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Herbert Schneider honored at New England Ski Museum gathering

Schneider presented with 'Spirit of Skiing' Award

Herbert Schneider was honored with the New England Ski Museum’s ‘Spirit of Skiing’ award by the museum’s President, Bo Adams, at the Museum’s annual banquet on Saturday, Oct. 31, at the Eagle Mountain House in Jackson. Herbert received the award "which 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. Scott Andrews. (click for larger version)
November 05, 2009
The honoree was Herbert Schneider, who began schussing the Arlberg Alps in his native Austria in 1923 (at age three) and has been a pivotal figure in the sport and the ski industry since his 1939 arrival in North Conway. Schneider served for many years as owner/general manager of Mount Cranmore.

Bo Adams, president of the New England Ski Museum, made the award before a sold-out crowd of 125 at the organization's annual banquet, held on Oct. 31 at Jackson's historic Eagle Mountain House.

In his presentation remarks, Adams noted that Schneider arrived in North Conway as a refugee from his Nazi-dominated homeland. (His father, the famed Skimeister Hannes Schneider, had been arrested and deported.) The young Schneider joined the U.S. Army's famed 10th Mountain Division and served with distinction.

After the war, he co-founded the Professional Ski Instructors of America was owner/general manager of Mount Cranmore, supervising its transition into a modern ski resort.

"Herbert did a masterful job of continuing the prominence of Mount Cranmore, and he did it with style and he did it with grace," said Adams.

Other speakers delivering tributes included Ben Wilcox, general manager of Mount Cranmore, who noted that Schneider was an innovator in the ski industry during changing and challenging decades. Equally significantly, he cited Schneider the source of "Cranmore Pride," a defining quality that still pervades the resort.

Schneider's two sons, Christoph and Hannes, recalled the joys of growing up in a ski-crazy household in North Conway during its heyday.

Kim Beals, president of Corporate Communications, presented a digital slideshow that traced Schneider's life from early childhood in St. Anton.

Local folk musicians Rick and Ron Shaw performed their newly composed song that rhapsodized on the joys of skiing. The title is "Flight Without Wings," and the Shaws presented Schneider with a framed copy of the lyric executed in elegant calligraphy.

In his humble acceptance speech, Schneider recalled his family's first days in the U.S. — spent in New York City shortly after disembarking from the Queen Mary. He joked that he had never believed that so many cars could exist in the whole world; St. Anton possessed only two.

Among all his possessions, Schneider said that he most treasures the Bronze Star he earned while fighting in the 10th Mountain Division's Italian battles in 1945. He added that serving in the Army was his way of saying thanks to this country for providing a new home for his family.

"How happy my family was to be able to come to America!" he said.

Town of Alexandria
Martin Lord & Osman
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