Joseph Beste from United States writes:
Dear fellow skiers:
While Rick Tillison was a pioneer, The NSPS (National Ski Patrol..) officially recognized the Mauna Kea Ski Patrol in 1969-70. I joined the
the Patrol in 1969; Howard Shirmmer a Professional Engineer and Hawaii office Manager for Dames & Moore in Hawaii was the Founder of the Patrol and it's first leader. I met Howard through work and was an engineer for Chevron at their Barber's Point Refinery. Howard asked me to join the Ski Patrol in 1969 and I patrolled on Mauna Kea in the winter of 1969-70. I became the Patrol Leader in 1971-2. While Howard was still on the Patrol there were a number of other dedicated Patrol members including one woman patroller.
The skier's were generally shuttled to the summit in those days by Gordon (Flashgun) Morse through his business Holo Holo Campers from Hilo. Gordon was formerly a newspaper reporter in Honolulu, for the Honolulu Advertiser, and he supplied tourists with 4 wheel Jeeps to see the Big Island's more adventuresome area. The skiing was fabulous etc. There were many runs laid out by Dick Tillison and Howard in the late 60's. The University of Hawaii had a telescope near the very top; The University of Arizona had a smaller scope. The University of Hawaii through the graciousness of William Keck was building the largest scope on the very top. This scope opened in late 1969. I was already patrolling at that point. Tillison had spent the winter before at the University of Hawaii's Astronomy base camp at about the 8500-9,000 foot level. Not as pleasant as on the Kona coast. However, the location saved the time and aclimatization to altitude. It was near the old Humuhulu sheep station used by "Pig" (Wild Boar) hunters.
Another early patrol leader was a University of Hawaii PhD candidate in Astronomy named Peter Bostwick, Pete succeeded me as Patrol Leader, I continued as a member of the Patrol through about 1980. We also had two woman patrollers in the early days.
A rescued skier with a broken leg was Helen Masten(sp) in, I believe, 1971-2 Season. One of those early years, I believe it was 1970, the UH Astronomy department was snowed out in getting to the top. We (the Mauna Kea Patrollers) hiked up with snow shoes, skis and 5 gallon cans of diesel fuel to the Keck Observatory to supply the telescopes directional and heating generators. This was necessitated by the UH's half track being stuck in the snow (huge drifts) at about the 9-9500 elevation.
Lots of stories and memories..