For Immediate Release
September 9, 2013
Winner of Far West Association Ski Heritage Award
The Far West Ski Association honored Moreno Valley College Kinesiology Professor Ingrid Wicken over the summer, bestowing its Ski Heritage Award for her new book, Lost Ski Areas of Southern California.
The Association cited Wicken's book "as the most detailed approach to lost ski areas...the accounting for the lost ski areas uncovers real historical treasures - personalities, partnerships, champions and championships - and shows the fabric and evolution of snow sports."
Her love for skiing began in 1974 while her book fetish began at a young age. But it wasn't until the 1990s when the two worlds collided.
"It all happened by accident," said Wicken, who began teaching at Riverside City College in 1989 and coached women's tennis for 10 years. "I never expected to be a published author. I enjoy the research aspect of the project, and I found writing extremely rewarding. I have always loved books. As a child I remember my mom taking me to the public library and to used bookshops."
In 1995, while opening a small bookstore, she purchased some American Ski Annuals from the 1930s. She remembers thinking that nobody had ever written the history of skiing in Southern California. "So I decided to write the history and that is how it all started."
Wicken's research uncovered not only lost history, but also lost treasures. In one chapter, she writes about Mt. Palomar, which had a ski area in 1967, Ski Villa in Carbon Canyon in Orange County and the days of pine needle ski runs.
"Ski Villa was a concrete slope paved in plastic tiles with a vertical drop of 280 feet," Wicken said. "In 1939, Sepp Benedikter operated a pine needle slope. It was at the corner of Lankershim and Ventura Boulevards, which is now the location of Universal Studios."
Wicken is working on another project-a history of women ski jumpers-with authors from Germany, Canada, Norway, and Finland. They hope to have the book published in time for the 2015 World Nordic Ski Championship in Falun, Sweden.
She also wants to spend more time on the slopes.
"I learned to ski when I was 18," she said. "I spent many of my younger years as a ski bum and a Professional Ski Instructors of America instructor. I am looking forward to retirement when I can ski more!" For more information on Ingrid Wicken and her books, log on to: http://www.skilibrary.com/publications.html.