The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 2

The 90 Year Journey of FWSA
The Far West Ski Association Commemorative " Birthday Book " has been created to celebrate the 90th Anniversary
of the Far West Ski Association - originally founded as the California Ski Association on October 7, 1930
at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California.
FOREWARD:
This all started as a birthday celebration for our Association. It was two-fold: a luncheon in the place where our Association was born, as a
replication of the founding luncheon on October 7, 1930, and the presentation of a commemorative " birthday book " at that luncheon. We gave
ourselves about a year to do this. We had to face the challenges of specifying all the details for our twin objectives, making the birthday affordable,
and then assembling all the details under a short schedule. And, then the Covid 19 pandemic struck! Under all these strains, our doughty little
committee resolved that the most essential commemoration would be the book - actually a booklet in the format of the Far West Skiers Guide
(where we fortunately had experienced professionals - Leigh Gieringer and Jane Wyckof
f).
Having resolved to set the course and stay on it, we faced the challenge of our identity. We set our dates by the history of the California Ski
Association, which changed its name in 1947 to the Far West Ski Association, to recognize the importance of Nevada in ski racing competition.
But, what I call the greater Far West Ski Association, due primarily to the role of ski councils, now extends its network from Alaska to Mexico and
Colorado to Hawaii. We are the largest surviving regional ski association, connected by a menu of common interests in sport and healthful recreation,
travel, situational awareness of matters that affect our snowports world, bringing achievements to the attention of the public, community service and
just keeping track of friends. And, the door remains open to farther horizons and friendships.
90th Anniversary Committee: John Watson, History Chair and FWSA Past President; Linda Westlund, Chair, FWSA Board of Trustees;
Fran Long, FWSA VP Public Affairs; Steve Coxen, FWSA Past President; Paul Vlasveld, President, Bay Area Snow Sports Council;
Leigh Gieringer, Editor / Publisher, Far West Skier's Guide; and the Directors and Council Presidents called in for special detail and information.
INTRODUCTION:
This gift collection of essays is intended to show the fantastic
story of the dynamic century of skiing in Far West and the roles that
the Far West Ski Association has played in it. There is no single
history that can describe the discovery of an extinct culture of
snowshoe skiing as a sport and the organization of racing teams into
a league, and then witness an exponential growth in numbers of
skiers, a growth seemingly from the Earth, and the events, enterprise
and construction that serviced that growth.
This 90th birthday collection can only cover some of the
persons and events of this fantasia. Snowshoe (longboard) racing and
racing with short skis overlapped in time and were both overshadowed
by the awesome spectacle of ski jumping. Ski jumping was a trigger
and then a stimulant from 1895 forward to the development of skiing
in what we have come to call the Far West.
Businessmen saw the possibilities of money to be made and
immediately attempted to capture a Winter Olympics in the late
1920s. That attempt failed, but it installed in the California ski ethos
a determination to show the world the skiing in the snows of the
Sierra.
The ski world needed persons and organizations that could
teach skiing, organize and conduct the spectacles of racing and
jumping, pay the upski fares and directly or politically be a sustaining
force for growth. This was the California Ski Association's birthright.
It's not the California Ski Association anymore, so how did we
become the Far West Ski Association that now claims at least 12 states
as its service area. That is the story of the FWSA of today. To
understand that, will require tracing its Spartan beginnings, the
interruption of World War II, the resumption of the explosion in skier
numbers in the period between 1946 - 1960, the birth of the ski
industry and expanded opportunities for skiing and then the televised
coverage of the 1960 Winter Olympics (in which California showed the
world what a mistake the IOC made in 1928).
In the 1960s, the ability of the ski areas to provide enough skiing
opportunity to satisfy the demand did not match the growth in
skier numbers and the industry didn't catch up for thirty years. In
addition to describing some of the great skiing in FWSA, defining
our Association requires descriptions, as well. This will entail some
historical insight to make the connections to the moving carpet of
skiing. That is the reason for the Association History featured in
Tracks: The 90 Year Journey of the FWSA starting on page 12 -
to show the growth in ski club and member numbers and changes in
the program menus.
The current geographic extent is explained by the Role of
Councils essay. The rush to be a world ski center and the need for
ski areas to satisfy demand is the basis for Unique to FWSA: Area
Development. And, to show we're still following the example of the
gold camps and doing what comes naturally when skiers get together,
we know League Racing very well.
This commemorative history would not be possible without the
contributions of many Association volunteers and authors expert on
industry history. They are listed under contributors, but I would be
remiss if I didn't give special thanks to Ingrid P. Wicken of the
California Ski Library for our many email exchanges. Jane Wyckoff
is a data resource and I thank her for her editing, advertising sales,
verification and information. Leigh Gieringer kept all authors on
track, providing cost estimates and accepting the tasks of advertising
accounting, as well as, coordinating the production of this booklet.
Ski with friends and enjoy the bounty that Nature has
provided us.
John Watson, Editor
2 FWSA 90th Anniversary Booklet / 1930 - 2020

The Far West Ski Association Turns 90

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Far West Ski Association Turns 90

Index
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - Cover1
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