The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 62

Famous ski jumper and two-time Olympic gold medalist Norwegian Birger Ruud wins the 1938
Seattle Ski Club tournament at Beaver Lake on Snoqualmie Pass. At the end of his " meteoric " descent,
Birger " didn't come to a casual, christying stop. No. He somersaulted. After the tournament, Birger
and his brother Sigmund performed " a perfect double jump, both off the takeoff together, and landing
in unison, 196 feet down the hill. " quote from the Seattle Times.
Museum of History and Industry
Cle Elum Ski Club's giant new ski jump built in
1931, has been described as " one of the most
hazardous in the world, 6% steeper than any in
Norway which was the center of ski jumping " .
courtesy of Cecelia Maybo family and Archives and
Special Collections, James E. Brooks Library, Central
Washington University.
Washington
Ski History
by John W. Lundin
Lawyer, Historian and Author
Washington skiing was promoted in its early
This map shows the ski runs at Paradise Valley,
Mount Rainier, 1938, the first year that rope tows
were operating. Trail 11 begins at Camp Muir,
elevation 11,000 feet, the start of the Silver Skis
Race that went down the glacier nearly four
miles to near Paradise Lodge, elevation 5,400 (#2
on the map). The rope tow " eliminated long
climbs to the crest of ridges " giving skiers
" many more times the downhill running " .
Washington State Historical Society
About the Author:
John W. Lundin is a founding member of the
Washington State Ski & Snowboard Museum. His book,
Early Skiing on Snoqualmie Pass, received a Skade
Award from the International Ski History Association as
an outstanding regional ski history book in 2018. He has
two new books published in 2020: Sun Valley, Ketchum
and the Wood River Valley, by Arcadia Publishing; and
Skiing Sun Valley: a History from Union Pacific to
the Holdings, by History Press. John's book, Skiing in
Washington, A Nordic Tradition, will be published in
January, 2021.
days by newspapers and railroads. Newspapers gave
extensive coverage to skiing activities and sponsored
important events. Northern Pacific, Great Northern
and the Milwaukee Road transported spectators to
tournaments at Cle Elum, Leavenworth and Snoqualmie
Pass. Northern Pacific provided land for
the Cle Elum and Seattle Ski Clubs, planned a
major ski area at Stampede Pass, and operated a
small ski area there until WWII. The Milwaukee
Road opened the Milwaukee Ski Bowl at Hyak in
1938.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal contributed
to the growth of the ski industry nationally
in the 1930s, by building roads and shelters; and
clearing hills and trails. Washington ski areas benefitting
from these programs included Seattle's Municipal
Ski Park, Leavenworth, Mt. Rainier, Deer
Park on the Olympic Peninsula, Stevens Pass,
Mount Baker, Mount Rainier, Mount Spokane and
others.
Ski Jumping was the Most
Popular Form of the Sport
The Northwest has long attracted Scandinavian
immigrants, because of its climate, geography
62 FWSA 90th Anniversary Booklet / 1930 - 2020
and employment possibilities. In Washington, in
1910, Scandinavians were the largest immigrant
group, making up 20% of the foreign-born population,
and one out of every 20 Seattle residents
was born in Norway or the child of Norway born
parents. " The Norwegians brought to their new country a
passion for skiing.... " They organized ski competitions
" to strengthen their ethnic ties, showcase their abilities,
and generate a new sense of belonging to their new country. "
(Quote from Harold Anson, Jumping Through Time.)
From the earliest days of skiing in Washington,
ski jumping was the most popular form of the
sport, due to the influence of Norwegian immigrants.
Alpine skiing did not appear until the mid1930s.
The only skiing events at the first Winter
Olympic Games in 1924, were Nordic (jumping and
cross-country racing). Alpine skiing (downhill and slalom)
first appeared in the 1936 Olympic Games.
The state's first formal ski jumping event happened
in Spokane in 1913, when Olaus Jeldness,
who helped create the Rossland B.C. Winter Carnivals,
organized a " skee " jumping and " running " exhibition
using a ski jump he built.
Jeldness
organized the 1915 Inland Empire Ski Jumping
Championships, and skiing continued there until
the 1920s.

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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