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The Latest Updates on ALSAP - 2006

ALSAP Update Log 2006 (entries by Tim Kelley)


December 30, 2006

Joe Connolly sent some site photos of skiing at the old Manitoba Ski Area.  The lift is gone, but the great views are still the same!  Thanks Joe !


Also - posted an Anchorage Daily Times article from 1971 about the Eielson AFS Ski Hill ... back when rope tow tickets were 25 cents a day, and the Pomalift ticket was 75 cents a day!

December 27, 2006

Joe Bell was the site chief at Indian Mountain AFS starting in November 1953.  Joe sent some interesting stories about his time at Indian Mountain.  Thanks for sharing these stories Joe !

December 23, 2006

While reading the Tokositna ski area development history by Frank Norris, I noticed that several alternate sites were suggested by the public, but not studied.  These sites were Curry Ridge, Byers Lake, Larson Lake / Mount Baldy (10 miles east of Talkeetna) and a site on the Chulitna River.  It would be a stretch to say that these were once "true" proposed ski areas, as no study or design is known to ALSAP as being done for these sites.

December 20, 2006

Added excerpts from Frank Norris' "Crown Jewel of the North: An Administrative History of Denali National Park and Preserve, Volume I" concerning the proposed Tokositna ski area.  This development called for a "Buck Rogerish" teflon tent over the city.  There is a great artist's parody of this far fetched pie-in-the-sky development idea ... now on this web page.


Richard Houghton contacted us to say that he thought the Divide Ski Area hill now has a Seward Ski Club nordic trail on or near it.  We would like to investigate this further.  Thanks for the lead Richard!

December 12, 2006

Jake Huether sent an email saying that he skied at the Indian Mountain radar station during his year there from December 1965 to December 1966.  Jake said their was a ski instructor there and they would ski down the road from Top to Lower Camp and often ride back up in a dump truck.  Thanks for the email Jake !!


Also - added quotes from a recent publication by Frank Norris, a National Park Service Regional Historian, entitled: "Crown Jewel of the North: An Administrative History of Denali National Park and Preserve, Volume I" to the Mt. McKinley Army Recreation Camp web page.  For those looking for a great history of Denali National Park ... read this book!

December 11, 2006

Thomas Mlinar sent more information about early skiing at Fort Greely.  Thomas mentioned another ski area with a ski lodge - across from the Main Gate to Fort Greely.  Hank Dube mentioned this site earlier.  Hank said there was a jump there at this place he referred to as Sand Lewis Hill.  But Tom is wondering if there was a downhill ski slope there too?  Anyone know?  Thanks for the info Tom !!

November 28, 2006

Bevinne McCann Morse sent in some more pictures of the Douglas Ski Trail, a picture of her UAF ski team alumnae mother Sylvia at the UAF Ski Hill and an interesting article called "Alaska On Skiis" from an April 1942 "The Alaska Woman" magazine.  This article, and pictures from it, are located on the ALSAP history web page (near the bottom).  Thanks Bevinne!

Plus, Elaine Morris Moxness sent an email about when she used to ski in the 1960's at Independence Mine.  Thanks Elaine !

November 26, 2006

Paul Maxwell sent another batch of never-been-seen-before pictures of the Fire Island Ski Slope, now also officially known as "Breakneck Hill".  Paul - thank you very much, again!!

November 25, 2006

Paul Maxwell was stationed at the Fire Island AFS in 1968 and he used to ski the ski hill there.  Paul recently sent in some great pictures that are now on the Fire Island Ski Slope web page.  And ... Paul sent along a story that is a MUST read!  Thanks a lot Paul !! 


Also today, Thomas Mlinar sent a picture of himself skiing in 1954 at Fire Tower Hill at Fort Greely.  Thomas also sent a picture of the fire tower the hill was named after.  Thanks for sharing these photos with us Thomas !!

November 17, 2006

Bevinne McCann Morse sent a final few (very nice) pictures of Cleary Summit from the 50's and 60's.  Bevinne ... a HUGE thanks to you for your efforts in sharing and preserving the legacy of the ski area of your heart - Cleary Summit !! 

November 16, 2006

Scott McLain sent an email saying that his father once worked at the Gunsight Mountain Ski Hill with the owner at the time.  Scott remembers his father saying that Catholic nuns were involved in the building and running of this small ski area as a recreation / retreat area for troubled youth.  Thanks for this new information on this mysterious old ski hill Scott !


Added a ViLDA UAF John Sigler Collection ski jumper picture to the UAF Ski Hill web page.  Also ... added a ViLDA UAF Frederick B. Drane picture of missionary Evelyn Nixon skiing at Fort Gibbon around 1920.

November 15, 2006

If the ALSAP Interactive Map is not working for you - try clicking the 'Refresh' button on your Internet browser.


A few days ago the ALSAP map "broke".  The reason was that Google turned off their Google Maps API Version 1 ... and switched over to Version 2.  The code behind my ALSAP map was not version 2 ready ... so the map page stopped working.  I recoded the map program and it seems to be working now.  In case you get an error while calling up the ALSAP map - click the 'Refresh' button on your browser.  This action should clear out the old version of the map code that may be on your computer, and load the new javascript code.

November 11, 2006

Bevinne McCann Morse has been on a roll !!  It continues with the FIRST picture on ALSAP of skiers at Ski Boot Hill in Fairbanks!  Plus several neat pictures of the UAF Ski Hill in the late 1940's.  Thanks Bevinne !!

November 09, 2006

And yet again ... more great pictures, courtesy of Bevinne McCann Morse, of Cleary Summit were added.  Thanks once again for sharing your Cleary Summit pictures with ALSAP Bevinne !!


An article was written about the proposed Eagle Valley Resort ski area by Chris Lundgren for The Alaska Star.  A link to this article was added to the above web page.

November 02, 2006

And again ... more pictures, courtesy of Bevinne McCann Morse, of Cleary Summit were added.  Thanks once again for sharing your Cleary Summit pictures with ALSAP Bevinne !!

October 31, 2006

A lot more pictures, courtesy of Bevinne McCann Morse, of Cleary Summit were added.  Plus Bevinne sent several 1938 pictures from the Douglas Ski Trail.  Thanks once again Bevinne !!

October 25, 2006

Today I added a couple of 1960's pictures sent by Bevinne McCann Morse, the daughter of Cleary Summit's developer and operator Bob McCann.  Thanks a lot Bevinne !!

October 22, 2006

Cyril Schaefer sent us a number of pictures of Curry and the ski hill there.  Cyril and his brother took these pictures in 1952 when they worked in Curry for the Alaska Railroad one summer.  Thanks a lot Cyril !!

October 20, 2006

Added the last of the site pictures that I took recently.  Added site shots to the Chena Hot Springs, Aurora Lodge, Rainbow Mountain and Paxson web pages.  The Rainbow Mountain Troop Training site was somewhat a mystery.  The only known leads on this site were comments and a picture from Hank Dube.  So it was fun to re-discover this location at Mile 206 of the Richardson Highway.

October 19, 2006

Added a bunch more site pictures that I took recently of the old Ski Boot Hill ski area in Fairbanks.

October 18, 2006

Added a large number of site pictures that I took recently of the Cleary Summit Ski Area.

October 11, 2006

Added a Ernest F. Jessen political cartoon from 1922, courtesy of ViLDA, to the web page for the Tripod Ski Trails in Cordova.

October 04, 2006

Harlan Flint, who lived in Anchorage in the early 1970's and now lives in Sweden, found ALSAP and sent an email with a story about the Alyeska Ski Jump.  Thanks a lot Harlan!


We still don't have any pictures of the old Alyeska Ski Jump, so if anyone has such a pic ... feel free to email this way.  Thanks.

October 02, 2006

A peruse of ViLDA led to some new (old) skiing pictures.  A couple of Charles Hamlin panoramic shots of skiers from the Nome Gold Rush era are now on the Dry Creek web page.  A 1952 summer shot of the Arctic Valley Ski Bowl was added.  And two jumping pictures, in color!, from what was possibly the last jumping competition at the City Ski Bowl were also added.

September 18, 2006

Mary J. Barry, author of the great  three volume set of history books on Seward, Alaska, contacted us to let us know that kids once skied and sledded in Seward on Bear Mountain behind the old hospital on 2nd Avenue.  Perhaps this (Bear Mountain) is a new lost ski area?  But for now I'm putting this info on the Mt. Marathon web page.  Thanks again for contacting us Mary !!

September 10, 2006

Today I talked to Don Conrad and George "Joe" Hanson.  Don Conrad is the man that built the Stuckagain Heights Rope Tow in the early 1970's.  Don operated this ski area for a year before becoming the mountain manager at Alyeska.  Don's friend George "Joe" Hanson is a former Denali Ski Patrol senior and he remembers patrolling at the Stuckagain Heights ski hill when Don was operating it.  Thanks for sharing this skiing history with us Don and Joe !!

September 09, 2006

In 1983 a Master Plan was commissioned by the Municipality of Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department for sports facility development at Kincaid Park in Anchorage.  This plan proposed that a dual ski jump facility and a skiing and sledding hill with a rope tow be constructed in the park.

August 19, 2006

Sad news was received from Fairbanks - that Donn Huber passed away recently.  Donn was one of the builders of the Chena Ridge Ski Jump.  And Donn was a member of the early 1950's powerhouse Fairbanks University of Alaska ski squad.  Some pictures of Donn can be seen on the UAF Ski Hill web page.  Donn, and teammate pals the likes of Harvey Turner and Merritt Mitchell, skied in the era when skiers "did it all" - they competed in the four skiing events of downhill, slalom, cross country and jumping.  Four event skiers are a legendary part of ski racing history ... they just don't make skiers like those guys any more.  Our sincere condolences to the Huber family and Donn's friends.

August 2, 2006

A big thanks to Brett Shepard of KTVA Channel 11 News.  Brett sent us two pictures of the cat track / old ski run at the Chena Hot Springs resort east of Fairbanks.  Brett and Channel 11 photographer were at Chena Hot Springs shooting a story about aurora viewing ... and decided to ski and snowboard down the run - at 30 below zero!  Thanks for freezing your shutter button finger for us Brett !

July 30, 2006

Mary J. Barry sent an email saying that she used to ski the ski slope and wooden slide on Mt. Marathon when it was operational in the early 1930s.  Mary "knows her stuff" when it comes to Seward history, as she has written a wonderful  three volume set of history books on Seward, Alaska.  Thanks for contacting us Mary, it's great to hear from you ... a skier that was shooting down Mt. Marathon - 75 years ago !!

July 15, 2006

Added more great 1940's Russell Dow pictures courtesy of the State of Alaska Virtual Library and Digital Archives (ViLDA).  These pictures are from the 1941-1944 era of an Anchorage Ski Club ski train outing from Anchorage to Curry.

June 26, 2006

Added a great 1940's Russell Dow picture that made it to the State of Alaska Virtual Library and Digital Archives (ViLDA).  This is the best picture so far that  shows the massive construction of the City Ski Bowl jump trestle.  Also, added a ViLDA 1940's picture of the greeters at an Anchorage Ski Club meeting / party on the Arctic Valley Ski Bowl web page.

June 22, 2006

Owen Wozniak sent a note with some interesting history about the old jump at the Arctic Valley Ski Bowl.  Apparently the jump had an "after-life" after the nordic jumpers abandoned this facility.  In the mid to late 1980's the berms carved in the ground for this jump became one of the first snowboard half-pipes in the Anchorage area.  Thanks for sharing this history Owen !!

June 18, 2006

Sam Chapman's father was stationed at Eielson AFB from 1970 to 1974.  His father was the head ski patroller at the Eielson AFB Ski Area, and he ski patrolled at other Fairbanks area ski hills too.  Sam sent some pictures of Eielson and Fairbanks area ski patroller patches from 1974, and a good shot of him launching off a jump at Eielson when he was 16.  Thanks a lot Sam !!


Added a Russell Dow picture from the 1940's of a start of a cross country ski race likely near the City Ski Bowl.

May 21, 2006

Added a Recreational Inventory map of the once proposed Tokositna Ski Area from the Phase III study of this project in 1979.  Thanks to Bruce Talbot of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources for this info!

May 20, 2006

Dave Brann provided information about three new lost ski trails on the Kenai Peninsula: Ninilchik School Ski Trail, Oilwell Road Ski Trails and the Tustumena School Ski Trails.  Thanks a lot Dave !!

May 16, 2006

Gary Bashline was stationed at Sparrevohn AFS in 1971-72.  He remembers New Years Eve when he was there and putting on a show with a group of skiers by holding road flares and skiing down the mountain to Lower Camp.  Thanks for sharing this ski-memory Gary !!

May 14, 2006

Added pictures to the Homer First Rope Tow at Herndon's Homestead and the Homer Second Rope Tow at the Browning Homestead web pages.  These skiing pictures are courtesy of Jake McLay.  Thanks again to Jake and Dave Brann !!

April 28, 2006

Added pictures to the Svedland - McLay East Hill Downhill Course web page.  These downhill ski racing pictures from this Homer site are from 1966 and courtesy of Jake McLay.  Thanks to Jake and Dave Brann !!

April 21, 2006

On the Ohlson Mountain Air Force Rope Tow web page I posted several pictures from Kachemak Ski Club (Homer) slalom and giant slalom ski races in the 1960's.  These pictures are courtesy of Jake McLay - thanks Jake !!


Dave Durrant and Rudd Thabes worked SAR (Search and Rescue) at Adak in the later 1960's.  They skied there a bit, and Rudd once did a rescue mission on skis.  Dave and Rudd, thanks for the stories !!

April 20, 2006

Added a picture of the Douglas Ski Bowl taken by the US Forest Service in 1938-1940.

April 13, 2006

Bruce Talbot of the State of Alaska Department of Natural Resources made me aware of a study published in 1985 - "An Evaluation of Ski Potential in the Fairbanks Area".  This study identified new proposed Fairbanks area ski areas: Angel Creek, Angel Rocks, Bedrock Creek, Ester Dome and Haystack Mountain.  The study also mentions previously know proposed Fairbanks sites - Chena Sunny and expansion areas of Ski Boot Hill.  Thanks a lot for this info Bruce !!

April 9, 2006

Added 3 new lost ski areas today.  The Rainbow Mountain region north of Isabel Pass and south of Black Rapids, to the east of the Richardson Highway was once used by the military for troop ski training.  Also, Fort Richardson once trained all troops to ski, giving beginner instruction on base before skiers moved on to Moose Run trails and Arctic Valley.  Now there is a bit of recreational skiing on base, but military training has moved to the Northern Warfare Training Center in Black Rapids.  Finally, added a web page for the 1930 College Toboggan and Ski Slide.  This was a wild source of entertainment for folks back in the earlier Fairbanks days.

April 5, 2006

Barbara McIlrath let ALSAP use a number of excellent Alaskan skiing pictures that were once her father's.  Her father, Jack Edward McIlrath, was assigned to military service in Alaska from 1940 to 1942 and was an active skier and outdoorsman.  You can see his pictures on the Independence Mine, Fishhook Creek and Arctic Valley web pages.  Thank you very much Barbara for sharing these pictures !!


Daryl Butcher was stationed at the Fire Island AFS from 1960 to 1962.  He remembers there being cross-country skiing there at that time, but no ski-slope skiing.  Daryl also remembers there being an ice rink there, and he sent an aerial picture that shows where it was.  Thanks a lot Daryl !!


Doug Cummings, a heavy equipment operator at the Indian Mountain AFS during 1975-1976, remembers skiing on trails packed for skiing by bulldozers.  And he mentioned that the folks at this remote radar station had "Ski Indian Mtn." T-Shirts.  Thanks for the info Doug!!

March 25, 2006

A recent trip to ARLIS (the Alaska Resource Library and Information Services) resulted in finding some interesting information on ski areas once planned, but never built.  Believe it or not, Whittier once studied building a ski area behind the city, or one at Shotgun Cove.  This study was done in 1973 and you can see information on it at the new Whittier Proposed Ski Areas web page.


Also - I added scans of a number of pages from the Mitsui Corporation's 1989 development plan for a ski area at Hatcher Pass on Government Peak.  The maps indicating all of the proposed features of this massive destination resort are very interesting.

March 19, 2006

February 16, 1936 was the date of Juneau's first downhill ski race on the Moller Ski Trail.  This was a big event that was extensively covered by Juneau's Alaska Daily Press.  Dave Brann unearthed a lot of these old skiing articles from reading micro-fiched back issues of this paper, and you can now access scans of these articles from the Moller Ski Trail web page.  Thanks for all the work Dave !!

March 17, 2006

Bob Butera was recently working on a project at the Alaska Railroad offices where he found a neat picture of the City Ski Bowl.  The picture was from May 21, 1953.  At this time the Alaska Native Hospital had been built and the City Ski Bowl had been abandoned.  The picture shows the slopes of the ski area overgrown with brush, but the in-run trestle of the ski jump still towers defiantly above the old ski area.  Thanks a lot for sharing this photo with ALSAP Bob !!

March 8, 2006

In 1973 Leo Hannan wrote an Anchorage cross country ski trails guidebook.  Proceeds from the sale of this guide went to the Nordic Ski Club of Anchorage.  An updated hardbound version of this guidebook was printed in 1982 by the Anchorage Nordic Ski Club to raise money for hosting the FIS World Cup race at Kincaid Park.

Today I talked to Leo Hannan and he gave ALSAP permission to use information from these out of print guidebooks.  Some lost Anchorage ski trails are well documented and mapped by Leo, in particular - these lost trails: Point Woronzof, Alaska Community College, Centennial Park, Moose Run/ Ft. Richardson and the U.S. Army Biathlon Training Center.  Thanks a lot Leo !!

February 28, 2006

Dermot Cole, a columnist with the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner recently wrote an article about ski jumping in the old days in Fairbanks.  In the article Dermot mentioned ALSAP.  Click here to read the article.  Thanks Dermot !!

Based on recent information from a talk Set DePasqual of the Chugach National Forest had with Oscar Watsjold, the president of the Seward Ski Club in the early 1940's, I changed the listing of the Bear Lake Ski Area from a dowhill to a cross country site.  Evidence shows that there were rough trails to gain access to high-country skiing here, and no downhill skiing facilities.   Thanks for solving this ALSAP mystery to Oscar Watsjold and Seth PePasqual !!

Also, I put notes from Seth and Oscar's Seward skiing history discussion on the Divide Ski Area and Manitoba Ski Area web pages.

February 26, 2006

Jud Bleser was stationed at Fire Island in 1969.  At the time Jud was involved in the decommissioning of the radars (and burying the equipment in a big hole!).  Jud had several pictures of Fire Island from 1969.  One of the pictures showed the ski hill in the distance, and this shot is now on the Fire Island AFS Ski Hill web page.  Thanks for the picture Jud !

Dave Brann recently found another article, from 1936, about the  Evergreen Bowl Ski Area in Juneau.  The article said this hill was a "comparatively safe place to indulge in snow gymnastics" and it was a place the Juneau Ski Club would go for ski practice "after the Drama Club meeting".  Thanks for the research Dave !!

February 21, 2006

Seth DePasqual received another letter from Virginia Shuster, the 96 year young wife of the Manitoba Ski Area and Glacier Ski Lodge founder Gentry Shuster.  Thanks to Virginia and Seth for sharing this info with ALSAP.

Also - added new UAF Archives pictures from ViLDA (the Alaska Visual Library and Digital Archives) of the UAF Ski Hill and the Chena Ridge Jump.

February 17, 2006

Karen Meizner of the Sitka Historical Society and the Isabel Miller Museum in Sitka sent us some great WWII era pictures of skiing on Mt. Verstovia.  This Sitka skiing site is near the Harbor Mountain lost ski area.  Mt. Verstovia can't be considered a lost skiing site because hike up / ski down skiing and snowboarding still occurs there today.  But these are some great pictures from Sitka's skiing past.  Thanks a lot Karen for sharing these pictures with ALSAP!!

February 10, 2006

Recent research by Dave Brann uncovered an article about the building of the "toboggan and ski slide" at the Evergreen Bowl site in Juneau.  This article dates the beginning of this ski area to 1935.  That's 13 years earlier than the previous assumed start date of 1948, when the Juneau Ski Club installed a rope tow there.  Dave also found mention of a hiking trip in 1935 to the Moller Trail "ski course".  Thanks for the great research work Dave !!

February 2, 2006

Doug Smith, who was stationed at the Cold Bay AFS in 1969 and 1970, tells us that he saw no sign of skis or skiing at Cold Bay.  I mentioned to Doug that if we don't get any more evidence of skiing at Cold Bay AFS, we will take this site off the ALSAP list.  The amount of evidence of there being skiing there is minimal.  Thanks for contacting us Doug !

February 1, 2006

A mid 1970's aerial photo of the AMU Ski Hill and Paul Crews Jump was recently given to us, courtesy of Benji and Shannon Uffenbeck !

Courtney Howard contacted us with some information about the Harbor Mountain Rope Tow in Sitka.  Thanks a lot Courtney !

January 27, 2006

The tide of information about the old Manitoba Ski Area and Glacier Ski Lodge keeps flowing in.  Virginia Shuster, the wife of Gentry Shuster the founder of this ski area, sent a letter to Seth DePasqual of the Chugach National Forest about life at the ski area in the 40's and 50's.  And Seth also got a classic quote from Oliver Amend, the 2nd operator of this ski area.  It's a quote that modern day backcountry skiers could learn from:


"Oliver stated that he used to take his trumpet up to the top of the hill and make enough noise that avalanches would roll down all over the place."


Thanks a lot to Virginia, and again to Seth for sharing this great skiing history information.  And the musical instrument stores in Alaska will no doubt be praising Oliver Amend for the sudden increase in demand for trumpets and bugles ... by backcountry skiers and snowboarders !!

January 20, 2006

I figured that the UAA/ APU Consortium Library would have some old Alaska Methodist University publications with pictures of the AMU Ski Hill and Paul Crews Jump.  I was right, and the pictures are now on ALSAP.

January 18, 2006

Virgina Shuster, wife of Manitoba Ski Area and Glacier Ski Lodge founder Gentry Shuster, recently sent Seth DePasqual, a Chugach National Forest archaeologist, a number of great 1940's pictures of the ski area in action.  Seth was kind enough to share these pictures with ALSAP.  Thanks for sharing this historical gold mine Virginia and Seth !!!

January 14, 2006

During a recent trip to the library I read Mary J. Barry's excellent history book: "Seward, Alaska: A History of the Gateway City - Vol. III: 1924-1993."  In a section about the Seward Ski Club two NEW lost ski areas are mentioned: the Bear Lake Ski Area and an old ski run that was once cut on Mt. Marathon.


I also ran across Sissy Lommel Kluh's book: "Born in Kennecott: Memories of a Kennecott Kid".  In this book Sissy recalls folks skiing at the Kennecott Mill Town.

January 10, 2006

This summer the Chugach National Forest did an archaeological study of the Glacier Ski Lodge site at the old Manitoba Ski Area.   Seth DePasqual, an archaeologist for CNF, sent a bunch of site photos to ALSAP.  Including - a rare picture of the legendary sled that once belonged to "Cowboy George"!  Thanks a lot Seth !!

January 7, 2006

Thanks to Stephen Bodnar, a history buff and former Cordova backcountry skier, and Lesli Schick, an archaeologist at the Chugach National Forest, a new lost ski area has been added to ALSAP - the Tripod Ski Trails in Cordova.  These ski trails, and the Tripod Ski Cabin, were made by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) back in the early 1940's.  Thanks much to Stephen and Lesli for their help in the history and location of this old ski area !!

January 2, 2006

Added comments from Randy Wagner to the Ski Boot Hill and Independence Mine web pages.  Randy was involved in running both of these ski areas.  Also added J. S. Parry comments about the naming of the rock that once teetered over the Hatcher Pass road to the Hatcher Pass sites: Independence Mine, Little Susitna Roadhouse and Fishhook Creek.  Thanks a lot to Randy and Mr. Parry !

2005 ALSAP Log

2004 ALSAP Log