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Skiing at Martin, the Northern Pacific Stop at Stampede Pass

  • By John W. Lundin
  • Posted 9/12/2013
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 10615

Martin was a stop on the Northern Pacific (NP) rail line in Kittitas County, at the east portal of the NP tunnel through the Cascade Mountains under Stampede Pass. It was named for nearby Martin Creek. Beginning in the early 1920s, Northwest skiers rode the Northern Pacific Railroad to Martin to take advantage of the abundant snow and the quality of nearby slopes. The Mountaineers built Meany Ski Hut at Martin in 1928. The Northern Pacific Railroad built a second lodge at Martin in 1939 and promoted skiing there. The University of Washington bought the NP lodge in 1945, and the Husky Winter Sports Club and the UW ski team used the area until 1949. This People's History was written by John W. Lundin based on his research in The Seattle Times Historical Archive, Lowell Skoog's Alpenglow Ski Mountaineering History Project website, materials from the archives of the Northern Pacific Railroad and University of Washington Special Collections, the John "Syke" Bresko collection preserved by Cecelia Maybo, and other sources.

Trains and Skis 

The Northern Pacific line was completed between Duluth, Minnesota, and Tacoma, Washington, its western terminus, on August 23, 1883. The NP tracks bypassed Washington's Cascade Mountains by going from Spokane to Wallula on the Columbia River, then to Portland and north to Tacoma. A spur line later connected Tacoma to Seattle. In 1881, Virgil Bogue (1846-1916) discovered Stampede Pass and in 1884 Northern Pacific tracks were built over the pass, where the steep grade required a series of switchbacks. Between 1886 and 1888, a 9,850-foot tunnel was constructed under Stampede Pass, eliminating the difficult climb. A small settlement for Northern Pacific employees was established at the east portal of the tunnel, known as Martin.

The Northern Pacific provided transportation for winter sports enthusiasts for many years. Cle Elum, located on the Yakima River in the eastern Cascade foothills of Kittitas County, was a stop on the Northern Pacific line that was settled after coal was discovered nearby and coal mines were developed for use by the railroad. In 1921, the Cle Elum Ski Club was formed by local residents, opening the first organized ski area west of Denver, which attracted between 100 and 400 locals every weekend. The club leased 40 acres of land on a ridge two miles north of town from the Northern Pacific at a nominal rate, and built ski jumps and a lodge there. From 1924 to 1933, the ski club held annual jumping tournaments that attracted competitors from all over the Northwest, with the Northern Pacific trains providing access from Yakima and Seattle. In 1931, 5,000 attended, and NP allowed spectators to ride in a tramway through a shaft in a coal mine to get near the ski jump.  

For many years, the Cle Elum Miner Echo described trips taken by skiers from east and west of Snoqualmie Pass on Northern Pacific trains to the Martin stop "for the long run from Dandy Pass." In the spring of 1924, skiers from Cle Elum went on a skiing tour to Martin, which became a regular trip for the club: "Twenty-seven pairs of skis and over thirty skiers" made the trip from Cle Elum to Martin on a Northern Pacific train, where they enjoyed "the finest ski grounds found in years" (Miner Echo). In April 1925, 50 skiers from the Cle Elum Ski Club enjoyed spring skiing at Martin, joined by visiting skiers from Tacoma, Yakima, and Ellensburg. Another trip took place the following Sunday, when a party of 75 skiers attended the "annual Martin ski party" (Miner Echo).

Meany Ski Hut 

The Mountaineers club was the first organization to take permanent advantage of the skiing at Martin. The Mountaineers, founded in 1906, had built a lodge near Snoqualmie Summit in 1914, used for climbing and skiing. The club's first organized outing to Martin came on February 10 to 12, 1928. The group traveled to Martin by train and stayed in railroad shacks near the Stampede Pass tunnel. On the Saturday they climbed, carrying their skis, to the ranger cabin, arriving by noon, and enjoyed fine skiing. That night, more Mountaineers joined them, bringing the total to 60. The next morning, another band arrived from the Mountaineers' Snoqualmie Lodge, having spent the night in an igloo. The entire group enjoyed fine skiing on Sunday before returning home by train.

Skiers traveled to Stampede Pass on the Northern Pacific Railroad, and could stay in bunk cars near the Stampede Pass tunnel. The Northern Pacific provided more than a dozen box cars for the accommodation of skiers, fitted with spring bunks, heating stoves, and free coal, according to Walter Little in an interview published in a Mountaineers Annual.

Edmond S. Meany (1862-1935), history professor at the University of Washington, joined the Mountaineers in 1908 and was president of the club for 27 years until his death. In 1928, Meany bought property at Martin for $125 and donated it to the club. The Mountaineers built a ski hut there in the summer of 1928, named after Meany, which accommodated 52 people and was used just for skiing. Access in the winter was by train -- round trip fare $1.80. Meany Ski Hut was located five minutes from the railstop at Martin, and was three miles by road from the Sunset Highway just below Lake Keechelus. Skiing from the Ski Hut to the highway (11 miles east of Snoqualmie Summit) took about an hour and was downhill or level all the way.

Trails and Races 

According to the 1936 Mountaineers' application for membership in the Pacific Northwest Ski Association (PNSA), the club in 1929 began ski instruction and tests based on British Ski Tests at its Snoqualmie Lodge and Meany Ski Hut. On March 10, 1929, the Mountaineers held its first ski tournament at Meany Ski Hut. In spring 1930, the Mountaineers held club slalom and downhill races at Martin, beginning downhill and slalom racing in the Northwest.

The Mountaineers marked many miles of cross-country ski trails throughout Snoqualmie Pass, including a 20-mile trail between the Snoqualmie Lodge and Meany Ski Hut. Beginning in 1930, the club began an annual Club Patrol Race along the crest of the Cascades between its two lodges. Three-man patrols competed in the event, which was based on military patrol races common in Europe but was the only one in the Northwest and probably the only one in the country. The race was opened to other ski clubs in 1936. Each contestant had to carry a pack weighing not less than 12 pounds, with emergency rations and compulsory and optional equipment. Emergency rations consisted of raisins and a can of canned beef. Compulsory equipment included a light axe, two compasses, one watch, three candles, 50 feet of rope, a first aid kit, a map of the district, a flashlight, matches, and snow glasses. Clothing was prescribed, and everyone had to carry an extra sweater or jacket, mitts, and wool socks. All three members had to finish within one minute of each other or the team would be disqualified. The time of the last skier was the team's time. The Mountaineers' application to the PNSA described the route:

"The course shall be along the high line route from the Mountaineers' Meany Ski Hut at Martin to Snoqualmie Pass Summit, via Stampede Pass, Baldy Pass, Dandy Creek, Meadow Creek, Yakima Pass, Mirror Lake, Mirror Lake Trail, Silver Peak Trail, the Mountaineers Snoqualmie Lodge, and Beaver Lake Trail. The course is approximately 20 miles in length and ranges in elevation from 2,700 feet to nearly 5,000 feet."

Seattle newspapers regularly reported on the Mountaineers' patrol races and other tournaments. In 1930, the team of Hans-Otto Giese, Andy Anderson, and Fred Ball set a new record of 7.5 hours for the race from Snoqualmie Lodge to the Meany Ski Hut at Martin.  

More Clubs, More Skiers 

In the early 1930s, a number of new ski clubs were organized and built lodges on or near Snoqualmie Pass. In 1929, a group of Norwegian ski jumpers founded the Seattle Ski Club. They used an abandoned construction camp on land leased from the Northern Pacific and built a ski jump at Beaver Lake Hill, later part of the Snoqualmie Summit Ski Area. In 1931, the Seattle Ski Club built a four-story lodge at the Summit. Other lodges built on Snoqualmie Pass included the Kendall Peak Lodge in 1930, Sahalie Ski Club lodge in 1931-1932, the Washington Alpine Club in 1932, the Helen Bush Lodge, the Washington Athletic club lodge, and others. Ski clubs formed all over the northwest, and virtually every weekend there were ski competitions between clubs at various ski locations, including Martin, that were reported in the Seattle papers.

Starting in the early 1930s, the road over Snoqualmie Pass kept open during the winter, and paving of the road over the pass was completed. This allowed access by car to the Snoqualmie Pass lodges and ski areas. On January 17, 1932, The Seattle Times said "the whole world seems suddenly to have gone skiing." In January 1934, Seattle's Board of Park Commissioners opened the Municipal Ski Park, a ski area at Snoqualmie Summit that became an instant success, attracting legions of skiers to the pass.

The ski season of 1937-1938 was a seminal one. In January1938, the Milwaukee Railroad opened the Milwaukee Ski Bowl, a ski area at its Hyak stop at the east end of its tunnel under Snoqualmie Pass. The ski area, accessible by train from Seattle and offering a ski lift and lighted slopes for night skiing, revolutionized local skiing. In addition, rope tows were installed that season at Snoqualmie Municipal Ski Park, Paradise Valley at Mount Rainier, and Mount Baker. The Mountaineers widened the lane at Meany Ski Hut at Martin and installed a rope tow up the big ski trail. The ski lift was 835 feet long, rising 310 feet in two minutes, and was designed so skiers could get off at any level.

Northern Pacific Plans 

In 1938, seeing the success of the Milwaukee Ski Bowl, the Northern Pacific Railroad decided to develop its own ski area at Martin. According to The Seattle Times of November 16, 1938, the Northern Pacific planned:

"to convert the Martin area into one of the finest ski grounds in America. Quarters will be installed for the accommodations of ski devotees with lunch rooms and other facilities, including a lift 700 to 1,000 feet in length, depending on the route selected. This course seemingly is designed by nature for skiing ...

"Experts have given it an unusually high rating and when the improvements are in, it should prove an important feature among Washington's many sports and scenic attractions. The terrain is so shaped as to give a course of maximum length with a relatively short lift back to the starting point. Experts see in the plans for development a course that will recommend itself to the most proficient skiers as well as to the novices who are just warming up to the sport. The Martin area is well sheltered from sweeping winds and quality of the snow that falls there is the best known for fast skiing."

One building had been constructed and was available during the 1938-1939 season, with a kitchen and room for 30 overnight guests. Two large living rooms with fireplaces, and bunks and couches, were installed in women's and men's dormitories. Skiers had to furnish their own bedding. The railroad would also supply a number of bunk-cars on a siding at Stampede Pass at the east portal of the tunnel to provide accommodations for skiers. A large hotel was planned to be ready for the 1939 - 1940 season, to accommodate 200 to 250 guests. "All the facilities and attractions of a modern sports resort will be found in this development when completed. Martin is only a short train ride from Seattle, and for several years, skiers have taken the train there to enjoy the unusually attractive snow conditions" (The Seattle Times).

A small Martin ski lodge was built by Northern Pacific to accommodate skiers wanting to stay overnight, and the area became known as the Martin Ski Dome. According to Northern Pacific records, $8,235 was spent to build the lodge and the adjoining caretaker's cabin. NP lost money operating the Martin Lodge in 1939, in spite of having 400 skiers stay there between Christmas 1938 and April 1, 1939.

Northern Pacific analyzed the cost of building the Milwaukee Road's Ski Bowl at Hyak, and compared that investment to the cost of building a major facility at Martin and its expected returns from operating the ski area. According to documents from its archives, NP estimated it would cost $69,200 to build a ski resort at Martin and adopted a budget of $75,000. The Milwaukee Road had invested $80,500 in its Ski Bowl. Designs for two ski lodges for Martin were drawn up, one for a larger lodge dated July 7, 1939, and a smaller version dated July 19, 1939.

Neither the ski lift nor the large lodge were built, as the railroad determined its expected return did not justify the cost. The Northern Pacific promoted one-day weekend trips to the Martin Ski Dome, offering six hours of skiing, for $2 round trip from Seattle, with ads in The Seattle Times saying, "Uncrowded Skiing! Now try the real wide-open spaces -- plenty of room for long sweeping glides and thrilling cross-country runs. Variety is the spice of skiing -- you'll find it at the Martin Ski Dome."

Skiing During Wartime 

The Campfire Girls held regular outings at the Martin Ski Dome from 1939 to 1941. In December 1939, according to The Seattle Times, "registration for a ski outing at Martin Ski Lodge, on the east slope of the Cascades, were still being received today at Camp Fire headquarters. The girls will leave Tuesday, returning next Saturday." In 1940, girls could go for either three days or the entire week. In 1941, 30 girls would leave by a special Northern Pacific train to the Martin Ski Dome for the annual Camp Fire Girls trip.

By the ski season of 1940-1941, skiing had become a $1 million industry in the Northwest. A half million people went to sports resorts in Washington, and there were 65,000 skiers in Western Washington. Mount Rainier was the most popular, with 125,000 skiing visitors. Other popular ski areas included the Ski Bowl at Hyak, Cayuse Pass, Mount Baker, Stevens Pass, Martin, Deer Park, American River, Mount Spokane, and Leavenworth.

World War II interrupted normal activities. In December 1942, the Milwaukee Railroad shut down the Ski Bowl. Skiing at Mount Baker and Mount Rainier also stopped, but it continued at Snoqualmie Summit. Webb Moffett, who managed the Summit Ski Area, recalled years later in an article written for the December 1978 Puget Soundings magazine that "[p]eople still wanted to ski and they could pool their five gallons of gas a week, jam-pack their cars, and drive the shorter distance to Snoqualmie. Business quadrupled the first year, and Snoqualmie grew with more and more rope tows."

Skiing resumed region-wide after the end of World War II, bringing an expansion and upgrading of local ski areas. In 1945, lights for night skiing were installed at Snoqualmie Summit and the following summer the ski area was tripled and three new lifts were added. In the fall of 1945, the Mountaineers installed a new high-powered ski lift at the Meany Ski Hut at Martin. "Additional clearings have been made on the club property and new runs lined up," reported The Seattle Times of November 8, 1945.

Huskies Move In 

As the war ended, the University of Washington rejuvenated winter sports on campus. The Husky Winter Sports Club (HWSC) was re-instituted in fall 1944. Documents from the Northern Pacific archives show the railroad sold the Martin Ski Lodge and a nearby caretaker's cabin to the Associated Students of the University of Washington on February 14, 1945, for $1,250, and leased 137 acres of land to the student group for $25 a year.

Starting in the ski season of 1944-1945, the HWSC and the UW ski team used Martin as their home base. The HWSC also leased the Rustic Inn, located where the road to Martin left the Sunset Highway, and the Sahalie Ski Club hill (Sahalie's lodge had burned down in 1943). A report of the Husky Winter Sports Club for the ski season of 1944-1945 said members took the Northern Pacific Railroad from Seattle to the Martin stop to ski there. The club improved skiing by purchasing a portable ski tow for $347.01 and installing it for members' use.

In January 1945, the HWSC joined the Pacific Northwest Ski Association, and its men's and women's ski teams entered the PNSA downhill and slalom championships at Meany Hill, the Mountaineer facility at Martin, and meets at Stevens Pass. The 1945 edition of the Tyee, the University of Washington annual, said "another big move toward reviving Washington winter sports to a pre-war basis was the purchase of the Martin ski lodge by the Associated Students of Washington."

A rope tow was installed, and the club offered skiing lessons. In February 1946, The Seattle Times reported:

"The University has more than 80 acres on Stampede Pass at Martin to call its own. The ski lodge is at Martin, and Rustic Inn, several miles further on the Sunset Highway, has also been leased by the club ... Members of the club are looking forward to having the lodge remodeled, and next summer hope to construct a rope tow with a 3,300-foot lift with 800-foot elevation, the longest in the country."

Gosta (Gus) Eriksen was the head of the HWSC and coach of the UW ski team in 1945-1946. In November 1945, Eriksen expected 2,000 students to sign up for the HWSC, twice the previous year's total. According to The Seattle Times, Coach Eriksen had a "real workout" planned for his racers, a giant slalom race starting at the top of Stampede Pass and ending behind the Husky Winter Sports Club Lodge. Twin 1,500-foot rope tows at the University's ski property at Martin were expected to be ready by Thanksgiving 1945, but the lodge could only accommodate 60 skiers even with additional bunks installed. The Husky ski team held a giant slalom race at Martin in January 1946, competing for slots in the Pacific Northwest Ski Association meet at Mount Hood later in the year.

Spring Break at Martin 

In 1946, Ken Syverson, formerly head of The Seattle Times ski school at the Milwaukee Ski Bowl, taught classes to HWSC members, and the best skiers in the club were amateur instructors. In February 1946, the HWSC held the first Sports Carnival in five years, featuring obstacle races, couples races, intramural ski races, and the crowning of a queen. The UW ski team practiced at Martin and taught skiing to students. The Seattle Times of February 24, 1946, discussed the low cost of spending spring vacation at Martin:

"Skiing at one of the finest snow areas in the Northwest, cozy dormitory lodging, three appetizing nourishing 'squares' daily, lessons and ski tows -- all for $2.25 a day. Yes, $22.50 for ten day's spring vacation is the low fee the Husky Winter Sports Club is charging University skiers at the Husky Ski Lodge at Martin, near Snoqualmie. According to a member, expenses at any other ski resort would easily hit the $6 mark per day."

The 1946 Tyee called it a "boom year" for Husky winter sports, with a ski meet at Martin with the University of British Columbia on April 1, 1946, "besides a lot of just-for-fun skiing."

John Hansen, vice president of the Husky Winter Sports Club in 1945-1946, described the students' efforts that year in a 2013 interview with the author: The club's lodge had been built by the Northern Pacific on the opposite side of the tracks from the Mountaineers' Meany Ski Hut. The top floor of the lodge was divided in half, with a wall separating the sleeping areas for men and women. The first thing the HWSC did was to tear down the wall, eliminating the barrier between the men's and women's areas. The lodge had railroad-type coal-burning stoves for heating and a big fireplace. Outhouses were up the hill from the lodge. Students installed a rope tow using war surplus materials, hanging pulleys for the tow on trees along the ski hill. All of the work was done by the students, who had many skills, some learned during the war. The only rope that could be found was made of sisal, which was hard to work with, and students had to learn to do a long splice to keep it operating. Colman lanterns were hung along the hill for night skiing. The University arranged for the Highway Department to clear the road from Highway 10 (later Interstate 90), a quarter-mile walk from the lodge. Half of the students drove and half took the train. Many taking the train drove to the East Auburn stop, since the train fare was cheaper from there than from Seattle.

On December 1, 1946, The Seattle Times discussed ski plans for Martin. Three days before Christmas, the Huskies would hold four-way trials at Martin and the Milwaukee Ski Bowl, where coach Eriksen would choose his team for the Northwest Intercollegiate races:

"There's good news for members of the Husky Winter Sports Club, too, for the big tow will be ready to start operation at Martin next weekend. Under Eriksen's direction, the tow has been lengthened to 3,000 feet, which gives some 2,500 Washington skiers two big hills on which to ski around their lodge.

"Eriksen announced yesterday that two surplus Army 'weasels' [snow cats] are on their way here from Indiana. The 'weasels' will be used to haul skiers to Martin from Rustic Lodge on the Snoqualmie Pass highway. The road won't be kept open from the highway to the foot of the hill this year, so skiers will be towed in on the hickory staves" (The Seattle Times).

In February 1947, the Ski Carnival was held at Martin in conjunction with the Northwest Intercollegiate races. The Huskies competed against racers from Washington State, College of Puget Sound, Whitman, University of British Columbia, Idaho, and Oregon in downhill, slalom, cross-country, and jumping. A ski queen was selected, who had to "know how to ski to qualify for her crown," according to The Seattle Times of February 20, 1947. The 1947 Tyee said:

"The ski year of 1946-47 will be remembered in Husky Winter Sports Club history as one of new additions, improvements and general 'hard work.' A new tow to the top of the power line was the largest undertaking. The purchase of weasels and improvements to the lodge facilities also furnished many headaches and work parties."

For the ski season of 1947-1948, the HWSC upgraded and improved the lodge and ski hill at Martin, described in the Husky Winter Sportsman publication of November 1947. Members built a tow house for the main tow, the tow was lengthened, and a more powerful motor installed that would run at 750 feet a minute and handle six or more people at once. Floodlights were installed on the main ski slope and night skiing would be one of the year's features. "You can read a newspaper at the bottom of the hill" (Winter Sportsman). A microphone system was installed "capable of broadcasting both music and voice over a large part of the Martin ski area," and would "provide skiers with professional yodeling and sweet music ... man, you can hear that thing for three miles" (Winter Sportsman). The lodge could sleep 120, compared to 42 the prior year. Mattresses and pillows were provided but guests had to furnish sleeping bags. New plumbing facilities were installed to provide ample hot water for new shower rooms, the kitchen, and wash rooms. The prior year, water had been heated on the stove. "Ah! Civilization!" said the Winter Sportsman.

On December 18, 1948, the Husky ski team held tryouts at Martin and Beaver Lake for a four-man team to represent the state in Sun Valley's President Cup in January 1949, competing in giant slalom, cross-country, and jumping. The Carnival held in February 1949 included a costume race, an obstacle race, and a cookie race. Candidates for ski queen were graded on four points: appearance, poise, personality, and skiing ability. In April, the annual Stampede Pass giant slalom race was held at the Mountaineers Meany Ski Hut at Martin. Mitt Scarlatos from Sun Valley won, beating local skiers. Gretchen Norling of the Mountaineers won the women's race.

Huskies Move On 

The winter of 1949 brought record cold temperatures and snowfall, making life at Martin difficult. The Northern Pacific struggled to keep its rail line open over the mountains. Heavy snowfall at Martin led to the postponement of the Northwest Intercollegiate Ski Union Championships scheduled for the last weekend of February 1949. Unfortunately, word of the cancelation did not reach all the competitors, and teams from Washington State and Montana showed up. UW Coach Buster Campbell hastily arranged a three-way meet, with jumping at Beaver Lake on Snoqualmie Summit and a cross-country race and slalom at Martin.

In 1949, evening hours at the Husky ski lodge at Martin were enlivened by four exchange students performing Scandinavian songs and dances. Club members, weary after a full day of skiing, spent many pleasant evenings before the lodge fireplace being entertained by them. For the more energetic, there was night skiing, "a modern version of moonlight buggy riding," and folk-dancing in the lodge, "especially when someone brings along an accordion," according to The Seattle Times of January 4, 1949.

The Husky Winter Sports Club's lodge at Martin burned down after the ski season of 1949. No mention of the fire could be found in The Seattle Times, and there is no mention of the fire in the 1950 Tyee. Beginning in 1950, the club's activities took place on Stevens Pass. The ASUW continued to keep the Martin Ski Lodge on its books as an asset at least through 1956.

A Grand Tradition Continues 

Skiing continued at the Mountaineers' Meany Ski Hut at Martin. Improvements and changes made to the Ski Hut were described in an article in the 1979 Mountaineers Bulletin, "Meany Ski Hut Celebrated Fifty Years." In fall 1949, a generator shack was constructed and the motor-generator was moved into it. In fall 1953, a new propane range was installed in the kitchen, replacing the coal stove that had been used for 25 years. In 1954 the Bonneville Power Administration built a power line over property south of the rope tow, and the newly cleared area was named Lower Slobbovia, which made excellent skiing. In fall 1956, the rope tow was moved to gain more altitude and get its upper end closer to lower Slobbovia. The lift rose 440 feet and was 1,000 feet long.

In April 1960, the Northern Pacific discontinued local passenger service after 31 years of providing access to Martin. A Bombardier Snow Tractor was leased to haul skiers three miles from the highway to Martin. The club purchased the Bombardier in 1962.

In December 1962, a log bridge was built to replace a Forest Service bridge washed out by a flood and mud slide. In October 1963, Northern Pacific power was connected to the Meany Ski Hut, and 600 feet of 2,400-volt single-phase power line was built to connect the buildings. The motor-generator was kept as a backup. The Martin station was converted to automatic operation by NP. In the summer of 1964, the Northern Pacific demolished all its buildings at Martin.

In fall 1971, a new floor was added over the women's dorm, a fire escape was built on the building's west end, the drying room was enlarged, and a concrete floor was installed. In November 1973, a "worm tow" was built parallel to the "mach tow," rising 160 vertical feet, designed to run slower for beginners. In fall 1974, Railroad Meadows and Psychopath runs were cleared, and the water supply dam in Tombstone Creek was replaced along with the water pipe to the Ski Hut. In fall 1976, the area south of the ski hut was leveled for a work and storage area. In summer 1978, the Forest Service logged Section 34, which included the Henrietta Woods and No-Name Woods runs.

A Tacoma News Tribune article from February 2013 described a twenty-first century weekend at the lodge, which begins at an exit from Interstate 90, ten miles east of Snoqualmie Summit. A 1954 Bombardier snow tractor hauls skiers and their gear the 2.7 miles from the highway. Luggage is put into the Tom-Cat, then two long ropes are tossed off its back which skiers grab and are towed to the lodge. Old fashioned rope tows are still used to carry skiers up the hill. Its tow house is a "living museum" (Hill), filled with a Chevrolet truck skeleton. A four-speed transmission runs the rope. In third gear, skiers travel uphill at 15 mph, the maximum speed allowed in Washington. In fourth gear, skiers move at 21 mph. This is the oldest rope tow in the state, and Meany Lodge is the oldest ski area.

In 2013, the Mountaineers are still keeping alive a grand tradition in Washington of skiing at Martin.


John "Syke" Bresko Collection, in possession of Sam Maybo, Cle Elum, Washington; The Mountaineers application for membership in Pacific Northwest Ski Association (PNSA), 1936, Bresko Collection; The Seattle Times Historical Archive (http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?from=stnv); Lowell Skoog, Alpenglow Ski Mountaineering History Project website accessed September 9, 2013 (http://www.alpenglow.org/ski-history/); Cle Elum Miner Echo clippings; David Galvin, "Sahalie Historical Note #16: Ski Clubs in Washington over the Last 100 Years," Sahalie Ski Club website accessed July 18, 2013 (http://www.sahalie.org/documents/History/SkiClubsInWashington.pdf); Craig Hill, "Skiing Like in the Days of Yore," Tacoma News Tribune, February 14, 2013 (http://www.thenewstribune.com/); Husky Winter Sportsman, November 1947, Box 8, Accession Number 96-002, Husky Winter Sports, Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries, Seattle, Washington; HistoryLink.org Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, "Cle Elum Ski Club" and "Seattle's Municipal Ski Park at Snoqualmie Summit (1934-1940)" (both by John W. Lundin and Stephen J. Lundin), and "Meany, Edmond Stephen (1862-1935)" (by Alan J. Stein), http://www.historylink.org/ (accessed September 9, 2013); Webb Moffett, "A Brief History of Skiing in the Northwest," Puget Soundings, December 1978; Letters to Bernard Blum, August 8, 1939, and J. B. Poore, December 8, 1944, file 10159, Ski Facilities, Martin, Box 134.K.4.10(F), Northern Pacific Railroad Historical Archives, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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