Thursday, April 18, 2024

Skiing: then, now and beyond


Join the Wenatchee River Institute, A Book for all Seasons, Greater Leavenworth Museum, and the Northwest Ski Museum for a special Red Barn event as they host Lowell Skoog, author of Written in the Snows, and Michael 'Bird' Shaffer, for an evening of Northwest ski culture from past to present. Copies of Lowell Skoog's book will be available for purchase at the event.

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, the doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a community social with beer and wine available for purchase. The presentation will start at 7 p.m.

The event is free with a donation basket at the door. This hybrid event is offered in person or on WRI’s YouTube channel.

Michael Shaffer goes by ‘Bird’. Among other talents, Bird is a speed flyer and an extreme skier. He embodies the unbridled joy and freedom of powder skiing and lives by the motto of “full wingspan.” Raised off the grid in the Pacific NW and seen frequently in Chamonix, France, he is truly a magnetic presence in the skiing world. Michael Bird Shaffer is the authentic soul spreading the love of flight and free skiing to all.

As a skier, climber, writer, and photographer, Lowell Skoog has been a keen observer of Northwest mountaineering since the 1970s. He is the creator of the Alpenglow Gallery and founder of the Northwest Mountaineering Journal, websites that celebrate local mountain culture, and he was a key member of the team that launched the Washington State Ski and Snowboard Museum. Skoog is the chairman of the Mountaineers History and Library committee. He lives in Seattle.

Skoog shares a definitive and visually rich history of Northwest ski culture over the past century, from stirring and colorful stories of wilderness exploration to the evolution of gear and technique. He traces the development of skiing in Washington from the late 1800s to the present, covering the beginning of ski resorts and competitions, the importance of wild places in the Cascades and Olympic mountains, and the friluftsliv, or open-air living spirit, of backcountry skiing. Skoog addresses how larger social trends, including immigration, the Great Depression, war, economic growth, conservation, and the media have shaped skiing. In turn, Northwest skiers have affected their regions in ways that have transcended the sport, producing local legends like Milnor Roberts, Olga Bolstad, Hans Otto Giese, Bill Maxwell, and more. While weaving his own impressions and experiences into the larger history, Skoog shows that skiing is far more than mere sport or recreation.



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