First ski patrol unit made of men, women volunteers

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This column is brought to you by the Flathead Valley Ski Education Foundation and the Ski Heritage Center Museum of Skiing. Enjoy these fascinating stories about the rich and colorful history of skiing in the Flathead Valley.

That was Then…

“Men, Women Joined the First Patrol”

With the opening of The Big Mountain on Dec. 14, 1947, the Ski Patrol of the Whitefish Lake Ski Club made its first public appearance. It was composed of ski club members who volunteered their services for the benefit of those using the new ski facilities. Otto Ost directed the organization of the local unit whose members included: Lloyd Muldown, Charles Creon, Lyle Rutherford, Gilbert Baldwin, Leonard Larson, Robert Quenemoen, Gary Tallman and Otto Ost.

In addition to the men who did active patrolling, there were seven women members who had charge of the first aid room in the new lodge. These ladies, under the direction of Mrs. Lyle Rutherford, were Dorothy Johnson, Charlotte Rutherford, Tilda Ost, Jackie Sloan, Mary Jo Jacoby and Louise Follett.

With the generous cooperation of the merchants of Whitefish, the Whitefish Lake Club furnished the first aid room in the lodge with all the equipment that was necessary to treat the injured. The club had two toboggans the first year in which the injured skiers were transported from the slopes to the first aid room. A number of red flags were procured which were used to mark, such as stumps and protruding rocks.

Training of the patrol began with a 20-hour course in general first aid under the direction of R.F. Haynes with the assistance of L.A. Muldown. Additional training was carried out during the season and the patrol members were given examinations, covering both work in first aid and skiing ability. When standards were met the patrol hoped to become part of the National Ski Patrol System which was organized in 1930 under the direction of Minot Dole.

From the Whitefish Pilot, Dec. 19, 1947

This is Now…

FVSEF will be presenting Showcase of the Chefs 2017 “Olympic Fever” at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake on Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the gourmet dinner, wine tasting and auction are $85 per person and can be purchased at Whitefish and Kalispell Sportsman Ski Haus stores, Great Northern Ski and Cycle, Whitefish Lake Lodge and online at fvsef.org. This year’s auction items include cat-ski trip with three Olympians, an epic six-day Alaska summer adventure trip, a Colt Idol giclee “Unbroken Spirit,” a weekend stay in a luxury tree house at Whitefish Mountain Resort, a catered dinner for four in a fire lookout, guided fishing trips on the Flathead River and the Elk River near Fernie, British Columbia, weekend ski trips including Big Sky, Schweitzer and Fernie, British Columbia, and many more items great and small.

For more information contact Tim Hinderman at 406-885-2730, or visit www.fvsef.org.

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