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Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Silver Skis Championships
These articles were published at the time of the Silver Skis races. Retrospective articles are listed here. All Seattle P-I issues were reviewed on microfilm at the UW Libraries.


I skimmed the following P-I issues to compile these notes. I copied articles about the Silver Skis race and a few others for context. Sundays are shown in bold: 12/10/33, 12/17/33, 12/24/33, 12/31/33, 1/7/34, 1/14/34, 1/21/34, 1/22/34-1/27/34, 1/28/34, 1/29/34-2/3/34, 2/4/34, 2/11/34, 2/18/34, 2/25/34, 3/4/34, 3/11/34, 3/18/34, 3/19/34-3/24/34, 3/25/34, 4/1/34, 4/8/34, 4/15/34, 4/16/34-4/21/34, 4/22/34, 4/23/34-4/26/34, 4/29/34.

Sunday, 24 Dec 1933 - "Rainier Ski Slate is Listed for 1934" by Mike Donohoe

The National Park Company announces a schedule of weekly races from New Years Day to the end of April. On June 1 is listed the "First flying mile exhibition." The author writes: "A downhill dash from Camp Muir--right up there in the clouds brother--to Paradise, a real test of the ski rider's ability, will be the main event of the programs." This was probably the first mention in the press of what would become the Silver Skis race. The course is said to be five miles long with a one-mile drop.

Tuesday, 30 Jan 1934 - "Ahoy Skiers! Read This!"

The first motorized ski-tow in the country opened on January 29 at Woodstock, VT. "The device consists of an endless rope which runs over a guide pulley at the top of the hill and over a motor at the foot of the incline. It takes skiers up 900 feet in one minute." The future beckons.

Friday, 2 Feb 1934 - "Post-Intelligencer to Stage Thrilling Downhill Ski Race"

This is the official announcement of the P-I's sponsorship of the as-yet unnamed race. A photo of Hans Otto Giese, chairman of the Seattle Ski Council, is shown under the heading "SKI BOOSTER". The P-I decided to sponsor the race after a meeting of Giese, Otto Sanford of the Commonwealth Ski Club, Frank Bush of the YMCA, Jack Hillyer of the UW Ski Club, Don Fraser ("prominent cross-country skier"), Tony Talbot of the Washington Athletic Club, and Mike Donohoe and Royal Brougham of the P-I.

Sunday, 4 Feb 1934 - "Ski Followers Enthuse Over Post-Intelligencer's Big Race"

Paul H. Sceva of the Rainier National Park Company and Hans Otto Giese do the enthusing. Downhill races for juniors and women are also being planned.

Sunday, 11 Feb 1934 - "The Morning After" By Royal Brougham

Compares the proposed Muir-Paradise race to the Kandahar at Murren, Switzerland, "the Kentucky Derby of ski racing."

Sunday, 18 Feb 1934 - "Post-Intelligencer Ski Race Endorsed"

Howard Dalsbo, secretary of the Northwest Ski Association does the endorsing.

Sunday, 18 Feb 1934 - "More Ski Whoopee"

A sequence of three photos depicts Paul Sceva, Jr. performing a pole flip.

Sunday, 25 Feb 1934 - "Ski Star Has Much Praise for P-I Race" By Mike Dononhoe

Ed Newell of the Paradise Ski Club compares the proposed race to those on Mt Moosilauke, NH and Mt Ste. Marguerite, Quebec.

Sunday, 4 Mar 1934 - "Post-Intelligencer Ski Race Committee Named; Date Set April 22"

Originally scheduled for May 6, the date was moved up due to "an unusual scarcity of snow throughout the Northwest this season." There is a large photo of a skier near Alta Vista looking toward the Muir snowfield. The proposed race route is clearly marked.

Wednesday, 21 Mar 1934 - "Ski Entry Blanks in Mail Soon"

The name "Silver Skis" is used for the first time. On March 25 an entry form is published.

Sunday, 1 Apr 1934 - "Seattle Stars Will Run for Silver Skis"

The paper drums up enthusiasm by highlighting skiers who have registered early, including Hans Otto Giese, Ben Thompson, Alf Moystad, Hans Grage and Paul Gilbreath.

Sunday, 8 Apr 1934 - "Radio Will Be Used to Start Muir-Paradise Race at Mt Rainier"

The article makes it clear that a mass start is planned. Timers at Paradise will be in radio contact with the starters at Muir and a loudspeaker at Paradise will keep the crowd informed of the action. The article includes a large aerial photo of the mountain taken by a P-I photographer with the course marked.

Sunday, 15 Apr 1934 - "Stars Preparing for Battle at Silver Skis Next Sunday" By Mike Donohoe

The article names a few of the skiers "getting in shape" and describes the awards to be given, including a sterling silver trophy for the winner of the big race. The names of the entrants are listed (28 so far).

Sunday, 15 Apr 1934 - "Daring Ski Riders in Action - Silver Skis Meet Draws Them - On Mt. Rainier's Slopes"

The final press blitz begins with a double-page photo of Otto Strizek, Frank Fletcher and Carleton Wiegel skiing in close formation with the caption, "Here's the real sport of skiing as caught by the camera's eye!"

Monday, 16 Apr 1934 - "Girl Skiers in P-I Race"

The article highlights the women's downhill to be held on Panorama Point during the Silver Skis program. It notes, "The weather has been remarkably clear on the mountain during the past three weeks and no sudden change is expected."

Wednesday, 18 Apr 1934 - "Millions to Learn of N.W. Ski Sports"

Several press services will cover the race and Universal Newsreel will film it, "thus the Northwest will be supplied through one event with national publicity which millons of dollars cannot buy." There is even some cheesecake in the form of Grace Carter, "a feminine sensation on skis is this dainty little miss," pictured doing a low telemark in a V-neck shirt.

Thursday, 19 Apr 1934 - "Skiers Leave to Train for Big P-I Race"

The subtitle is "Huge Crowd of Spectators Plan Mt. Rainier Excursion on This Sunday Morning". This issue includes photographs of Bob Donaldson, Carleton Wiegel and Hans Grage "practicing for Silver Skis."

Friday, 20 Apr 1934 - "Canadians Swell Ski Entry to 55" By Mike Dononhoe

The article predicts "almost 100 skiers" will compete in the race. There is a large photo of Joyce Lochore (titled "Beauty and Silver Skis") holding the silver trophy, two finely detailed skis (with bindings) supported in an A-frame by a central column. Another article names the officials: Darroch Crookes, course-setter; Otto Sanford, head starter; Peter Hostmark, chief judge; Ken Syverson, chief gatekeeper; Carl Tice, patrol chief. A note at the lower-right corner says it's "Easy to Reach Rainier."

Saturday, 21 Apr 1934 - "Ski Fans Heading for Mount Rainier" By Mike Donohoe

Sixty skiers are now registered. The writer speculates about the chances of some of the top competitors, including Hans Grage of the Commonwealth Club, Viktor Kutschera of Banff, Alf Moystad of the Seattle Ski Club, Hans Otto Giese, and others.

Saturday, 21 Apr 1934 - "British Ski Experts Cross Coast Range"

A tiny AP wire story says that on April 20 a party led by Sir Norman J. Watson arrived at Knight Inlet, B.C. after successfully crossing the Coast Range and skiing down the Franklin Glacier to the sea.

Saturday, 21 Apr 1934 - "Thompson to Make Skis in Seattle"

A tiny article mentions that manufacturer Ray Anderson has formed a partnership with skier Ben Thompson to make ski equipment in Seattle.

Sunday, 22 Apr 1934 - "Huge Field Races in Silver Skis Meet" By Mike Donohoe

Printed on the morning of the race, the paper predicts fine weather, a record crowd, and speculates on the winning time. One piece notes that "Skiing Was Mystery to Editors in 1919" and Royal Brougham's column concludes: "If you haven't found it out, skiing is on the Northwest sports map permanently and definitely. And the Silver Skis Championship set for Sunday is going to be something to look at, if you care for thrills."

Monday, 23 Apr 1934 - "Fraser Wins Ski Race by Mere Inches" By Royal Brougham

Don Fraser won the April 22 race in a time of 10 minutes, 49.6 seconds. The Page 1 story is continued on the sports section, where Fraser is pictured finishing just ahead of Carleton Wiegel. The photo caption says that sixty-four skiers started and forty-three finished, while the article says that sixty started and forty-four finished. Alf Moystad finished third. Marguerite Strizek won the women's event and Paul Sceva Jr. won the junior race. Only one injury was reported, a fractured jaw sustained by Ben Thompson in a collision with another racer below Anvil Rock.

Forty-four finishers are listed. They include Wolf Bauer, 5th (DQ); Hans-Otto Giese, 6th; Hans Grage, 10th; Ken Syverson, 11th; Bill Butler, 13th; Wendell Trosper, 21st; John Woodward, 30th; Paul Gilbreath, 31st (DQ); Stanley Borgersen, 33rd; Robert Sperlin, 38th; Don Adams, 39th. Those marked (DQ) were disqualified for failing to pass through a control gate. Entry lists in the 4/20 and 4/21 papers suggest that the following men (among others) raced but did not finish: Ed and Harry Loners, W.J. Maxwell, Lyle St. Louis and Otto Strizek.

Tuesday, 24 Apr 1934 - "Great Future Seen for Big Rainier Race" By Mike Donohoe

"That the Silver Skis championship is destined to take its place among the great winter sports events of the world was the unanimous opinion of spectators and competitors alike yesterday," writes the author.


Issues skimmed: 4/7/35, 4/12/35, 4/13/35, 4/14/35, 4/15/35, 4/16/35. Some issues contained relevant articles that I have not summarized here.

Sunday, 14 Apr 1935 - "Schroll Wins Downhill Ski Race; Schroll Defies All Obstacles to Win National Downhill Ski Title" By Royal Brougham

Hannes Schroll of Austria won the U.S. National downhill ski championship at Mt Rainier on April 13 over a 2.3 mile course in a time of 2 minutes, 35 seconds. Dick Durrance of Dartmouth College, NH was second in 3:42. His teammate A.L. Washburn took third. High winds and fog were reported on the course. Schroll was awarded the P-I Silver Skis trophy for 1935, since the Muir-Paradise race was cancelled to make way for this event. Ellis Ayr Smith of Tacoma won the women's National downhill championship.

Monday, 15 Apr 1935 - "Schroll Captures Ski Championship at Mount Rainier" By Mike Donohoe

Hannes Schroll won U.S. National slalom championship on April 14, with Bob Livermore of Boston in second. In the combined tournament results, Schroll was the winner with Dick Durrance second. National Park officials estimated that over 7,000 spectators watched Sunday's race. Ethlynne Smith, sister of the women's downhill winner, won the women's slalom. A photo depicts Royal Brougham awarding the Silver Skis trophy to Hannes Schroll.

Tuesday, 16 Apr 1935 - "That Mountain Cowboy from Austria - Schroll"

A photo of Hannes Schroll in action in the slalom, subtitled: "Laughing, Colorful and Daring, He Wins the Silver Skis".


Issues skimmed: 4/12/36, 4/17/36, 4/18/36, 4/19/36, 4/20/36

Monday, 20 Apr 1936 - "Cascade Ace Makes Clean Title Sweep" By Royal Brougham

Hjalmar Hvam of Portland, OR won the second Muir-Paradise downhill (the third time the Silver Skis trophy was awarded) on April 19 in a time of 5 minutes, 38 seconds. Hannes Schroll foreran the course in 5:30.3. Tom Mobraaten of Vancouver was second and Paul Gilbreath of Seattle third. The racers were started separately and finished in Edith Creek Basin. Peggy Harlin of Vancouver won the women's race. The article includes a fine photo of Hvam crossing the finish line with the crowd and Tatoosh range in the scene. Another photo depicts Hvam holding the trophy next to Hannes Schroll.


Issues skimmed: 4/11/37, 4/19/37, 4/20/37

Sunday, 7 Mar 1937 - "Great Silver Skis Race Looms on April 18"

The Pacific Northwest Ski Association sanctioned an open competition, allowing both amateurs and professionals. The article predicts the biggest race yet, due to the improvement of skiers and the opening of the road to Paradise. "No longer will the spectators have to hike from Narada Falls."

Monday, 19 Apr 1937 - "P-I Ski Race Is Postponed" By Royal Brougham

The race scheduled for April 18 was delayed for one day due to stormy weather. Instead, the racers staged an exhibition slalom on the slopes of Alta Vista. Sigi Engl of Yosemite had the fastest run.

Tuesday, 20 Apr 1937 - "Storm Cancels Big Silver Skis Races" by Royal Brougham

After a one-day postponement to Monday, April 19, Master of Course Otto Lang and the race committee unanimously canceled the race due to stormy weather. The article is accompanied by a photo of several racers, including Sigmund Ruud, Sverre Kolterud and Hjalmar Hvam, sitting outside the lodge under the headline, "But it Wouldn't Stop Snowing..."


Issues skimmed: 3/27/38, 3/28/38, 4/10/38, 4/17/38, 5/2/38, 5/3/38

Monday, 28 Mar 1938 - "Wind Spoils Silver Skis" By Mike Donohoe

The race was indefinitely postponed due to sixty mile-per-hour winds on Sunday, March 27. Eighteen hundred cars and almost 8,000 people had traveled to Paradise to view the race. Saturday's weather, on the other hand, had been fine. A photo depicts Don Amick skiing in an exhibition slalom that was run instead of the downhill. The organizers were to decide in a few days what the future of the 1938 race would be.

Monday, 2 May 1938 - "Don Fraser Defeats Schroll in Silver Skis" By Mike Donohoe

Don Fraser won the race on May 1 in a time of 6 minutes, 12.3 seconds. Hannes Schroll finished second, 3 seconds behind the leader. Carl Neu of the Penguin Ski Club was third. Wind and variable clouds were reported. The article is accompanied by a photo of Fraser, Gretchen Kunigk, women's champion, and Dick Lewis, junior champion, holding their trophies. Another photo shows Fraser in action on Panorama Point.


Issues skimmed: 4/16/39, 4/17/39

Sunday, 16 Apr 1939 - "Peter Radacher Wins Silver Skis - Record for Course Falls" By Mike Donohoe

Austrian Peter Radacher of Sun Valley won the race on April 15 in a time of 4 minutes, 51.4 seconds. The P-I now measures the course at 3.16 miles (in previous years it said it was 5 miles), making claims of 60+ mph speeds more credible to readers who can divide. Arthur Schlatter of Switzerland was second, six seconds behind the leader. Norwegian jumper Reidar Anderson was third. Nine racers broke the previous course record set by Hannes Schroll in 1936. Dorothy Hoyt was the women's champion. The article includes a photo of a crouched racer approaching the finish line, with an inset of Radacher admiring his Silver Skis trophy.


Issues skimmed: 4/13/40, 4/14/40, 4/15/40, 4/16/40, 4/17/40, 4/18/40, 4/19/40, 4/20/40, 4/21/40

Sunday, 14 Apr 1940 - "One Killed, 2 Hurt in Ski Race - Seattle Man Dies After Crashing Into Rocks"

This Page 1 article says that Sigurd Hall, 25, of Seattle died after striking rocks a half-mile from the starting point. Vince Broze and Paul Sceva, Jr. also suffered leg injuries.

Sunday, 14 Apr 1940 - "Seattle Ace Upset Victor" By Mike Donohoe

Paul Gilbreath won the race on April 13 in 5 minutes, 24 seconds. Toni Matt of North Conway, NH was two seconds behind. Hans Grage of Seattle took third. Icy slopes and foggy weather were reported. Nancy Reynolds won the women's race. The article includes a photo of Gilbreath in action and another of him receiving the Silver Skis trophy from Baroness Zina De Rosen, visiting from Sweden. This article makes no mention of the accidents until the end, when Gilbreath is quoted: "I think we should dedicate the Silver Skis to Sigurd Hall."

Monday, 15 Apr 1940 - "Mother in Norway Unaware of Sigurd Hall's Tragic Death" By Walter Rue

This Page 3 article says that due to mail delays caused by the war, it may be weeks or even months before word of Hall's death reaches his mother in Furugrenda, Norway. The article says that Hall was an electrician employed by a machinery concern. He came to the U.S about twelve years earlier and became an American citizen in 1937.

Monday, 15 Apr 1940 - "John Blatt Wins Junior Silver Skis" By Mike Donohoe

Quote: "In future Silver Skis championships the trophy for the fastest amateur will be known as 'The Sig Hall Memorial Trophy' in honor of a clean-cut young fellow who was the personification of the amateur ideal."


Issues skimmed: 4/5/41, 4/6/41, 4/7/41

Sunday, 6 Apr 1941 - "Silver Skis Put Off Until Today" By Mike Donohoe

The race was postponed due to high winds. The article makes it clear that the Seattle P-I is still the sponsor, despite what has been published elsewhere (e.g. mtneer-a-1963-p30). There is a fine photo of Gage Chetwood of the Washington Ski Club carving a turn close to the camera.

Monday, 7 Apr 1941 - "Major Upset On Mountain - Many Spills Feature P-I Classic; New Snow Makes Course Difficult" By Mike Donohoe

The race on April 6 was shortened by a half-mile, starting at Little Africa instead of Camp Muir. Bill Taylor, 20, of Tacoma won in a time of 4 minutes, 51.4 seconds. Hugh Bauer was 6 seconds behind and Paul Gilbreath finished third. Lt. John Woodward of the U.S. Army placed fourth. The article reports that conditions were the trickiest in the 7-year history of the race due to new snow and flat light. Not a single competitor finished without a fall. The article includes a photo of a racer passing the finish gate and another of Bill Taylor in action. Shirley McDonald won the women's race.


Issues skimmed: 4/12/42, 4/13/42

Sunday, 12 Apr 1942 - "Silver Classic Delayed; Set For Today" By Royal Brougham

The race was delayed by bad weather. The article predicts that a score of members of the United States ski troops will run in the race.

Monday, 13 Apr 1942 - "City Fireman Wins Silver Skis Trophy" By Royal Brougham

The article begins on Page 1 and is continued in the sports section. Matt Broze of the Seattle Ski Club won the April 12 race in a time of 4 minutes, 57 seconds, despite two falls. The race was over the full 3.16 mile course. Walter Prager, former Dartmouth ski coach and now a member of the U.S. Army mountain troops, finished 2 seconds behind. Martin Fopp of Timberline, OR placed third. Thirteen of the top twenty finishers were members of the mountain troops training on Mt Rainier. The article includes a photo of Walter Prager crossing the finish line, another of Ray Zoberski crashing at the finish, and a third of Matt Broze, men's champion, and Shirley McDonald, women's champion, receiving their trophies from Col. O.S. Rolfe, commander of the U.S. Army mountain troops.

In an email on 15 Nov 2010, Cam Broze (son of Matt Broze) wrote that his father wrote in the margin of this story a correction to the statement that he fell twice during the race: "No! Only once."


Issues skimmed: 4/7/46, 4/20/46, 4/21/46, 4/22/46

Saturday, 20 Apr 1946 - "N.W. Top Stars Seek Silver Skis Today" By Mike Donohoe

The article includes a photo of a racer crossing the finish line with the caption: "Thrills abound in Rainier classic, resumed today, first since 1942." Twenty-three competitors are registered. There is a description of the trophy: "Designed by Carl Zapffe, a Seattle silversmith, the trophy consists of two skis, complete with downhill racing bindings, and done to scale in silver." The writer notes that "each winner of the classic keeps the trophy forever."

Sunday, 21 Apr 1946 - "Weather Delays Silver Skis Race" By Mike Donohoe

Wind, snow and fog delayed the race scheduled for Saturday, April 20. The author writes: "It is because the weather here is so unpredictable that the race is always slated for Saturday. And in the event that conditions are not favorable the race is put over until the following day." The first racer is started at 1:30 pm and the remainder of the field start at one-minute intervals.

Monday, 22 Apr 1946 - "Silver Skis Off; Weather Is Rough" By Mike Donohoe

Racers and officials climbed to Little Africa on Easter Sunday, April 21, and waited for 1-1/2 hours before canceling the event due to foul weather.


Issues skimmed: 4/6/47, 4/27/47, 5/3/47, 5/4/47

Sunday, 4 May 1947 - "South Speeds To Silver Skis Win" By Mike Donohoe

Willard South of the Sun Valley Ski Club won the May 3 race in 5 minutes, 16 seconds. Karl Stingl, also from Sun Valley, was two-tenths of a second behind him. Don Amick of Seattle, who was favored before the race, placed third. In a bizarre twist, the finish point was moved from Edith Creek basin to the flats above Alta Vista after the racers had ascended the course. Amick made the usual left turn toward Edith Creek and missed the finish gate. The judges and timers fudged the results by catching the racers "at an angle across the finish" as they headed for the customary ending. The article includes a photo of South passing through the finish gate with Panorama Point visible above. Another photo depicts Chief of Course Don Fraser awarding the trophy to Willard South and his wife. There were 20 finishers.


Issues skimmed: 4/4/48, 4/9/48, 4/10/48, 4/11/48, 4/12/48, 4/17/48, 4/24/48, 5/1/48, 5/8/48, 5/9/48, 5/10/48

Sunday, 11 Apr 1948 - "Silver Skis Postponed; Classic Set Today" By Mike Donohoe

The race was postponed from Saturday, April 10 due to wind and snowfall.

Monday, 12 Apr 1948 - "Delay on New Ski Date - Rainier Classic Is Postponed" By Mike Donohoe

Continued stormy weather forced another postponement. The organizers hope to reschedule the race in early May.

Sunday, 9 May 1948 - "Silver Skis Event Is Delayed; Race On Today" By Mike Donohoe

The writer sums up the third postponement of the season: "Ceiling--zero; visibility--zero; Silver Skis--zero. That's how it was today in lovely, fogbound Paradise Valley."

Monday, 10 May 1948 - "Gilbreath Wins Silver Skis" By Mike Donohoe

Paul Gilbreath won the 10th Silver Skis Championship on May 9 in 3 minutes, 27.3 seconds. After being postponed three times, the race was run in foggy conditions over a shortened course, starting at Little Africa instead of Camp Muir. Gib Eaton of the Penguin Ski Club was second and Dr. William Taylor of Tacoma, the 1941 winner, was third. Gilbreath became the second person, along with Don Fraser, to win the Silver Skis twice. Repeated postponements cut the field from 35 when it was initially scheduled to only 10 finishers. A photo depicts Gilbreath crossing the finish line in cloudy weather. Another photo shows the top finishers receiving trophies from John Mulhollan, committee chairman, and John Preston, Rainier National Park superintendent.


I skimmed the following issues and found no mention of the Silver Skis race: 4/3/49, 4/10/49, 4/17/49, 4/24/49, 5/1/49, 5/8/49. There were articles about smaller PNSA races taking place on Mt Rainier, but nothing about the Silver Skis.

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Last Updated: Sat, Apr 14, 2012 4:51:56 PM