The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 42

Ed Cornell directs landing of the helicopter bringing skiers/surveyors, and their gear, to the initial
point of their assigned routes. photo by Claudia Watson
which " connects " the Mammoth Mountain Inn area
with Mt. San Joaquin and the valley below June
Mountain's southerly flank. This was the biggest
onsite evaluation ever made by FWSA. Organized
by John Watson, it involved a Southern California
NSPS mountaineering section of four experienced
patrollers - Ron Anderson, Dave Tollakson, Steve
Reneker, and Jerry Lambert, two professional patrollers
from Mammoth - Ed Cornell and Doug Jastrab,
and a number of experienced patrollers
selected from an appreciable number of applicants
who responded to the FWSA solicitation. Topographic
maps and aerial photographs were used in
the planning process. Avalanche and safety briefings
were required of participants. The surveyors made
several detailed observations regarding suitability
for skiing at five sites along the ridge.
The San Joaquin " bowl " at the north end of
the ridge was found to have inadequate snow depth
and was windblown. There was excellent skiing on
the northern part of the ridge in two bowls amidst
spectacular scenery with rock " gendarmes " emergent
from the undisturbed snow. Ed Cornell discovered
a site that was a natural halfpipe. Confirmed again
were the costly possibilities of connecting the ridge
with June Mountain - multiple lifts in and out of
the valley or a gondola system connecting ridge to
peak.
Historically, experienced skiers had made
many runs down the face of Sherwin. In 1990-91,
in addition to San Joaquin, multiple summer and
winter evaluations of Sherwin Mountain were
made with helicopter support for reconnaissance
and skiing on the upper slopes. Sherwin overlooks
the Snowcreek site. Sherwin was to serve as the ski
mountain amenity for Snowcreek Ski and Golf,
being built by Tom Dempsey. FWSA attended a
number of meetings with the USFS and opponents
represented by Friends of the Inyo. The Snowcreek
perspective of ski runs was designed to provide an
aesthetically pleasing sight by an expert brought in
from Moab, using sophisticated modern modeling
tools. Snowcreek was ultimately issued a permit by
the USFS. Unfortunately, the project was never
really started due to the death of Tom Dempsey
(and his chief assistant Jim Ognisty, as well). Snowcreek's
base village of condominium housing, now
expanded, remains.
The same helicopter was utilized to look at
the upper slopes of Sherwin Mountain which looks
over the Snowcreek site. The upper slopes were very
good intermediate skiing. Some members who
42 FWSA 90th Anniversary Booklet / 1930 - 2020
Notes were
recorded into notebooks while survey teams were
on their site assignments. Dave Tollakson
sketched the San Joaquin Ridge area, while team
members tested the slopes. photos by Claudia Watson
(mountain) and John Watson (booklet)
were present in Mammoth at the time got an advance
look at the top of Sherwin, also.
The list on the next page includes names
of most of the workers in the FWSA Area Development
Program from 1965 to the recent years.
The program had one in kind sponsor - Atari Computers,
on scene financial support from Mammoth
Mountain and other contributors in support services.
They were officials or committee persons or
simply motivated skiers. n

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
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - Cover2
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 1
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 2
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 3
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - Index
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 5
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 6
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 7
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