Skiyente Ski Club
--A Brief History--
Skiyente Ski Club was started in 1955 when some members of Associated Women Skiers (AWS), the first all women’s ski club in the United States, decided they wanted to focus more closely on ‘mountain activities’ vs. the ‘social and non-mountain community events’ that their current club was doing. These women sought out others with the same objectives and formed Skiyente Ski Club, which loosely translated, means “Ski Maiden”. These 25 women who hold the distinction of being “Charter Members” elected Maryanne Lawton (Hill), a former U.S. Ski Team hopeful, as their first president. Maryanne continues to participate in various Club activities and proudly cheers on her ‘sisters’ during the annual club race named in her honor—The Maryanne Cup.
Skiyentes are wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, professionals from many fields, home-makers, retirees, students, married, single and 21 to 88 years of age.
In the beginning, Skiyente’s age limit for membership was lower than its current 21 age minimum. Over the years and with the advent of snowboarding, the Club’s focus has expanded from just alpine skiing to all forms of snowsports and now you don’t even have to be actively skiing or boarding to become a member. The two things that have stayed constant are our avid interest in racing and our love for the mountain and the community it engenders.
The Club first started meeting in members’ homes but soon found the basement of The Mountain Shop in Portland to be much easier and more convenient. Meetings were held there for nearly 35 years. They are now held at the Buffalo Gap on SW Macadam Avenue. Members’ homes are still occasionally used for special events but most meetings are now held at a local pub.
The Club’s newsletter was first introduced in 1958 and the name, “The MaidenForum”, was chosen by contest. The name originated from our Norwegian name (yenta for ‘maiden’) and ‘forum’ as the news portion. Obviously, the similarly sounding name of a woman’s foundation brand wasn’t lost on anyone! The first copies were produced using carbon paper and some were even hand written. We then advanced to the use of mimeograph, then they were produced by a print shop, then photocopied and now they are e-mailed to members and on our website!
The Club has been honored many times over the years. Our newsletters and scrap books have taken many awards at PNSA and FWSA conventions. In 1960 we were the PNSA Outstanding Club. In 1961 we won the National Ski Association’s Miller High Life Trophy for outstanding clubs. In 2006 Skiyente received the Tollakson Award in our division at the FWSA convention. We have also won the Charity Award and the first FWSA Club History Award in 2009.
Skiyente’s roots are in the racing discipline of snowsports. The new Skiyente Ski Club was co-sponsors of The Far West Kandahar race starting in 1956. It was a race that alternated between Mt. Hood and Europe. It was a qualifier for the U.S. Olympic team and was attended by many of the great names in racing. This continued into the 1970’s. The first Skiyente Cup, originally a women’s only GS race was held in 1959. The Skiyente Cup is still awarded today to the fastest woman Slalom racer during our annual Masters Skiyente-Memorial Cup race weekend. Skiyente has held many races over the years—open to the public, to kids 5-12 (Betty Dodd Kiddie Classic—about 20 years) and to club members (Maryanne Cup—annually since the Club’s inception). We have participated in the local PACRAT (Pacific northwest Area Clubs Recreational Alpine Teams) recreational racing league since it began over 30 years ago. During that time our all woman ski club has come in first several times!!!
Skiyente has lots of tradition. One of our most prestigious traditions is our King Winter Coronation and Dance. Each year, since 1956, we have honored an individual who has contributed significantly to the sport of skiing and to the mountain community during their lifetime. Historically, this honor was bestowed upon a man who was crowned “King Winter”. However, the tradition has been expanded to honor either a man or woman each year. We now have more than seven female King Winters.
Other traditional activities include our annual Wine and Cheese Membership Drive, Fireside Holiday Party, Spring Fling, Masters Mania, Maryanne Cup, Thank You Night & Crystal Cup Award, a Spring Tailgater, a Summer Function, and a Family and Friends Ski Trip. We also gather each fall and spring forHwy Cleanup on a section of Hwy 35 near Mt Hood Meadows.
Our community is very important to us so we support many community causes and charities. Most of this support is focused on women’s causes or our mountain. We support or have recently supported Susan G. Komen Foundation, Hope on the Slope, Relay for Life, Cancer Ski-out, Mt. Hood Ski Patrol, Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum, several local women’s and children’s shelters, Portland Mountain Rescue, Erin Nicole Scholarship Fund—a scholarship through the FWSA Foundation for a Pacific Northwest young female racer, & Women’s Ski Jumping.
As you can see, Skiyente has a strong history, steeped in tradition and camaraderie of friends for a lifetime. We are very proud of our heritage and look forward to being part of a select group of FWSA affiliated clubs who are designated as historic ski clubs.
Come Join Skiyente!
By-Laws & Standing Rules
Common Sense, it is one of the most important things to keep in mind and practice when on the slopes.