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Author Topic: 1943 Stevens Pass ski-chase film  (Read 3364 times)

Posts: 2089

1943 Stevens Pass ski-chase film
« on: 11/19/12, 10:11 PM »

Hank Seidelhuber (the skier in all photos except the one at lower-right) eludes the hounds in the 1943 "fox chase" filmed at Stevens Pass.

With Stevens Pass celebrating its 75th anniversary, here are scenes from a ski-chase film made at the pass during the 1942-43 ski season.  That was only the sixth season of operation at Stevens, following installation of the first rope tow in 1937-38.

The ski-chase film was made by Harold D. Smith, probably in cooperation with the Penguin Ski Club. According to the ending credits, the film was unfinished due to World War II.

Notes about the film and a complete video can be found on The Mountaineers History Committee website:

Thanks go to Tom Allen of the Ancient Skiers for donating a VHS videotape of this film to The Mountaineers. The location of the original color film is unknown. (If anybody knows more, please contact me.)

This film shows the influence on early Northwest skiing of ski-chase films made by Arnold Fanck and Hannes Schnieder in Europe a decade earlier. In particular, see the 1931 film, "Der Weisse Rausch," a.k.a. "White Ecstasy."  That film can be purchased on DVD (with subtitles) from the New England Ski Museum. A rather poor video is available on the following Google site:

Stevens Pass ski fans may be interested in the 75-year history book recently announced by the ski area:

The 1943 Stevens Pass ski chase stars Hank Seidelhuber. Here's more about him from a July 13, 2007 obituary in the Seattle Times:

Henry "Hank" Seidelhuber
May 3, 1916 ~ July 10, 2007

Age 91, lived a long and happy life in the Seattle area where he was born. He died after a valiant battle with congestive heart failure at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue.

Last August he celebrated the hundredth anniversary of his company, Seidelhuber Iron Works, which was founded in 1906 by his father, Frank J. Seidelhuber. Working with his wife and family, Hank fabricated metals for thousands of Puget Sound Area landmarks including the original Pike Place Public Market, the aluminum facade on the Volunteer Park Art Museum, Boeing wind tunnels, the nationally distributed Seidelhuber water heater, and the 2001 reconstruction of the Pioneer Square Pergola as well as thousands of public and private projects in Washington and Alaska.

Hank was an avid ski racer with the Penguin Ski Club, racing the Mt. Rainier Silver Skis and Sun Valley Harriman Cup races. He starred in the Penguin Ski Club Ski Chase movie and was a stunt man in "It Happened in Sun Valley," performing ski scenes acting as both Sonia Heney and Milton Berle. He also competed in ski jumping and loved mountain climbing. He and Ome Diaber conducted a mountain search for a WWII military aircraft crashed in the Olympic Mountains.

At Camp Hale, Colorado, Hank taught skiing to the 10th Mountain Division troops in preparation for the WWII assault of the Italian Alps. He later served as First Lieutenant in the South Pacific and Koreo. He relished recent reunions with his friends in the 10th Mountain Division.

A charismatic life force and inventor of sorts, Hank had many many friends, and all his life he loved outdoor activities, including golf, fishing, hunting, water skiing, sailing, and he later even enioyed surf sailing and skate boarding.

He will be desperately missed by his loving wife of 64 years, Elsie Nelson Seidelhuber, daughter, Heidi Seidelhuber and son-in-law, Terry Seaman.

A Service will be held in his memory and in witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ at University Presbyterian Church, 4540 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 17. A Graveside Ceremony will be held at Sunset Hills Memorial Park, 1215 145th Place S.E., Bellevue, 425-746-1400, at 10:30 a.m., Wed., July 18.

Hank's wife Elsie Nelson Seidelhuber passed away just a few weeks ago. Her obituary in the Seattle Times prompted me to contact Tom Allen to track down the film he showed me a decade ago. As time goes by, the value of these old films becomes more acute.

« Last Edit: 11/19/12, 11:23 PM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged

Posts: 606

Re: 1943 Stevens Pass ski-chase film
« Reply #1 on: 11/20/12, 07:10 AM »

Very nice...thanks Lowell !!

Posts: 304

Re: 1943 Stevens Pass ski-chase film
« Reply #2 on: 11/20/12, 09:01 AM »

That's really awesome, thank's for posting

Posts: 278

Re: 1943 Stevens Pass ski-chase film
« Reply #3 on: 11/20/12, 10:47 AM »

Judging from the pic of the gentleman exercising his I-502 rights, some things haven't changed at Stevens.

Posts: 827

Re: 1943 Stevens Pass ski-chase film
« Reply #4 on: 11/20/12, 11:20 AM »

nor what was about to go down in the fourth picture...

a must watch for aspiring tele freestylists.

Thanks for the post lowell. Can't wait to get a copy of the 75th anv book.

Andrew Carey

Posts: 1422

Re: 1943 Stevens Pass ski-chase film
« Reply #5 on: 11/20/12, 12:06 PM »

Two great films.   The movie Der Weisse Rausch (The White Flame) starring the famous/notorious filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl and the famous Hannes Schneider (the inventor of modern skiing--the Arlberg turn and now widely used as the parallel turn) not only is the best ski movie I've ever seen but it seems they did 95% of whatever has been done since LOL.  While first watching I kept saying is that handsome young, blonde skier Otto Lang (who worked for Schneider at the Arlberg school and later developed the ski area at Mt. Rainier where he coached the 1st American woman Gold Medal winner in skiing, Gretchen Kunigk Fraser), but, alas, it was not.  Thanks for posting, I had a great time watching these humorous movies.

Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise

Posts: 535

Re: 1943 Stevens Pass ski-chase film
« Reply #6 on: 11/20/12, 02:20 PM »

Great timing considering the opening of Stevens today. Very funny, who would have though that ski chase movies would be of interest to people in those days. Man how times have those dudes running uphill are in tights and sporting the lightest AT gear on the market and winning prize money........well kind

Posts: 536

Re: 1943 Stevens Pass ski-chase film
« Reply #7 on: 11/20/12, 08:40 PM »

Those guys are trail breaking machines.

Posts: 37

Re: 1943 Stevens Pass ski-chase film
« Reply #8 on: 12/05/12, 02:46 PM »

I have a feeling one of the pack skiers was my father in law, Sam Dix, stationed that winter as a Navy officer at Port Angeles, but apparently with enough free time to ski a lot.  We have slides of him at Stevens Pass, even a trip to Sunshine Village in the Canadian Rockies (then a two room ski hut).  He learned to ski in the Dartmouth Outing Club in the early 30's, with lessons from Dick Durrance, and knew how to turn.

Specialization is for insects.  - Robert Heinlein
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