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Schnee Vogeli History

In 1942 a group of sophomores and juniors in Portland high schools decided to form a ski club. Everett Darr let them use the Mountain Shop in Portland for their meetings and permitted them to sleep on the floor of his shop at Government Camp, then called the Ski Pole. There were 13 boys in the original group with Jack Keep presiding.

World War II disbanded the club as the armed forces took the founding members to the battle front. When the war terminated in 1945, they began to filter home and renew old friendships. Under the leadership of Robert Dooley, the club reformed for the 1947-48 season as an adult ski club. Since the post war reorganization, the club has been a strong factor in skiing at Mount Hood, gradually expanding its activities and membership. SVSC is now comprised of professional people, corporate executives, small business owners, tradesman and artisans of all types from every walk of life.

In 1948 the club became a PNSA sanctioned club, opening the door to sponsoring top racing competition. In 1966 SVSC realized a long-awaited dream by being sanctioned by the United States Ski Association, allowing participation in events of the international ski association, FIS.

Schnee Vogeli sponsored the Turkey Day Slalom which was the first USAA sanctioned ski race of the season, and the Portland Day Trail Race which is the only USAA sanctioned trail race in the United States.

In the 1960’s Schnee Vogeli was granted one of the six internationally sanctioned Far West Kandahar races by Great Britain. In 1971 this race was an official qualifying race for Olympic competition. In 1974 the race was split between Alpine Meadows in California and Alpenthal in Washington.

Competition within the club is held annually at the Club Championship Race. Another intra-club race is called the Snowbird Giant Slalom, a late season event which is open only to the members who have never placed in any competitive ski race. The club also promotes youth skiing by providing funding for a “Mighty Mite” division sponsoring prize ribbons for this competition.

SVSC also sponsored a competition of a lighter sort, with the annual Kanda-Beer Race, a widely famed fun race from Timberline Lodge to Government Camp. The racers don hilarious costumes and compete in both speed and costume presentations. The Kanda-Beer is famed for its broadminded observance of the rules, with winners often coming in first by virtue of some clever, conniving, underhanded maneuver.

Aside from the serious and fun races sponsored by the club, Schnee Vogeli has a complete social calendar that includes the famous Pray for Snow Dance first held at the Log Lodge in Rhododendron, moved the event to Timberline Lodge and currently at Charlie’s Mountain View in Government Camp. This dance allows skiers from the Portland Metropolitan area to get together for a social evening, engage in a little merriment and tell tall tales of ski runs long past. The club used to sponsor another public dance, the Green Buzzard’s ball, held at Timberline Lodge. The club has also sponsored an annual trip to Bend, Oregon to ski at Mt. Bachelor.

Schnee Vogeli members actively promote safe skiing and contribute their time and effort to make skiing safer and more enjoyable for all skiers. In past years, the club sponsored a program to develop and manufacture safety signs and clean up signs for use by ski areas. These signs were presented free of charge to local areas and also to areas visited by club members. Schnee Vogeli also sponsored a ski Buy and Sell that was an annual event for 29 years. The sale allowed skiers of all abilities to purchase used equipment at a discounted price. The equipment was carefully checked by club members for wear and safety problems. The club prides itself in knowing that the equipment sold at the sale would provide safe, enjoyable skiing for the future owner. Many of the Schnee Vogeli members are ski instructors and ski racers who have the experience to help new skiers select the proper equipment to make their ski experience rewarding and fun.

When the new day lodge was constructed at Timberline, Schnee Vogeli members were instrumental in volunteering their time and energy to work for Bridget McCarty in outfitting the new day lodge. Members constructed tables to be placed in the day lodge and sold the tables to individuals, groups and local businesses to help raise money for the project. The tables, bearing plaques recognizing the donors, can be found on the first floor of the new day lodge. Thanks to their efforts, the day lodge is a comfortable place for skiers to relax, meet friends and enjoy the mountain.

Past Presidents
Jack Vidoni Awards
Lifetime Members
Honorary Members