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ALSAP Historical Skiing Photos

Alaskan Skiing Photos ...

From Days Gone By

4th Avenue  ~  Anchorage
This picture is of the start of the FIRST cross country ski race held in Anchorage, Alaska.  You can see part of the sign of the "Recreation Bowling Alley" on 4th Avenue, where the race started and finished 10 miles later.  Look at all of the spectators and the two folks watching the excitement from the roof-top.  Emil Gustafson, Bib #3 (third from left), was leading after the first 5 mile lap.  But John Aho, Bib #5 (second from left) went on to win in 1 hour 8 1/2 minutes, beating Gustafson by 30 seconds.

[Photo credit: Special Collections Division, FM-25, University of Washington Libraries, Seattle, WA. 98195 Neg. No. uw17771]

As late as 1950 there were Fur Rendezvous cross country ski races that finished on 4th Avenue.  These pictures are from the 1950 Anchorage High School yearbook.  The shot on the left shows well the large crowds lining the street to watch the ski races.

[Photo credits: Anchorage High School Yearbook - 1950]

Alaska Methodist University  ~  Anchorage

(1968)  [Left] Fear at the takeoff on the Paul Crews Jump at AMU.  [Right] Coach Jim Mahaffey instructs students on the University Ski Slope.

[Photo Credit:  Alaska Methodist University]

Anton Larsen Pass Ski Area  ~  Kodiak
(Late 40's, early 50's)  In 1951 the ski chalet was remodeled, painted, and equipped with 125 pairs of skis and poles. A new ski tow of 1800 feet was completed of which 900 feet served as a tow for toboggans.

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Arctic Valley Ski Bowl  ~  Anchorage, Fort Richardson

(1941-1945) Left:  View of the original entrance to the new Fort Richardson Ski Bowl

[Photo credit:  Anchorage Museum of History and Art]

Right: Spring 1945

[Photo credit: Parisi Collection / UAA Archives]

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(1945)  Left: View of buildings and the rope tow at the Arctic Valley Ski Bowl

[Photo credit:  Anchorage Museum of History and Art]

(1941) Right - The base structures at the Arctic Valley Ski Bowl.

[Photo credit:  Jack Edward McIlrach / Barbara McIlrath]

 

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Attu Ski Hill  ~  Attu Island

This Japanese soldier on skis was one of the reasons Americans came to Attu.  In 1943 US military forces fought and defeated the Japanese for control of Attu Island.  This picture was found in a Japanese military en campment on Attu after the battle.  Chances are good that this Japanese skier never shared the Attu rope tow with US skiers.  He likely either died fighting the US Army, or killed himself to avoid capture.

[Photo credit:  Anchorage Museum of History and Art]

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(1944) Splicing the tow rope at the Massacre Bay, Attu ski hill.

[Photo credit:  Dick Goldberg]

Cape Newenham AFS  ~  Southwest Alaska, Bering Sea Coast

(1954) Air Force servicemen skiing at the  Cape Newenham AFS Cold War radar site. 

[Photo credit:  Morris Carter]

Chena Ridge Ski Jump  ~  Fairbanks

(Late 1950s) This pictures shows the Chena Ridge Ski Jump in action - Al Paige in flight. 

[Photo credit:  Merritt and Liz Mitchell]

City Ski Bowl  ~  Anchorage
(1939-1940) The first Anchorage High School ski team trained and raced at the City Ski Bowl.

[Photo Credits: Jim Reekie's AHS '39 and '40 yearbooks]

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(1940s) These are older pictures of the City Ski Bowl site.  If you click on and enlarge the picture to the right - you can see the poles of the rope tow on the right side of the ski area.  The rope tow to the left of the jump had not been made yet.

What is interesting about the jump is the landing hill.  You can see that a trestle also formed part of the landing hill - to make for the lack of a natural landing hill.

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[Photo Credit:  Russel W. Dow collection, UAA Consortium Library Archives]

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[Photo Credit:  Anchorage Museum of History and Art]

(1946) The Chugach Ski Meet at the ski jump tower at Watertank Hill (at the City Ski Bowl).  You can see a rope tow to the left of the tower.  Pictures indicate that this tow was built after a rope tow to the west (right) of the jump.  The pole on the top of the slope on the right site is part of the original rope tow.

[Photo Credit:  Karl F. Eid collection, UAA Consortium Library Archives]

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(1946) [Left] A woman rides up the rope tow next to the Watertank Hill ski jump at the City Ski Bowl.

[Photo Credit:  Karl F. Eid collection, UAA Consortium Library Archives]

(1950) [Right] This is probably the best picture on ALSAP in showing the spiked log construction of the City Ski Bowl jump's in-run and a raised part of the out-run.

[Photo Credit:  Merritt and Liz Mitchell]

 

(1941) The Chugach Ski Meet at the City Ski Bowl.  You can see a slalom course set in the foreground on the left picture.  On the right picture - look at all the spectators at the top of the hill !!

[Photo Credit:  Karl F. Eid collection, UAA Consortium Library Archives]

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Cleary Summit  ~  Steese Highway, Fairbanks

(Mid 1950's)  Don Carson carves a smooth turn at Cleary Summit. 

[Photo credit:  Donald G. Carson]

(Late 40's/ Early 50's)  (left) Liz Mitchell carves a turn and (right) Lila Thorsen skis at Cleary Summit. 

[Photo credit:  Liz  and Merritt Mitchell]

(1960's) Left: Ski lodge.  (1971) Right: Bob McCann and ski bunnies.

[Photo credit:  Bevinne McCann Morse]

Curry Ski Hill  ~  Curry

(1941-1944)  (left) Skiers traveling to Curry via train.  The train was rocking, and so were these skiers.  Whoops, maybe not ... rock music wouldn't show up for another 10 years.  But they were having a good time anyway.

(right) Anchorage Ski Club members boarding the train in Curry, for the ride back to Anchorage  The building to the right is the Alaska Railroad Depot and the Curry Hotel.

[Photo credit:  University of Alaska Archives]

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(1940's)  A skier comes up the rope tow at the Curry Ski Hill.  Notice the tripod made from poles with a return pulley hanging from it.  You can also see a power line in the background,  either for lights or the rope tow engine.  And also notice the winding ski trail in the background, for access to the ski hill from the hotel.

[Photo credit:  Anchorage Museum of History and Art]

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(1940's)  A shot near the top of the Curry Ski Hill rope tow.  Notice the pulley hanging off a brace that is attached to a tree (with a ladder leaning on it).  This rope tow was nothing fancy (especially when compared to the luxurious Curry Hotel) !

And as you can see from the picture on the rignt ... there was no shuttle back to the hotel!

[Photo credit:  Anchorage Museum of History and Art]

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Dan Moller Ski Trail, 1st and 2nd Meadows  ~  Juneau
(1935) These pictures are still from a movie taken by Trevor Davis of a downhill ski race on the Dan Moller Trail on Douglas Island near West Juneau.

[Photo Credit:  Trevor Davis, c/o Bob Janes and the Juneau Ski Club]

 

Deer Mountain  ~  Ketchikan
(1946) Ketchikan High School yearbook picture.

[Photo Credit:  Al Tavis]

 

Divide Ski Area  ~  Seward
(Early 1940s) This picture shows a soldier skiing at the Divide Ski Area.  This ski area was located 12 miles north of Seward.

[Photo Credit:  Robert C. Lewis collection, UAA Consortium Library Archives]

 

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Douglas Ski Bowl  ~  Juneau / Douglas Island
(1940s) Douglas Ski Bowl

[Photo Credit:  Dora M. Sweeney collection, Alaska State Library Historical Collection]

 

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(1948) Dan Moller Cabin at the Douglas Ski Bowl

[Photo Credit:  Trevor Davis, February 7, 1948 issue of Track!, the Official Publication of the Juneau Ski Club]

 

Dry Creek  ~  Nome

(1906) Carl Albertsen of Norway takes flight off the Nome Ski Club's jump at Dry Creek.

 

[Photo Credit: Anchorage Museum of History and Art]

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(1906) Ski jumping at the Dry Creek jump near Nome.

 

[Photo Credits: left - Alaska State Library, right - Alaska State Library]

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The start of a cross country ski race in 1903.  Competitors: 8 Albert Rapp, 7 George Kaasen, 11 Leonhard Seppala, 4 Mr Beldo, 6 Asle Seppala, 2 John Kaasen, 5 Sigurd Seppala, 12 Ole Rapp, 9 Peter Burg.

[Photo Credits: The Alaska Sportsman magazine, Leonhard Seppala Collection]

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(1903) Nome Ski Club cross country ski race competitors.

[Photo Credits (Left) University of Alaska Fairbanks, Leonhard Sepalla Collection,  (Right) University of Alaska Fairbanks, Leonhard Sepalla Collection]

East Hill Downhill Course  ~  Homer
(1966) The Svedland-McLay East Hill Downhill Course was on the bluff to the north of Homer.  Skiers would be transported by car or truck to the top and then ski down.  The Kachemak Ski Club held downhill races on this course and corners were padded with old matresses.

[Photo credits: John "Jake" McLay]

Eklutna Glacier Military Training Site  ~  Chugach Mountains
(1960's) Troops skiing on the Whiteout Glacier, heading to the Eklutna Glacier in the Western Chugach Mountains.

[Photo credits: Henry J. Hamilton / Tim Kelley]

 

Fire Island Ski Area  ~  Anchorage

(1967) Here is a photo of two Air Force Lieutenants on the top of the Fire Island ski hill.  Though Fire Island is only several miles west of Anchorage, Air Force personnel stationed here would have to remain on the island for their entire 1 year contract.  It looks like the guy on the left is giving a lesson.  And the man on the right is laughing and having a good time.

[Photo Credit: Radomes, Inc.]

Fishhook Ski Area  ~  Palmer

[Left]  Anchorage schoolteacher Gertrude Slotsfelt stands next to the Fishhook rope tow engine - a portable, gas powered unit that is anchored by a rope.

[Photo credit: Univeristy of Alaska, Anchorage  Archives and Manuscripts Dept.]

[Right] This 1939 picture by Russell Dow shows skiers waiting to grap a ride up the rope tow behind the Fishhook Inn.

[Photo credit: Univeristy of Alaska, Anchorage  Archives and Manuscripts Dept.]

Fort Davis  ~  Nome

(1912) This photo shows Company "E" of the 16th U.S. Infantry Regiment all on skis at Fort Davis.

[Photo credit: Alaska Museum of History and Art]

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Fort Gibbon  ~  Tanana
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(1914) Shown here is a skier at Fort Gibbon, with a signal tower (for wireless communications) in the background.

[Photo credit: Alaska Museum of History and Art]

Fort Greely / Manchu Skiing  ~  Delta Junction

[Left] This 1960 shot shows Hank Dube executing a Royal Christie on Firetower Hill at Fort Greey.  [Right] Hank is shown racing slalom at Gunnysack Hill, south of Fort Greely, in 1962.

[Photo credit and copyright: Hank Dube and Judy Ferguson]

(1960s) The Fort Greely web page has a number of images of the 9th Infantry "Manchus" skiing in Alaska.

[[Photo credit: 9th Infantry Regiment, www.manchu.org]

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Fort Liscum  ~  Valdez
(Approx. 1910) Here is an early 1900's shot of twelve soldiers (11 skiers and one toboganeer) at Fort Liscum.

[Photo credit: UAF Archives]

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Fort Richardson Biathlon Center  ~  Anchorage
[Left] At the range, prone position.

[Photo credit:  Alaska State Library, Historical Collections]

[Right] Two skiers head out onto the course.

[Photo credit:  Alaska State Library, Historical Collections]

Fort St. Michael  ~  St. Michael

(Early 1990's) This picture shows the Fort St. Michael Army post.  This would have been a good place to learn how to ski - no trees to run into and no hills to fall down.

[Photo credit:  Library of Congress, William F. C. Jepson]

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Girdwood Jr. National X-C Ski Trail  ~  Girdwood
(1970) The picture on the left shows an Anchorage West High School skier racing on the lost Jr. National X-C Ski Trail that was built in 1968 in Girdwood.

[Photo Credit:  Anchorage West High School 1970 yearbook]

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Golden Stairs  ~  Cordova
(1920s ?) Skier at the base of Mt. Eccles in the "Golden Stairs" area near Cordova where Kennecott Copper Employees would ski in the 1920s.

[Photo Credit:  Tim Kelley purchase on ebay, source unknown]

Independence Mine Ski Area  ~  Palmer
(Early 1970s) The picture on the left shows the old rope tow at Independence Mine.  On the right is a picture of kids skiing on an age-class "Race Day".

[Photo Credits:  Carol Christiansen]

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Jump Hill  ~  West Juneau
(1935) These pictures are still from a movie taken by Trevor Davis of a ski jumping competition on Jump Hill in West Juneau.

[Photo Credit:  Trevor Davis, c/o Bob Janes and the Juneau Ski Club]

Kachemak Ski Club - First Rope Tow  ~  Homer
(Early 1950s) Skiing a slalom course at the Kachemak Ski Club's First Rope Tow on the Browning Homestead off of Diamond Ridge Road in Homer.

[Photo Credit:  "Jake" John H. McLay]

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(Early 1950s) Skiing at the Kachemak Ski Club's First Rope Tow on the Browning Homestead in Homer.

[Photo Credit:  "Jake" John H. McLay]

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Kachemak Ski Club - Second Rope Tow  ~  Homer
(Late 1950s/ Early 1960s) Skiers compete in a slalom ski race at Homer's Second Rope Tow at the Browning's Homestead off the Ohlson Mountain Road.

[Photo Credits:  "Jake" John H. McLay]

Kennecott Mill Town Ski Hill  ~  Kennecott

Geoffrey Bleakley, a historian for the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve provided these two great Kennecott era skiing pictures to ALSAP.  The picture to the right has many interesting features: You can see the typical white trimmed, clapboard sided mill town houses in the background.  The women are skiing between the train track rails that lead into the mill.  The ski poles being used are heavy wooden "sticks" without straps.  And the women to the right is skiing "old-style", only using one pole.  It also looks like the baskets are made of wood.

 

[Photo Credit: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve]

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This picture shows skiers, possibly Kennecott Mill workers, on the Kennicott Glacier.  (Note the difference in spellings, see this web site for an explanation).

 

[Photo Credit: Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve]

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Kjosen Hill  ~  Anchorage

(1937) This photo shows the landing area of the Kjosen Hill ski jump.  This jump once existed on the hill the Minnesota Bypass climbs up to the end of I Street. The outrun heads down to Chester Creek.  The jumper in both of this picture is George Rengard.

[Photo Credit:  Karl F. Eid collection, UAA Consortium Library Archives]

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Manitoba Ski Area  ~  Mills Creek, Kenai Mountains
(1947) The 'Glacier Ski Lodge' at the Manitoba Ski Area.  $2 for the Weasel ride up from the road, $3 to ski, free chili, up to 300 people skiing.  Lodge burned in 1960.

[Photo Credit:  Theresa Zimmerman]

Moose Run  ~  Anchorage
(1966) Doug Erickson leaves the starting line at a cross country ski race at Moose Run on Fort Richardson.

[Photo Credit:  Alaska Sportsman Magazine photo, June 1966, Page 45]

Mount McKinley Army Recreation Camp  ~  McKinley Park
[Left] The cover of the January 3, 1944 LIFE Magazine had a picture of Barbara Brubaker holding skis while on vacation after military duty at the McKinley Park Hotel.

[Right] Jane Bryant of the Denali National Park & Preserve let ALSAP use this scan of a great 1954 photo by Charles Ott of a skier on the McKinley Park ski slopes looking back at the hotel. 

[Photo credit: Charles Ott, Denali National Park & Preserve Archive, DENA #3548]

Murphy Dome AFS  ~  Fairbanks

You can see why they call these airmen ... "air" men!  Back in 1967 John Borg (left) and Frank Raishart (in uniform no less) take to the air off a jump to the southeast of the Domes.  A guy from the motor pool would give them a ride back up.

[Photo credits: Frank Raishart and John Borg]

Ohlson Mountain AFS Rope Tow  ~  Homer

(1960s) The Ohlson Mountain Air Force Station radar site had a rope tow that was used by military and civilians.  The Kachemak Ski Club of Homer held many ski races here.

[Photo Credits:  John "Jake" McLay]

Petersburg Ski Area  ~  Petersburg
(1940s) A photo of "the boys", a rugged bunch of mostly Scandinavian descendants, in front of the Petersburg Ski Club cabin that they built.  The date of this picture is unknown, but according to Ruth Sandvik it is "way before 1949".

[Photo credit: Ruth Sandvik]

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Romig Hill  ~  Anchorage
(1963) A nice day at Romig Hill, overlooking downtown Anchorage.  Westchester Lagoon had not been created yet.  You can see ice on a meander of Chester Creek near the bottom of the ski hill.

[Photo credit: Anchorage Museum of History and Art, MCC 14075]

Sheridan First Ski Tow  ~  Cordova
(1930s ?) Slalom race on C Street

[Photo credit: Cordova Historical Society]

Sand Dune Hills  ~  Gustavus
(1936) Children With Homemade Wooden Skis.

[Photo credit: Gustavus Historical Archives and Antiquities web site (www.gustavushistory.org)]

Ski Boot Hill  ~  Fairbanks
(1970s) Ski instructors at Ski Boot Hill.

[Photo credit: Bevinne McCann Morse]

Soldotna Ski Hill  ~ Soldotna
(1955) Left: Jim Browning jumping.  Right: Original rope tow power plant.

[Photo credit: Jim Browning]

Tripod Hill  ~ Cordova
(1930s)  Skiing in front of the Tripod Ski Cabin.
 

[Photo credit: Cordova Historical Society]

UAF Ski Hill / Skarland Jump  ~  Fairbanks
(Late 1950s) [Left] UAF (University of Alaska, Fairbanks) Ski Team member Merrit Mitchell takes flight off the Skarland Jump on the UAF campus.

[Right] Al Paige runs slalom gates on the University Campus Ski Hill.

[Photo credits: Merritt and Liz Mitchell]

Umiat Naval Petroleum Reserve Camp  ~  Umiat

[Left] Skiing down the bank of the Ikpikpuk River.  [Right] Richard Aukerman (2nd from left) and Civil Aeronautics Administration crew display pelts.


[Photo credits: Richard Lewis Aukerman]

Wendler / ACC Trail  ~  Anchorage

(1972)  The first UAA (University of Alaska, Anchorage) ski teams trained and raced on the ACC (Alaska Community College) Ski Trail.  The woman in the foreground (Gloria Thiele) is wearing likely the first ever UAA ski team jacket ... as this was the 2nd year of the UAA ski team and they were training for their first "stateside" race.

[Photo Credit:  Anchorage Daily Times, March 2, 1972]

Alaska Statewide
The Alaska Woman Magazine - April 1942

[Courtesy of Bevinne McCann Morse]

Sylvia Anderson of Juneau on the cover "Alaska on Skiis" article, text is replicated below

Skiing:  On a gentle Seward Peninsula slopes, across country in the flatter areas, down steep mountain trails, Alaska skis.

Ski clubs in almost every city attract all age groups, hold tournaments.  Outside, Alaska's skiers have won honors in coast tournaments, at Sun Valley, and even in Norway - that was several years ago when John Hay of Nome, there with his mother on a visit, took first honors in a junior competition.

In northern cities children, scarcely school age, on short stubby skis coax the family malamute to pull them along.  Until forbidden by city ordinance Nome skiers kept in practice behind cars or snowmobiles, sped around corners frequently spilling, scattering pedestrians.

Shown above are:  Left top, Douglas Ski Trail, walking distance from Juneau and Douglas.  Pic #1: Seward skiers - Resurrection Bay in distance.  Pic #2:  Inger Watsjold, popular wife of Seward Ski Club President Oscar Watsjold, takes time out for coffee.  #3: Helen Junes Laney. She knows Fairbanks, Juneau and Anchorage Ski trails.  #4: Nome relaxes and cuts up.  #5: Nome Ski Club Cabin.  #6: An Alaskan Ski Tournament.  #7: Nome eats.  #8:  Boys in Seward Junior Skip Patrol organized by Joe Werner.  Left to right:  Donald Ottersen, Bruce Trigstad, Reece Jones, Harold Campen, Bill Erwin, Jack Erwin, Jesse Hatch, Ralph Hatch, Jack Lindsey and Oliver Amend.  #9: Joe Werner, popular Alaskan skier, familiar figure on ski trails near Anchorage, Juneau and Sitka.

APRIL, 1942

Douglas Ski Trail, walking distance from Juneau and Douglas Seward skiers - Resurrection Bay in distance. Inger Watsjold, popular wife of Seward Ski Club President Oscar Watsjold, takes time out for coffee. Helen Junes Laney. She knows Fairbanks, Juneau and Anchorage Ski trails.
#4: Nome relaxes and cuts up.  #5: Nome Ski Club Cabin.  #7: Nome eats. An Alaskan Ski Tournament.  Boys in Seward Junior Skip Patrol organized by Joe Werner.  Left to right:  Donald Ottersen, Bruce Trigstad, Reece Jones, Harold Campen, Bill Erwin, Jack Erwin, Jesse Hatch, Ralph Hatch, Jack Lindsey and Oliver Amend. Joe Werner, popular Alaskan skier, familiar figure on ski trails near Anchorage, Juneau and Sitka.
Skagway, Alaska (?)
A 1900 chromolithographed advertising card /trading card from an Antwerp, Germany meat company.
 
Muir Glacier, Glacier Bay
(1902) And for those in the old days that did not ski, they could still have fun in the snow by making a snowman.  A REALLY, REALLY BIG snowman !!!

[Photo credit: University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections, Clarence Leroy Andrews]

 

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