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The Latest Updates on ALSAP

ALSAP Update Log (entries by Tim Kelley)


January 15, 2023
The Alaska Military History Association sent three pictures from 1948 of the Arctic Valley Ski Bowl.  Thank you!

December 17, 2022
Patrick Saltonstall recently went skiing at the site of the old Anton Larsen rope tow on Kodiak Island.  Patrick got some good pictures of the rope tow engine remains, pylons along the lift line and the rope that was used.  Thanks Patrick!

September 01, 2022
Isaac Firesmith sent a few pictures of the remains of the Cleary Summit lodge.  Thanks Isaac!

March 27, 2022
A new "planned but never built" ski area was added to ALSAP.  The Chitina Ski Slope.

I was reading Tom Kizzia's book "Cold Mountain Path" and noticed a reference to a heavy rope from a ski tow in Chitina being used to tow an airplane back onto a bush runway.  I mentioned this to Dave Brann.  Dave contacted Tom Kizzia about this.  And Tom referred us to Kenny Smith.  Kenny remembered this ski tow project and gave us what information he knew.  Thanks to Kenny Smith for bringing this bit of skiing history back to life!


January 23, 2022
Eric Fuglestad sent pictures by Dave Hendrickson of skiing at the Gunsight Ski Area in 1955.  Thanks Eric!

September 13, 2021
Dave Evans sent some recent pictures of the remains of the Ptarmigan Valley rope tow.  Thanks Dave!

August 25, 2021
Ben Coulter, a recent graduate of West High in Anchorage, shared a research project paper he wrote about the history of Romig Hill.  This lost ski area once operated just to the north of West High.  This great research effort of Ben's provided us with information that was previously unknown about this ski area.  Good job Ben, and thanks a lot!

Here is a direct link to Ben's Romig Hill research paper.

February 9, 2021
Al Setera sent some skiing pictures from Independence Mine in the late 1960's and early 1970's.  Thanks Al!

November 26, 2020
Paul Crews shared memories of skiing as a kid at the City Ski Bowl and Romig Hill.  His information confirmed the City Ski Bowl was in operation 5 years later than we currently thought.  Another interesting thing Paul mentioned is that the outrun of the Romig Hill was onto frozen salt water with (small) ice bergs.  That is because Westchester Lagoon was not yet dammed and was influenced by the tidal movements of Cook Inlet.  Probably not many ski areas where you ski out onto frozen salt water at the base!  Thanks Paul!


October 8, 2020
Dee McAllister sent pictures and stories of the first years that the ski area at Independence Mine was operational (1960-61).  Thanks Dee!

September 29, 2020
Joe Gilmore sent some pictures of skiing at Independence Mine in 1967, when he was stationed at Fort Richardson.  Thanks Joe!

September 24, 2020
Christie Haupert and Matias Saari were recently in the area of the old Murphy Dome cross country ski trails.  Matias sent a couple of photos that Christie took of an old xc ski trail and an old trail drag.  Thank you Christie and Matias!

April 9, 2020
David Leon sent a number of pictures from the mid-1970s of the Fort Richardson 172d Brigade instructors cadre scouting the Eklutna Glacier for training areas.  Thanks David!

April 4, 2020
Added a link to a great article about the Alaskan skiing scene of 1939-1940.  "Lure of the North" by Ted Coomora documents his skiing travels from Juneau to Anchorage and Fairbanks.  It's a great read that ties the skiing venues of that era together.  Thanks to Erik Hilsinger for sending this to us!


January 6, 2020
Katie Everson recently made a fantastic ALSAP map.  She plans on selling it on her etsy shop.  We at ALSAP do not have any financial involvement with her venture.  But we definitely thank Katie for her efforts in helping to preserve Alaskan skiing history!

January 2, 2020
Updated the status of the Mendeltna Creek Lodge ski trails.  These trails were abandoned after a tragic fire destroyed the lodge on December 10th, 2017.


November 21, 2019
Daryl Pederson posted a picture of this cross country skiing award patch on Facebook.   Back in the 1970s this patch was given to Sterling, Alaska elementary school students that skied 50 miles.  Daryl said that most of the skiing was done in ditches along the Sterling Highway.

May 8, 2019
Pete Alexson recently skied at Cape Newenham after the commercial herring fishing season in Togiak, AK.  Pete said he saw remnants of the old gondola and wreckage of an old military plane.  Thanks for the report and pictures Pete!

March 25, 2019
Ginny Espenshade sent some great historic photos that she took on her property in Homer, Alaska.  They are pictures of the rope tow power plant that Fred Anderson once built on this property.  Thanks a lot Ginny!

March 3, 2019
Lynn Noel sent pictures and a write-up about the Hatcher Pass Glacier Snowcat operation.  Thanks Lynn!

Febrary 15, 2019
Kay Porter Steward sent a number of great pictures and a write-up of her memories from the years her family skied at Arctic Valley (1968-1972).  Thanks Kay!

December 14, 2018
Will Whiton sent a couple of 1973 pictures from the Fort Richardson Biathlon Range trails.  Thanks Will!


November 25, 2018
Eric Fuglestad recently sent pictures that his uncle Wally Wallenstein took in the early 1950s.  Wally was a local architect who came to AK, for the second time, in 1949.  He was an active member of the Anchorage Ski Club and designed the original ASC ski lodge.  He also was a member of the Denali Ski Patrol, as well as the Mt. McKinley Lions.  The pictures Eric set are on the Alpenglow vintage pictures web page, City Ski Bowl web page and 4th Avenue web page.  Thanks Eric!


April 14, 2018
Bob Cathey was stationed at Ladd AFB during 1955-57 and skied at Cleary Summit.  Bob recently sent a picture of the Cleary Summit patch from that era, and the chevrons that could be earned for sub-zero skiing.  Thanks Bob!


April 5, 2017
I recently bought a Lomen Bros postcard on ebay that had this fine picture of cross country ski racer, circa 1910, in Nome, Alaska .


January 14, 2017
Eduardo Vitorino sent some recent pictures from the Anton Larsen Ski Area.  Thanks Eduardo !


October 29, 2016
Alan Bryson sent us a great (must read!) account of skiing and life at Arctic Valley from 1962 to 1965.  Thanks Alan !!


October 29, 2016
A new lost ski area was added to ALSAP - the Glen Alps Early Season XC Ski Loop.  During low snow periods in Anchorage, for many years this loop was a very popular training venue for local cross country skiers.  But in 2012 the Chugach State Park built a road over part of this ski loop to access a new parking lot.  This development brought an end to the use of this skiing venue.


March 27, 2016
Willis LaRose of the USCG sent recent pictures of the new building at the site of the former Anton Larsen Ski Area on Kodiak Island.  Thanks Willis!


February 21, 2016
Jim Cucurull sent an email with great memories of skiing at Arctic Valley from the mid-60's to 1983.  Jim also shared a lot of great pictures from that time period.  Thanks Jim!


January 07, 2016
Neil Christensen sent a very interesting email about skiing at Red Dog Mine.  Thanks Neil!

December 22, 2015
Richard Drake emailed to say he remembers fondly his skiing at Firetower Hill at Fort Greely in 1960-62.  And Richard sent a picture of the handbook he received when he arrived at Fort Greely, the "The Army's Northernmost Fort".  Thanks Richard!


November 14, 2015
Bill Emerson shared some great pictures from the days he skied at the Anton Larsen Ski Area on Kodiak Island, from 1959 to 1961.  Bill also sent us the first picture we've seen of a skier on the Chinak Satellite Tracking Station Access Road.  Folks stationed here used to have 2 mile ski races on this road back in the 1960 timeframe.  Thanks a lot Bill!


September 10, 2015
Doug Braddock sent a picture of Independence Mine ski and rental rates.  Thanks Doug!


June 2, 2015
Doug Sweeten sent an email of memories of skiing at Arctic Valley in 1952 to 1954.  Thanks Doug!


May 16, 2015
Wayne Pavich was stationed at Fire Island during 1968-1969 and sent a story about skiing "Breakneck Hill".  Thanks Wayne!


February 16, 2015
Whitham Reeves and Liam Wescott recently sent us emails with more information of the history of Ullrhaven in Fairbanks.  Thanks Whitham and Liam !


January 26, 2015
Ed Rosek sent us a great story about working as a kid building and operating the Centennial Park Rope Tow in Anchorage.  His story can be found in the "Correspondence" section at the bottom of this web page.  Thanks Ed !


December 13, 2014
Dennis Tatman sent in pictures, including ski hill pictures, and memories of his time spent at the Tatalina Air Force Station in 1974-75.   Dannis was one of the people that made the rope tow at this remote radar station.  Thanks Dennis !

October 10, 2014
This date marks 10 years that the Alaska Lost Ski Areas Project web site has been in existence.


August 24, 2014
Added a web page for the Whiteout Glacier XC Ski Training that was done in the early 1970's.  This location was the first summer glacier ski training site in the Western Chugach Mountains for cross country ski racers.  In later years, summer ski training operations would move to a permanent and designated facility, the Thomas Training Center, on the Eagle Glacier.


July 14, 2014
Sam Chapman sent in several pictures his father took at the Eielsen Air Force Base ski hill, formerly know as Ravenwood.  Thanks Sam !


April 17, 2014
Tony Reetz brought a new lost ski area to us - the Alyeska Glacier Ski Lift.  In the mid-1960's Don Conrad would set up a temporary ski lift on the glacier just above the Alyeska Ski Area for summer Alpine ski racing training.  Thanks Tony !


March 13, 2014
Mel Monsen sent several scans of old slides from his late father-in-law Ernie Jeffs' collection.  These skiing pictures were taken at Arctic Valley and Grandview.  Thanks Mel !

February 01, 2014
James Martin, formerly of Ketchikan, emailed to set the record straight about a ski hill we had been calling "Ski Corner Rope Tow".  This is an identifier I came up with to label this ski tow that used to exist prior to and not far from the Harriet Hunt Ski Hill.  The real name of this rope tow was Martin's Mini Mountain, named after the guy that built it - James Martin.  Thanks James, for helping us get the history of this Ketchikan area ski area straight!

January 26, 2014
Pete Snow of Kenai sent some recent pictures from the old Soldotna Ski Hill site.  Thanks Pete !

January 12, 2014
Daniel Osborne sent an email about his work as the rope tow operator at the UA Ski Hill (UAF didn't become the new moniker until 1975).  Thanks Daniel !

January 09, 2014
Clyde Batavia also sent an email about skiing at Fort Greely from 1969 to 1971.  Thanks Clyde !

January 06, 2014
Richard Pinney, who was stationed at Fort Greely from 1969 to 1971, sent a very informative email about his time at Fort Greely and the nearby Gunnysack Mountain Ski Area.  Thanks Richard !

September 19, 2013
Randy Sauder sent three new Arctic Valley pictures from 1966, courtesy of Willis Callahan.  Thanks Randy !

August 04, 2013
Susan Thorgaard, the neice of Ole Thorgaard who built Ski Boot Hill, emailed some corrections about the history of this lost ski hill.  Thanks Susan !

July 12, 2013
[Tim Kelley note]  I noticed a photo for sale on ebay of a soldier ski training on Eklutna Glacier.  I ended up buying this professional-quality 1961 photo.  I then scanned the photo and put it on the Eklutna Glacier web page of ALSAP.

June 30, 2013
[Tim Kelley note]  Recently I was at the end of the Eklutna Lake Road.  In the rocks behind the campsite area, that the military used as a base for ski and mountaineering training on Eklutna Glacier in the 50's to 70's, I found an old iron piton.  This piton was likely placed by troops as they were undergoing training on how to place pitons.

May 31, 2013
Dick Sawyer sent information about skiing at Arctic Valley in 1963, along with a number of nice pictures.  Thanks for contacting us Dick !

March 30, 2013
Randy Souder sent more pictures of the Forest Park ski area.  And Sam Chapman sent a copy of a 1971 Eielson Times article about the Canwell Glacier Stampede.  Thanks again Randy and Sam !


Some sad news: Recently we learned that Harvey Turner passed away.  Harvey was an alpine and cross country ski racer and jumper for UAF in the 1950s.  Harvey contributed extensive historical information to ALSAP.  Pictures of Harvey skiing for UAF in the 1950s can be found here.

February 25, 2013
Randy Souder forwarded Willis Callahan and Chuck Sandvik pictures from the 60s of Arctic Valley, Forest Park and Independence Mine.  Thanks a lot Randy !

February 10, 2013
Levi Ballard sent some nice 1943 vintage pictures of the Mt. McKinley Army Recreation Camp.  Thanks Levi !


January 20, 2013
Alan and Sharon Baldwin, via Randy Sauder, sent some nice mid-60s Independence Mine skiing pictures.  Thanks to all of you !


January 9, 2013
Gary Shelly emailed an account of life and skiing at the remote Cape Romanzof Air Force Station in the mid 70's.  Thanks Gary !


2012 ALSAP Log

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2008 ALSAP Log

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2004 ALSAP Log