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Mountaineer Bulletin, 1930-39

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1930

January, 1930, p. 3, "Notes"

Norman Engle writes that the 1929 Annual article on "The Development of Skiing in the Mountaineers" did not go back to the beginning of the club's activities in the sport. At the 1915 winter outing (end of 1915), Thor Bisgaard secured skis for Harry Weer and Norman Engle. These three pairs were used during the outing. On the last day, Bisgaard and Engle went from Reese's camp to Ashford (18 miles) on skis. This was Engle's first experience on skis.

In "Ski Tips," A.W. Anderson describes Norwegian "terrain" and "mountain" skis. Terrain (forest or touring) skis are for everyday use. Mountain skis are preferred for open mountain country and plateau skiing. They are longer, more cambered, with less sidecut and a deeper groove, apparently for straight-ahead running.

February, 1930, p. 4, "Ski Tests"

The ski committee has established ski tests (Third, Second and First class) based on those of European clubs but modified to suit Mountaineer conditions. An article about the Meany Ski Hut calls it "the Northwest's most accessible winter sports area" and describes the appeal of the hut country at length. From the Snoqualmie Lodge, a ski trip up Granite Peak is scheduled for February 22. The first annual Seattle Ski Club jumping contest at Beaver Lake is scheduled on February 8-9. The highway remains open at present. In "Ski Tips," A.W. Anderson describes Norwegian racing skis, with some history.

March, 1930, p. 3, Meany, Edmond S., Special Note

"Skiing activities are bringing new concepts within the plans of The Mountaineers. These will undoubtedly include the ascent of higher mountains on skis as members or groups of members develop sufficient skill. The organization will diminish no part of its care and caution when leading large parties on the higher peaks. However, there has never been an assumption of control of the ambition or efforts of individuals or small groups seeking to achieve by their own initiative. Increasing attention is likely to be drawn toward individual Mountaineers working on skis. Leaders on appropriate committees are diligent in promoting the skill of climbers and their success is increasingly evident. This statement is prepared to modify or correct the recent criticism aimed at Robert Hayes and Hans-Otto Giese, who attempted a ski-ascent of Mount Baker. They are among the most skillful skiers in the Club. They were working on their own initiative and therefore not subject to criticism by the Club. Moreover, the success of their retreat and a subsequent explanation of their preparations and precautions justify this explanation as well as this general statement of progress in this relatively new activity of The Mountaineers." (See also mtneer-bot-1930-feb-06.)

Minutes of the Mountaineers Board of Trustees - Feb 6, 1930

The Snoqualmie Pass highway remains open to the summit, off and on, depending on the snow conditions.

April, 1930, p. 4, Anderson, A.W. "Ski Tips"

A description of jumping skis. A note on p. 3 says that the Snoqualmie Pass highway is open.

May, 1930, p. 5, "Notes"

The first Ski Patrol race on March 23, 1930 was won by Andrew W. Anderson, Fred Ball and Hans-Otto Giese. Wolf Bauer, Hans Grage, Chester Higman and Otto Lunn broke trail, taking nine hours.

June, 1930, p. 6, "Notes"

"On May 4, 1930, Robert Sperlin and Edwin Loners made the ascent of Mt Baker on skis. This was the first recorded ascent on skis of a major peak. Another member of the party, John Booth, was forced to wear crampons part of the way. The skiers started from Glacier Cabin at 5:15 a.m. and reached the summit in less than eight hours."

1930 was a light snow year. A note on p. 3 says that the Snoqualmie Pass highway is in splendid condition and because of the increased flexibility afforded, the club plans to use private cars and busses entirely. The days of train transport to the lodge are nearing an end.

July, 1930, p. 3, Fisher, C.A., "Climbing Hints"

"Axe or Alpenstock--Although declared by many as being dangerous, it is no doubt true, that the person who is doing any real climbing should be equipped with an ice axe. The alpenstock is the thing for the novice only. The axe will often save the life of a climber who would be lost with the straight pole." The author gives specific advice on the use of both tools.

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1931

January, 1931, p. 1, "Snoqualmie Lodge"

"The ski is now king," declares the bulletin. It continues, "We are not going to present a train schedule for it is as yet indefinite. The highway will be open all winter and we will try to use cars." A note in the December 1930 bulletin said that the Highway Department had ordered new machinery to clear the road of snow.

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1932

January, 1932, p. 4, "Notes"

"Ben C. Moores was requested to represent the Club at the opening of the Commonwealth Ski Club Lodge at Snoqualmie Pass, December 5, 1931."

March, 1932, p. 4, "Modern Ski Technique by Otto Schniebs and J.W. McCrillis"

This book was given to the Mountaineers by Jack McCrillis, and the reviewer writes: "Jack McCrillis has been a member of The Mountaineers since 1921. From 1921 to 1924 Jack gave most generously of both time and knowledge and gave a sound start to many Mountaineers in the art of skiing. He is, himself, an expert skier." The reviewer continues: "The 'Crouch' or 'Arlberg Technique' instead of the old erect style of down-hill running is very clearly explained."

April, 1932, p. 1, "Special Outing: Ski Trip to Chinook Pass"

"This trip, under the leadership of Rudy Amsler, will be through country new to most skiers." The trip is is scheduled April 16-17, 1932, with overnight accomodations in cabins at Silver Springs Lodge.

July, 1932, p. 4, "Notes"

"Erling Strom was the guest of twenty-nine members of The Mountaineers on a two-day ski trip to Paradise Park, Mt Rainier, on May 29, 1932. Mr. Strom was on his way home from the ascent of Mt McKinley with the Leike-Lindley expedition."

August, 1932, p. 4, "Notes"

"Hans-Otto Giese, Hans Grage, and Otto Strizek accompanied by Dr. Walter Mosauer and Sandy Lyon of the Sierra Club, made the ascent of Mt Adams (elevation 12,307 ft), on skis, July 16. The trip was made from Cold Springs Camp. The snow conditions were excellent and the party was able to ski from the summit back to an elevation nearly level with the camp, which is at about six thousand feet."

Note: the Mountaineer Bulletin uses the spelling "Sandy Lyons." Based on a Facebook correspondence with Ingrid Wicken, I've changed the spelling to "Lyon."

November, 1932, p. 5, "Notes"

In a review of the 1932 American Alpine Journal (aaj-1932-p543) is this comment: "An error occurs under 'Various Notes' in which is stated that a first ascent of Mt Baker from the north was reported accomplished on June 28. Many people have climbed Mt Baker by this route, including parties of Mazamas and Mountaineers, but this ascent was unique in that skis were used up to the icefall just under the summit. Benton F. Thompson was the leader and the other members of the party were Robert R. Hayes, Milana Jank, and Otto Strizek."

December, 1932, p. 1, "Snoqualmie Lodge"

"Here is just what you have been waiting for, 'The Snoqualmie School of Skiing' with competent instructors in charge... The school will open December 11, 1932, and will be free to all patrons of Snoqualmie Lodge. See the Committee for further information." Note that ski instruction had been offered before at the Lodge (see mtneer-b-1925-feb and mtneer-b-1928-jan). A note in the January 1933 bulletin said that Forest Farr and N.W. Grigg had been employed as caretakers for Snoqualmie Lodge. "Mr. Grigg will teach skiing every Sunday during the season."

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1933

January, 1933, p. 5, "The Silver Ski"

"Purpose: To encourge The Mountaineers in cross-country skiing that they may better enjoy the out of doors in winter." Requirements: Complete thirteen specific cross-country ski tours and pass the Second Class ski test. Skiers completing the requirements are entitled to wear "The Silver Ski", presumedly a badge. This program was announced over a year before the famous Silver Skis race sponsored by the Seattle P-I. (Also see amsler-1939.)

May, 1933, p. 5, "Notes of Trustee's Meeting"

"W.J. Maxwell suggested that The Mountaineers favor the establishment of ski grounds, between Camp Mason and Snoqualmie Pass, which would be accessible to the general public, this project to be developed by forest labor under government supervision." A committee was appointed to confer on the matter. It is not clear whether this idea was originally Maxwell's or someone else's.

Under "Notes" is the following: "A party of nine, chiefly members of the Everett Branch of the Mountaineers, climbed Mount Pilchuck, 5,334 feet, on April 2, 1933. Because of deep snow, they found this peak, normally quite easy, a difficult day's work. The lookout at the summit was buried in the snow. Skiing just below the summit was excellent." This must have been one of the earliest ski ascents of Pilchuck, if not the first.

August, 1933, p. 3, "Notes"

On the weekend of April 15, 1933, a party of Mountaineers marked the winter trail between Snoqualmie Lodge and Meany Ski Hut, a distance of eighteen miles. The trail had been marked before, but heavy snows the past two winters had covered the markers. Taking advantage of the heavy snowpack, the party skied over the trail and placed markers every three hundred feet, or so that at least one marker in each direction was visible at all times. This required over five hundred markers, made from tin shingles, bent and punched for nail holes. Due to the weight of the markers and other gear, the party decided to spend the night in a snow hole at Yakima Pass. The party members were Herbert V. Strandberg (leader), Clarence Frenck, Walter Hoffman, Harry Loners, W.J. Maxwell, Don McClellan, Hugh Stillman, Arthur Wilson and Don Blair.

On page 4 is a tiny, obscure note: "A ski ascent of Mount St. Helens was made by H.O. Giese and Otto Strizek in June."

September, 1933, p. 5, "Notes"

Don Blair, Art Winder and Robert Hayes climbed Mt Baker on August 13, 1933, from the Baker River Highway, about nine miles above Concrete, to Schreibers Meadows, then up the Deming Glacier to the summit. They recommended the route for Seattle climbers because of the shorter drive as well as shorter route to the base of the mountain. "A good party can make the trip in twelve hours traveling time from Seattle."

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1934

January, 1934, p. 4, "Notes"

As a part of the program of the Civil Works Administration, forty loggers and a few carpenters from North Bend are clearing land and erecting a shelter hut in Snoqualmie Pass on a ten-acre tract donated by the Forest Supervisor to the Seattle Park Board as a recreation area for skiing. Ernest E. Harris and Wm. J. Maxwell are in charge of the work. T.J. Bordsen was appointed chairman of the committee representing The Mountaineers. These men are assisting Ben Evans of the Seattle Park Board.

February, 1934, p. 3, "Notes of Trustees' Meeting"

The first meeting of the Seattle Ski Council was held in The Mountaineer club rooms in December. Otto Giese was appointed chairman of the Council and Paul Shorrock was named as The Mountaineers' delegate. The council discussed parking space at Snoqualmie Pass, publicity for skiing, ski contests at the Pass, and bus transportation.

December, 1934, p. 3, "Ski Tips"

"Nearly all the stores are featuring ski experts to advise purchasers of ski equipment. At the Hike Shack ask for Ben Spellar; at the University Book Store see Oscar Lindstedt; L.C. Summers is at the Outdoor Store; Stan Dickinson at Windy Langlie's; H.B. Cunningham at the Outing Equipment Co.; Darroch Crookes at Frederick's; Alf Moystad at Bauer's; and Jack Hillyer at Piper's."

Also: "Metal and composition edges for skis are becoming popular accessories. Local edges will cost about $8 installed."

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1935

February, 1935, p. 1, "Special Ski Outing"

An outing to Crystal Lake and Crystal Mountain is scheduled on February 9-10, 1935. "This is entirely new country for The Mountaineers and is an exceptionally beautiful trip." After spending Saturday night at the Silver Springs Lodge, the party will start from "the barricade near the 'Y'" and climb to Crystal Lake. "We start directly from the cars. It is not necessary to carry skis."

March, 1935, p. 4, "Ski Tips"

The team of Art Wilson, Bill Degenhardt and Scott Edson won the Ski Patrol Race on February 17 in a time of 5:35:22. Three other teams raced. They are listed along with the trailbreakers. Only one team (Don Blair, Tom Hill and Scott Osborne) finished as a group. All the other patrols came to the finish line individually and had to wait for their missing members.

August, 1935, p. 4, "Notes"

John Bissell and four others climbed Mount St Helens on July 3, 1935. Bissell skied from the summit to the pumice slopes.

December, 1935, p. 6, "Ski Equipment and Ski Waxing Guide"

The equipment guide suggests low, medium and high price ranges for skis, bindings, poles and boots. Medium priced items are said to be the best buys. The waxing table recommends the correct wax from twelve manufacturers to be used in eight snow conditions, with a note: "If you use skins or socks for climbing then use the downhill waxes for running."

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1936

January, 1936, p. 4, "Ski Tips"

Dualumin edge sections, rubber over-soles for ski boots, sunburn ointment, Bildstein type heel springs, socks and rucksacks.

February, 1936, p. 3, "Ski Tips"

Micromatic bindings, Kandahar bindings, ski visors, and this: "When securing ski equipment to the rear of a sedan, it is a good policy to be sure that no parts of the skis or poles project into the slip-stream of the exhaust of the car. At higher speeds, the heat from the exhaust is sufficient to ruin a ski completely."

March, 1936, p. 4, "Ski Tips"

The team of Wolf Bauer, Chester Higman and Bill Miller set a new Ski Patrol Race record of 4:37:23 on February 16. On March 21-22, Forest Farr will lead a special ski outing to Surprise Lake near Stevens Pass. George MacGowan will lead a party to Stevens Pass itself, presumedly up the snow covered road. The April 1936 bulletin says that sixty-five Mountaineers attended this outing.

Metal ski goggles are a new gadget. "These are made from light sheet metal and apparently will stand much hard use. Narrow slits in their surface cut down the amount of light admitted. Their main features are the fact that they will not fog and that they are unbreakable. This latter point is appreciated in a high speed fall. A few skiers complain about their slightly narrower field of vision, but the advantages seem to outweigh the objections. They should become very popular."

April, 1936, p. 4, "Ski Tips"

The first annual Open Patrol Race on March 15, 1936, was won by the Seattle Ski Club team of Ole Tverdal, Howard Dalsbo and Roy Nerland in 4:50:39. The Mountaineers team (Bauer, Edson and Miller) was disqualified after not finishing together.

On April 18-19, Herbert Strandberg is scheduled to lead a ski tour from Tipsoo Lake to Naches Pass [Chinook Pass] and Crystal Lake, returning by way of Crystal Creek.

December, 1936, p. 5, "Ski Tips"

"Rudy Amsler is working on a guide to ski trips. This should be most valuable to Club skiers." Ski instruction classes this year will not be open to the public. "Your ski badge will be your passport."

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1937

January, 1937, p. 3, Grigg, N.W., "Ski Waxing Guide"

This expanded guide lists waxes from twenty-two manufacturers appropriate for eight snow conditions. The guide includes a description of each wax type.

A review of Skiing by Charles N. Proctor and Rockwell R. Stephens concludes: "If the book may be said to have one underlying theme it is: Vorlage--forward lean--boots to fit your feet; harness to fit your boots; harness to hold your heel down on the ski and give you something to lean against for forward you must lean. Vorlage!"

May, 1937, p. 6, "Ski Tips"

The Open Patrol Race on March 7, 1937, was won by The Mountaineers team of Wm. A. Degenhardt, Scott Edson and Sigurd Hall. Due to a lack of entrants, the club patrol race was not run this season.

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1938

April, 1938, p. 4, "Notes"

The Open Patrol Race on Februay 27 was won by The Mountaineers team of Scott Edson, Sigurd Hall and Arthur Wilson in 4 hours, 57 minutes. The club patrol race was not held this season.

May, 1938, p. 4, "Notes"

"Mount Kent was climbed on skis, April 10, 1938, by Lloyd Anderson, Burge Bickford, John James, Werner Roepke and Marjorie Thayer. This was the first recorded ascent of this peak."

A lecture at the club rooms on May 17 was to discuss "short skis and ski technique for summer skiing."

Mountaineer Bulletins, 1939

January, 1939, p. 4, "Ski Tips"

Several ski climbs have been scheduled for the winter mountaineering class. They include Mt Pilchuck, Granite Mountain, Denny Mountain, Seymour Peak and Indian Henry's Hunting Ground. Of Mt Pilchuck it is written, "The complete ascent can be made on skis and there will be an opportunity to practice roped skiing and other features of the winter mountaineering classes."

At the Everett monthly meeting on January 9, 1939, Dwight Watson will show motion pictures of ski touring in the Northwest.

February, 1939, p. 4, "Ski Tips"

"The 'Mountaineer Ski Guide' is off the press at last. Although this is a very limited edition, a few copies may be had by ski touring enthusiasts. Reference copes will be available at Snoqualmie Lodge, Meany Ski Hut and the Club Rooms." Presumedly this is the Rudolph Amsler guide.

March, 1939, p. 4, "Ski Tips"

The Open Patrol Race on February 19 was won by the Seattle Ski Club team of Sigurd Hall, Bert Mortensen and Roy Nerland in 4:39:20. Eight patrols competed.

May, 1939, p. 4, "Seattle Club Rooms"

"May 3, 1939: Mr Andy Hennig of Salzburg, Austria, will show slides of high alpine skiing in the Alps. This will be an instructive as well as entertaining evening, so don't miss it."

June, 1939, p. 6, "Notes"

"On Friday, May 12, 1939, Erick Larson and Dwight Watson, accompanied by Andy Hennig, started a ski traverse from Kulshan Cabin. Leaving the cabin at 4 a.m. they traveled on hard, crusty snow almost to the summit. They encountered very few crevasses and reached the top about noon. Going down the steep snow wall of the Cockscomb it was necessary to remove skis and use ice axes and rope. The snow on the wall was soft and avalanching. After reaching the bergshrund, they found the Mazama Glacier to be filled with hidden crevasses, but they reached Mount Baker Lodge at 8 p.m. This is the first recorded ski traverse of Mount Baker. Mr. Hennig is one of the Austrian ski instructors at Sun Valley. He was much impressed by our mountains and hopes to do some climbing here this summer."

December, 1939, p. 3, "Ski Tips"

Rudolph Amsler is scheduled to lead a ski trip to Corral Pass on December 17, 1939. On September 23, 1939, George Freed, Walter Hoffman, Erick Larson and David Lind climbed Eldorado Peak. They reported that there was no record of any ascent since the first climb in 1933.

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