White Pass Ski Area celebrates 40th anniversary of brothers winning Olympic medals

1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics: Accomplishments of twins to be marked at ski area this week


Phil and Steve Mahre are fraternal twin brothers who were born in Yakima in 1957.

In 1964, when their father became the mountain manager for the White Pass Ski Area, the family moved to the mountain and Phil and Steve started alpine skiing careers.

Ultimately, their careers would culminate with a first- and second-place finish — with Phil taking gold and Steve taking silver — in the slalom event at the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics in Bosnia.

“I imagine we probably ran into one another a few times as kids,” Steve said in a video posted on the White Pass Ski Area Facebook page.

“I always ran into him. He was too slow,” Phil added.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, skiers and snowboarders are invited to join the Mahre twins as they celebrate the 40th anniversary of their medal-winning runs in running a dual slalom course at White Pass. Attendees can challenge their friends and family on the course, or if they’re brave enough, even race against Phil or Steve.

According to the White Pass Ski Area website, the dual slalom course will be open from 1 to 3 p.m., when an award ceremony and celebration will be held for the brothers — after they race each other, of course.

After their family moved from Yakima to White Pass, Steve said he and Phil would set up a slalom course after dinner every night under a lit portion of the ski runs. They would hike up and ski down for hours.

“Had it not been for dad taking the job here, we probably would’ve never been ski racers. We would be good fruit farmers now instead,” Steve said.

While White Pass has grown and expanded a lot since the 60s and 70s when the Mahres were just learning how to race, Phil’s favorite runs are still the original.

“As a kid, chair run was my favorite trail,” Phil said. “Just right under the lift, straightest line to the bottom … And I’m still a little old school. I like the bottom of the mountain more than the new outback area.”

Also this Saturday, the White Pass Ski Area will be hosting the Dick Kendall Memorial Nordic Face, featuring 0.3, 1, 2 and 5 kilometer races, depending on skill and experience, beginning at 10 a.m.

Registration for the event is required and includes a $20 entrance fee. For more information and to register, visit https://skiwhitepass.com/events/wa-nordic-cup-race-5.  

Along with this celebratory event, the White Pass Ski Area’s annual winter carnival is approaching on Saturday, March 2, and Sunday, March 3, with a massive snow castle scheduled to be built.

The snow castle will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tubing and a kids’ obstacle course will also be available.

Additionally, night ski tickets will be available on March 2 starting at 2 p.m., with the skiing session going until 8 p.m., and a fireworks show scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

To purchase lift tickets or to learn more about upcoming White Pass Ski Resort events, visit https://skiwhitepass.com/