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The Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

 

In the winter of 2010/2011, a small group of ski instructors got together to kick around some ideas that would not only honor the great Austrian Skimeister, Hannes Schneider, but would also provide the Snowsports School with a means of developing a tangible line of continuity from the past and the present. 

it was decided that not only should the founders of ski teaching at Cranmore be honored, but so should more recent members of the Snowsports School who have demonstrated the same type of commitment, dedication, and passion as their predecessors, and who continually strive to instill that passion for skiing or riding in others. It was agreed that each class of nominees would, if possible, consist of a cross-section of eras from long skis and leather boots, to present day technology. 

In March of 2011, The Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame became a reality with the induction of its first five members which included; hannes Schneider, Herbert Schneider, Edi Mall, Danny Grant, and John McDonald. Each recipient was honored for their contributions to ski instruction and their dedication to Cranmore, and each inductee received a plaque commemorating their induction into the Hall of Fame. In addition, a photograph of each was placed on the Snowsports Hall of Fame Wall which is located in "Zip's" Pub. 

Each year the committee accepts nominations for consideration for induction into the Snowsports Hall of Fame. The nominee must demonstrate the ideals of the Cranmore Snowsports School, and have shown a passion, dedication, and commitment to teaching the Art of Skiing or Riding to others.

Current members and their year of induction include:

Click the for more details

2011

Hannes Schneider
Hannes Schneider

Was inducted on March 11th, 2011 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Johann Hannes Schneider, famed Skimeister and “The Father of Modern Skiing”, was born June 24, 1890 in Stuben am Arlberg, Austria. The son of a local cheese maker, he loved the outdoors and the snow, and in 1907 he signed on as a full time guide and instructor at the Hotel Post in St. Anton. When WWI broke out, Hannes enlisted in the Austrian Army and taught thousands of his fellow Austrians how to ski. Upon his return from the war, he began to develop his now famous Arlberg Technique, formalizing it in 1924.

In 1939, after being briefly incarcerated by the Germans, Hannes and his family came to North Conway with the aid of Wall Street financier Harvey Gibson, who owned Mt. Cranmore. For the next sixteen years, until his unexpected passing in April of 1955, Hannes successfully operated one of the world’s most widely recognized and highly regarded ski schools drawing many famous people to the area including the Fords, Rockefellers, Mellons, Rothschilds, and Saltonstalls. Schneider’s influence was seen and felt around the world as many of his instructors went on to establish their own ski schools and ski areas.

Hannes believed that the children of the valley should have the opportunity to learn to ski, and he served on the board of directors of The Eastern Slope Ski Club, helping to oversee the Junior Ski Program, a weekly program still in operation, that currently provides free instruction for over six hundred school children. North Conway and the Mount Washington Valley owe this man a great deal.

Herbert Schneider
Herbert Schneider

Was inducted on March 11th, 2011 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Born in St. Anton, Austria in 1920, the son of the legendary Austrian Skimeister, Hannes Schneider, Herbert came to North Conway with his family in February of 1939.

Herbert became an American citizen in 1943, and served with the 10th Mountain Division. He received the Bronze Star for actions he took while on patrol in the Appennines in Italy in April of 1945. Returning home in 1946, Herbert taught skiing for the Hannes Schneider Ski School until his father’s passing in 1955. Herbert then became the director of the ski school, which he successfully operated until 1984. In 1963, Herbert, along with his partners, purchased the Cranmore Ski Area from Mrs. Harvey Gibson. As the owner- manager, Herbert oversaw the installation of two new Mueller chair lifts, the first in 1963, and the second in 1969. In 1970, saw the rudimentary beginnings of snowmaking, snow-farming, and better grooming.

In 1963, Herbert helped establish the Professional Ski Instructors of America organization, and served on the board of directors until 1972, becoming a “Life Member” in 2010. Schneider was inducted into the United States Ski Hall of Fame in 1992, and received the New England Ski Museum’s Spirit of Skiing Award in 2009. He is also a life member of the Ski Club Arlberg of St. Anton. Herbert’s love of skiing, his desire to enhance the sport for everyone, and his willingness to help young athletes excel in racing, will long be remembered.

Edi Mall
Edi Mall

Was inducted on March 11th, 2011 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Edi Mall was born March 16, 1924 in St. Anton, Austria. As a young boy, Edi would ski frequently with his cousin Herbert Schneider on the slopes surrounding the alpine village. Mall was drafted into the German Army and saw action during WWII.

Upon his discharge from the army, Edi resumed his skiing career skiing for the 1948 Austrian Olympic Team where he finished 19th in the Downhill, 11th in the Slalom, and a very respectable 4th in the Combined. In 1951, Mall was invited to come to Cranmore by his uncle, famed Austrian Skimeister, Hannes Schneider. Edi liked the area, and returned every winter for the next 20 years to teach skiing and racing to aspiring young athletes. While at Cranmore, he won the prestigious Gibson Trophy Race three times; 1952, 1956, and 1958. Among the young racers he worked with over the years were Leona Reny Hill, and future Olympians Tyler and Terry Palmer.

We are honored to be able to include Edi Mall as a member of the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame.

Danny Grant
Danny Grant

Was inducted on March 11th, 2011 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Danny Grant, one of the first five members inducted into the hall of fame, was involved in ski instruction for over fifty years. Throughout his career, he formed many lasting relationships, and helped promote the sport of skiing wherever he went.

Danny first became certified with The United States Eastern Amateur Ski Association in 1955, while teaching for The Hannes Schneider Ski School.

In 1960, Danny travelled to Arapaho Basin to meet with other ski school people from across the country to help lay the groundwork for what would later become The Professional Ski Instructors of America. He remained affiliated with this organization for fifty years, and became one of the first people to earn “Life Member” status.

Danny was an influential member of the of the supervisory staff at Cranmore for many years, spending countless hours teaching, coaching, and mentoring many of the younger instructors who have since gone on to become 10, 20, and 30 year members of PSIA.

Throughout his career, Danny demonstrated the passion, dedication, and commitment to teaching the art of skiing to others.

John McDonald
John McDonald

Was inducted on March 11th, 2011 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

John McDonald grew up in Amesbury, Massachusetts where he was an outstanding athlete excelling in both skiing and golf. John’s easy going demeanor not only made him well liked by his peers, but served him well as a PGA Golf Professional, and a PSIA Certified Instructor.

Upon returning from WWII where he served in the 86th Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division, and having taught skiing at Camp Hale in Colorado, John was hired in 1948 by Arthur Doucett to teach skiing at Thorn Mountain in Jackson, N.H. In February of that same year, John was asked to go to The Hannes Schneider Ski School to help-out during the school vacation period. John remained at Cranmore and became a fixture at the ski school teaching upper level skiers how to make smooth and graceful parallel turns, and often being requested for private lessons. John became a fully certified member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America in 1965, and maintained his affiliation until his retirement.

John was a favorite to those who elevated themselves to his parallel class, many of whom became lifelong friends. His soft spoken teaching style garnered great results and helped emphasized his dedication and passion for the sport.

2012

Benno Rybizka
Benno Rybizka

Was inducted on March 2nd, 2012 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Benno Rybizka came to the Eastern Slope Region at the request of Carroll Reed and a group of local innkeepers in the winter of 1937. Benno was employed at the time by the world famous Hannes Schneider Ski School in St. Anton, Austria. He assumed the role of Head Ski Instructor for the Eastern Slope Ski School in nearby Jackson, N.H. and with the help of several local men including Tyler Micoleau, Francis Savard, J. Arthur Doucett, and Arthur Callan, taught over 6,000 lessons using the now famous Arlberg Technique.

In the fall of 1938, Benno relocated his lessons to Mt. Cranmore where he headed up the American Branch of The Hannes Schneider Ski School assisted by four of the men he had trained in Jackson, along with two new Austrian instructors; Otto Tschol and Toni Matt.

Upon the arrival of Hannes Schneider in 1939, Benno relinquished the operation of the school to his mentor. Eventually, Benno moved on to operate ski schools at Mt. Tremblant and Mittersill before returning to St. Anton. During his time in the Eastern Slope Region, Benno influenced thousands of skiers, many of whom went on to successful skiing careers or ski related businesses.

Norma Haynes Wassall
Norma Haynes Wassall

Was inducted on March 2nd, 2012 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Norma started skiing in 1934 at the tender age of five. Most of Norma’s early skiing was done on equipment borrowed from her older sister Camilla.

Norma enrolled in the Eastern Slope Ski Club Junior Program in 1938 with her first instructor being Arthur Callan. She continued her affiliation with ESSC for over fifty years, serving as an instructor, mountain to school liaison, and secretary.

In 1950, Norma was hired by Hannes Schneider to oversee all children’s lessons. By the late 1950’s she had earned her certification with the Eastern Amateur Ski Association, and in 1962 she became the first female instructor from Cranmore to earn full certification with the newly formed Professional Ski Instructors of America.

In 1970, Norma became the acting director of the ski school, a position she held for the next fifteen years. It suffices to say that Norma’s commitment, dedication, and passion for the sport of skiing more than qualifies her for her place in the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame.

Otto Tschol
Otto Tschol

Was inducted on March 2nd, 2012 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Otto began his career as a climbing guide and ski instructor for Hannes Schneider in St. Anton, Austria. Arriving in the U.S. in 1938 with fellow Austrians Franz Koessler and Toni Matt, Otto taught at Thorn Mountain in Jackson, N.H. under the direction of Benno Rybizka.

Otto enlisted in the Army and joined the famed 10th Mountain Division where he taught skiing, rock, and ice climbing before an accident caused his tour of duty to be cut short.

Following his discharge, Otto returned to North Conway and began teaching again for the Schneider Ski School. Otto’s specialty was “Snowplow Turns” which he taught on “Otto’s Hill”, presently the area located between the Skimobile Express Quad and the Children’s Center.

Otto retired after forty-two years of teaching, having helped thousands of people learn the fundamentals of turning a pair of skis while gliding down a hill. His passion, dedication, and commitment to teaching skiing will long be remembered.

Eric Styffe
Eric Styffe

Was inducted on March 2nd, 2012 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Eric began skiing at the Hurricane Slopes in Falmouth, Maine at the age of twelve, and knew right away that skiing was going to become a large part of his life.

Eric’s first job as a ski instructor was at Pleasant Mountain in Bridgeton, Maine, now known as Shawnee Peak, where he worked for ski school director Reudi Wyrsch, a pioneer in “Free Style Skiing”. Following his tenure at Pleasant Mt., Eric came to North Conway and the Hannes Schneider Ski School where he was immediately recognizable for his “quick feet” and freestyle technique.

Eric became a fully certified member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America in 1972 and has remained an active member ever since. He worked to help establish the “Local Yokels”, a weekly citizen’s race series, now known as Mountain Meisters, and actively promotes senior skiing, by teaching a weekly group of “forever young” adults known as “The Golden Gliders”.

For over forty years, Eric has demonstrated his commitment and dedication to the sport of skiing, creating countless enthusiasts who return year after year.

2013

Anton Matt
Anton “Toni” Matt

Was inducted on March 8th, 2013 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Born in St. Anton, Austria in 1920, and growing up in the Alps, Toni quickly took to the sport of skiing and rapidly became a highly regarded racer throughout the region. In the summer of 1938, Toni was recruited by Franz Koessler to come to America and teach at the Cranmore branch of the Eastern Slope Ski School which would soon be taken over by the Austrian Ski Meister, Hannes Schneider.

Upon his arrival, Toni had an immediate impact on eastern racing winning every downhill race he entered in 1938-1939. He was also the U.S. Downhill Champion in 1939 and 1941, but is most widely remembered for schussing the Tuckerman Ravine Headwall during the 3rd American Inferno. Toni went on to become Head Ski Instructor at Sun Valley, and later owned his own ski school at Big Mountain in Montana. Toni was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 1967, and served as an official at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games.

Although Toni’s time at Cranmore was brief, there is little question as to the impact he had while affiliated with the Schneider Ski School, and the thousands who benefited from his knowledge throughout his career.

Karen Dolan
Karen Dolan

Was inducted on March 8th, 2013 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Karen Gilmore Dolan was born in January of 1947 in Lowell Massachusetts. At the age of three, her parents put her on her first pair of skis, and a love for skiing began. Over the years, Karen could be seen weekends and vacation periods skiing down Cranmore behind various instructors perfecting her ability and technique, or free skiing with her friends. It soon became clear that skiing and teaching were going to play a major role in Karen’s life.

After college, Karen earned her full PSIA certification, and spent time teaching at before returning to the valley and becoming one of Cranmore’s longest tenured instructors.

From 1990 to present, the Snowsports School has been ably led by Dolan, who has persevered under four different ownerships, and led the school back to a position of prominence, receiving recognition by Ski Magazine, and the Boston Globe for having one of the Best Childrens Programs in the east. Thanks to Karen, today’s snowsports instructors have the same passion for teaching as their predecessors, and they have the same desire to instill that passion to the people they teach.

Franz Koessler
Franz Koessler

Was inducted on March 8th, 2013 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Franz Koessler was born December 18, 1911 in St. Anton, Austria. He began his teaching career with The Hannes Schneider School in 1929 at the age of eighteen, and soon became one of Hannes’ most highly regarded instructors.

In 1936, Koessler was sent to Jackson, N.H. to assist fellow Austrian Benno Rybizka in the operation of the American branch of the Schneider School being operated by Carroll Reed. He soon became known for his cheerful personality, sparkling sense of humor, and faultless technique which won him countless friends from pupils and staff alike. In the winter of 1937-38, Rybizka moved to North Conway to run the school at Mt. Cranmore, and Koessler remained in Jackson where he successfully ran that school until 1942. After receiving his U.S. citizenship, he enlisted in the army, but due to an unfortunate circumstance, lost his life during a routine training mission in August of 1944.

Koessler epitomized the standards of The Hannes Schneider Ski School, and will long be remembered for teaching thousands of people to love the sport for which he had so much passion.

Don Newton
Don Newton

Was inducted on March 8th, 2013 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Born in North Conway in February of 1947, Donnie strapped on his first pair of skis at the age of three and began learning the sport from neighbor and friend Bob Morrell. (Founder of Storyland) Throughout elementary school, Donnie participated in the Eastern Slope Junior Ski Program, spending one year skiing with Edi Mall. In his junior year of high school, he began work at Cranmore as a part time ski patroller, and in the winter of 1970-71, at the request of Norma Haynes, began teaching in the Hannes Schneider Ski School.

Like many instructors before him, Newton spent countless hours in a pasture adjacent to the mountain teaching beginners the fundamentals of straight running, snowplow, and side stepping. In 1990-91 Donnie became a registered member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America, and later became a certified instructor.

Throughout his teaching career, Donnie maintained a dedication and commitment to the sport, instructing thousands of people, and creating numerous life-long enthusiasts along the way.

2014

Bernie Peters
Bernard “Bernie” Peters

Was inducted on March 14th, 2014 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Bernard Peters was born October 11, 1924 in No. Conway, N.H. He began skiing in the early 1930’s in the Eastern Slope Ski Club Junior Ski Program, and advanced rapidly up to the racing class. His junior year of high school was spent at Vermont Academy where he raced and coached under the watchful eyes of Olympian, Warren Chivers. After completing his senior year of high school, Bernie enlisted in the Army and was stationed at Camp Hale in Colorado where he taught skiing and mountaineering to members of the 10th Mountain Division.

Upon returning from the war, Bernie worked in the Carroll Reed Ski Shops, and was also a member of the Cranmore Ski Patrol before accepting a position with the Hannes Schneider Ski School. He earned his certification in the Eastern Amateur Ski Association in the mid 1950’s, and in the early 1960’s became a fully certified member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America. Bernie went on to become the Director of the Ski School and as the school grew, shared his duties with Norma Haynes Wassall as a Co-Director.

Throughout his career Bernie has shown a passion and dedication for teaching, whether it was training the troops at Camp Hale, the students and instructors at the Hannes Schneider Ski School, or the volunteers and students in the ESSC Junior Ski Program.

Carroll Reed
Carroll Reed

Was inducted on March 14th, 2014 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Carroll P. Reed, (1905-1995) skiing visionary and retail entrepreneur came to the Eastern Slope Region in the early 1930’s. While recuperating from a broken back sustained while skiing on the Wildcat Trail in Pinkham Notch, Reed read an article about ski schools in Europe. This gave him the idea that eventually became The Eastern Slope Ski School, American Branch of the Hannes Schneider Ski School located in St. Anton, Austria.

With the help of local inn keepers, Reed raised enough money to bring Austrian ski instructor Benno Rybizka from St. Anton to Jackson for the 1936-37 ski season. That season also saw the opening of a Sax Fifth Avenue store in Jackson, managed by Mr. Reed. The following year Reed bought the Sax business and renamed it The Carroll Reed Ski Shop. Also that year, at the urging of the ESSC board of directors, Reed sold his ski school business to Harvey Gibson, who turned it over to Hannes Schneider upon his arrival in 1939.

Reed continued to build his retail business into one of the most widely recognized names in the ski industry, selling it in 1969. Throughout his life, Carroll quietly helped children in the community pursue their love of the sport. Carroll Reed was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 1992.

Curt Bartlett
Curt Bartlett

Was inducted on March 14th, 2014 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Growing up at Cranmore, learning to ski and race in the Eastern Slope Junior Ski Program and becoming a successful Kennett High School racer helped lay the foundation for Curt’s passion for the sport of skiing and ski racing.

Starting his career as an instructor in the Hannes Schneider Ski School, in the early 1970’s, Curt quickly decided that race coaching was where his real passion lay. While coaching for the Cranmore Ski Education Foundation, he was an integral part of the construction team that built a separate hill for race training, known today as the Competition Hill.

Curt was the Head Coach and Program Director for the Cranmore Race Team from 1988 to 2004 sending athletes to the Junior Olympics, the Junior Worlds at Topolino, Italy and the Can/Am races at Whistler. Curt was the first recipient of the NHARA Coach of the Year Award in 2004, and has remained an active coach at Cranmore as well as an active member of the NHARA Coaches Council. Curt has always been a hard working dedicated race coach who places his athletes ahead of himself.

Michael Jacobsen
Michael Jacobsen

Was inducted on March 14th, 2014 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Michael was born in Torquay, England in 1924. He served honorably in the British Navy, and became a U.S. citizen in 1949. He began his ski teaching career at the Mt. Whittier Ski Area in the mid 1960’s. When Mt. Whittier was closed for a brief period in the 1970’s, Michael taught at Wildcat, and became a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America in 1976. When Mt. Whittier reopened, Michael returned and taught there until the mountain closed, earning his Level II certification in 1984.

Jacobsen began his affiliation with Mt. Cranmore in 1984, and was an integral part of the staff for more than twenty years. Michael is generally credited with the establishment of the “Golden Gliders”, a group of fun loving seniors who meet and ski every Monday throughout the season. During his tenure at Mt. Cranmore, Michael also found time to volunteer for the New Hampshire Special Olympics, an involvement that was very dear to him for sixteen years.

Michael’s demeanor, including his sense of humor, his infectious smile, and the sparkle in his eyes told every person he ever taught how much he enjoyed skiing, and how much he wanted them to enjoy it too.

Sonny Lynch
Arthur “Sonny” Lynch

Was inducted on March 14th, 2014 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Sonny Lynch came to North Conway in the mid 1950’s. He began his valley ski career as a ski patroller at Thorn Mt. in Jackson, N.H. After Thorn closed, Sonny joined the Hannes Schneider Ski School Staff where he worked from 1960 to 1968 primarily teaching the “Stem Christie” class. While at Cranmore, Sonny became a member of The Eastern Amateur Ski Association and also a charter member of The Professional Ski Instructors of America. From 1969 to 1974 Lynch was the Director of the Ski School at Black Mt. in Jackson.

Throughout his skiing career, Sonny was a staunch advocate for The Eastern Slope Ski Club’s Junior Ski Program, serving as its president, as well as being a long time board member. The ESSC Proficiency Award, given annually to the most accomplished boy and girl in the program, is awarded in his name. Sonny believed that “Being a proficient skier allows you to be a safer skier, enjoy the sport more, and allows you to advance your skills to a higher level”. Sonny also served as President of the N.H.-Vt. Ski Council and was an officer of the N.H. Junior Federation of Ski Councils. He was also a judge and the first State Chairman for freestyle competition.

2015

Don Bemis
Don “Donnie” Bemis

Was inducted on March 13th, 2015 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Don Bemis was born in 1926. As a teenager growing up on the slopes of Mt. Cranmore, Bemis worked on the ski patrol until the military called him into service. Once his hitch in the Navy was over, he returned to the valley and continued his career on the mountains where he soon discovered his love for teaching.

A fixture at The Hannes Schneider Ski School from the late 1950’s through the 1960’s, Don Bemis was a proud charter member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America, teaching primarily the Stem Christie and Parallel techniques to advanced skiers.

Throughout the 1970’s and early 1980’s, Bemis owned and operated the Don Bemis Ski School at Black Mountain in Jackson, N.H.

Don will be remembered for his unparalleled passion for the sport of skiing and his ability to share his expertise with others. Don Bemis played an instrumental role in the growth of recreational skiing throughout the Mount Washington Valley, where he brought the joy of skiing to countless individuals and families in a career that spanned many years.

Harvey Gibson
Harvey Dow Gibson

Was inducted on March 13th, 2015 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Harvey Dow Gibson was born on March 12, 1882 in North Conway, N.H. He received his elementary education in a one room school house (currently the Schoolhouse Motel) in North Conway, attended nearby Fryeburg Academy, graduating in 1898, and furthered his education at Bowdoin College, graduating in 1902.

While president of Manufacturers Trust Co. in New York, he brought his daughter back to his hometown to learn to ski. Upon discovering that she had to go to Jackson to learn, Mr. Gibson set out to create a ski mountain in North Conway.

He purchased Lookout Mt., renamed it Cranmore Mt., freed famed Austrian Ski Meister Hannes Schneider from the Nazis, bringing him and his family to North Conway, and hired local inventor George Morton to devise a completely new type of ski lift; the Skimobile.

From 1939 through the early 1960’s, Cranmore was the preeminent ski school in the east. Thanks to Mr. Gibson, Cranmore and the Hannes Schneider Ski School will always be remembered for their roles in the development of modern skiing in the United States.

Sally Anderson
Sally Woodsom Anderson

Was inducted on March 13th, 2015 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Sally Woodsom Anderson was born on September 25, 1938 in Amesbury, Massachusetts in the middle of a hurricane. She was raised on her parent’s farm and educated in the Amesbury School System. Upon graduation from high school, Sally opted for a post graduate year at Fryeburg Academy, where she became enamored with The Mount Washington Valley.

After working as an assistant physical education instructor at the academy, Sally enrolled at New England College, later transferring to Plymouth State College where she earned her degree in physical education. Sally began her skiing career as a youngster on the hills of her father’s farm, and later at Gould’s Ski Tow in Amesbury. Sally continued skiing throughout high school and college and was a member of the Plymouth State College ski team.

Sally began teaching skiing on weekends and vacation periods in the late 1950’s, eventually finding her way to Cranmore where she taught for several years. After taking time off to pursue “other things”, Sally returned to Cranmore in 1990, and in 1995 became a PSIA Level 1 certified instructor. She obtained her Level II certification in 2002, and received her 20 year pin in 2014.

Throughout Sally’s career, she has been a dedicated instructor, always bringing her friendly smile and soft-spoken manner to each and every lesson, and the Cranmore Snowsports School is proud to have Sally as a member of its Hall of Fame.

2016

John Linne
John Linne

Was inducted on March 18th, 2016 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Born on January 25, 1958, John learned to ski at Mt. Sunapee. As a teenager, John was a member of the Kennett High School ski team and jumping team. It was during this time that he began teaching at Black Mt. in Jackson, for the Don Bemis Ski School. Under Bemis’s guidance, John rapidly improved both his teaching and skiing skills and earned his Level 1 and Level 2 PSIA certifications.

In 1985, John came to Cranmore where he quickly earned his Level 3 certification and became a member of the PSIA Examiner Training Squad. In the early 90’s, John became the Assistant Ski School Director, as well as Technical Director and Head Trainer.

Over the years, John has been an ESSC volunteer, helping kids earn their proficiency awards, and has spent countless hours on the hill working with the Snowsports instructing staff to improve their skiing and teaching skills. In addition, John always finds extra time to work with those who want to become members of PSIA, or those interested in achieving additional levels of certification.

Throughout his career, John has demonstrated a tremendous amount of commitment, dedication and passion for teaching the art of skiing to others, earning him the respect and admiration of many.

Arthur Callan
Arthur Callan

Was inducted on March 18th, 2016 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Arthur Callan was born in Worchester, Massachusetts on November 23, 1912. Around the age of eight, Arthur moved to North Conway where he attended grade school, and later graduated from Kennett High School.

In the early winter of 1936/37, Arthur was approached by Carroll Reed and asked if he would learn to teach skiing under the watchful eyes of Benno Rybizka who was about to establish a ski school on the pasture land of the Eagle Mountain Hotel. Arthur agreed, and at the end of the winter was invited to travel to St. Anton, Austria where he obtained his Austrian Certification.

The following winter, Callan followed his mentor, Rybizka, to Cranmore where the newly formed school taught over 12,000 lessons. Arthur remained at Cranmore and taught for both Hannes and Herbert Schneider before retiring in 1965.

Aside from being one of the leading instructors at Cranmore, Arthur helped establish the Eastern Slope Ski Club Junior Ski Program and was its first director.

Mary Delaney
Mary Delaney

Was inducted on March 18th, 2016 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Mary was born in Gaeta, Italy in 1932. She immigrated to America in 1939 and settled in Somerville, Mass. Upon graduation from high school, Mary went to work at Household Financial Corp. It was there that she met her future husband Dick, and together they raised eight children.

Mary’s skiing began in 1962 with day trips to ski areas in N.H. and VT. In 1966 the family began coming to Effingham, N.H. and skied largely at Mt. Whittier.

In 1999, Mary came to Mt. Cranmore where she was an instant success providing great lessons, enormous enthusiasm, and lots of fun for the children she taught. Mary helped set the standard for the other coaches with her tireless energy, infectious smile, and willingness to “Go the Extra Mile”

Mary taught at Cranmore for nine years, retiring in 2007. Throughout those years Mary embodied the ideals of the Cranmore Snowsports School showing great commitment, dedication and passion for teaching the art of skiing to others.

Tom Currier
Tom “T.O.” Currier

Was inducted on March 18th, 2016 into the Cranmore Snowsports Hall of Fame

Thomas T.O. Currier was born in North Conway, N.H. on March 12, 1950. He attended grade school in North Conway and Madison, and graduated from Kennett High School in 1968 where he lettered in football, track, and skiing, and was co-captain of the race team his senior year.

After two years at Dartmouth College, T.O. returned to the valley and began his coaching career at Cranmore in 1970. In 1979, he moved his career to Sugarloaf where he coached until 1983. Following a brief hiatus, T.O. returned to coaching, this time at King Pine where he remained until 1992. In 1993, T.O. found his way back to Cranmore where he served as the girls J-5 coach, and most recently the girls U-12 coach.

T.O. earned his National Course Setters Certification in 1975, and was an Eastern Coach assisting Roger Brown with a Women’s National Development Team in 1976, and travelled to a series of races throughout eastern Canada. He was also an Eastern Coach at Whistler, in British Columbia, while current Olympian Leanne Smith, and valley racers Lauren McDonough and Sam Norden were competing. T.O. has also held a USSA Coaches License since 1975, and maintained a USSA Alpine Official’s License since 2000.

T.O. has a wealth of coaching experience, and Cranmore and its Race Team are most fortunate to have been able to utilize this experience for the benefit of many aspiring young racers.

A Brief History of Cranmore Snowsports

Cranmore’s Snowsports history actually began in Jackson, N.H. with the arrival of Hannes Schneider’s teaching disciple, Benno Rybizka. Hired by skiing enthusiast, and retail sales entrepreneur, Carroll Reed, Benno, along with the aid of some local boys taught some 6,000 lessons in the winter of 1937, under the banner of The White Mt. Ski School.

While on a visit to his home town of North Conway, Harvey Gibson, a local boy and Wall Street financier, accompanied his daughter to Jackson to watch her take a ski lesson. While there, Mr. Gibson began to think that if people were willing to travel to Jackson for ski lessons, then they would also be willing to travel to North Conway.

In 1937, Mr. Gibson quietly acquired Lookout Mt. and renamed it Mt.Cranmore after a family who had owned a major portion of the mountain. During the first season at Cranmore, Gibson rented an unused rope tow from Thorne Mt. and paid to have it moved from Jackson to Cranmore. He then invited Carroll Reed to open a second branch of The White Mt. Ski School, which he did, and Cranmore began to take its rightful place in ski history.

After speaking to his friend W. Averell Harriman, developer of Sun Valley Idaho, and the world’s first chair lifts in 1936, Harriman told Gibson if he was going to be successful, he would have to have something special to draw people to his ski hill. Gibson hired local inventor and mechanic, George Morton to design and build a unique up-hill lift that would help draw attention to the young ski area. The result was the Skimobile, a lift that served Cranmore and its patrons for 50 years.

On February 11, 1939, through the efforts of Mr. Gibson, famed Austrian Skimeister, Hannes Schneider and his family arrived via the snow train at the North Conway Train Station. Greeting the family were countless towns people, children enrolled in The Eastern Slope Junior Ski Program, and four of Schneider’s Austrian instructors who had preceded him to the Eastern Slope Region; Benno Rybizka, Toni Matt, Otto Tschol, and Franz Koessler, along with eighteen of his “American Instructors” including Tyler Micoleau, Francis Savard, J. Arthur Doucett, and Arthur Callan.

From 1939 to 1955, Hannes Schneider operated one of, if not the most widely recognized ski schools in the world. Hannes and his staff taught countless thousands of people how to ski using his renown Arlberg Technique. With long wooden skis and relatively soft leather boots, learning to ski was a much more arduous endeavor in the early days than it is today. This often translated to days or weeks in the same class, sometimes even entire seasons, attempting to perfect each step in the Arlberg System.

With the unexpected passing of Hannes in 1955, Herbert Schneider assumed the directorship of the ski school and carried on the traditions and legacy of his father until 1984. Under Herbert’s leadership as ski school director and later owner/manager of the entire mountain, Cranmore continued to be a leader within the ski industry. 1955 brought the East Chair, followed in 1963 and 1969 with the addition of two new Mueller chair lifts. 1970 saw the rudimentary beginnings of snowmaking, snowfarming, and better grooming.

In 1985, the Hannes Schneider Ski School name was retired, and the ski school business became part of Mt. Cranmore Inc., led by then owner Ed Mank. For the next five years the ski school continued to operate under the direction of local ski shop owners Bob Sullivan and Terry Love. From 1990 to present, the Snowsports School has been ably led by Karen Dolan, a 40 year veteran of the mountain and its ski schools. Karen has persevered under four different ownerships and has led the school back to a position of prominence, receiving recognition by Ski Magazine, and The Boston Globe for having one of the Best Children’s Programs in the east. Thanks to Ms. Dolan, today’s Snowsports instructors have the same passion for teaching as their predecessors, and they have the same desire to instill that passion to the people they teach.