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VOLUME XI EUGENE, OREGON - MAY 1951 NO. 5
JOHN CRAIG MEMORIAL
Ski Tour and Ski Race
April 29 1951
It was Bud Nasholm, long-time Eugene skier, who broke the trail for the John Templeton Craig Memorial Ski Race, and set flag markers, and it was four men and four women of the Obsidian Club who followed Nasholm and carried the memorial mail, packing the trail for the ski racers who followed them, several hours later.
In the mail-carrying official ski tour party were: Ray Sims, Jean Hjelte, Helen McGillicuddy, ("Miss McKenzie Pass"), Kitty Lou Shaw, ("Miss Willamette Pass"), Mrs. Ray Sims, Jim Newsom, George Korn, and Glen Sims.
The packing of the trail, as things turned out, was very necessary, due to the blizzard which raged at the highest altitudes, around the Dee Wright Memorial. The race and tour started, not from Windy Point, as at first announced, but 4 miles east of Windy Point, giving the skiers quite a climb. The course was figured at 22 miles to the finish at Alder Springs. The advance party did not try to make particularly good time, but arranged to be handy with food and water, as the racers went by, but even so, their elapsed time was only eight hours, about six of which was skiing time. Hans Holaas, Eugene, winner, made the trip in three hours and 32 minutes.
How the tour and race came to be created is an interesting story as told by George Korn at the banquet, afterward, at McKenzie School, served by the ladies of the McKenzie River Club. He described the wish of the Obsidians to have something here to honor the McKenzie country, comparing with the annual Donner Pass Ski Race, and with the famed Snowshoe Thompson cross-country ski race. It was Harold Trotter, long-time Obsidian and skier, and a descendant of John Templeton Craig, pioneer mail carrier for whom the event was named, who first suggested the theme.
The Obsidians and the Tri-Pass Ski Club then took up the work of arranging the tour with the memorial mail across the snow-locked summit on the route originally pioneered by Craig, and the ski race. Both race and tour were sponsored by the Obsidians and Tri-Pass Club and sanctioned by the Pacific Northwestern Ski Association, assuring attendance of major ski names.
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