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Northwest Skier, 1958-59
* Articles marked with an asterisk have been copied into my Northwest Skier notebook.

Northwest Skier, 1958

Northwest skier is a new publication supported by the Pacific Northwest Ski Association (PNSA) and published by Bill Tanler in Yakima, Washington.

Summer 1958, p. 1: "New Northwest Ski Paper Planned" *

Hurricane Ridge ran its tows for the first time this season and attracted enough skiers to encourage a summertime improvement program. Also on this page is a photo by Lyle Christopherson of Mrs. C.D. Hessey, Jr. [Marion] standing next to snow flocked trees in the Gold Hill area near Crystal Mountain. The 2-12-59 issue (p.1) has a picture of Marion Hessey on skis next to the "Black Tusk" across the valley from the proposed Crystal Mountain ski area.

Fall 1958, p. 1: "Northwest Ski Outlook Bright"

Construction at the Northwest's newest ski area, Bachelor Butte in Oregon, began in early September after the Forest Service gave formal permission to develop the area. The Ohanapecosh highway in Mt Rainier Nation Park is being paved and will be kept open during the ski season for the first time. The route shaves about 40 miles from the drive from Seattle and Tacoma to White Pass. On page 3 an article says the Forest Service has accepted applications for the development of a major new ski area at Crystal Mountain. "The area has been recognized in the past as one of the better snow regions in the high Cascades and has been popular for ski touring."

Nov 13, 1958, p. 1: Gray, Jerry, "Permit Issued for Crystal Mountain" *

Crystal Mountain, Inc. was formed by sixteen Seattle and Tacoma businessmen. It submitted the sole bid to the Forest Service to develop the area along the eastern boundary of Mt Rainier National Park. Officers include Joseph E. Gandy, president, Melvin Borgersen, treasurer and manager, F.A. LeSourd, secretary, and John Graham, Don Amick and Leo Gallagher, vice presidents. The article includes a photo of the ski area site by Lyle Christopherson.

An article on page 1 notes that a second double chairlift, parallel to the first, has been constructed at White Pass. The first chairlift went into service during the 1956-57 season.

Nov 20, 1958, p. 1: "Let's Go Skiing Returns to Air in Seattle Area"

"Let's Go Skiing," hosted by John Jarstad on KTVW-TV channel 13, will be back to for its fifth season, serving Seattle and Tacoma area skiers each Thursday evening.

An article on page 2 about Spout Springs notes that ski school director Pete Eyraud begain skiing in 1927 and started instructing in 1936. He was a founder of the Blue Mountain Ski Club and in 1936 became the first man to ski the Skyline Trail in the Blue Mountains, covering 96 miles from Weston, OR, to Dayton, WA in four days. He built the Spout Springs Lodge in 1948 and has operated it every year since.

Nov 27, 1958, p. 4: "1957-58 Ski Area Attendance in Region Six Shows Increase"

More than three-quarters of a million skiers visited six areas on Forest Service land in Region Six during 1957-58, an increase of 115,000 over the previous ski season.

Dec 4, 1958, p. 3: "Cayuse Ski Area Northwest Champ For Snow Depth"

The small Cayuse Pass ski area was opened in 1947 by Don Adams, Webb Moffett and Bruce Kehr. It has been operated as a family venture by Carl and "Mickey" Daniels for the past five years. The area provides three rope tows varying from 600 to 1,000 feet in length. Due to heavy snows, weekend road access has been sporadic in the past. It is expected to be more reliable this season since the Ohanapecosh road will be maintained as a through route.

A page 1 article notes that "How to Ski," a series of ski classes on Monday evenings directed by Don McDonald, will be televised again this season on KCTS-TV channel 9.

Dec 11, 1958, p. 4: "Bachelor Butte Ski Area Opens With New Poma"

Bachelor Butte ski area in Oregon opened for the first time on November 15 with a new Pomalift and rope tow in operation. The Pomalift stretches 3,000 feet up the side of the butte from the 7,400-foot level with a vertical rise of 900 feet. Work on the lodge is continuing and a second rope tow is under construction.

Dec 18, 1958, p. 1: "Mt. Shasta Ski Bowl Draws Interest of Skiers in Area"

Mt Shasta ski bowl is open with a new lodge and a 6,055-foot double chairlift. It is not clear from this article whether a smaller operation was in place during previous seasons. Mt Shasta joins four other Northwest ski areas operating seven days a week: White Pass, Timberline Lodge, Big Mountain and Sun Valley.

Northwest Skier, 1959

Jan 1, 1959, p. 1: "Major Ski Resort Planned For BC's Mount Garibaldi"

Adi F. Bauer, president of the Garibaldi Development Co., Ltd., announced plans for a major winter resort on the slopes of Mt Garibaldi. The $5.5 million development, on land to be transferred out of Garibaldi Provincial Park, would be seven miles by road from the town of Squamish and would include a six-mile-long tramway, a luxury hotel at 6,000 feet elevation, snowmobiles to carry skiers to nearby glaciers, ten square miles of skiing area served by a two-mile-long chairlift, a mountain top golf course, an enclosed swimming pool and a four-mile-long bobsled run. Future plans call for an additional tramway to the top of Mt Garibaldi, three miles from the proposed hotel.

Jan 8, 1959, p. 1: Gray, Jerry, "Crystal Mountain Starts Stock Sale" *

The potential for a ski area in the Crystal Mtn-Corral Pass area was initially investigated in 1938-39. Plans were halted by World War II. By the time the war ended, the group that originated the idea had scattered and it was several years before the concept was considered again. One of the early enthusiasts was Rev. Leo Gaffney, S.J., a professor of civil engineering at Seattle University and an avid mountaineer, though not a skier. Seattle U. had a lodge near Silver Springs and Father Gaffney began studying the Corral Pass area for a possible ski area. He eventually turned over his findings to a group of Seattle businessmen headed by Don Amick, a former U.S. Olympian. Walt Little, a veteran Northwest skier, was named by the engineering firm of John Graham to head up the investigation. In the course of running surveys, Little became intrigued with the possibilities of Crystal Mountain, a few miles south of Corral Pass. Further study proved that Crystal Basin offered better potential than Corral Pass and for the next three years Little devoted his time to this area. Culmination of this work came in the fall of 1958, when the U.S. Forest Service issued Crystal Mountain, Inc., a use permit enabling the company to begin raising funds to develop the area.

Feb 19, 1959, p. 3: "Lifts Firm's Business" *

Byron C. Riblet came to Spokane as a railroad surveyor, then in 1897 worked for the Washington Water Power Co. as a civil engineer surveying and installing street car tracks in Spokane. As his engineering reputation spread, he landed a job in the British Columbia interior designing an aerial tramway. This began a career that ended only with his death in 1952. Riblet Tramway Co. constructed the "Magic Mile" chairlift at Timberline Lodge in 1938 [probably the second chairlift in America after the one installed at Sun Valley in 1936]. Early Riblet lifts were installed at Donner Summit, CA (1939), Mt Hood Ski Bowl (1948), Ski Acres (1949) and Hoodoo Bowl (1950). During the 1950s, Riblet installed chairlifts at Mt Baker, White Pass, Stevens Pass and Mt Spokane. Riblet chairlifts have been installed at other ski areas throughout the country.

Feb 19, 1959, p. 4: "Sullivan Resigns White Pass Job"

Jim Sullivan resigned as general manager of the White Pass ski area on Feb. 15, replaced by Virgil Fellows. Sullivan came to White Pass for the 1957-58 ski season from Holden, WA, where he was in the accounting department of the Howe Sound Company. He was White Pass manager during construction of the area's second double chairlift.

Apr 3, 1959, p. 1: "Wilderness Bill Draws Crowd to Hearing" *

During two days of hearings in Seattle on March 30-31, more than 100 witnesses commented on the proposed Wilderness Bill, with opinions generally split between industry and recreation. Mountaineers and conservationists fell together, while skiers seemed divided on the question. Alan F. Black of the Seattle Cedar Lumber Manufacturing Co. testified in favor of the bill.

On page 4, two letters are printed. Marion F. Whiting, PNSA president, writes opposing the Wilderness Bill, citing the growth of skiing and the need for new development. He writes that "chairlifts and aerial tramways are as necessary to modern skiing as a court is to tennis." He characterizes proponents of the measure as a "comparative handful of bird watchers."

The Cascadians of Yakima write in favor of the measure: "It is now obvious to the most optimistic that immediate action is the only hope our children's children have of knowing what some of their country was like when American history was born. [...] The Wilderness Bill is not irrevocable. The decision to destroy wilderness is a final choice. Any legal protection we give to wilderness now, Congress can revoke if the national welfare demands it. We want this power only in the hands of Congress."

Apr 13, 1959, p. 4: Lyle Christopherson photos, "Crystal Mountain" *

Lyle Christopherson spent ten days this winter touring in the proposed Crystal Mountain ski area. Six photos are shown. "Skiing Room" depicts Crystal Mountain (now called Silver Queen) and Round Mountain (later site of the summit lodge) from Silver Creek near the current base area. "Lower Slopes" depicts the eventual site of the lower chairlifts, dotted with snags and small trees. Three photos depict Chuck Hessey and Jim Sullivan touring and skiing. "Packing out" is a fine photo of Chuck and Marion Hessey with Jim Sullivan preparing to leave the 5,300 foot miners' cabin in Silver Creek Basin, below Silver Queen.

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