Here are more of our scanned slides from the 1930s’ and 1940s’. Since Mammoth just opened and skiing is on everybody’s mind, lets go with the winter theme. Read along…
Above is a drawing made of the warming hut at McGee Mountain. It was drawn sometime in the 1940s’ to show what it would look like when done, and it ended up looking exactly the same. We lived, and ran the rope tow, from there until our son Gary had to go to school in Bishop in the mid-1950s’. At that point, we moved down to Bishop and commuted.
Below is a shot of me looking down at the Snake Pit, which is where Main Lodge is now. On the left is Rope Tow 1, which sat where Chair One is now. Inside the Snake Pit was a lunch stand, a wood-burning stove and storage for rope grippers, which most people used while riding the rope tow. We rented them for 50 cents a day. Some people didn’t need them-some people even made their own. A lot of people came up from Southern California every weekend. Highway 395 was only two lanes back then, and the road to the mountain was not paved.
Below is a shot from our rope tow at Crestview sometime in the 1930s. Crestview is near Deadman Summit, on Highway 395, just north of Mammoth.
That’s 395 in the background. See how narrow it was?
In the picture, I’m talking to Corty Hill and Frankie Stevens. Corty started some of the ski clubs around the Eastern Sierra, and he really helped launch skiing in this area. He was also an excellent skier, and helped us all improve. Frankie was one of the local boys that grew up skiing with us.
Roma is in the background, between Corty and me.
We put the rope tow there early in the season because it was the only place with snow you could get to at that time of year. After we put that one in, other rope tows started popping up all over Inyo and Mono counties. There were more than 50 at one point.
Below is a shot of me skiing Cornice Bowl. I used to climb and ski Cornice six or seven times a day.
Look at the cars down by the Warming Hut.
Also, none of the runs are cut out, and there are trees all over Broadway. We pulled those trees out to give skiers more space. We skied a lot in the trees too.