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Herbert Schneider to receive Spirit of Skiing Award

New England Ski Museum to present award at annual meeting, Oct. 31

Herbert Schneider will be receiving the New England Ski Museumís Spirit of Skiing award at the museumís annual meeting on Oct. 31 at the Eagle Mountain House. Mountain Ear File Photo. (click for larger version)
October 29, 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 and 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 third 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 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, 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, 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. Read more on the life of Herbert Schneider by visiting www.skimuseum.org, as well as other articles on ski history which 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.

Matin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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