About the Book and Film:  The source book, Passion for Skiing (2010, Ullr Award Winner as a Ski History Book of the Year), and the documentary film, Passion for Snow (2013, Ski History Film of the Year), which you can order below, are based on an extensive 3 year research effort by close to 1000 people around the world, including many leading historians of winter subjects.  The book and the 62 minute documentary film outline the enormous number of winter related creations originated out of the Hanover community, and particularly Dartmouth College, during the last 100 years.  Did you know the first ski races, first college ski team, first ski lifts, most Winter Olympians, most National ski champions, and most National Ski Hall of Fame members came from Hanover, NH?  Did you know that more founders/developers of major ski resorts and more businessman/engineers/doctors in ski resorts today have a Hanover connection than with any other place in the world?  Did you know that skiers from this community won multiple medals in the 2010 Olympics, and have provided more Winter Olympic athletes, coaches and staff than any other community?

But winter is more than activities-related to skiing so this community has created Christmas stories (like Dr. Seuss’s “The Grinch”, and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer), winter poetry (a third of US Poet Laureate Robert Frost’s poems have a “snow” connection), ballets with skis (see the leading US modern dance company MOMIX), chance winter accidents that have lead to careers (learn why legendary US Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop went in to medicine), and much more.  Do you know why this academic community became the overwhelming force in winter?  This unique result relates to an unusual collection of circumstances (clues: a physical location with plenty of snow;  nearby mountains; smart energetic students looking for fun things to do in the cold months of winter; and skills provided by one of the “Top 10” major US Universities (Dartmouth College), including relevant graduate education provided by having founded the 1st US Business School (Tuck), the 1st US Engineering School (Thayer) and 4th US Medical School (Geisel) which were all in operation when our story started in 1910.

This detailed story was previously unknown and has been brought together, using old film footage going back to 1910 and contemporary interviews, into a stunning documentary film by a professional team with many awards for past work plus many personal connections to the story, led by Executive Producer Steve Waterhouse (author of Passion for Skiing), Producer Lisa Densmore (award winning ski racer and an Emmy award film producer of Windows to the Wild),  Associate Producer Rick Moulton (leading expert on old ski film, creator of the historically important Legends of Skiing), and experienced Field Producers Roger Brown (Ski The Outer Limits, Moebius Flip and the recent Vail 50th Anniversary) and Jim Butterworth ( Seoul Train and a dozen other serious documentaries) plus top class recording and editing companies in Los Angeles and Vermont. The Narrator is two time academy award nominee, Buck Henry, (The Graduate, Heaven Can Wait, Get Smart) who has also been one of the most frequent TV hosts of long running US television show, (Saturday Night Live), and a recent participant in a hit US comedy TV Series (30 Rock).

The documentary film was selected as a “Ski History Film of the Year” at a gathering in April, 2013, of the International Ski History Association and the National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame; and referred to by John Fry, the President of ISHA, as being “the best documentary ever made on the history of skiing”.  It has also been screened in a number of interesting venues, and featured during Film Festivals in Burlington, Vermont, and Denver, Colorado.  Since premiering on all five Maine PBS stations in December 2013, it has been screened on about 25 PBS stations in 5 states so far.  It is under active review in an additional 11 states as it could serve as solid program to air during the Winter Olympics.  A further group of states will shortly be asked to consider screening the film.  It has been screened in London England (Jan 23); will be screened in Washington DC in a major event at the US Capital ( Feb 3; a special US Congress “Send-Off Salute” to the US Winter Olympic team); New York City (Feb 13); Tokyo, Japan (late February); Salt Lake City, Utah (Mar 6); will be the only documentary on skiing screened during the Winter Olympics (Feb, 2014) and Paralympics (Mar, 2014) in Sochi, Russia; and is also being considered for other special events worldwide.  The “premiere” showings (Hanover, NH; Vail, Colorado); and other gatherings were essentially SOLD OUT!  Google “Passion for Snow, Dartmouth” for press stories, the two film trailers (a 3 minute version and an 8 minute version) on YouTube Passion for Snow trailer, and a special news feature on Manchester NH’s Channel 9 (WMUR, Feb 26, 2013, 7 PM) that will be replayed on NH Chronicles  (Jan 30, 2014 at 7 PM).  More to come!

Here’s how to order:DVD’s of the film Passion for Snow (plus some exceptional extra film footage and historical details) and the book Passion for Skiing can be purchased by using the order form below.  Special deal – order the book and the DVD together.  For bulk orders, please contact Project Treasurer, Mike Gonnerman, at Michael@gonnerman.com.


DVD: Passion for Snow
$28.00 ea
DVD: Passion for Snow
Book: Passion for Skiing
$60.00 ea
Book: Passion for Skiing
DVD & Book
$70.00 total
DVD: Passion for Snow
AND Book: Passion for Skiing
I’d like to make a donation towards the project




Background on Passion for Skiing book

and the subsequent film Passion for Snow


Passion for Skiing is the product of a research and writing effort by hundreds of interested skiers and historians. Some are Dartmouth connected including our classmates and many are not. The International Ski History Association (ISHA) presented the 2011 Ullr Award (for a book making a significant contribution to skiing history) to the leader of the outstanding team of writers on April 1, 2011 at their annual meeting in Sun Valley, Idaho.


At the ISHA awards ceremony, Steve Waterhouse receives the award

from John Fry, President of ISHA, and the sportscaster, Tim Ryan.


The book shows how a passion for skiing has expressed itself in the lives of Dartmouth-connected folks. All the stories are fascinating, some are close to unreal, and many show the continuing impact of past generations as the green thread of Dartmouth winds through our lives and our contemporary activities, often in ways people do not yet fully understand.


Steve Waterhouse dedicated Passion “to all members of the Dartmouth family who

have been leaders on the ski slopes,cross country courses, and in all other ways of sliding over snow.”

Here is past President Kim receiving his copy.

 History of the Dartmouth Skiing Project


The Book and Our Main PointsMany of you are aware that the already published book, Passion for Skiing (2010; 440 pages) received the Ullr Award in April 2011 as a ski history book of the year from the International Ski History Association (ISHA).  The story of the impact of Dartmouth College, its three graduate Schools and the locally connected people of the Hanover region on creating the ski industry is resonating around the ski world.  The book is available by using the order form above and from outlets like the Dartmouth Book Store, the Dartmouth Coop, and various ski museums.  The Class of 1965 provided the principal author/editor; five of the ten chapter writers; several article writers; a number of research helpers; most of the administrative team; and used the Class 501c3 as a vehicle for charitable gifts.  Although the project is a massive effort involving lots of alumni and non-alumni, the roughly thirty members of your Class directly involved have provided the central thrust to get this done much as we did over a decade ago to create the Rauner Special Collections Library.


Our challenge with lots of Dartmouth and non-Dartmouth folks has been to get across the point that the Dartmouth leadership role in forming the ski industry is a fact, and that it means something in the world of today.  Anyone who takes the time to just read parts of the book has gained an appreciation for the pervasive nature of the Dartmouth involvement in the ski industry.  They also begin to appreciate that there is logic behind the Dartmouth ski story, and our efforts have shed light on parts of the Dartmouth’s history that is not known by many people.  For example, Dartmouth has three of the earliest graduate schools in business, engineering and medicine for the USA which were all in operation when the modern ski industry was starting to take shape from 1910 onward leading to alumni with a variety of skills going on to take roles in this industry.  The Dartmouth role in creating the modern ski industry is supported both by an amazing amount of factual evidence from ski industry events as well as some obvious logic in Dartmouth’s location, the quality of its student body, its unique academic skill set and the leadership of eight College presidents, and many others over the past 100 years.


The answer to the 2nd question on “the meaning to the world of today” comes from the reworking of a 1990s McKinsey study by a special Tuck Study Team (2009) that showed the greater ski industry to have a $25 Billion annual GDP which is bigger than 2 companies the size of Microsoft.  As far as we are aware, there is no other institution in the world that can claim to have helped create a financial impact of this size in any industry, not just the skiing industry, through the group effort of thousands, really tens of thousands, of alumni sustained over 100 years and still happening today. This is quite possibly Dartmouth’s greatest achievement that involves a broad percentage of its alumni.


The final phase of the History Project, and our Class Project, involved creating a movie to provide a vehicle for highlighting much more than skiing to the benefit of Dartmouth’s image.  The object of the film is to bring news of some very significant Dartmouth achievements to a much broader audience via an eighty minute documentary film.  It will  fulfill one of the recent suggestions from past Dartmouth President Jim Kim that Dartmouth needs to be more proactive in promoting its achievements.


First Tuckerman Ravine shelter (since burned down)

The film: the film name was changed to Passion for Snow.  Over the past 12 months, we have put together a very experienced movie making team led by Lisa Densmore ’83, Roger Brown ’57, Jim Butterworth T’91, and former Hanover native Rick Moulton, and gone to work.  All have produced other movies and received Emmys and many other awards for their work so they are fully skilled in what is needed.  Lisa Densmore and Steve Waterhouse ’65 developed a working script for the film.  Lisa, Roger, Jim and many others have completed interviews of key participants in the story specifically for this film. These interviews on camera were transcribed so we have a hard copy of the verbal comments in all of our new film footage. Click on this link to see an eight minute trailer Passion for Snow trailer.


The Class of 1965 Involvement

The 1965 administrative team have raised and managed funds to underwrite the efforts of the professional team.  Mike Gonnerman ’65 is one of the key players as the Project Treasurer, but he is ably assisted by Bob Murphy ’65, Jim Griffiths ’65 and others.  Hank Amon ’65 and Rob Williams ’65 have helped with the technical process of finding the holder of legal rights to old ski films of interest and negotiating use in the film for no or minimal cost.  Dick Durrance ’65 supplied some film from his family’s archive as his dad and mom were prolific in the early ski film making activity.  And others like the late Doug Leitch ’65, Dick Durrance ’65, Stu Keiller ’65, Roger Hansen ’65, Jim Little ’65, and Jim Hamilton ’65 helped track down useful material to consider for the film.  Allen Koop ’65 helped us by organizing an interview with his father, C. Everett Koop ’37, the former US Surgeon General.  Steve Waterhouse ‘65 is the Executive Producer of the film project.


One point for out Class to appreciate is we attended Dartmouth about in the middle of this 100 year period of time that we call the development time of modern ski industry.  As a result, we have lived through a lot of the events in the development of this industry because much of it took place after WW II. Some of our family members were early participants in some in ski history.  For example, Dick Durrance ’65, Jim Little ’65 and Sel Hannah ’65 all have fathers who are among the 400+ members (thirty six are Dartmouth alumni or staff; and twelve more come from Dartmouth families) of the National Ski Hall of Fame. Some classmates like Allen Koop ’65 have fathers whose lives were affected by the snow theme in strange ways.  All these families will be highlighted in the movie.  Therefore, this is not just a piece of Dartmouth history, but it is personal to our Class in many ways.


Film Details and Examples of Film Content  To highlight the broader ski industry film, the professional team interviewed some 35 individuals last winter and spring who have been key participants as founders of ski areas, developers of mountain real estate, makers of ski clothing and equipment, designers of ski mountain facilities, medical doctors in ski communities, and makers of legendary ski movies. In March 2010, we captured on film the finish of the 2010 NCAA Cross Country races where a record 6 D undergrads earned All-American honors on the same day.  We have interviews of Dartmouth’s 2 medal winners from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics (Gold by Hannah Kearney ’15; Bronze by Andrew Weibrecht ’09; another record setting occasion for Dartmouth) telling why Dartmouth is important to them.


We worked with staff at Rauner, and all the sources of old ski film outside Dartmouth, to pull out some nuggets that have not been seen, or rarely seen, before like the first ever Collegiate Downhill races (Moosilauke, c. 1930) that led to the first ever US National Downhill Championship on Dartmouth’s own mountain (1933).  Chick Igaya ’57 persuaded the Japanese Ski Association to allow our use of the only known film footage of Igaya’s 1956 Olympic Silver Medal slalom run in Cortina, Italy. Ralph Miller ’55 located some old footage of his amazing ski run in 1955 when he became the first man to ski over 100 mph (in Portillo, Chile; 1955).  Ralph provided some footage of some of Dartmouth’s greatest ski racers in action at Suicide Six before the D Skiway was constructed.  Roger Brown ’57, a legend in making ski movies, opened up his archive for our use as our classmate Dick Durrance ’65 has done.


We highlighted some unusual winter theme subjects. For example, we received permission to use a small clip from the Ted Geisel ’25 (AKA Dr. Seuss) created 1966 cartoon movie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We have the legendary, former Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop ’37, on camera telling the story of how he ended up becoming a doctor as the result of breaking his back when he crashed off the old Dartmouth Ski Jump in 1936. We have also aggressively pursued the source of an original Winter Carnival (1939) 35 MM film to enable copying it at the quality level we need. Dartmouth was involvemed in the movie industry, starting with the producer of this film, the movie industry legend Walter Wanger ’15. We tell the story briefly of Dartmouth’s founding in 1769 by Eleazar Wheelock, and refer to the long line of Presidents and Boards of Trustees, down to current days, who have backed the many snow related projects that have enabled Dartmouth’s achievement.


The film will be owned by Dartmouth College longer term, and should be an iconic part of the College’s visual history. We are thinking that the actual handover of ownership will be a featured part of our 50th Reunion weekend in 2015 when we share the stage at the graduation of our younger partner Class of 2015. The film will likely be something that alumni of the future will view during student days to understand one of the most significant achievements of their College.


Funding for this Project  As we think you are aware, this project has been supported financially by a wide array of alumni and outside sources.  No one person or institution has been asked to underwrite a significant percentage of the film.  The contributions from the Class of 1965 have amounted to almost 50% of the total as we have run it as our major Class Project during this period of our Class’s existence.


Our fundraising approach has been used for two principal reasons. First, we did not want to do something that undermined the college’s own critical fundraising operations in these challenging years; and second the reality of broad financial support reflects the historical Dartmouth contribution to the ski industry, and all things involving snow, as coming from a broad spectrum of alumni and locals.  We have paid all bills as we go along the way and have money in hand for current operations.  We completed this major film for 30% or less of a similar scope documentary film (i.e typically $1 to 2 million) due to most of the team working pro-bono and the professionals working at discounted fees, but we still need additional funding to get this project completed.  


Individuals can help today by sending in any amount ($50, $100, $500, $1000, $5000) up to $25,000   All gifts are tax deductible.   Checks should be addressed to the History of Dartmouth Skiing and mailed to Mike Gonnerman ’65 at 3 Ripley Road, Hanover, NH 03755.  Mike (michael@gonnerman.com) is our Project Treasurer, and has done a marvelous job keeping our finances on track.  He will answer any tax or technical payment questions.


Other Dartmouth individuals, classes or clubs can also help with this film as they did with the publishing of our book. Gifts of $1,000 to 5,000 (or more) from Dartmouth organizations; and other foundations, businesses and interested parties would be very welcome.  Contact Steve Waterhouse (stewater@aol.com)if you have contacts who might be interested.



Best regards,


Steve Waterhouse ’65 T’67 leader of the History of Dartmouth Skiing Project team….