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Webb Moffett

Hall of Fame Class of 1999

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Information submitted in a nomination letter to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame by Otto Lang.

Webb Moffett spent his life dedicated to the betterment of skiing conditions as a skisport developer and enthusiast. A modest man, Webb credited his success with being in the right place at the right time.

Webb Moffett was born on January 27, 1909 in New York City and learned to ski by sliding down the gentle slopes of a golf course in New Rochelle, New York.

After graduation from college in 1932, Webb crossed the continent in a Model A Ford to attend the annual gathering of his Delta Tau Delta fraternity to be held in Seattle that year. When reaching Washington, he could not help but be awed by Mt. Rainier, rising ice – encrusted in solitary splendor from sea level to 14,410 feet.

Noticing the surging popularity of skiing in this area in 1937, assisted by Jim Parker, he installed the first automated ski tow on Mt. Rainier and later added tows on Mt. Baker and Snoqualmie Summit.

Snoqualmie became headquarters for his Ski Lifts, Inc. Webb was the first to concoct a primitive snow grooming apparatus to smooth the rutted slopes and he constantly improved the grooming equipment. He introduced electrically lit runs at Snoqualmie and the 9 to 5 workers finally had the opportunity to ski when they wanted.

Always interested in the youngsters, Webb developed young racers by subsidizing competitive training, using top American racers as instructors. Some of these youngsters became Olympic champions, such as Gretchen Fraser, Debbie Armstrong and the Mahre twins, Steve and Phil.

Webb also supported the volunteer organization SKIFORALL. Its objective was to teach physically impaired persons to ski safely. It was very successful with the participants obtaining amazing results.

Finally, Webb was one of the first operators to welcome snowboarders to his slopes. Using good judgment, he could see the sport was here to stay. A man of character, integrity, substance and imagination, he has left his mark on the skiing world.

In 1999, Webb traveled to Ishpeming, Michigan with his friend Otto Lang for the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame induction ceremony held September 25, 1999. Otto Lang, who had nominated Moffett for induction, came to see his friend receive his “Medal of Honor.” Lang, elected to the Hall of Fame in 1978, also received his medal. In 1978, he was unable to attend the ceremonies because he was in New Guinea shooting film with Lowell Thomas.

Webb Moffett was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1999.

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