The first skiing that I did was on the coal slag heaps behind our house in Peckville, PA. We were in grade school at the time. A neighbor had given us a pair of surplus white army skis that came with cable harnesses. It was just straight down hill kamikaze skiing. The picture above was taken from old 8 mm home movie film.
Later during our undergraduate college years, we purchased more modern down hill skis and did a lot of skiing at Elk Mountain where we took skiing lessons. During my two years in Milwaukee, when I was working on my Master’s degree, I skied at a local hill.
During my first year in Alberta, I joined the Canadian Youth Hostels and started to do more serious skiing. One of the early trips was to Marmot Basin outside of Jasper, Alberta. We were taken up to a warming hut via an army surplus snowmobile. There were no lifts. We had to put seal skins on our skis and climb to the top of the mountain.
The warming hut at Marmot Basin.
With skins on our skis, it would take an hour to get to the top of the mountain.
Once at the top we would take the skins off of our skis and wrap them around our waists and then head down hill. John is on the far left. From left to right, John, Bill McFarlane, Grant O’Brien, Laurel Goodrich, and Erik Hjortenberg.
Of course, there was time for refreshments at the top. The down hill trip would only take 5 or 10 minutes but the powder was fantastic.
Another favorite place for deep powder skiing was Parker’s Ridge near the Banff-Jasper park boundary. There was no lift and you had to put on your skins and climb to the top of the ridge in order to come down in chest deep powder.
My brother Peter came to the University of Alberta when I was in my second year of graduate school. We often went to Parker’s Ridge for deep powder skiing.
Peter and I packing into the Hilda Creek youth hostel cabin which was located at the base of Parker’s Ridge.
The Hilda Creek youth hostel cabin at the base of Parker’s Ridge.
John on Parker’s Ridge ready to head down hill.
One of our skiing adventures was a climb on the Athabasca Glacier at the Columbia Icefields. From left to right, Bill McFarlane, Peter Pronko, Grant O’Brien. John took the picture.
Peter on the glacier preparing for some skiing.
We also did a lot of downhill skiing at Banff-Jasper resorts at which there were chairlifts. Mt Norquay in Banff and the Lake Louise area were popular with us. We would stay in youth hostel facilities. Eventually, Marmot Basin in Jasper Park was turned into a major ski resort with chairlifts.
Another picture of revelers at the Castle Mountain youth hostel. We were celebrating New Years before hitting the slopes.
Note the Christmas tree and the old fashion leather skiing boots drying on the wall.
Donna and I moved to Freiburg, Germany in March 1965. We continued skiing in Germany, Austria, and France.
One of our favorite places was at Ober Lech in the Austrian VorAlberg region.
The lodge that we stayed at, the Hohe Welt, was on the mountain and could only be reached by chairlift in the winter. This is a picture of me taking our daughter Michele, who was born in Freiburg, on a little ski jaunt.
Donna with Michele on the ski slope. We taught Michele to ski at a very early age.
We moved to New Haven, CT in June 1967 and did no skiing during the 3 years that I worked in the Physics Department at Yale University.
We moved to CA in June 1970 where I took a position in Lockheed’s Palo Alto Research Laboratory. Once again we began to ski and eventually bought a vacation home at Tahoe Donner, Truckee, CA to accommodate the sport.
As we did with our daughter Michele, we started our son Greg on skis at a very early age. He was rewarded with French Fries and a hot chocolate if he took a ski lesson.
A picture of our son Greg, our daughter Michele, and John at the Homewood Ski Resort in the Lake Tahoe area.
Our family at the top of Sugar Bowl in the Lake Tahoe area. From left to right, John, Donna, Michele, Greg.
Greg gets some air on a snowboard that he built while in 8th grade. He later started a snowboard manufacturing company called Glissade Snowboards based in Chico where he was going to college.
A picture of John, Greg, and Michele’s son Christopher all with Glissade snowboards.
John, Michele, Greg, and Chris on top of Sugar Bowl ski area.
John ready for spring snowboarding at the Tahoe Donner ski hill.
John shreds on the Tahoe Donner ski hill, circa 2006. Who said old men can’t snowboard?