individual. "Gallagher cautioned that if the park service should give an inch by permitting an aerial tram in Mt Rainier National Park, the money grabbers and commercial interests could open the aperture up a mile wide by coming in with other commercial features."

A 1/1/54 article [19] declares that "Rainier Tows Are Possible." A 2/10/54 article ("Park Service Standing Pat") [16] reports that Park Service policy precludes structures such as ski lifts and aerial trams. Interior Secretary McKay is reported to have said that the question is under consideration and that "the park service has its policy from which it has refused to deviate for many years." In an undated letter [16], Leon E. Titus writes: "We know the park naturalists, 100 years ago more or less, said something about marring the beauty of the national parks. But in this modern day, those rules are as outmoded as a 1903 Ford." He adds: "There will be a very definite campaign to build a tram on Mt Rainier." In a 2/21/54 article ("Sports-log") [9] Congressman Thor C. Tollefson says he believes a change in Park Service policy can be expected. In a 2/23/54 article ("Northwest Skiers Don't Like T-Bar Lift Scheme") [21], Park Service Director Conrad Wirth expressed "no objections to the construction of a T-bar lift at Mt Rainier" which could be erected in winter and removed in summer.

Tacoma News Tribune, Jun 13, 1954 - "Group Renews Corral Pass Resort Plans" [21]

Plans to develop a ski resort in the Corral Pass area northeast of Mt Rainier have been revived with the formation of the Rainier View Skyways Committee headed by the Rev. Leo Gaffney, a professor of civil engineering at Seattle University, and John Mulhollan, a veteran skier and ski instructor. The original Corral Pass development was surveyed by a Tacoma group, the Corral Pass Development Committee, headed by Dr. William R. Taylor and assisted by Mrs. E.G. Griggs II. The area, often referred to as the "Sun Bowl of the Cascades" was used for winter training by the U.S. Army for several winters. The development plan calls for a parking area along U.S. Route 410 and a three-mile long gondola to carry skiers to timberline, from which point other ski lifts would extend. The article includes an aerial photograph with the proposed lifts sketched in.

Tacoma News Tribune, Dec 22, 1954 - "McKay Vetoes Rainier Tram" [16]

Interior Secretary McKay advised Rep. Tollefson (R-Wash) that the department will "give no further consideration" to proposals for construction of a tramway at Mt Rainier National Park. In another article in the same paper ("Langlie Deplores Tramway Veto") [16], Gov. Langlie expressed his disappointment with the department's position. "I know there is a lot of feeling in the park service about use of trams in parks. But I have a feeling that over a period of years there will be a continued demand that the policy be changed."

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