FRANCONIA NOTCH, New Hampshire — Long-time Mount Cranmore owner and manager Herbert Schneider will be honored with the Spirit of Skiing award at the New England Ski Museum’s 32nd annual meeting, to be held in Jackson, NH at the Eagle Mountain House on Saturday, October 31, 2009. The award recognizes a person or institution whose work exemplifies the memorable adage that ???skiing is not just a sport, it is a way of life’, and who has influenced skiing in a positive manner and enabled others to benefit from the sport.
One appealing highlight of the event will be the silent auction for a five-night Deer Valley lift & lodging winter vacation package for four, generously donated by Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. Deer Valley has just been named the top ski resort in North America by Ski Magazine for the 3rd year in a row.
Some of the first ski lessons taught by the American Branch of the Hannes Schneider Ski School were given on the golf course of the Eagle Mountain House in the winter of 1937, just yards from the podium where Herbert Schneider will be honored.
Herbert Schneider’s life in St. Anton, Austria before 1939, and in North Conway, NH since then, paralleled and exemplified the development of the international ski industry. As a youth in pre-war Austria, as a soldier in the American 10th Mountain Division, and as a ski instructor and ski area operator, Herbert Schneider witnessed and participated in the growth of skiing as a sport and a business.
When Schneider arrived in the U.S. in February 1939 with his family, he spoke no English and had never taught a ski lesson, despite being the son of the progenitor of the Arlberg ski instruction technique. The language barrier came down within a month or two thanks to Schneider’s frequent visits to the North Conway movie theater with the other Austrian instructors in town. He taught his first ski lesson to C.V. Starr, the insurance magnate who would come to own Mount Mansfield, and who built AIG into a worldwide company.
As the son of the pioneer developer of ski instruction, Herbert Schneider was literally the second generation of businessmen making a living from skiing. He realized the need to adapt to the rapid developments in skiing that changed the ski business landscape since the heyday of Hannes Schneider’s ski school in the 1930s, and he led Mount Cranmore through its transition to a modern ski resort. More on the life of Herbert Schneider, as well as other articles on ski history, can be found on the Museum’s website.
Herbert Schneider will join Stein Eriksen, Tom Corcoran, and SE Group as winners of the Spirit of Skiing honor.
The Museum welcomes the public at the event. The cost of the dinner is $65 per person, and reservations can be made through the New England Ski Museum by calling 800-639-4181.
New England Ski Museum–Preserving the Future of Skiing’s Past
Located in Franconia Notch, NH next to the Cannon Mountain Tramway, the New England Ski Museum is a non-profit, member-supported museum dedicated to collecting, preserving and exhibiting aspects of ski history. The Museum is open from 10 AM to 5 PM seven days a week from Memorial Day through the end of March. Admission is free. The Museum also maintains satellite exhibits at the Shops at Norcross Place in downtown North Conway, NH and at Bretton Woods Mountain Resort. For more information call 800-639-4181 or visit www.skimuseum.org.