Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Today's Blast from the Past

In 1938 the "Utah Interconnect" involved taking a train to
Park City and backcountry skiing through Guardsman and
Catharine Passes to Alta via Brighton.  Ah, the good old
days.  James E. Gurr pictured.  Source: Salt Lake Tribune and
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library.
Digging through the historical archives and a nice summary article by Kalitowski (1988), I came across this quote by Wasatch National Forest supervisor James E. Gurr (pictured above) about avalanche hazards in Little Cottonwood Canyon:

"Winter sports enthusiasts should appreciate the fact that there is some hazard connected with the use of snow-clad slopes and should consistently practice such safety measures as are necessary to minimize these hazards. If they will do this and will cooperate in following out suggested safety measures, we can and will continue to use our outstanding and valuable winter sports areas. The probability of snow movement is forecast on the basis of observations by men experienced in mountain snow conditions supplemented by study of temperatures, winds depth of snow drifting, profile of the various falls, and bonding of the layers."

The year?  1939.  All it needs today is a tweak to indicate that the probability of snow movement is forecast on the basis of observations by men and women.  BTW, there are lots of nuggets in that Kalitowski (1988) article for anyone who likes to wax nostalgic about the history of Alta. 


  1. Nice catch, Jim. Was going to suggest the addition of "women," if you hadn't. Lots of ladies doing some good things in this field!

    1. You got that right LPJ! Keep it up.