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sible the visitation to, and use of, this area's mountain, desert and wilderness areas.

We wish now to reaffirm our earlier position supporting legislation which will make available use of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area to our citizens, to our thousands of visitors each year and to the people of California and the Nation.

It has been a pleasant experience to have initiated and brought to realization the Palm Springs aerial tramway, which stands as an example of what can be done, in a compatible manner, to make our mountains and wilderness areas avail. able to countless California residents and visitors throughout the Nation.

We believe that opening the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area to winter recrea. tional use will not only serve the growing demands for such facilities but will provide a pleasurable use strictly compatible with the wilderness, mountain and desert areas which surround it.

We urge your favorable support of and positive action for legislation which will make this possible.

PALM SPRINGS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
LEO BAKER, President.
LONNIE HOOD, General Manager.

RIDGECREST, CALIF., November 17, 1965. Hon. WALTER S. BARING, National Orange Show Building, San Bernardino, Calif.:

The China Lake Ski Club the largest and one of the oldest recreational associations in upper Mojave Desert with 150 members who ski and hike requests your committee attention to our strong support of congressional action to permit recreational skiing in multiuse of Mount San Gorgonio. Such action will be welcomed by almost all southern Californians who like ourselves use the mountains and recognize that with increasing population we must use them for many recreational types of use.

CHINA LAKE SKI CLUB,
ROBERT WETBROOK.

REDONDO BEACH, CALIF., November 16, 1965. Hon. WALTER S. BARING, National Orange Show Building, San Bernardino, Calif.:

The people of southern California need the ski of San Gorgonio desperately. We hope your committee will do its best to bring this dream to our skiers.

SOUTH BAY SKI CLUB.

BIG BEAR LAKE, CALIF., November 15, 1965. Hon. KEN W. DYAL, San Bernardino, Calif.:

I would like to clarify a notice you received from the Big Bear Sportsmans Club where they have objected to the opening of the San Gorgonio ski area. This notice is misleading as it represents the opinion of the board of directors and not the membership in general. I am a member of this club and have many friends that are also members and we are heartily in favor of your bill to open this area to skiing.

WARREN J. SMITHSON, Jr.

LONG BEACH, CALIF., November 16, 1965. Representative WALTER S. BARING, San Bernardino City Hall, San Bernardino, Calif.:

Scandia Norseman Ski Club of Los Angeles numbering over 100 members unanimously encourages and supports the development of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area for skiing.

ELBERT PEDERSEN, President.

ANGELS CAMP, CALIF., November 17, 1965. COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS, San Bernardino, Calif.:

California Garden Club, Inc., at official board meeting voted to oppose bills of Mr. Dyal et al. which would permit ski slide development in San Gorgonio Wilderness.

CALIFORNIA GARDEN CLUB, INC.

FULLERTON, CALIF., November 15, 1965. HOUSE INTERIOR SUBCOMMITTEE, Hearing Room, City Hall, San Bernardino, Calif.:

Defeat H.R. 6891. Save the wilderness area for our use and other nature lovers.

FULLERTON Boy Scout TROOP 11.

SKI WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA,

Canoga Park, Calif., December 24, 1965. Hon. WAYNE ASPINALL, Chairman, Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR SIR: I requested time to speak at the hearings on San Gorgonio in November in San Bernardino, but could not be there due to inclement weather and transportation and personal problems. It is my understanding that those who could not be heard might send their statements direct to you. Therefore, on behalf of myself and the Ski Writers Association of Southern California I enclose twenty copies of our resolution of October 4, 1965, and in addition on behalf of myself I enclose twenty copies each of my winter sports columns of November 23, 1965, and of December 10, 1965, for your consideration. (In the column of December 10, the material of interest to you in particular begins with paragraph 19.)

It is my personal hope that your committee will seriously consider the suggestions I have made in my column of November 23, 1965, so that skiers may ski and at the same time the unique esthetic and natural qualities of the Slushy Meadows area, the only Alpine meadow of its kind in the world, and other special terrain of the area will be preserved unspoiled. Yours respectfully,

ESTHERANNE BILLINGS. RESOLUTION

Whereas, millions of potential winter recreationists in the Greater Los Angeles Basin and Southern California have suffered through many relatively snowless winters at the presently-developed mountain resorts, and

Whereas, this is a condition which will continue to exist because these resorts are at marginal temperature levels, except in unusual circumstances, and

Whereas, there exists within the upper regions of the San Gorgonio Wild Area thousands of acres of semi-Alpine terrain consistently covered with skiable snow through the months of a normal winter season, and

Whereas, the State of California at present is proceeding with establishment of a State Park in what is commonly known as the Hart Bar Ranch Area adjacent to the San Gorgonio Wild Area, and

Whereas, it is a commonly accepted evaluation based on experience and terrain studies by qualified observers that the altitude of the Hart Bar Ranch facility still will fail to provide consistent snow coverage for winter sports, and

Whereas, painstaking studies over several years have established that a winter sports area of outstanding quality could be developed in approximately ten per cent of the San Gorgonio Wild Area—in the upper regions now used comparatively lightly in summer and virtually not at all in winter, and

Whereas, with proper and enlightened planning such a winter sports area could be developed which would not destroy the unique and esthetic and natural qualities of the San Gorgonio Wild Area, but would actually enhance them.

Therefore be it resolved, by the Ski Writers Association of Southern California, that the Congress of the United States approve the legislation now before it setting aside the section prescribed in that legislation for creating a winter recreation facility in the upper reaches of the San Gorgonio Wild Area to answer the growing need for Southern California winter recreational facilities and to enhance the unique esthetic and natural qualities of the area for all citizens. Dated October 4, 1965.

SKI WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.

Active Professional Members
Elmar Baxter
Tom Malone

Dave Shaw
Larry Burrell
Ted O'Toole

Burt Sims
Robert Cartmell
Harry M. Peifer

Nanon M. Smith
Lou Desser
Luanne Pfeifer

Cecil Charles Spiller
Mary D. Granger
Mannie Pineda

Ethel Van Degrift
Anthony J. Kennedy, Jr. Robert Schmidt
Bill Kotoff

Howard Seelye

ESTHERANNE BILLINGS, President.

SKIING WITH ESTHERANNE BILLINGS

While congressmen met in San Bernardino last week to hear testimony on opening a portion of the San Gorgonio Wild Area to lift skiing, snow fell on the Sierra Nevada. Snow, too, farther up on San Gorgonio, perhaps-above the 9100-ft. elevation, where skiers would like to have their ski area located.

As congressmen listened to "conservationist” vs. "skier” arguments in San Bernardino, the skiers packed boards on transportation and headed for Mammoth Mountain (carrying chains, of course).

Yes, chains! Buy yours if you haven't already. Every skier, though his byword is spontaneity, plans ahead when it comes to safety.

Chains for tires, safety straps for skis, proper adjustment for bindings all these things have been checked out for weeks waiting for snow by true skiers.

Well, it's here. Get off the prayer rug--unless “summer” returns, your room investment at Mammoth or June Mountain for the traditional Thanksgiving holiday trek was a good one. Both are about 40 miles north of Bishop, California.

Local skiing depends on a storm with low enough temperatures to deposit snow rather than rain.

For the week end, Mammoth, which opened Tuesday with two feet of powder, is packing its runs by cat. The area is operating three chairs and two T-bars. For latest information call (213) 894-6466.

June Mountain opened this week end with 18 to 30 inches of packed powder from its 10,212 summit to the Chalet Schweizerhof atop the first ski lift.

But what's happening in our back yard in regard to San Gorgonio? The congressional hearing will continue in Washington, D.C., and results will eventually be brought before Congress as a whole for vote.

On Oct. 4, 1965, the Ski Writers Association of Southern California adopted its long-considered resolution related to opening the controversial area.

Since the document was formlated by press, radio, and television writers as well as photographers who have made it a point to become aware of the issues involved, it is of importance to readers.

The gist, included in the summary section, reads as follows:

“THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Ski Writers Association of Southern California, that the Congress of the United States approve the legislation now before it setting aside the section prescribed in that legislation for creating a winter recreation facility in the upper reaches of the San Gorgonio wild area to answer the growing need for Southern California winter recreation facilities and to enhance the unique esthetic and natural qualities of the area for all citizens."

When and if San Gorgonio is opened to lift skiing, there must be restrictions built into the legislation if the latter part of the SWA of SC resolution is to be guaranteed. And it must be guaranteed to protect the interests of both conservationist and skier.

Skiers want to ski and would be satisfied with any one of several locations within the area requested, but investors would push for the heart of the Wild Area, which is the unique section which must be protected.

This writer believes it can be protected with Congress guaranteed restrictions laying out basic requirements for the United States Forest Service to include in

58–133—67-32

the prospectus it develops for bidders on development and additionally that the legislation should be amended to include them.

The area could then be of benefit to "all citizens" and the USFS aim of “multiple use" would be a reality rather than an ideal.

These restrictions are respectfully suggested to be as follows: (1) entry to be by rapid transit subway with no roads or parking lots within the boundaries of the present Wild Area; (2) comfort facilities and other constructions to be below ground at the inside terminal with only a stairway or ramp entry shelter above ground; (3) these minimum facilities and particularly the subway to be closed except during the ski season, and (4) lift towers to be designed portable for use only during the ski season and to be removed at its close.

If such requirements discourage some bidders, they would not discourage all those we have heard whose only wish is to open the area so skiers can ski and Olympic hopefuls can train.

Let's have some reader comments on this.

We wouldn't recommend horseback riding to improve skiing, but we're told the bowed legs one is supposed to get from the sport is a skiing asset. Yes, that's what veteran June Mountain ski instructor Gary Rogers told us last week end.

Bow-legged skiers can edge their skis more positively and with less effort than straight-legged, and certainly knock-kneed, skiers. So Gary builds up his instep a bit in the direction of a “bow."

Can't you see this as a topic for apres-ski talk? Instead of, "What are you skiing on this season?”' it will be, “What instep-builder are you using ?

We can picture a whole new industry growing up on a par with skis, boots, and poles. Varieties will be designated for pleasure skiing or racing, with the latter in slalom, giant slalom, and downhill models. Length and camber of the "builder" will be very controversial, of course, as will be degree of flexibility versus stiffness in design, with better models an intricate combination of the latter two, naturally.

Manufacturers will be vying to get their models on the top racers, with the thing the more mysterious because only the racer himself will know what he really has down there inside his boot! How would you know? Maybe he was born with those efficiently curved legs and only claims instep-builders for snow appeal!

Well, anyway, lessons are a great asset in themselves to the skier, and we enjoyed ours with Gary. At the start of the season, they're especially helpful to any skier—to build confidence and remind one of bad habits and how to eliminate them.

The June Mountain ski school is directed by Toby Von Euw and includes a number of competent instructors who teach the American technique.

June Mountain itself, north of Bishop, Cal., has a number of improvements to report.

The Hutson Haus snack bar and comfort station in Hutson Meadows allows skiers to remain on the Back Mountain all day and still have hot food and a place to relax. There also are 20 acres of new and widened runs.

We skied the whole of the area, including the challenging Face with its expertclass terrain. The snow conditions were excellent, and all runs completely covered with packed powder.

Chairlift One, which services the Face and also carries skiers to the Grand Chalet Schweitzerhof, had no waiting line throughout the day, so skiing this area could be continuous.

This lift also has a 37% increase in downhill capacity to the parking area. Though some skiers ski the Face to the bottom, most ride Chairlift One, and the increase eases bottlenecks at day's end.

Other runs had either no lift lines or very short ones.

The parking area has been increased by 212 paved acres, allowing parking for a total of 600 cars.

In town, a discotheque and restaurant is a new addition, plus a bed increase of 150. Almost finished is a new luxury dining spot, something June Lake has needed to round out evening entertainment.

All in all, there's a new look to the whole area, and it's worth a visit.

The skier can look southwest from the 10,212 ft, crest of June Mountain and see Mammoth Mountain, pinpointing most of the runs. There's also a tremendous view of Mono Lake, that weird geologic wonder.

Cool weather in the Sierra promises continued excellent skiing for this week end, which should also prevail at neighboring Mammoth.

We've received several answers to our editorial on San Gorgonio of two weeks ago, which generally question the economic feasibility of an underground rapid transit subway.

We had, of course, considered economic problems in our proposals, but wish to submit that economics is not the main consideration when matters of recreation and beauty are concerned.

These "amenities” are, after all, the vital requirements of man which lift him above the animal necessities of food and drink, clothing and shelter. Without them, he is only a human machine.

It is important to remember that any access is going to be expensive, but if we can fly to the moon, we can surely get the short distance into the heart of the San Gorgonio Wild Area without marring its wild surface beauty for present visitors as well as posterity.

Underground access seems the only way.

SKI CHATTER

Pioneer ski area Badger Pass in Yosemite National Park is open, and boasting a chairlift expected to be in operation this week end !

Some thought they'd never see a chairlift in a national park. Here it is.

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway inaugurates Christmas programs with a visit from Santa Claus tomorrow.

Full details are available from Jeri Taylor at the tramway at Palm Springs. Phone number is 3244615.

Mammoth Mountain is featuring weekly standard races Wednesdays at 1 p.m., qualifiers to receive gold, silver, or bronze pins.

HESPERIA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,

Hesperia, Calif., October 26, 1965. Hon. WALTER S. BARING, Chairman, Subcommittee on Public Lands, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

MY DEAR MR. BARING : After considering the pros and cons regarding the opening of San Gorgonio to winter recreation on the upper slopes, the Board of Directors of the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce endorsed the plan.

We are interested in the preservation of wilderness areas, but believe that with the right kind of supervision and with specific safeguards, this area could be used by a great many more people and still retain its natural beauty.

In apprizing you of this endorsement, we request that this information be included in the testimony of the hearing. Respectfully yours,

R. W. E. THOMPSON, President.

DECEMBER 6, 1965. Representative WALTER S. BARING, Chairman, Land Committee of Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, Rayburn

House Office Building, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I will appreciate it if you will read the enclosed column at the forthcoming hearings on San Gorgonio. It was written by me November 16, 1965, published in the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, and in other news papers that subscribe to my column with King Features Syndicate.

I wish to emphasize that the winter sports project for San Gorgonio is strongly supported not only by my newspaper, but by hundreds of thousands of other sports fans in the Southern California area. With best wishes,

MELVIN DURSLAG.

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