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+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2006 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  June 2006 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  June 3, 2006, Wamihaspi Peak
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Author Topic: June 3, 2006, Wamihaspi Peak  (Read 1037 times)

Posts: 2094

June 3, 2006, Wamihaspi Peak
« on: 06/04/06, 03:27 PM »

The main reason of this trip was to visit the Shafer Museum in Winthrop.  I've been wanting to search their collection for photos of skiers and winter life in the Pasayten country before World War II.  I found a few good ones and came home with more books and articles.

The Shafer is a great museum for mining and early Methow Valley life.  The only skiing artifacts they have are a pair of 8+ foot skis made in 1913 and used by a local trapper.  The skis show remarkable refinement, with ridge tops and grooved bases.  They have no edges and little if any sidecut.  The bindings are still intact--leather straps nailed to the sidewalls.  Here's a picture:

On my way home I stopped at Washington Pass for a quick tour.  Leaving the Blue Lake trailhead at 4:30 p.m., I skinned up Liberty Bell basin and scrambled to the top of Wamihaspi (Blue Lake) Peak.  There were no other skiers in the basin.  I heard a couple of climbers on Early Winters Spires but couldn't see them.  Clouds were arriving after a mostly sunny day.  The ski down was a rather suncupped and the snow was sticky.  I was able to ski continuously back to the car, but I suspect this is the last weekend you'll be able to do so. 
« Last Edit: 06/04/06, 03:31 PM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged

Posts: 511

Re: June 3, 2006, Wamihaspi Peak
« Reply #1 on: 06/05/06, 08:32 AM »


i appreciate the photos of the skis, and i'm very intrigued by them.  how long were they and what do you estimate for camber?  i'd like to build something similar for fun...

What do you mean you didn't bring skis?

Posts: 2094

Re: June 3, 2006, Wamihaspi Peak
« Reply #2 on: 06/05/06, 02:14 PM »

They were REAL LONG skis. I didn't pick them up or anything (though the museum volunteer was nice enough to let me in to the display to take pictures). They were taller than arms-length above my head, and I'm 6'-3" or so. I think they were 8+ feet long.

Regarding camber, if you mean base camber, I have no idea. They probably lost whatever base camber they had ages ago. If you mean side cut, as I mentioned above, they had none or almost none. I didn't sight down the skis (since I didn't pick them up) but at a glance, the sides looked dead-straight.

They must have been used as "straight-ahead" skis. Probably for skiing up and down-valley along the river to tend a trapline. With those leather bindings it's hard to imagine turning them much at all.

Did you notice the heel locators screwed into the ski? Those are really interesting. I can't recall seeing heel locators on an old ski like this before. Issue that old trapper a patent!   Wink
« Last Edit: 06/05/06, 02:18 PM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
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