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About ALSAP

General Info ...

What's this web site all about?  This project is about the preservation of Alaskan ski area history.  The goal is to document all ski areas (downhill, cross-country and jump) that once existed in Alaska.  And to allow these past memories of legacy ski areas to be shared freely over the Internet.  By making this information easily available to all, hopefully more people will contribute stories, facts, leads and pictures to this site.  And this site will become the definitive historical source for lost Alaskan ski sites.

Why make a lost ski areas web site?  Interest in Alaskan history, and in preserving it.  Love of skiing.  Love of Alaska.  Curiosity.  Pride of being a part of Alaskan skiing.  To appreciate the legacy of Alaskan skiing that preceded today.  To learn about the Alaskans (like us!) from days gone by that loved skiing.  And because it's fun.

Who's behind this lost ski area project web site?   Dave Brann started the collection of Alaskan lost ski area information by publishing a request for information article in the Alaska Nordic Skier newsletter.  Many Alaskans sent lost ski area info to Dave.  When Dave published his compiled list of Alaskan lost ski areas in a subsequent article, Tim Kelley called up Dave and said: "We've got to get this information out on the web.  So that everyone can see it!".  With that Tim started creating the Alaska Lost Ski Areas Project web site.

But make no mistake.  This is not Tim and Dave's web site.  This is Alaska skiing's web site.  This is YOUR web site.  If you have any info on lost ski areas, or know someone that does, please pass the information on to us.  And we'll get it on this web site.  Help preserve Alaska's skiing past!

Thanks and enjoy perusing this site.

Tim Kelley & Dave Brann

How YOU can become an Alaskan Ski Historian ...
If you are interested in being an Alaskan Ski Historian, we encourage you.  There is a lot of  ski history out there that is not on this web site.  It is peoples' memories.  It's in shoeboxes full of photographs in the dark corner of someone's closet.  It's decaying out in the woods.  It's in old newspaper articles that have been forgotten.  It's in museum archive departments.

Some suggestions to start you down the fulfilling road to becoming an Alaskan Ski Historian:  Browse this web site.  Look for sites that interest you, sites that have scarce information or notes that there is 'still research needed'.  Visit the site.  Try finding people that may know of the site's history and talk to them.  Visit museum archive departments.

You'll find that answers found from one source will come with more questions and leads.  And your journey will commence.  Eventually a better picture of the lost ski site you are researching will come into view.  You will realize a personal connection to this old skiing site, to skiing and to Alaska.  And we'd appreciate it if you would share your discoveries with us.  We'll put your findings on this web site, so others can share the information,  and we will duly credit you.

ALSAP Founders ...

Dave Brann

ALSAP Ski Historian

Dave Brann grew up in Maine.  He received a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Maine, Farmington in 1968.  He taught in California and Oregon before moving to Alaska in 1975.  He retired after 20 years of teaching in Alaska in 1997.  Even before his retirement Dave was active with the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club and other organizations working on skiing and hiking trails.  He volunteers many hours grooming ski trails in Homer, Alaska.

Dave started researching the ski history of Alaska in the early 90ís, first trying to find out if people had been skiing in Alaska for at least 100 years.  That led to his discovery that the first skiers in North America were the Russians that came to harvest furs in the 1790ís.  He presented a paper about the Russian expeditions in Alaska at the International Ski History Congress in Park City, Utah in 2002. 

On returning home, Dave started the task of tracking down the lost ski areas in Alaska.  The information was filling two ALSAP notebooks but Dave didnít have a good way to share it with other ski history enthusiasts until Tim Kelley encouraged the development of the ALSAP website.  The best part was when Tim volunteered to put the website together and to help with the continued research.

Dave has been collecting skis, stories, pictures and interesting ski history information for almost fifteen years.  Someday, he hopes to put it all in book form.

Tim Kelley

ALSAP Ski History and Web Guy

 
Lost ski areas have been a big part of my life.  I grew up in New England cross country ski racing, downhill skiing and jumping at many areas that are now lost.  A lost ski area (the US Biathlon Training Center Trails at Fort Richardson) first brought me to Alaska.

And ghosts of a lost ski area made me do this web site !!  Here's the story ...

When I first moved to the house I now live at, I found an old battered block pulley from a seiner in a shed on the property.  I didn't think much of it.  And after 5 years or so I finally got around to cleaning out the shed and I hauled the pulley to the Anchorage landfill.  That was this spring (2004).  It was around this time that I started thinking about creating the Alaska Lost Ski Areas Project web site.

Later while researching lost ski area sites in Anchorage, I realized that I was living right next to an old ski area.  And that the pulley I threw away was likely the return pulley for the old rope tow.  The big picture quickly came into view.  The ghosts of this lost ski area were mad at me!  I was a skier, and I had desecrated remains of a lost ski area!  To punish me these ski-ghosts declared that I would have to identify all Alaskan lost ski area sites and to spread the word, via the web, about them.  So that no others would do the wrong that I did.

Well, the ghosts sentenced me to a lot of labor in creating this web site.  But I sure hope that these ghosts don't surf the Internet and read this account.  Because I'll have to admit - the "punishment" I got actually turned out to be a lot of FUN!