The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 44

Pantheon
of FWSA Builders
of our Legacy
by John Watson
History Chair, FWSA; President, FWSF
Wendell Robie
(1895- 1984)
Wendell Towle Robie of Auburn,
CA from 1928 devoted his life to
skisport for five decades and also
created the hundred miles in a day
race for horses and riders in 1955.
The race starts at Tahoe City and
ends in Auburn. He was President of
the Auburn Ski Club during which it
created the ski and jumping park at
Cisco Grove alongside Highway 40,
moved it when the highway changed
its route and ultimately bought
Boreal Ridge for a permanent home.
Robie organized the 1931 Olympic
tryouts on Olympic Hill and the
following year oversaw the National
Championships. Robie directed the
FIS Jumping Championships on
Treasure Island in 1939, one week
after directing FIS downhill and
slalom races at Auburn facilities.
He was the first President of the
California Ski Association, later its
Treasurer, and in 1935 was elected
Vice President of the National Ski
Association. Both he and his wife,
Inez, were graduates of the
University of Arizona and two Robie
medals are awarded annually to
outstanding undergraduates. Robie
was a member of the Sons of the
American Revolution and was
elected to the National Ski Hall of
Fame in 1964. photo courtesy of
Western Ski Annual, 1941
Bill Berry
(1903-1999)
William Banks " Bill " Berry,
author of The Lost Sierra with
Chapman Wentworth, displays the
size of the snowshoes used for sport
in the gold fields of California.
Racing started as early as 1852 in
the hills around LaPorte and it
continued until World War I.
Berry came to Reno in 1928
as a linotype operator, but his real
interest was in reporting on secret
divorces and skiing. He was a ski
jumper and had skied since 1909.
Bill Berry succeeded Harold
Grinden as the Historian of the USSA
in 1965 and served through 1972,
revived the Ski Hall of Fame
committee in 1966 and served as its
chairman until 1974.
His journalism was self-taught.
He wrote up curling results of the
Canadian Bonspiel in 1915 as a cub
reporter; and in 1922 he reported on
ski jumping for the Ottawa Journal.
Berry reported for the San Francisco
Examiner, New York HeraldRoyall
Brown
(1936 - 2018)
Royall Keith Brown was the first
and only Chairman of the FWSA
Public Lands Advisory Board.
The PLAB was set up to focus
information and develop actions
concerning the use of public lands
for skiing, an issue unique to Far
West and the resolution of which is
basic to California as an
international ski center. PLAB was
formed in 1972 and continued
through the era of the RARE
processes conducted by the US Forest
Service. Brown evaluated all the
possible ski sites in California based
on five criteria, using map study and
information provided by the USFS
and identified those suitable and
accessible. Those suitable were
referred to the USFS for the RARE
decisions about exclusion from
wilderness classification. Brown
had an extensive career in water
engineering and was widely
regarded for his expertise on water
quality issues and his steadfast
involvement in the protection of
groundwater supplies. He was
honored for his leadership in
supporting conservation programs,
innovative water project designs and
environmental protections. He will
be remembered for his dedicated
public service and achievements in
the water industry. photo / Upper San
Gabriel Valley Metropolitan Water District
Dave & Roma McCoy Mammoth Mountain
Taken about 1956, this picture of Dave and Roma has a radiance that glows
off the page. Their all-consuming Mammoth Mountain project was starting
its rise to become a world class ski center. The development of Mammoth is
replete with challenges overcome by the single-minded determination of
Dave. For nearly seven decades, he ploughed profits back into new structures,
equipment and lifts. And Roma, the Independence bank clerk who encouraged
the bank to give him his first loan in 1938 is a great part of that story. He got
the loan for $85 to start a rope tow on McGee Mountain. And within a year, he
got the beautiful bank clerk for his wife. They had six children. After many
improvements in the McGee location, he (and Hans Georg, as well) began to
set up rope tows at several trial locations, but Mammoth had the most
reliable snow. The family moved to the 12X24 warming hut at Mammoth in
1953. Dave continued with management of Mammoth and June Mountain
until his retirement after 68 years. His life work was sold in a deal valued at
$365 million, a substantial return on the $135,000 loan in 1953 for his first lift.
Dave was awarded the FWSA's Hans Georg medal for service in 1960. He is
the 2011 FWSA Snowsport Builder honoree and was inducted into the National
Ski Hall of Fame in 1967. Dave passed in February of this year at the age of
104. Roma remains at their home in Bishop, California. photo /Robin Morning
Tribune, New York Daily News,
Reno Journal, Sacramento Union,
all the major wire services and
many other periodicals with an
international circulation, beginning
in the 1920s. He became a diligent
reporter of the Tahoe area weekend
race results to the Sacramento Bee
and the Nevada State Journal,
covering as many as eight events
per weekend.
44 FWSA 90th Anniversary Booklet / 1930 - 2020
Berry was behind the establishment
in 1969 by the Auburn Ski Club
of its Western Ski Sport Museum
which collects, preserves and
exhibits the history of winter ski
sports in the American West. The
Far West Ski Association annually
presents the Bill Berry Award for
outstanding service to skisport by
a member of the media.
Berry Won the International
t

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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