About the Book and Film:  The source book, Passion for Skiing (Ullr Award Winner as a Ski History Book of the Year – 2011), and the documentary film, Passion for Snow (Ski History Film of the Year-2013, Emmy Nominee as Documentary of the Year NE -2013), which you can order below, are based on an extensive 6 year research effort by close to 1,000 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 businessmen/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 five medals in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and have provided more Winter Olympic athletes, coaches and staff than any other community?  In 2014, if Dartmouth College was a country, the college would have tied Finland for 19th place of the 90 countries represented, and gone even higher if athletes with some sort of connection to Dartmouth College were counted. Did you know that the documentary Passion for Snow was screened before members of the US Congress in Washington DC; at the Sochi, Russia Winter Olympics; and in many other special gatherings?


Background on the documentary film, Passion for Snow,

and the book, Passion for Skiing  



Passion for Snow:  Important Film Content and Screenings

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 Stephen 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 ski film maker Roger Brown (Ski The Outer Limits, Moebius Flip and the recent Vail 50th Anniversary) plus top 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).


Winter is more than activities-related to just skiing.  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.

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 over 25 PBS stations across the US.   After the  “premiere” screenings (Hanover, NH; Vail, Colorado), the documentary has been screened in many US locations like Washington DC at a special US Congress “Send-Off Salute” to the 2014 US Winter Olympic team; New York City; Salt Lake City, Utah; Waterville Valley, NH; and in a number of international locations including Tokyo, Japan; London England; and as the only documentary screened during the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.    Google “Passion for Snow, Dartmouth” for press stories and a Wikipedia website;  and google “YouTube Passion for Snow trailer” to view the two film trailers (a 3 minute version and an 8 minute version).  It may also be possible to find a special news feature on Manchester NH’s Channel 9 (WMUR, Feb 26, 2013, 7 PM) which was replayed on NH Chronicles  (Jan 30, 2014 at 7 PM).  The documentary continues to be screened on some PBS stations to highlight this very special ski history story during each new winter ski season!  Maine PBS has it scheduled for late February 2017.


Passion for Skiing – Important Book Content: 

The book is the product of a research and writing effort by hundreds of interested skiers and historians. This includes leading ski historians who are not otherwise connected to Dartmouth College and some members of the class of 1965 with a lifelong passion for skiing.  The book highlights how a passion for skiing has expressed itself in the lives of Dartmouth-connected folks for over 100 years. 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 the lives and contemporary activities of the ski industry worldwide, often in ways ski historians and ordinary skiers never appreciated until now.



Awards for Book and Film

Passion for Skiing recognized as a Ski History Book of the Year – 2011:  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.  Many of the ski historians involved with researching and writing this book were present at this special awards dinner.

At the ISHA awards ceremony, principal author Stephen Waterhouse receives the award 

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


Passion for Snow received an Emmy Nomination as the Documentary of the Year – 2013:  The documentary film’s first PBS television screening was in December, 2013 on 5 different PBS stations in the State of Maine.  Based on these screenings, The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences-NE nominated Passion for Snow  for the Emmy for Documentary of the Year – 2013.  The documentary was also recognized by the International Ski History Association (ISHA) as their Film of the Year – 2013 and by the The Outdoor Writers Association of America Association with their 1st Place in the 2014 Excellence in Craft Awards in the category TV/Film – Outdoor Fun and Adventure category.  

The Passion for Snow documentary was presented to the esteemed audience

gathered for the 37 Annual Emmy Award Ceremony in Boston in June, 2014 

Some key documentary team members gathered at the Emmy Award ceremony in the Boston, including Producer/Writer Lisa Densmore-Ballard, Executive Producer/Writer Stephen Waterhouse, Project Treasurer Michael Gonnerman and 1965 team members Hank Amon, Roger Hansen, Bill Webster and Jim Griffiths plus wives and friends.


Presentation of book to former Dartmouth College President Jim Kim

Stephen 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.”  Above, he presented a special copy of the book to former Dartmouth College President Jim Kim who is now President of the World Bank in Washington DC.  President Kim, along with former President James Wright and current President Philip Hanlon,  played a supportive role in the gathering the historical information behind the source book and creation of the documentary film.  


The History of Dartmouth Skiing Project LLC/Class of 1965 Activities Today:

The Class of 1965 as leaders of the History of Dartmouth Skiing Project LLC continues to initiate further developments to bring attention to what many see as the greatest single area of achievement by a substantial number of alumni and other individuals with a connection to Dartmouth College or the Hanover, NH area.  Tens of thousands of people over the past 100+ years have played major or minor roles in the development of the ski industry.  Through on-going activities, the Class hopes to enhance the general knowledge of these achievements.  This final phase involves creating various visual structures to provide vehicles for highlighting Dartmouth’s  skiing achievements.    


1) 1965 Bunkhouse and Mt. Moosilauke Ski Sculpture:  As a featured event at it’s 50th Reunion in June, 2015, the Class celebrated the significance of Mt. Moosilauke to Dartmouth alumni who have participated in the First Year Trip at the start of their Dartmouth experience with the construction of the 1965 Bunkhouse II, a modern replacement cabin with many special features that is located next to the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge at the base of the mountain.  Inside the cabin, the Class provided a sculpture and plaque that celebrates the first ever United States collegiate downhill race in 1927, and the first ever United States National Alpine Championship race in 1933.  Because Mt. Moosilauke did not become a ski resort, its role in ski racing history in the United States has not received the attention it deserves.  The new 1965 Bunkhouse is also the first facility at this mountain to be winterized in over 50 years so that skiers can potentially return to this venue to experience alpine skiing as it was before ski lifts first  became available in the late 1930s.

The new 1965 Bunkhouse II replaces an original 1965 Bunkhouse that was constructed in 1977-78 and served as a brief home for thousands of visitors to this unusual mountain until it was torn down in the Fall of 2014 to make room for this exceptional new structure. Members of the 1965 Bunkhouse II leadership team included former President Roger Hansen ’65, new President Michael Gonnerman ’65, Project Leader Stu Keiller ’65, Fund Raiser Ed Keible ’65, and Construction Leader Dave Beattie ’65 E’66 




The sculpture,  Mt. Moosilauke Ski Racer, was created by local New Hampshire artist, Dimitri Gerakaris ’69, in conjunction with HDSP Leader Stephen Waterhouse ’65 T’67 who wrote the words displayed on the plaque.


2) Assignment of the Rights to the Documentary Film, Passion for Snow, to the Trustees of Dartmouth College:  As a second featured event at it’s 50th Reunion in June, 2015, the Class of 1965 organized a presentation of the copyright for the documentary film, Passion for Snow, by the History of Dartmouth Skiing Project LLC (HDSP) to President Philip Hanlon as the representative of the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College.  In this way, the project team have set up the long term management of this important historical document under the auspices of Dartmouth College.  HDSP retained the right to screen and promote the documentary in any way they see fit so that it can continue to be involved, but are pleased to have Dartmouth College as the long term owner.

Class of 1965 President Michael Gonnerman ’65, Former Class President Roger Hansen ’65 and History of Dartmouth Skiing Project LLC Chairman Stephen Waterhouse sign over the copyright to the documentary film, Passion for Snow, to Dartmouth college President Philip Hanlon and the Dartmouth College Board of Trustees



3) Sculpture of Fred Harris, Class of 1911, on Dartmouth College Campus: The Class of 1965 has proposed to the Chairman of the Dartmouth College Campus Art Committee and various interested college administrators that a sculpture and plaque should be placed in central location on the campus to highlight the unique leadership role played by Fred Harris, Class of 1911, in starting the Dartmouth College involvement in skiing history.  Harris founded the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) in 1909, initiated the first US college ski race day in 1910 and the first of Dartmouth’s legendary Winter Carnival Weekends in 1911, and played a continuing role in encouraging DOC members involvement in skiing history for the next 50 years.  His personal impact went beyond the Dartmouth campus as he played a role in many ski racing and ski jumping activities in the United States and elsewhere.  Amongst these things, he founded a major ski jumping facility, Harris Hill, in Brattleboro Vermont.  Today, Harris Hill is one of the few jumping facilities still active in New England, and was recently rebuilt.  The Brattleboro Outing Club was another of his achievements and he stayed involved with this organization throughout his life.

fred-harrisFred Harris, Class of 1911, pictured in ski gear and the shirt of the Brattleboro Outing Club in the 1920s 

History of the Dartmouth Skiing Project

Additional information on the project:  

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, Amazon 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 the 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.

The main objective of this project has been to highlight the Dartmouth College leadership role in forming the ski industry is a fact, and that it still 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 historical 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 relevant 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 Dartmouth College achievements have significant meaning to the economy of the world today as a reworking of a 1990s McKinsey study by a special Tuck Study Team (2009) showed the greater ski industry to have an annual GDP of $50 Billion worldwide which is bigger than 4 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.  This impact has been sustained over 100 years and is still happening today as Dartmouth alumni serve as the Presidents, Board members and active participants in all the major US ski related organizations like the US Olympic Committee, the US Ski Association (USSA), the US Masters Ski Association, the US Biathlon Association and many other organizations. 

In the 2014 US Winter Olympics, Dartmouth alumni achieved 5 medals in 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  The two current alpine ski racing greats for US have connections back to Dartmouth skiing as both learned their early skiing skills in Dartmouth related facilities. One, Lindsay Vonn, began her skiing career at Buck Hill, the leading ski area in Minnesota, that was founded by a Dartmouth alumnus in the 1950s and is written about in the Passion for Skiing book.  Lindsay is the greatest living race champion of today.  Another young ski great, Mikaela Shiffrin, is the daughter of a Dartmouth alumnus and spent some early years skiing in the Hanover area.  She is on a record setting pace and will challenge Lindsay Vonn as the greatest of all ski champions. 

The extensive leadership role of Dartmouth connected individuals in the development of the skiing industry is viewed by many as Dartmouth’s greatest achievement that involves a broad percentage of its alumni.  The object of the film is to bring news of these very significant Dartmouth achievements to a much broader audience via  the book and the documentary film.  It will  fulfill one of the suggestions from past Dartmouth President Jim Kim that Dartmouth needs to be more proactive in promoting its achievements.

The Class of 1965 Involvement:

The 1965 administrative team have raised and managed the funds to underwrite the efforts of its amateur and professional team in creating the book and documentary film.  Mike Gonnerman ’65, current Class President continues to serve as  the Project Treasurer.  He has been ably assisted by Bob Murphy ’65, Jim Griffiths ’65 and others in the administration role.  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 has served as Chairman and leader of the entire project; the principal author of the source book, Passion for Skiing, the Executive Producer/Writer/leader of the team that created the documentary film, Passion for Snow .

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 (over 10% 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 have been 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 Production Details and Examples of Film Content: 

To highlight the broader ski industry film, the professional team interviewed some 35 individuals who were 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 interviewed 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 alumni have been very involved in the movie industry, starting with the producer of this film, the movie industry legend Walter Wanger, Class of 1915. 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 is now owned by Dartmouth College for the long term, and should be an iconic part of the College’s visual history. The actual handover of ownership was a featured part of our 50thReunion weekend in 2015 when we shared the stage at the graduation of our younger partner Class of 2015. The film and the related support material that can be found in the Rauner Special Collections Library 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 – This project has been supported financially by a wide array of alumni and non-alumni 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 one of our major Class Projects during this period of our Class’s existence. We have paid all bills as we go along the way.  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 the final elements of  project completed.  

 New Gifts –

Individuals can help today by sending in any amount ($50, $100, $500, $1000, $5000) up to $25,000   All gifts are tax deductible.   Any one can provide support.  Dartmouth individuals, classes/clubs and non-Dartmouth alumni can help as they did with the publishing of our book and film. Gifts of $1,000 to 5,000 (or more) from Dartmouth organizations; and other foundations, businesses and interested parties would be very welcome.  

Checks should be addressed to the History of Dartmouth Skiing and mailed to Mike Gonnerman ’65, our Project Treasurer,  at 3 Ripley Road, Hanover, NH 03755.  Mike (michael@gonnerman.com)  will answer any tax or technical payment questions.

We still need to raise a significant amount of money to complete the remaining project elements.  You can also contact Stephen Waterhouse ’65 T’67 (stewater@aol.comleader of the History of Dartmouth Skiing Project team with any questions….