During the past few years skling has been increasing in popularity all over the country, but probably the initial spark was dropped into the New England tinder. Harvard took to recreational skling and racing several winters ago with Brad Washburn '33 and Alec Bright '19 as founding fathers. Ever since the sport has been spreading here, culminating last year with the building of the large, well-equipped cabin in Jackson, New Hampshire, and in the official recognition of skling as a minor sport.
Unfortunately, with budgets and conditions as they are, Bill Bingham and his colleagues haven't been able to contribute anything more substantial than a hearty "good luck" to the team. So it was a break when the Architectural School drew Bill Halsey, number one langlaufer and Jumping star at Dartmouth last year, who was pleased to help the competing schussmen--into forming a squad that would do even better than last winter's.
Graduation didn't nick the team severely; it took the best jumper, Dick Whittemore, and a couple of cross-countrymen. The main need now is for a good jumping specialist. A week spent during the past vacation at Stowe and Hanover has served pretty well to show who the standouts are. Although conditions were slush and ice most of the time, the four events were pretty well covered in practice each day.
Outstanding consistent performer is Sophomore Del Ames, erstwhile protege of Otto Schniebs at Hanover and unquestionably last year's most valuable skier. Not only does he tear down mountain trails and through tricky slaloms, but he's hard to best in the jumping and cross country events. Another lad expected to crash through this season is Finn Ferner, Norwegian dare-devil who had a bit of bad luck last year when he found New England trails a little more tortuous than the Scandinavian slopes, spending most of his racing time in the woods. As far as style goes, Ferner is probably the most accomplished of Halsey's experts.
Tom Winship, leader of the Crimson snow troops last year, profited by a short session of skiing in Alaska last summer and is in tip-top condition now. Also a superb stylist, "Glacial Tom" can enter four events, but will probably stick to the downhill and slalom, although he may venture into the jump if needed. John Abbot was the fastest downhill man at Stowe, and has probably earned himself a place on the Varsity if he does as well in the slalom.
Bill Thurston and Roger Wilson have yet to develop into certain point winners, though they are strong contenders for first-team posts. "Wild Bill" is a good, though rather inconsistent, downhill and slalom racer. Wilson is best in the slalom, but can run a fairly sharp cross country race too. Jack Crawford shows latent cross country possibilities, and since he spends a good deal of time practicing, he may place high in coming meets.
Phil Field is a Sophomore addict who skied several years in Switzerland and has a bright racing future. If he can he speeded up he will be a very good slalom man, since his work is characterized by intense vorlage, and his turns are very smoothly done.