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Readers Respond: West Mountain race program, revisited



Editor Greg Ditrinco
Consulting Editor Seth Masia
Art Director Edna Baker

Editorial Board
Seth Masia, Chairman
John Allen, Andy Bigford, John Caldwell, Jeremy Davis, Kirby Gilbert, Paul Hooge, Jeff Leich, Bob Soden, Ingrid Wicken

Founding Editors 
Morten Lund, Glenn Parkinson

To preserve skiing history and to increase awareness of the sport’s heritage

ISHA Founder 
Mason Beekley, 1927–2001

ISHA Board of Directors

John Fry (1930-2020), Chairman
Seth Masia, President
Wini Jones, Vice President
Jeff Blumenfeld, Vice President
John McMurtry, Vice President
Chan Morgan, Treasurer
Einar Sunde, Secretary

Richard Allen, Skip Beitzel, Michael Calderone, Christin Cooper, Art Currier, Dick Cutler, Chris Diamond, David Ingemie, Joe Jay Jalbert, Rick Moulton, Wilbur Rice, Charles Sanders, Bob Soden (Canada)

Presidential Circle
Christin Cooper, Billy Kidd, Jean-Claude Killy, Bode Miller, Doug Pfeiffer, Penny Pitou, Nancy Greene Raine

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Kathe Dillmann
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Manchester Center VT 05255
(802) 362-1667

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Laurie Glover
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Bimonthly journal and official publication of the International Skiing History Association (ISHA)

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Alf Engen Ski Museum | North American Snowsports Journalists Association | Swiss Academic Ski Club


Skiing History (USPS No. 16-201, ISSN: 23293659) is published bimonthly by the International Skiing History Association, P.O. Box 1064, Manchester Center, VT 05255.
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Readers Respond: West Mountain race program, revisited

Paul Post’s “Back to the Future” (November-December 2020) brought back fond memories of the early days at West Mountain, of which my family was a major part. I faintly recall the opening day, December 25, 1961, when the first rope tow started spinning. The Brandt brothers (Mike, Claude and Paul) had commissioned my father, Tom Jacobs, to open the ski school and ski shop. The following season he started the junior race program at West and helped organize the Southern Adirondack Junior Racing League.

When Tom hired Izzy Ture in 1966 to take over the ski school and race program, West Mountain racing was well on its way to becoming a significant player on the New York scene. However, the pivotal moment came when Mike Annett was hired by Izzy in 1969 to run the race program.

I agree with Steve Lathrop that history may well repeat itself under his race department directorship. The program is blessed with the full support of West Mountain’s managers, Sara and Spencer Montgomery, who are providing a unique opportunity for high level training and racing at a very reasonable cost, something unique at resort and academy settings throughout the nation. It’s most gratifying to see the race program at West Mountain continue to flourish!

John Jacobs
Glens Falls, New York

Alta is for…?

The Goldminer’s Daughter’s matriarch, Elfriede Shane, recently departed this life at the age of 97. (See Remembering, page 31). Hers was a life lived with passion, purpose, generosity, wisdom and a boundless appetite for fun! 

When my parents, Neef and Shirlee Walker, took over operation of Alta’s Watson Shelter, Jim and Elfriede were among our family’s most constant friends. One afternoon during the 1966-67 season, Elfriede invited me, an eighth-grade student, to help her devise a suitable slogan for Alta. Elfriede kicked the discussion off with a suggestion I’ll never forget: “Alta + Skier = Happy!” After a short lull, my mother suddenly volunteered “Alta is for Skiers.” Elfriede’s face alit with a smile as telling as it was enthusiastic. “That’s it!” she proclaimed.

Tom Walker
Alta Historical Society
Alta, Utah

Gone Fishing

I greatly enjoyed the excellent article on the Seigniory Club (“Canada’s Forgotten Ski Center,” September-October). It’s entirely appropriate, of course, that an article on the Seigniory Club in Skiing History should focus on skiing and other winter activities, but the Club also catered to people with a passion for fishing and hunting.

As it happens, the father of a childhood friend contributed a team of horses to haul the many logs of which the main club building was constructed. His reward was access to Seigniory Club grounds for fishing and hunting. This gave my friend and me the chance to do a little fishing. Using only bits of white bread on a hook crudely knotted to a thick line on a rod and reel set bought for $1.49 at a Canadian Tire store, we were able to catch some decent brook trout. We would kill for an experience like that at the fishing club in Quebec to which I have belonged for more than 40 years.

Ivo Krupka
Canadian Ski Hall of Fame & Museum

Thank you, ISHA

I joined Skiing History in 2009 as a part-time freelance assistant editor at the invitation of John Fry to start training and learning under editor-in-chief Dick Needham, who stepped down in 2010. Over the years, my duties expanded as I took on duties as Director of Operations and eventually Executive Director.

In 2018, I decided to toss my hat in the ring and run for the Vermont House of Representatives. I won. Then I won re-election in November 2020. I am passionate about public service and the role that grassroots community leaders can and must play in guiding us to a more equitable and unified future. So while I will dearly miss my daily involvement with ISHA, I look forward to my new role as a legislator. (Learn more at my website:

I loved my years at ISHA for many reasons. I am a passionate skier, having spent most of my life as an enthusiastic alpine skier but switching in recent years to the peace and serenity I find in classic nordic. So it was an honor to learn about, and help to preserve, the history and heritage of the world’s most wonderful and fascinating sport and lifestyle.

But for me ISHA has always been about the people—the chance to work and learn from my mentor and dear friend John Fry, to work with a fantastic board of directors, to meet lifelong ski journalists and historians who are the most knowledgeable stewards of our sport’s past, and to connect almost every day with our wonderful members around the world. I’ll hang onto my email——and I hope my ISHA friends will stay in touch! 

Kathleen James
Manchester Center, Vermont


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