History Of Skiing In Washingtons Olympics

HISTORY OF SKIING IN THE OLYMPICS” PRESENTATION HOSTED BY THE HURRICANE RIDGE WINTER SPORTS CLUB

Jacilee Wray, Olympic National Park anthropologist, will tell the story of early skiing in the Olympic Mountains with historical pictures and first hand accounts from Park archives. 

The Hurricane Ridge Winter Sports Club is hosting the presentation Saturday, January 15 at BarN9ne 229 West First Street in downtown Port Angeles starting at 7 pm.  Admission is $5 at the door.  All ages are welcome.  Proceeds will benefit the Winter Sports Club.  

The Olympics Mountains were a hot bed of skiing activity in the earliest years of skiing in North America. Similar to the present day, the impetus for skiing came from local enthusiasts who wanted a place to practice the emerging winter sport. Then as now, looking from the shores of the Strait to the snow capped mountains inspired people to get up to the snow.

Deer Park in the 1930’s was perhaps the best developed and most popular ski area in the state. The area boasted a mile long rope tow, lodges, ski trails, jumping facilities, and more.

The Bremerton Ski Cruisers and other groups developed ski lodges elsewhere in the Olympics.

“I am excited to see the archival photos and hear Jacilee’s stories” said event organizer Greg Halberg. “I know she has spent a tremendous amount of time researching winter recreation including interviewing many of the principal characters. I hope anyone with an interest in local history or winter recreation will take advantage of this rare opportunity to open up the vault. We would especially like to invite anyone with memories of skiing in the early days before the new road to Hurricane Ridge was completed.”

This is the second in a series of presentations by the ski club at BarN9ne coinciding with the second weekend downtown events.  In February, Steph Abegg, whose parents honeymooned on a difficult trans Olympic trek through the Valhallas, over Olympus, and out the Bailey range, will talk and show photographs about following in her parents footsteps 30 years later.  March will bring Jason Hummel, a national published backcountry ski photographer, to BarN9ne to speak about his ski mountaineering experiences and photographs.  In May the ski club will host its own film festival featuring locally produced outdoor films.

More information can be found at the ski club website www.hurricaneridge.com.