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Letters: Klaus, Luggi, Stein and Kokanee Glacier



Editor Seth Masia
Managing Editor Greg Ditrinco
Consulting Editor Cindy Hirschfeld
Art Director Edna Baker

Editorial Board
Seth Masia, Chairman
John Allen, Andy Bigford, John Caldwell, Jeremy Davis, Kirby Gilbert, Paul Hooge, Jeff Leich, Bob Soden, Ingrid Wicken

Founding Editors 
Morten Lund, Glenn Parkinson

To preserve skiing history and to increase awareness of the sport’s heritage

ISHA Founder 
Mason Beekley, 1927–2001

ISHA Board of Directors

Rick Moulton, Chairman
Seth Masia, President
Wini Jones, Vice President
Jeff Blumenfeld, Vice President
John McMurtry, Vice President
Bob Soden (Canada), Treasurer
Einar Sunde, Secretary

Richard Allen, Skip Beitzel, Michael Calderone, Dick Cutler, Ken Hugessen (Canada), David Ingemie, Joe Jay Jalbert, Henri Rivers, Charles Sanders, Christof Thöny (Austria), Ivan Wagner (Switzerland)

Presidential Circle
Christin Cooper, Billy Kidd, Jean-Claude Killy, Bode Miller, Doug Pfeiffer, Penny Pitou, Nancy Greene Raine

Executive Director
Janet White

Membership Services 
Laurie Glover
(802) 375-1105

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(541) 944-3095


Bimonthly journal and official publication of the International Skiing History Association (ISHA)

Partners: U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame | Canadian Ski Museum and Hall of Fame

Alf Engen Ski Museum | North American Snowsports Journalists Association | Swiss Academic Ski Club


Skiing History (USPS No. 16-201, ISSN: 23293659) is published bimonthly by the International Skiing History Association, P.O. Box 1064, Manchester Center, VT 05255.
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Written permission from the editor is required to reproduce, in any manner, the contents of Skiing History, either in full or in part.

Letters: Klaus, Luggi, Stein and Kokanee Glacier

Ties That Bind: The Origin Story of Sport Obermeyer

When I saw the photo of Friedl Pfeifer, Walter Paepcke, Herbert Bayer and Gary Cooper in the November-December issue all wearing my Koogie pom-pom ties (“Heavy Lifting: Aspen Under Construction,”) I thought I would tell the story.

As a young boy in Bavaria in the early 20’s, skiing was a formal sport. People wore shirts and ties and wool overcoats. The tie for skiing was called the ‘koogie pom–pom’. Koogie in the Bavarian dialect is the German word for Kugel which means ball. The ties were made of yarn. I remember men would come to our house wearing the Koogie tie on their way to go skiing. I asked my mother to make one for me, which she did. Then my friends wanted one, too. So my mother taught me how to make them.

I arrived in Aspen in 1947 to teach for Friedl Pfeifer. The following spring, as there was no work in Aspen, I bought a Ford car for $350 and headed back to Sun Valley. I bought some yarn in Hailey and made some samples of the koogie pom-pom ties. Pete Lane’s Ski Shop ordered three dozen. The retail price was $1.75 each. I gave him a 10 percent cash discount because I had spent all my money on yarn. He paid me in silver dollars. A few days later he ordered 6 dozen more! 
Averell Harriman gave some to the employees.

In Aspen in the fall of 1947, there were just seven instructors. Because the ski business was often slow, I played chess with Walter Paepcke, sometimes all night. Gary Cooper liked coming to Aspen. One day he said to me, “Klaus, I hear you started a business selling pom-pom ties. Maybe it would help your business if I wore one.”

“I would be happy to give you one Gary,” I said.

“No, I will pay retail” he insisted.

That was the first Sport Obermeyer product and the beginning of our company.

Klaus Obermeyer
Aspen, Colorado

Cover Story

The cover of the magazine’s November-December 2020 issue shows my old ski school director Luggi Foeger, who I worked for from 1947-1952 at Badger Pass Ski Area in Yosemite, California. The cover, from a photograph, shows him making a turn at Ostrander, near Badger Pass. It was a favorite place to show students the perfect position while making a turn. You came down a fairly steep hill and near the bottom there was a drop off so the skier had to move his upper half of his body forward to keep proper balance. So it showed him quite forward in his turn. This was vogue at the time. Several ski instructors and me were working on a film in 1950 or 51 and the filmmaker chose that spot.

Jim McConkey
Denman Island, British Columbia

Skiing with Stein

When the November-December 2021 issue arrived, the first thing I saw was the Jantzen ad on the back cover with Stein Eriksen’s photo and the history of Stein and his brother Marius’s sweaters knitted by their mother.

I was reminded of that memorable time in April 1989, when I traveled with Stein to Norway, as a writer for SKI. Other journalists and I skied with Stein in Hemsedal, and it was there that Stein gave me a red, white and blue sweater knitted by his mother. I also met his brother Marius.

I dared not wear the gifted sweater, because it seemed too precious. A couple of years ago, however, I gave it to a relative. An avid skier, she loves it and wears it with pride. 

Laurel Lippert
Truckee, California

Legacy of the Kokanee Camps

Regarding the story about the birth of the Canadian National Ski Team (January-February issue): The Canadian Ski Team program at Notre Dame University beginning in 1964 was a success but the academic calendar was a bad fit with the World Cup tour (1967), so the program ended in 1969. It did inspire the creation of high-school level ski academies across North America. 

Many of the program’s athletes became successful professionals. We learned resilience and determination by overcoming injuries or defeat. We forged a lifelong bond of friendship. That was a gift over and above all the medals and success stories.

I would like to honor Emily Ringham-Beauchamp, who kept the Nelson group in contact for years by organizing reunions and gatherings. She annually hosted an event to support the Ernie Gare athletic scholarships, named to honor one of program’s founders. For the 50th ski team reunion in 2005, she organized a nostalgic trip up to Kokanee glacier to visit the beautiful new Alpine Club cabin and check out our carved names on the walls of the old Kokanee cabin. Emily passed away in 2018, before our most recent reunion. 

Eva Kuchar, PhD
Pointe-Clair, Quebec


In “Aspen Under Construction” (November-December 2021 issue), an editorial error misstated the name of Greg
Poschman’s Swiss-born grandfather, who designed some of the Lift 1 components. His name was Paul Purchard, and he was an engineer and patent attorney. We regret the error.

ISHA Awards

The best works of skiing history published during 2021.
Awards Banquet March 24, 2022

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Jeff Leich, executive director, New England Ski Museum, for Research, Writing and Museum Stewardship

Ullr Book Awards

  • Celebrate Winter: An Olympian’s Stories of a Life in Nordic Skiing by John Morton (Independently published)
  • 30 Years in a White Haze: Dan Egan’s Story of Worldwide Adventure and the Evolution of Extreme Skiing by Dan Egan & Eric Wilbur (Degan Media)
  • Skiing: In the Eye of the Artist by E. John B. Allen (Egoth)
  • To Heaven’s Heights: An Anthology of Skiing in Literature, compiled by Ingrid Christophersen, MBE (Unicorn)

Skade Book Awards

  • Best Backcountry Skiing in the Northeast: 50 Classic Ski and Snowboard Tours in New England and New York by David Goodman (Appalachian Mountain Club Books).
  • Ski Jumping in Washington State: A Nordic Tradition by John W. Lundin (Arcadia Publishing)
  • Written in the Snows: Across Time on Skis in the Pacific Northwest by Lowell Skoog (Mountaineers Books)
  • Harris Hill Ski Jump: The First 100 Years by Kevin O’Conner and the 100th Anniversary Book Committee (Harris Hill Ski Jump Inc.)
  • Mount Assiniboine, The Story by Chic Scott (Assiniboine Publishing) – John Fry Award for Excellence

Baldur Book Award

  • Way Out West: The Skiing Years by Paul G. Ryan (Cape Cod Cinema)

Film Awards

  • Spider Lives. Executive Producers: Christin Cooper, Mike Hundert, Mark Taché, Edith Thys Morgan, Hayden Scott
  • 120 Years Ski Club Arlberg. Blue Danube Media: Alessandra Ravanelli and Hadmar Charlie Mayer, Markus Knaus
  • In Pursuit of Soul. A TGR Film. Director: Jeremy Grant. Producer: Drew Holt
  • Dear Rider: The Jake Burton Story. An HBO Documentary. Director: Fernando Villena. Producer: Ben Bryan. For Burton: Abby Young, Mike Cox.

Honorable Mentions

  • La Grande Histoire du Ski (film)
  • Skiing in New Mexico by Daniel Gibson and Jay Blackwood
  • Vintage Skiing: Photos of Ray Atkeson
  • Black Dirt by Phil Bayly


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