December 3, 2014
Filed Under Ski Culture
No, it’s not named after any resemblance to Pakistan’s K2.
It’s named after Kick Turns. 22 of them.
“I was scared to death. It was almost vertical. I thought I’d have to stay until spring,” recalls Sandy Poulsen, early Squaw pioneer.
While she and husband Wayne were skiing the resort in 1948, Sandy was terrified and couldn’t link a turn down the steep north face of one of the resort’s infamous peaks. Instead she would traverse the slope, make a kick turn and do it again and again and again.
Patiently waiting at the bottom, Wayne counted 22 kick turns. In her honor, he named the mountain KT-22 and it’s been a challenge for many til this day, not just Sandy.
Sandy and Wayne Poulsen were truly the first couple of Squaw Valley. They were the first family to build a year-round home there and they raised 8 kids – 4 of them made it on to the U.S. Ski Team. For a short stint, they were parters in the resort with Alex Cushing, but soon broke that off focusing on real estate instead. They also owned and operated a ski operation called Papoose which is adjacent to the Red Dog chairlift.
A remarkable woman with class and a dogged determination to live in the mountains and raise a family to enjoy a remarkable life, Sandy passed away in September after a long battle with cancer.
Photo from unofficialsquaw.com See more photos here.