Successful Ski Jump Meet Held
By Dick Perue
With the winter Olympics completed, we are reminded of major winter events held near Ryan Park in the Snowy Range in days past. Following are excerpts from articles in the Saratoga Sun from 1936 to 1940.
With an attendance of approximately 1,200 spectators, and plenty of lively competition in all events, the second annual Wyoming Winter Sports Tournament held Sunday, March 17, 1940, at the Barrett Ridge ski course was declared an entire success.
Although snow fell during most of the day, and the slippery, muddy condition of the highway in spots probably turned many visitors back; those in attending were loud in their praise and declared the meet a thrilling one.
Many contestants were on hand from Laramie, Jackson, Casper, Steamboat Springs, Colo., and Denver, with Laramie taking home the lion’s share of the trophies. Several contestants, including some good jumpers, drove here from the Dubois section, but owing to unavoidable delays, failed to arrive in time to take part in the competition.
Downhill, slalom and jumping events were held, and after the meet, before a gathering of several hundred people, the trophies were awarded at Ten Mile Inn. Wyoming Gov. Nels H. Smith, who attended the meet with Mrs. Smith, awarded the trophies for the winners of the men’s and women’s combined slalom and downhill events and jump winners, and Dr. Ray A. Corbett, president of the local ski club made the rest of the presentations.
Thor Groswold, Denver manufacturer of the famous Groswold skis, attended and acted as judge in the events, and following the meet presented Gov. Smith with a pair of his fine metal-edge slalom skis.
The Barrett Ridge jump and Ryan Park Ski Course were built in 1936 by enrollees from the CCC camp in cooperation with local volunteers and forest service personnel.
A 1940 Saratoga Sun article noted, “With two jumps, one 100-foot and one 175-foot; a tricky downhill course a trifle over a mile in length, a slalom course probably second to none in the state, the Barrett Ridge course is ideal for contests. Then too, Saratoga is most strategically located for the meet, being literally at the hub of highways leading from Jackson, Lander, Casper, Laramie and Cheyenne, and the various ‘ski centers’ of northern Colorado.” The Barrett Ridge ski jump was abandoned around 1950 and the Ryan Park Ski Course closed in the early 1970s.