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John Elvrum

Hall of Fame Class of 1968

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John Elvrum was born in Norway and immigrated to the United States as a competitive ski jumper. His ski jumping feats, along with other competitors’ of his era, helped publicize ski sport at a time when recreational skiing was growing and area developments were being fostered. This resulted in Elvrum’s successful development of the Snow Valley Ski Area near Running Springs, California.

John Elvrum won international ski fame by riding hickories to distance records in the United States and Western Canada. In 1931 while a resident of Portland, Oregon, Elvrum won the first jumping championship of the Pacific Northwest Ski Association. He then won international fame by establishing an American distance record of 240 feet at Big Pines, California in 1934.

Elvrum had followed Sierra Club and Snow Valley Ski Club members in Southern California’s Rim-of-the-World snow sport country in 1939. He organized ski teaching among children of the Lake Arrowhead Elementary School District, one of the first attempts to make skiing a part of the public school physical education program in Southern California. This ski effort was so successful that parents in the other regions began sending their children to school at Arrowhead. In 1941, Elvrum was issued the Federal Forest Service use permit for the Snow Valley Ski Area and he expanded the area from a single rope-tow to a major winter sports area after World War II.

John Elvrum was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1968.

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