Ski Archives honor skiing pioneers


The Ski Archives of the J. Willard Marriott Library held their annual Ski Affair and presented two awards to pioneers in the field of skiing.  This year’s award recipients are the Wasatch Mountain Club, which received the History-Maker Award, and Alan K. Engen, who received the S.J. Quinney Award.

History-Maker Award

The Wasatch Mountain Club was founded in May of 1920 with the purpose of “providing an education and activity group for those who enjoyed hiking, ski touring, river running and mountain climbing.” The club currently has a conservation program aimed at canyon and foothill areas to the east of Salt Lake City.

The Marriott Library has several items from the club in special collections, including their constitution, financial records, membership lists, and newsletters all the way back to their founding date. In addition, there is also a map that was published by the University of Utah Press that is stored in the archives.

Photo shows members of the Wasatch Mountain Club standing in front of Bingham Stage Line vehicles during an outing, probably in the 1920. Photo credit: P0133n01_01_02, Multimedia Archives, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.

S.J. Quinney Award

Alan K. Engen is the son of Alf and Evelyn Engen, Utah ski pioneers. He was a member of the University of Utah ski team and had an extensive career as a competitive skier. The Marriott Library hosts a collection of documents titled “The Alan K. Engen papers” that contain drafts and research for Engen’s 1998 book “For the Love of Skiing: A Visual History ranging from 1840-2010.”

In addition, Engen co-wrote the book “First Tracks: A Century of Skiing in Utah with Gregory C. Thompson, the associate dean for the library’s Special Collections. The book aims to “capture the rich legacy of skiing in Utah’s indomitable Wasatch Mountain Range through upbeat informative text and fascinating vintage and recent photographs.”