Pugski.com had the great honor of being included in the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame team, covering the week of activities surrounding the inductions during Ski History Week in Aspen. To say that we spent the week surrounded by legends would be a gross understatement.
Pugski.com at the the Sky Hotel
The week started off with a casual get-together in the lounge at the Limelight Hotel in beautiful downtown Aspen, and as much energy as we felt in the presence of Genia Fuller Crews, Bob Salerno, Suzie Chaffee, Mike Vowels, and others, this proved to be the most chill time of the week.
The first official event was Wednesday; the 2016 Jerry Awards were inspired and previously acknowledged by Jerry Simon, Hall of Fame member and founder of Ski Film Week, which is now a part of the annual Ski History Week. His wife, Barbara Alley, was there to hand out this year’s awards, which included some great (but nearly forgotten) movies of the past. Great Ski Chase (Roger Brown,1969) featured a heist of Hart skis that takes the chase all over the world. Aspen Album (Dick Durrance, 1966) highlighted the history of Aspen from the early years to its emergence as the incredible ski town we know today. Many Moods of Skiing (Warren Miller, 1961) was the first Warren Miller film that had a voice-over and didn’t require him to narrate during an airing.
The more mainstream films Downhill Racer (Michael Ritchie, 1969) and Ski to the Max (Willi Bogner, 2001) were also honored. This was not just an evening of film awards; it was a great glimpse into the awe and respect that our heroes have for those who put them on the stage for us to be inspired and entertained.
Barbara Alley surrounded by John Eaves (accepting the award for Willi Bogner), Chris Davenport (accepting for Warren Miller), and Dick and Dave Durrance
The second night of events was a little more difficult to cover, which is when we brought @SBrown on the scene. The Bogner Freestyle Rooftop Reunion at the Mountain Chalet featured many notables from the freestyle era when it really was free. This event included a two-part film: the first section was Ski Vision 74, featuring Suzy Chaffee and Genia Fuller Crews. The second part, a premiere of the lost movie A Tribute to Freestyle Skiing, starred “Bad” Bob Salerno, Suzy Chaffee, and Mark Stiegemeier. It was so cheesy that it was fantastic, and the guests hooted and hollered throughout. Bernie Weichsel, Henry Kaiser, and Doug Pfeiffer — three who greatly influenced the beginning of freestyle — were in attendance. We hope to get a copy of this movie soon.
Meanwhile, Phil and I were a few blocks away at the Hotel Jerome with @Weems at ISHA’s 24th Annual Awards Banquet, honoring the best books and films of 2015. The average legend was probably in his 70s, but the room felt more like everyone was 18. Awards were given to individuals, books, and films that have had a lasting impact on the history of skiing. One such honor was the Lifetime Achievement Award presented to museum curator Karin Berg. Karin directed Oslo’s Holmenkollen Ski Museum for three decades until her retirement the past September. Having a relationship with the U.S. Ski Hall and Museum gives me a great deal of respect for those who curate.
Tricia Pugliese, Weems Westfeldt, and Walt Evans
The final event of the week was the actual induction ceremony, a virtual who’s who of the industry. Close to 400 were there to welcome this year’s members. Bob Salerno and Genia Fuller Crews were both legendary freestylers. Henry Kaiser, as publisher and president of Skiing magazine, was integral to the promotion of freestyle and skiing’s growth in the 1970s. Aspen legend Chris Klug was a three-time Olympian, snowboard bronze medalist, and liver transplant recipient. The late Edgar Stern founded Deer Valley Resort, among many other pioneering accomplishments in ski resort development. Vietnam vet Jim Martinson lost his legs but returned to the sport not only to become an inspiration to thousands but also to develop the “Shadow” sit-ski, changing adaptive skiing forever. David Ingemie, the past SIA president, has put his solid thumbprint on the ski industry over almost 50 years.
Lessing Stern (Edgar), Genia Fuller Crews, Henry Kaiser, Chris Klug, Bob Salerno, Jim Martinson, David Ingemie
During the course of the week, we had a chance to ski and socialize with industry legends, many already mentioned here as well as Herman Gollner, Chris Davenport, Klaus Obermeyer, Billy Kidd, Weems Westfeldt, John Clendenin, John Eaves, Curtis Fong, and Seth Masia, to name just a few. The whole week for Phil and I was humbling to say the least.
Please visit our gallery of pictures here.