75 Year Celebration of
Snowsport History
in the
Far West region!

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History of Far West Ski Association
by Catherine Ohl, Pacific Rim Alliance


World War II
At the CSA Convention at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, California on October 18, 1942, the board, led by President Dr. Frank Howard, voted to freeze all offices, even if the officer was serving in the war. CSA asked that there be no tournaments.

There would be no sanctioned events, no conventions, and no travel until the war was over. In addition, CSA paid club dues to NSA for clubs unable to do so.

In California, NSPS Division Chairman Albert Sigal was bent on building the Ski Patrol into a top-notch search and rescue unit and offered their services to a nearby Air Force base.

Late February 1942, a bomber crashed due to heavy snowfall in the San Bernardino Mountains outside of Los Angeles. When the Air Force was unable to locate the plane, the California Ski Patrol, led by Cortlandt T. Hill, spent 2,113 man hours on the search.

This success led to the formation of “Operation M’Aidez” [May Day], the code name for coordinating 24 NSPS patrols from San Diego to Seattle in search and rescue missions for the 4th Air Force. This partnership continued for many years after the war ended.

Back to Far West History



Albert Sigal

Albert Sigal
NSPS California Division Chair FWSA President 1945-47
Photo courtesy Western SkiSport Museum

Corty Hill

Corty Hill
California Ski Patrol
FWSA President 1948-49
Photo courtesy California Ski Library, Ingrid Wicken collection



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