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Cle Elum Miner-Echo
This newspaper is available on microfilm at CWU. I started my search in the winter of 1920, concentrating on the month of February but skimming other winter months.


Feb 11, 1921 - "Ski Club Has A Merry Day Of It"

A party of twelve enjoyed skiing at Lake Cle Elum, "sliding, gliding, rolling and tumbling down to Mr. Spratt's cabin." This is the first article I found about skiing, and I didn't find anything else until 1924.


Jan 11, 1924 - "Ski Sport Draws Many" and "South Side Skiway Atracts Throngs"

There are two popular ski courses at Cle Elum, one north and the other south of town. Articles on 1-18-24 and 1-25-24 indicate that the Kiwanis course, at South Cle Elum, was constructed in December 1923. It has a ski jump and toboggan course. The Summit Lodge is three miles north of town on the ridge between Cle Elum and the Teanaway Valley. The lodge, a three-walled shelter, was constructed in the fall of 1923 at a site selected by John Koester, John Bresko and Russ Connell. A takeoff has been constructed there and the Rocky Run features five jumps. According to one article, "There are now hundreds of ski riders in this district."

Feb 15, 1924 - "First Annual Ski Carnival Huge Success"

The carnival was held on Lincoln's birthday, February 12, at the Kiwanis ski course. A crowd estimated at between 1200 and 1500 was on hand, with windy conditions for jumping. Four professional jumpers competed, all from towns west of the mountains. John Holen of Seattle, who last jumped at Mt Rainier in July, made the longest jump of the day, 83 feet. Arthur Ronstad of Renton was the winner on points. Amateur events were limited by the winds, and Walter Anderson of Easton was the top amateur. The 2-22-24 paper describes another, larger amateur contest held February 17 at the Summit Lodge.

Mar 28, 1924 - "Ski Bugs Travel To Martin Sunday"

Twenty-seven pairs of skis and over thirty skiers made the trip to Martin on March 23 on the Northern Pacific train. They enjoyed "the finest ski grounds found in years." The article implies that Cle Elum skiers have visited Martin before and that it is their preferred spring skiing location.


Jan 30, 1925 - "2,000 Witness Second Annual Ski Tournament"

The second annual Kiwanis ski tournament on January 25 at the Kiwanis hill included amateur and professional ski jumping, a short cross country race and a gliding contest. Prizes were awarded between shows at the Lane Theatre, where "The Chase" ski film was a special attraction of the evening. In a 2-6-25 article, C.F. Truitt sent thanks from members of the Yakima Cascadians who attended the tournament.

Feb 20, 1925 - "Ski Carnival Last Sunday Grand Success"

The second annual Summit Lodge Ski Club carnival was held on February 15. Over one hundred contestants entered and over four hundred people were present. Events included amateur-only ski jumping and obstacle courses on Rocky Run, Camel's Hump, Devil's Dive and Hell's Dive. There were gliding races, a cross country race, and a "goose fashion glide."

Apr 10, 1925 - "Martin Ski Party Has Splendid Sport"

Fifty skiers enjoyed spring skiing at Martin on April 5, organized by the Summit Ski Club. Visiting skiers from Tacoma, Yakima and Ellensburg joined in. Another trip was planned for the following Sunday. It is clear that Cle Elum skiers made regular spring trips to Martin by train in the mid-1920s. The 3-26-26 paper reported a party of 75 skiers attending the "annual Martin ski party."


Feb 19, 1926 - "Third Annual Ski Tournament Most Successful"

I found no notice of a Kiwanis ski tournament in 1926. It appears that amateur and professional events were combined in a single tournament organized by the Cle Elum (Summit) Ski Club at the Summit course on February 14. More than six hundred people witnessed the ten-event program. Joe Yolo and other members of the Yakima Cascadians were present. Amateur and expert jumping events were held, plus many obstacle courses. Tony Sandona, "the human tumbleweed," captured second place on the Hell's Dive course after remaining upright, a performance judged by all to have been an accident. Russ Connell entered the ladies gliding course dressed as Mysterious Miss Hanson of Alaska, "fully ten feet tall, wearing yellow rolled stockings, bedaubed with cosmetics and well gifted in the pursuits of flapperism, but all to no avail so far as the judges were concerned."

Feb 26, 1926 - "Expert Advice On How To Ski"

Advice from V.G. Johnson in Physical Culture Magazine: "The reason for accidents in skiing is because some people think that the simple toe-straps are sufficient bindings and that it is dangerous to fasten the ski to the boot by a good strong binding with side irons. This idea has been proved long ago to be erroneous." Useful for tracking the acceptance of toe iron (i.e. Huitfeldt) bindings.

Mar 19, 1926 - "Two Snowplows To Open Snoqualmie"

The pass is expected to open on April 1. A photo shows officers of the Cle Elum Kiwanis Club holding snowshoes after traveling over the pass on foot.


The issue containing the 1927 tournament results was missing on microfilm.


Feb 9, 1928 - "Skiers Receive Royal Welcome"

Twenty-eight people skied over Snoqualmie Pass from Hyak to Camp Mason to advertise the Fifth Annual Ski Tournament to be held February 19 at the Summit Ski Course north of Cle Elum. The skiers were picked up in cars at Camp Mason and driven to Seattle. They returned to Cle Elum later in the evening by train. The Seattle P-I publicized the event.

Feb 23, 1928 - "Fifth Annual Ski Meet Big Success"

A program in the 2-16-28 paper lists ten events, prizes, and sponsoring businesses. An article in the 2-9-28 paper says that a new cabin at the tournament site would be used for the first time that day. The crowd was estimated at over four thousand. Two special train coaches were added to carry visitors from Yakima, the largest delegation from outside of Cle Elum. Sigurd Hansen of Ione won the expert A Class jump. Other expert jumpers included Chris Bakken of Centralia, Allan Granstrom of the U.W., Hans-Otto Giese of Seattle and Carl Solberg of Easton. Giese, a native of Germany, competed for the Black Forest Ski Club. Harold Peterson won the B Class jumping with Walter Anderson second.

"Walter Anderson of Swauk Creek appeared on the course Sunday with a regular Eskimo parka, and attracted a lot of attention. This garment, made of reindeer hides with the fur side out and docorated colorfully, makes a picturesque garb."

Feb 23, 1928 - "Miner Killed By Rock Fall At Mine 5 Friday"

John Booth, a miner employed at Roslyn, was killed instantly then a rock fell on him in the mine on February 17. He was the second man to meet death in the mines within a week. Gus Sherbeck was killed in the mine at Ronald on February 15 when a runaway coal train struck him and fifteen loaded cars passed over his body.


Feb 21, 1929 - "Three Thousand Attend Annual Ski Tournament"

The tournament is now billed as the Northwest Ski Tournament. First, second and third places in the Class A expert jump went to skiers from Mt Vernon, Washington. Several Seattle Mountaineers attended, including Hans-Otto Giese, Otto Strizek, Lester LaVelle and Mary Dunning. Lester LaVelle acted as master of ceremonies at the Lane Theatre award presentation. A 1-10-29 article said that a new jump was constructed at the Summit Ski Club site for the tournament.


Feb 21, 1930 - "Ski Course Sets New Mark For 1930"

Three thousand people attended the tournament to see Olaf Locken set a distance record of 165 feet from the "gigantic runway" at the Summit Ski Club hill. Amateur events were held in the morning, jumping in the afternoon. Four extra coaches were needed on the westbound Northern Pacific to accomodate the Seattle crowd returning home. The largest out-of-town delegation was from Ellensburg and ski fans from Enumclaw, near Mt Rainier, were also present. A fine photo, titled "Yippee! He's up in the air and going places!" shows Howard Dalsbo of Seattle, who won the Class A jumping event with a stylish jump variously reported at 119 or 130 feet.

An article, "Mine Relic Shows Scene of Tragedy," describes a photograph brought to the Mineer-Echo office of a sketch made of Mine No. 1 in 1892, showing the location of victims found after an explosion killed 45 miners.

Dec 12, 1930 - "Year Ago Today The Pass Was Closed For The Winter"

"The highway department is all ready to wage a persistent battle against the winter's snowfall in a 'to-the-last-ditch' endeavor to keep the pass with its new highway open to traffic during the day all winter." A year before, on December 12, 1929, the pass was closed and slated to reopen on May 1, 1930.


Feb 6, 1931 - "Underground Route To Ski Tournament Proves Practical"

Tournament organizers tested a novel way to get spectators to the Summit Ski Club course--an underground railroad through the coal mine, making the trip in only 10 minutes. "The crowd behaved, nobody stood up and got their heads beamed against the 'low roof,' and the party arrived safe and sound on the upper end." Two special trains have been scheduled for the tournament by the Northern Pacific railway, one from Yakima and the other from Seattle. The ski jump tower has been increased in height by twenty feet. The 2-13-31 paper reports that the Snoqualmie Pass highway will be open to tournament goers for the first time.

Feb 13, 1931 - "Pass is Open For Ski Tournament"

"For the first time since Cle Elum held its Annual Ski Tournament eight yers ago, the [Snoqualmie] pass is open to permit visitors from the west side to come by auto."

Feb 20, 1931 - "Crowd of 5000 Attend 8th Annual Cle Elum Ski Tournament Sun."

A crowd of 5,000 rode the mine tramway or climbed the hill to watch the tournament on February 15. John Elvrum of Portland, OR won the meet with a jump of 128 feet. At the banquet the night before the tournament, D.L. Motteler, president of the Leavenworth Ski Club, said that other clubs looked upon Cle Elum as the Mother of Ski Events in the Northwest. One mishap marred the otherwise perfect working of the mine tramway. A lady from the west side of the mountains stood up while passing through the tunnel and received a scalp wound. She was treated at the hospital and was able to drive home in an automobile over Snoqualmie Pass.

Mar 6, 1931 - "John Elvrum Leaps 180 Feet At Summit Sun."

John Elvrum of Portland won the jumping event at the second annual Seattle Ski Club tournament at Snoqualmie Pass on Sunday, March 1. The tournament doubled as the Northwest tryouts for the 1932 Olympic Games. A holiday crowd of 10,000 was on hand for the cross-country ski race on Saturday. These developments signify the beginning of the end for Cle Elum. I searched for news of the first Seattle Ski Club tournament in 1930 without success.


Jan 15, 1932 - "Ski Club Launches Drive For Putting Over Big Show"

Cle Elum will host the second annual Pacific Northwest Ski Championship on the Big Hill, improved at a cost of $5,000. John Bresko, president of the ski club, said Cle Elum put on the first ski tournament in the Northwest 12 years ago and has hosted nine since then. (This suggests that the club held a tournament in 1920, then began its annual tournaments in 1924. I found no newspaper record of a 1920 event.) The 2-13-32 paper has a fine photo of the new takeoff, built on top of the old hill. The tower rises 117 feet at a 46 degree angle. Olaf Locken of Cle Elum is shown skiing down the takeoff and close up, holding his skis.

Feb 19, 1932 - "Elvrum Sets New Northwest Record With 202 Feet Leap"

Forty-one contestants skied for a crowd of 3,500 spectators at the tournament on February 14. John Elvrum of Portland made the longest jump, but fell on the landing, yielding the jumping title to Ole Tverdal of Seattle. Hjalmar Hvam of Portland won the Pacific Northwest combined jumping and cross-country championship.


Feb 24, 1933 - "Cle Elum Stages 10th Annual Tournament In Near Blizzard"

A crowd of 2,500 fans attended, but the tournament was marred by high winds. The big takeoff was judged too dangerous, so a make-shift takeoff was constructed on the hillside. Nordal Kaldahl won the tournament, which appears to have been a jumping event only.


I found no record of a tournament in 1934.

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