California Ski Association
The California Ski Association [CSA] came into being as a direct result of losing the 1932 Winter Olympic Games to Lake Placid, NY.
Both Yosemite and Big Pines made a bid for the Olympics but the world saw California as the “Land of Sunshine and Flowers” and couldn’t believe there was any snow in the state. In addition, many in California didn’t want the world to know they had snow because they thought it would hurt tourism.
But skiers in the state wanted an opportunity to secure a sanctioned meet and invite the world to experience what California had to offer. To do this, California needed a statewide organization affiliated with the National Ski Association.
A special meeting of the Winter Sports Committee of the California State Chamber of Commerce was held on Tuesday, October 7, 1930 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.Wendell Robieof Auburn Ski Club was elected president of the newly formed California Ski Association.
Others elected wereFrank Deupreyof the California State Chamber of Commerce, Secretary;W. A. Wadsworthof Los Angeles, Treasurer; Vice Presidents:Don Tresidder, Yosemite;Herbert Fleishhacker, Jr., San Francisco, for the northern part of the State;George L. EastmanandJ. B. Hansonof the Viking Club, both of Los Angeles, for the southern part of the State.
The election of the directors was left to the four originating ski clubs— Truckee Ski Club, Auburn Ski Club, Yosemite Winter Club and Viking Ski Club of Los Angeles— to name two each from their respective clubs. A resolution was passed asking that there be an entrance fee of $20 for each club desiring to affiliate with CSA. California was admitted into the National Ski Association at the annual convention held on December 14, 1930.
In 1931,Wilbur Maynard, representing CSA, went east and was successful in securing the NSA Championships in Jumping and Langlauf [cross-country] for 1932. CSA organized its first annual championships on February 21-23, 1931 at the Olympic Hill of the Lake Tahoe Ski Club. This event was sanctioned by NSA and used as the 1932 US team “California Olympic Tryouts.”
Far West Ski Patrol
In the winter of 1936, the Auburn Ski Club instituted the first ski patrol unit in California after a skier froze to death on Mt. Lincoln above Donner Pass. The patrol was formed as an embryo organization within the Auburn Volunteer Fire Department.
The five members of the patrol—Harry Rosenberry,Roy Sands,Al Bequette,Herb Clegg, Jr., andGeorge Gianni— completed advanced first aid and instructor courses at their own expense in Sacramento.
The City of Auburn purchased a resuscitator and other aid equipment for the patrol. They helped fallen or lost skiers and checked trails for people and obstacles.
In 1938, the NSA formed the National Ski Patrol System [NSPS] and the Auburn Ski Club became affiliated with the organization. Far West patrols developed a rescue toboggan equipped with first aid supplies that was later adopted by NSPS and other ski associations throughout the US.
Don Tresidderof Yosemite was the first Far West patroller inducted into NSPS and was assigned number 14 in 1938. In 1941,Dorothy McClung Wullichof San Diego Ski Club was named the first woman ski patroller and assigned the number one.