The new museum, located at Snoqualmie Pass, will feature interactive maps of statewide ski venues, a slideshow on the state’s history of skiing, pre-modern ski and snowboard gear, among other exhibits.
Finding a permanent home for Washington’s ski and snowboard history will finally become a reality when the Washington State Ski and Snowboard Museum (WSSSM) at Snoqualmie Pass opens its doors next month.
A grand opening for the museum is 3 p.m. on Oct. 10 at 10 Pass Life Way #2 (located directly across from the Summit Inn), which has been a dream led by Dave Moffett of Mercer Island, the former president of Snoqualmie Summit’s four ski areas.
“This has been in the works for almost four years, and I’m very pleased to finally make this dream into a reality,” said Moffett. “We’ve had our struggles along the way, and we’re a bit late in opening the doors after last season’s ski season came to a halt.”
The concept of preserving snow-sports history began with Irv Pratt of Mercer Island, who passed away in 2013. He was known as the curator for the Ancient Skiers’ collection of ski memorabilia, with items dating to the 1890s.
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According to Moffett, Pratt’s vision came about in the 1980s and 1990s when the U.S. Forest Service Building on Snoqualmie Pass had a small museum, since closed. The Crystal Mountain Resort has also had some of the displays in its main lodge.
Moffett’s effort finally came to fruition a few years ago when Bryce Phillips, owner of evo Ski & Snowboard Shop in Seattle, along with The Pass, LLC, decided to build a multiuse development on 5.3 acres.
The museum will occupy a leased space of 1,200 square feet, plus 400 square feet of mezzanine area between the Commonwealth Cafe and Dru Bru Beer Tap Room & Brewery.
To locate the museum at Snoqualmie Pass has its advantages, including being one of the most visited ski areas in the state and a year-round stopover for travelers along busy I-90.
“All the workmanship and quality we put into the museum is on par with the Museum of History & Industry (at Lake Union in Seattle), EMP Museum (at Seattle Center) and the Gates Foundation Visitors Center (in Seattle),” Moffett said.
“The real key for the quality was spearheaded by the consultants we hired for the designs and exhibits,” he said. “It’s not just getting a room and putting up some old skis — we put a lot of thought into our efforts.”
Moffett’s nonprofit group has raised more than 90 percent of a financing goal of $650,000.
Moffett, Lowell Skoog of Seattle, Leeds Chamberlain of Seattle, Kirby Gilbert of Bellevue, and Dollie and Hugh Armstrong of Seattle — parents of Olympic gold-medal skier Debbie Armstrong — spearheaded the initial work on the museum project.
Museum exhibits include interactive maps of statewide ski venues, a donor wall, video monitors, a narrative with slideshow on the state’s history of skiing, pre-modern ski and snowboard gear, alpine and Nordic traditions and ski mountaineering, artifacts from state Olympians and a gift shop.
Washington snow-sports companies will also be part of the display, including K2 Sports, Mervin Manufacturing (Gnu/Lib Tech Snowboards), Outdoor Research, A&T, Sturtevants and REI.
Local award-winning photographers Carl, Gordy and Lowell Skoog, Grant Gunderson, Jason Hummel, cartoonist Bob Cram, videographer John Forsen and others will have their works on display.
For operating hours and other information on the WSSSM, go to www.wsssm.org
• Dungeness crab lovers will get another chance when the season reopens Oct. 1 in many areas of Puget Sound. Marine areas reopening daily at 8 a.m. on Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 are Neah Bay east of the Tatoosh-Bonilla line (Marine Catch Area 4); Sekiu (5); eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca (6); San Juan Islands (7); Deception Pass, Hope Island, Skagit Bay, and Port Susan and Port Gardner (8-1 and 8-2); Admiralty Inlet/Northern Puget Sound (9); south-central Puget Sound (11); Hood Canal (12); and southern Puget Sound (13).
Central Puget Sound will remain closed during the winter fishery.