The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 56

Arizona Timeline
1915 - Ole Solberg introduced skiing to
Flagstaff.
1920s - Skiing was largely cross-country and
for utilitarian purposes.
1930s - Organized skiing established on the
San Francisco Peaks under a permit from the
US Forest Service.
* Forest Service Ranger Ed Groesbeck put
in charge of the CCC Civilian Conservation
Corps camp that constructed a road up to
Hart Prairie.
Jan. 1, 1938 - A ski jamboree organized by
the 20-30 Club held on Hart Prairie which the
newspaper called " the opening show for the snow
sport program of the Flagstaff area " .
February, 1939 - 20-30 Club organized the first
Snow and Ice Fiesta. A power-drawn rope tow
was purchased. After a huge success, the club
had a contest to name the area. Arizona
Snowbowl was selected from over 115 entries
including Frosty Run and Alt Vista.
* Arizona State College (now NAU) organized
a team called the Ski Jacks
1940s - Flagstaff Ski Team was created and
bought equipment for the area
* Races were organized with teams from
Flagstaff High School, Phoenix, Williams and
the PreSkiMos of Prescott
1941 - The CCC finished Hart Prairie
Lodge, complete with fireplaces and a glass
observation porch
* World War II closed down operations for
two seasons
1946 - Al Grasmoen and his wife Venna
bought the ski facilities from Flagstaff Ski Club,
leasing the land from the Forest Service.
Grasmoen purchased Army surplus equipment
that included white skis from the 10th
Mountain Division. These were painted orange
for rentals.
1947 - Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
sponsored the 1st Annual Thunderbird
Invitational Ski Meet at Snowbowl.
1948 - Phoenix Ski Club formed
1950s - Grasmoen adds 3,000' long rope tow
on Hart Prairie, reportedly the world's longest
rope tow to date.
Arizona
Skiing
by Jane Jackson
" Echoes of the Peaks " , Producer
A crowd gathered at the bottom of Flagstaff's
Observatory Hill during the winter of 1915-16 as
Ole Solberg shouldered his homemade skis and
hiked up the hill. Locals were awed as he flew down
the hill " hot for town " . When he hit a snowcovered
fence wire sailing through the air and landing with
his head next to a rock many locals thought the
Norwegian had just completed an amazing stunt.
Most pronounced the sport eccentric but regardless,
skiing had just made its debut in northern Arizona.
Initially, Flagstaff skiing was cross-country
and more utilitarian than for fun. But that began to
change by 1935. The 20-30 Club, a service organization,
promoted winter sports and sponsored the
first winter sports day renting skis for 50 cents a ride
to try out the new sport.
That year also brought Colorado skier Ed
Groesbeck to Flagstaff to work for the Coconino
National Forest. He supervised the Civilian Conservation
Corps camp enrollees at Schultz Pass in the
development of a road up Agassiz and a ski lodge.
Groesbeck is the self-proclaimed father of the development
of Arizona Snowbowl and many locals
recalled him clearing trails with an axe and crosscut
saw on weekends on his own time.
The first ski area on the San Francisco Peaks,
Scissorbill Park, had a portable rope tow that could
carry three skiers at a time. A 1938 ski jamboree
held there was billed as the " opening show for the snow
sport program of the Flagstaff area " .
In February of 1939, the first Snow and Ice
Fiesta held on Hart Prairie featured a ½-mile slalom,
ski races and relays using Forest Service radios
for timing. The huge success of the event led to a
contest with a cash prize to name the area. Arizona
Snowbowl was the clear winner. Enthusiasm for skiing
continued with clubs forming in Flagstaff at
Arizona State Teachers College (now NAU) and
Prescott, the completion of a lodge on Hart Prairie
and winter festivals with highly competitive races.
Ole Solberg, with his homemade skis, introduced
Alpine skiing to the Flagstaff, Arizona area in the
winter of 1915-1916.
photos courtesy of Jimmie Nunn Arizona Ski Museum
Flagstaff Ski Club owned and operated the facilities
at Snowbowl until after WWII.
In 1945, Californian Al Grasmoen and his
wife Venna, purchased the facilities at Snowbowl
from the Flagstaff Ski Club. Grasmoen developed
the ski area and brought it back up to speed as a
post-war skiing craze hit the country. Fun in these
Grasmoen years included many carnivals with
races, costume days and events for non-skiers like a
soap-box sled contest and a scoop shovel race between
the mayors of Flagstaff and Phoenix.
Volunteerism was always a key to the success
of Arizona Snowbowl and in the Grasmoen years
ski teams and Flagstaff locals felt like family. Ski
club members cut runs, some named after those
who made them like the Campbell-Nunn run cut
by Bill Campbell and Jimmie Nunn. Al Grasmoen
designed and built Agassiz Lodge himself with the
help of volunteers from Flagstaff and Phoenix ski
clubs, and without the knowledge or approval of
the FS until it was almost finished and Jimmie
Nunn could draw up " as built " plans!
See more about Jimmie Nunn in the The Pantheon Section on page 45.
About the Author:
" I started learning to ski in Virginia in 1974 but didn't do anything more until the 1990s at Flagstaff and then Sunrise.
In 2002, I joined Sunrise Courtesy Patrol " . Jane Jackson
In the summer of 2005, Jane Jackson began volunteering in Flagstaff with the USFS/NPS Interpretive
Partnership. Volunteer duties included talking to visitors at the top of the Arizona Snowbowl summer scenic lift ride.
After meeting Jimmie Nunn and visiting his Arizona Ski Museum, she prepared a program on the beginnings of
Snowbowl looking at the involvement of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. The CCC constructed
the road up to Snowbowl and built the original Hart Prairie Lodge. Next came interviews with Jimmie and many
other early skiers which eventually led to the DVD production of " Echoes of the Peaks: An Early History of Skiing in
Northern Arizona " . NAU student, Gavin Boughner, was director and editor. An original music score was written and
performed by NAU student, Jessie Bouvier. Jackson continues to enjoy skiing in the winter.
56 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
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 5
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 6
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 7
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 8
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 9
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 10
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 11
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 12
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 13
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 14
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 15
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 16
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 17
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 18
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 19
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 20
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 21
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 22
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 23
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 24
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 25
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 26
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 27
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 28
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 29
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 30
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 31
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 32
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 33
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 34
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 35
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 36
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 37
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 38
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 39
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 40
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 41
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 42
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 43
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 44
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 45
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 46
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 47
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 48
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 49
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 50
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 51
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 52
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 53
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 54
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 55
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 56
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 57
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 58
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 59
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 60
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 61
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 62
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 63
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 64
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 65
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 66
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 67
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 68
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 69
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 70
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 71
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 72
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 73
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 74
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 75
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 76
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - Cover3
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com