The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 50

TO THE TOP
Junior ski racer turned ski instructor/summer worker, Eddie Riley, described this era: " Dave had the
ideas and he had the personality and stature to influence people to back him. Skiing was the essence of what he lived for. He
wasn't social . . . there was no icing on the cake. He never lost sight that he was promoting the simple fact of skiing. " Ski
patroller, John Garner, elaborated about the tone of those years: " In meetings, Dave would say he wanted Mammoth
to be the Vons or JC Penney of the ski industry so that everyone could afford to ski here. And his bottom line was always,
'Did you have fun today?' "
Each summer, McCoy invested his winter profits back into Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, pursuing
The Inyo-Mono Championship was held in April
of 1937. Blanche and Corty Hill, center, are shown
with race winners. Dave McCoy on the right.
his goal of enhancing the skiing experience. Between 1955 and 1969, without taking on a partner or long
term debt, Dave and his small but dedicated crew built Mid-Chalet [McCoy Station], enlarged the Warming
Hut, sculpted Mammoth's ski slopes, and erected nine chairlifts, two T-Bars, and a gondola that accessed
the top of his 11,053-foot mountain. " Dave knew years in advance what he wanted to do, " recalled cat driver,
Roger Sorensen. " We'd be at the bottom and he'd say, 'A gondola will be going up there someday and we're going to knock
off those cliffs and make a run going down such and such.' "
Sorensen continued, " The roads weren't surveyed. If Dave wanted one somewhere, he would just walk ahead of
me. I'd follow him with the loader and make a small track, later go back and widen it. A lot of times, he'd stand on a slope
and wave his hand directing me where to move dirt. We'd take a hump out over here and build a curve or slope over there. "
Reflecting on his years at Mammoth, Don Rake said, " No one got hired for anything specific. At first, I did carpentry
because I was a carpenter by trade, but as time went on, like everyone else, I did everything. One day concrete work, the next
day putting up rafters, and the next, whatever. It was great! "
Anybody could run the backhoe - if they didn't know how, they learned. Improvisation served as
the rule of thumb. Using old surplus equipment, common sense, and brute force, the crew lived by the
motto, " the impossible is simply something that takes a little longer. "
Dave didn't talk much. If a ditch needed to be dug, he grabbed a shovel and started digging. " His
The 1953 American Legion Team at Sun Valley was
coached by Dave McCoy (first left), Bobby Kinmont,
Johnny Murphey, Lewis Fellows, Kenny Lloyd,
Jill Kinmont, Barni Davenport, and Janice Catagno.
The McCoy National Team coached the Junior
National and American Legion teams every year
from 1953 to 1965.
energy rubbed off on you, " explained long-time Mammoth local Bob Edwards. " Dave would ask, 'How ya doin'?'
and that would just put a fire under you because you didn't want him to show you up. Whether it was conscious or not, I don't
know. "
Between 1955 and 1969, the business office for Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, located on the bottom
floor of the Warming Hut [Main Lodge], housed only two desks: one for Dave McCoy, although he could
rarely be found there, and one for accountant, Nick Gunter. As business grew and the office stayed the
same size, employees followed Mammoth Mountain's policy of making do with what they had, assuming
new roles and responsibilities as they came along. Experience was not considered a prerequisite for advancement,
only the desire to be part of the team and do a good job.
Toni Milici was the perfect example of the successful application of this make-do policy. After learning
to ski at Dave McCoy's McGee rope tows, Toni worked as a certified ski instructor. Then,
out of the blue, Dave asked him to run the Mammoth cafeteria. In shock, Toni said, " Dave, I
INDEPENDENCE
Ski Club
Winter
1935-36.
Dave McCoy
sits seventh
from left.
50 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
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
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