What's New

Autumn 2021
The Mountaineers Books have finally published Written in the Snows, the book I've long wanted to write based on my ski history research. More information about the book can be found here. A recorded conversation with Malcolm Bates about the genesis of the book can be found here. The book can be purchased here.
1 December 2012
Published notes about the master version control repository for alpenglow.org, which is hosted in a distributed version control system (DVCS).
16 July 2011
Published topo diagrams of ski routes on Mt Rainier following a ski season that filled in many important gaps.
22 May 2011
Published topo diagrams of ski routes on Mt Shuksan to clarify written descriptions and seek corrections. I suspect that more diagrams will eventually be needed for major peaks.
27 September 2010
Published the first chapter (actually Chapter 3 or 4) of my on-line book, Written in the Snows. (This material has been removed while development continues.) This is the first step in finally turning my research into a narrative story.
24 September 2009
Corrected chronology regarding the 1971 ski descent of Mt Hood by Sylvain Saudan. I previously believed that Saudan skied the Wy'east route but determined based on a review of my sources that he skied the Newton Clark Headwall.
Autumn/Winter 2007-08
PRESENTATIONS: Lowell Skoog speaks about his twenty-five year effort to ski the Cascade Crest at presentations in Tacoma, Winthrop, Ellensburg, Mount Vernon, Seattle, Portland, Wenatchee, Bellevue, and Yakima. For more details, click here.
11 October 2005
Published a synopsis of my proposed book. I hope to tell a story that will be enjoyed by many readers, not just ski mountaineers. The book will be much less detailed than this website, more devoted to people and themes. For a synopsis of the book, click here. I welcome comments and suggestions on my approach.
8 December 2004
Gathered information about the establishment of parks and wilderness areas in the Cascades from the 1950s through 1980s. Our "wilderness Alps" provide a unique setting for ski mountaineering in the Northwest. The sport would be very different if the wilderness character of the Cascades had not been protected. Follow these links for Glacier Peak Wilderness, North Cascades National Park, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and other wilderness areas.
12 September 2004
Finished reviewing all newspaper references, most special collections, and all miscellaneous references that I have collected up to this point.
17 August 2004
Reviewed Couloir magazine from 1992 (around the time it became a national publication) through 2003. Also reviewed Backcountry magazine from its beginning in 1994 through 2003. These magazines record developments in equipment, steep skiing, land use issues, the emergence of ski mountaineering competitions, and interesting people. For Couloir, click here. For Backcountry, click here.
30 June 2004
Reviewed Rock & Ice magazine from its beginning in 1984 through 2001. During this period, Rock & Ice records the growth of extreme (steep) skiing in the U.S. and a few Northwest ski mountaineering milestones. For details, click here.
27 June 2004
Reviewed Powder magazine from its beginning in 1973 through 1980. During this period, Powder records the emergence of snowboarding, nordic downhill skiing, and extreme skiing as well as the nordic vs. alpine debate. For details, click here.
25 June 2004
Reviewed Off Belay magazine from its beginning in 1972 through 1981. Off Belay describes nordic and alpine ski mountaineering gear in the 1970s, the development of steep skiing in other regions, and the start of avalanche forecasting programs in the Northwest. For details, click here.
14 June 2004
Reviewed Summit magazine from its beginning in 1955 through 1996. Summit provides historical context for understanding Northwest ski mountaineering. It records changes in equipment, debates between nordic and alpine skiing proponents, and ski mountaineering developments outside the Northwest. For details, click here.
5 June 2004
Reviewed Northwest Skier magazine from its beginning in 1958 through 1990. Northwest Skier covers the downhill skiing boom in this region better than any other single source. It records the birth of many ski areas, the failure of others to get off the ground, and the emergence of constraints on resort development. Changes in downhill ski gear, the growth of cross-country skiing, and even a few ski mountaineering milestones are recorded here. For details, click here.
4 July 2003
Reviewed Fred Beckey's new book, Range of Glaciers: The Exploration and Survey of the Northern Cascade Range. Although this book has no material directly related to skiing, it covers nineteenth century exploration by railroad builders, miners, and surveyors, which laid the foundation for recreation in the twentieth century. For details, click here.
Winter 2003
PRESENTATIONS: Lowell Skoog speaks about Washington ski mountaineering on January 7 in Twisp, February 11 in Bellingham, and April 18 in Tacoma. For more details, click here.
17 February 2003
Summarized avalanche accidents from 1910 to the present (with a gap from 1986-95) by reviewing The Snowy Torrents and the Avalanche.org website. For a brief history of Northwest avalanches, click here.
3 February 2003
Reviewed over forty years of catalogs from Recreational Equipment Inc., from 1938 through 1985. The catalogs document how the branches of skiing (downhill, cross-country, nordic, alpine) developed in relation to each other from World War II to the modern period. For details, click here.
10 January 2003
The Alpenglow Ski Mountaineering History Project has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
16 December 2002
Gathered references to ski pioneers outside the Pacific Northwest. In the 100 years prior to World War II, these people shaped the sport of skiing as it took hold in Washington. For more about early ski pioneers, click here.
15 November 2002
Completed early newspaper research on Cle Elum, Wenatchee and Port Angeles, centers for skiing in their respective sections of the state.
Autumn 2002
PRESENTATIONS: Lowell Skoog speaks about Washington ski mountaineering on October 11 in Seattle and November 13 in Ellensburg. For more details, click here.
9 November 2002
Gathered references to proposed, developed, and lost ski areas in Washington. The boom years of the 1960s were a pivotal time for ski areas. No new areas have been developed, and many have been lost, since then. Most of the areas proposed but never built were proposed at that time.
4 November 2002
Reviewed Cascadian annuals from 1937 to 2000. The annuals describe early skiing in the Chinook Pass area, long-time Cascadian members Charles and Marion Hessey, and club involvement in conservation. For more about the Cascadians, click here.
24 October 2002
Reviewed over fifty years (1911-1965) of Mountaineer bulletins, published monthly. These bulletins record most of the major threads in the history of ski mountaineering in this region. For more information from the bulletins, click here.
9 October 2002
Reviewed the American Alpine Journal from 1929-50. This source doesn't contain much about skiing, but has a few good articles about World War II mountain troops. For details click here.
30 September 2002
Reviewed commemorative album from the 1984 reunion of the Ancient Skiers of the Northwest. The album contains tall tales, ski area histories, and biographical sketches of several interesting skiers. For more about the Ancient Skiers, click here.
26 September 2002
Reviewed past issues of Skiing Heritage, the journal of the International Skiing History Association, and the New England Ski Museum Newsletter. Both are excellent sources on early skiing in the U.S., placing Northwest ski mountaineering in historical context.
15 September 2002
Reviewed the American Ski Annual, 1934-1957. Published by the National Ski Association, the annual reveals national trends in skiing and many Northwest developments. For details, click here.
4 September 2002
Added information about Mt Hood in Oregon after reviewing Jack Grauer's Mt Hood: A Complete History. I haven't decided whether to seriously include Mt Hood in this project.
1 September 2002
Added definitions of terms like ski ascent, ski descent, ski-climb and ski summit to make the terminology used in this project more precise and descriptive.
20 August 2002
Reviewed records of the Mt Baker Club in the 1920s and 1930s. The club organized the Mt Baker marathons in the 1910s and its members were among the earliest skiers in the Heather Meadows area. Although club members were not ski mountaineering pioneers, they recorded pioneering trips in the club newsletter and in the scrapbook of club historian Charles F. Easton. For more about the Mt Baker Club, click here.
16 August 2002
Reviewed general references on skiing before World War II. For a list of these sources, click here.
31 July 2002
Added background information about roads and ski areas at Mt Baker, Stevens Pass and Snoqualmie Pass.
9 July 2002
Completed newspaper spadework on the tournaments of the Northwest Ski Club held at Paradise starting in the 1910s, the 1922 first winter ascent of Mt Rainier, and the Mountaineers Patrol Race, run between Snoqualmie Pass and Stampede Pass in the 1930s.
4 July 2002
Outlined the history of the "American Alps Traverse" following completion of the first linkup worthy of the name, by Matt Firth and Bob Nielsen. For details, click here.
19 June 2002
Added background information about Mt Rainier National Park after reviewing Ruth Kirk's Sunrise to Paradise. Also, cleaned up the chronologies, removing chaff and moving it to appropriate subject indexes.
8 June 2002
Created status page to answer common questions about how the project is going. For details, click here.
March 2002
PRESENTATIONS: Lowell Skoog presents an illustrated program about the history of ski mountaineering in Washington on March 14 in Seattle, March 23 in Port Angeles, and March 27 in Yakima. For more details, click here.
10 November 2001
In the Mountaineers monthly bulletin, I found the long-forgotten first ski ascent of Mount St Helens in June 1933 by Hans-Otto Giese and Otto Strizek. I haven't yet had a chance to review the Mountaineer bulletins in detail.
26 June 2001
Completed basic spadework on the Silver Skis races by reviewing the Seattle P-I during every year the race was scheduled on Mount Rainier. Thanks go to Matt C. Broze, son of the 1942 Silver Skis champion, for inspiring me with clippings from his late father's files. For more about the Silver Skis races, click here.
24 June 2001
News Flash - Seattle Doctor Skis Mt Shuksan - 60 Years Ago! I stumbled on a Seattle P-I article describing a March 29, 1941 ski of Mt Shuksan's White Salmon Glacier by Dr. Otto Trott and Henry Reasoner, "believed the first ascent of that high peak on skis." For details, click here.
16 June 2001
Reviewed Hal Burton's book, The Ski Troops, as background for my conversations with 10th Mountain veterans. For more about the mountain troops, click here.
4 June 2001
Reviewed more materials from Dwight Watson, "the father of Cascade backcountry skiing." For review notes, click on the following links: mountain scrapbook, mountain papers, movies, shoeboxes.
17 April 2001
Completed notes on Otto Lang's autobiography, A Bird of Passage. Lang declined to be interviewed, due to his busy schedule and his feeling that the book told his story adequately. For more about Otto Lang, click here.
27 March 2001
Collected scattered references to skiing by Charles Hessey during the late 1940s, often accompanied by his wife Marion. Hessey's trips included extended winter and spring ventures in the Stehekin Valley, near Lyman Lake, and in the Spanish Camp area of the Pasayten wilderness. For more about the Hesseys, click here.
19 March 2001
Published findings from the mountain scrapbook of Dwight Watson (1900-1996), pioneer ski mountaineer in the 1930s and 40s. The scrapbook provides more complete documentation of the trips described in Watson's 1937 Mountaineer Annual article, "Ski Scouting," and includes many trips never reported. For details, click here.
10 March 2001
Reorganized my list of interesting people to manage the growing number, to record why they are interesting, to keep track of their contact status, and to provide links to personal communication notes. To see the revised list click here.
1 March 2001
Initial publication of this website based on material in The Mountaineer Annual (1907 to the present), Cascade Alpine Guide, (volumes 1-3), The Challenge of Rainier, Challenge of the North Cascades, The History of Skiing in Mt Rainier National Park by Linda Helleson, and Lowell Skoog's personal notes.
28 November 2000
Kicked off the project with a visit to the Mountaineers Library in Seattle--the first of many.

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Last Updated: Tue, Sep 7, 2021 2:40:00 PM