Wendall T. Robie
Hall of Fame Class of 1964
Under Robie’s leadership the Sierra Nevadas were opened up for skiing and travel. He was a key contributor to the growth of the ski industry in the west.
Wendell Robie was a member and first president of the Auburn ski Club in Auburn, California and a ski sport builder. A lumberman by profession, Robie was a very enthusiastic backer of ski sport on all levels, particularly in the west. He was elected president of the California Ski Association which was named the Far West Ski Association in 1931.
Robie and a group of supporters from the Far West Ski Association made a strong bid to host the 1932 Olympic Games. A lack of organization within the group and vehement objections by environmentalists convinced the U.S. Olympic Committee to choose Lake Placid for the 1932 Winter Games.
In 1931, with Wendell Robie at the helm, the Sierra Nevada was finally opened up for skiing and travel. He was an advocate in the effort to have the State of California provide snow removal for the winter roads to the ski areas. Though the Sierras were still very primitive, Robie, the Auburn Ski Club and the Truckee Ski Club made a bid for and were awarded the National Alpine Championships in 1932.
In 1938 Wendell Robie was elected vice-president of the National Ski Association. Under his guidance, the Auburn Ski Club sponsored a ski jump during the Golden Gate International Exposition at Treasure Island, California and it was very successful.
Robie was also an avid horseman and was instrumental in the creation of the Western States Trail over the Sierra. He founded the Tevis Cup, the 100 miles day ride from Truckee to Auburn that continues annually.
Robie also sponsored the Western Skisport Museum at Boreal Ridge, California. He and fellow Hall of Fame member, William Banks Berry of Reno, were responsible for the level of success the museum now enjoys.
Wendell Robie was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1964.
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