Auburn Ski Club was established in 1928 by a group of unique and determined individuals with a genuine passion for skiing. The Club’s original “ski grounds” at Cisco Grove boasted the first engineered ski jump in the West and provided many Californians with their very first ski experience. By 1932, the founders had successfully lobbied the California State Legislature to begin providing winter snow removal services for the first time ever, keeping Highway 40 open year-round. This significant action opened up the mountains during wintertime and ushered in California’s modern skiing era.
As true original ambassadors of winter sports, Auburn Ski Club members arranged snow transportation all the way to the Bay Area, staging ski jumping exhibitions in 1934 and 1935 on the UC Berkeley campus and on Treasure Island during the 1939 World Exposition. Auburn Ski Club has collected and preserved a significant amount of ski memorabilia over the years which is currently housed in the Club’s Western Ski Sport Museum located at Boreal Mountain Resort.
In 1989, to carry on the founders’ vision and legacy, the non-profit Auburn Ski Club Training Center on Donner Summit was created as a home for new generations of young athletes and families from across Northern California.
The Western SkiSport Museum was founded in 1969 by the Auburn Ski Club. Working with ski writer and historian William B. Berry, the Museum was developed as an exhibition of Western North American ski history. Beginning with the California gold miners racing straight down the mountains at speeds of 80 mph on 14 foot “longboards”, western ski history is a fascinating part of western culture. The stories of Snowshoe Thompson carrying the mail on skis over the mighty Sierra Nevada mountains while rescuing stranded miners in raging blizzards is the making of legends.
By the late 1920’s ski clubs began to appear up and down the West Coast. Skiing was a new sport and thousands traveled to the snowline on roads not open in winter. Ski Jumping was the daredevil sport of the period and ski clubs hosted huge spectator events. In some cases the ski clubs took the snow and jumping to the cities–hosting events in Berkeley, Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay, and the LA Coliseum. The ski industry began to develop from small club-operated hills to ski areas with the opening of Sugar Bowl in 1939.
Today the Museum continues on a mission to collect, preserve and exhibit the history of winter ski sports in the western United States.
THE MUSEUM IS CURRENTLY CLOSED.
By appointment during our closure, contact Bill Clark at (530) 426-3313 Ext. 101 or email@example.com