Sunday, January 24, 2010
Kodiak's Real Ski Chalet
A couple of weeks ago I was going through a collection of slides at the museum trying to ID people and places when I came across this one - it was taken by Nick Nekeferoff sometime in the 1950s. At first I thought it must be Anchorage or some ski area near Seattle. But the background looked pretty familiar - and then it hit me. It's the old ski chalet at the pass on the way to Anton Larsen Bay.
It was built during WWII to help the troops train for winter warfare and for a place to recreate. After the war, according to Don Clark who went to Kodiak High School in the 50's, it became a 'snake pit' - a bar. And later it burned down. The ski chalet up there today was built much later.
What's cool is how elaborate the building looks. Too bad it burned down. It would be nice to have a place like that to hang out in 'apres skiing'. I am also struck by how different the hillside behind the chalet looks. The hill in the background is the bottom of Pyramid to the right (south) of where we climb up today. The photo was taken above where the current chalet is located, looking towards Pyramid (the gravel pit would be to the right and the parking lot to the left). Today there are groves of tall spruce trees and the alder is much thicker. You can see the baby spruce trees just getting started. I wonder if there is more alder because of global warming? Patrick