Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum Announces 2012 Hall of Fame Inductees, Including NSP Founder Minnie Dole

STOWE, Vt. The Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum has announced its 2012 Hall of Fame inductees. NSP founder, Charles Minot “Minnie” Dole, will be inducted into the hall of fame at a ceremony on Saturday October 20th at the kick-off of the National Ski Patrol’s 75th Anniversary celebration.

Jake Burton and Donna Carpenter will be the first snowboarders inducted into the hall since the museum added snowboarding to its name in December 2010. The 2012 group also includes D. Trowbridge Elliman, Thompson Hall and Tiger Shaw. The contributions of all inductees will be celebrated on October 21st at the Trapp Family Lodge.

Current Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum Chairman, Rick Hamlin, said, “This group of pioneers, athletes and special contributors embodies what the museum is all about. Their contributions represent Vermont’s critical role in the evolution of skiing and snowboarding.” Hamlin is also a former NSP Board member, Easter Division Director and Smuggler’s Notch Patroller.

Charles Minot “Minnie” Dole

Minnie Dole, who was born on 18 April 1899 and passed away on 14 March 1976, was instrumental in the National Ski Patrol’s 1938 founding. Dole’s ski patrol vision appears to have been inspired after a skiing accident he had at Stowe in January 1936, and upon losing a close friend, 28 year-old Franklin Edson III, who died following a March 1936 ski race incident on Pine Mountain in the Western Massachusetts Pittsfield Forrest. Edson hit a tree at high speed, breaking an arm, fracturing several ribs and sustaining internal injuries to his chest. The accident did not have any witnesses, but Edson was seen traveling at a high rate of speed just prior to going off Pine Mountain’s Ghost Trail. This accident was a primary motivation for Roland Palmedo and Minnie dole to study skiing accidents and skier safety, which ultimately led to the 1938 formation of the National Ski Patrol.

The Edson tragedy also acted as inspiration for another ski industry innovation that Dole helped facilitate. Edson was an avid skier and adventurer, and member of the Amateur Ski Club of New York (ASCNY). After his death, his wife worked to organize a memorial race in her husband’s honor at Mount Washington’s (N.H.) Tuckerman Ravine in April 1937. The race had a secondary goal, which was that it be both fast and safe. Dole led an ASCNY committee following the previous season’s many accidents to focus on skier injuries and accident causes, with a view toward improving skiing safety and assisting skiers that sustained injuries in accidents. That Tuckerman race incorporated, and races to this day incorporate, much of what was learned from that first US skier safety study.

There was not a single injury in that Mount Washington race, and an estimated 2,800 people made the treacherous trek to view it. The Spring 1937 Tuckerman Ravine photograph to the right is from the archives of former Stowe patroller and early Mount Mansfield Ski Club member, Winston Morris. It was likely taken that day given the large number of spectators and the short season at that location, one of the coldest and windiest locations on earth.

The Franklin Edson Memorial Trophy was established by the ASCNY for that race. The course was designed by Dick Durrance as a combination downhill and slalom, with a focus on placing the gates to check speed at dangerous points in the course. This new racing format became known as the Giant Slalom, and it was first used in the US at Tuckerman Ravine on 4 April 1937. An NSP patrol remains active at Mount Washington, despite the fact that Tuckerman is not serviced by lifts even today.

After getting the NSP running, Dole proposed a specialized military force trained in mountain warfare and survival that a few years later became the 10th Mountain Division, and was an indispensable fighting force in World War II. Dole continued as head of the National Ski Patrol System until 1950 at which point there were 4,000 members serving 300 ski patrols up from 89 local patrols and 1500 registered patrollers in 1941-42. Today, the organization is made up of around 28,000 members serving over 600 patrols, including alpine and Nordic patrollers.

Several events will take place this fall to celebrate the 2012 Museum’s Hall of Fame inductees and its 10th anniversary. The Carpenters will be inducted on September 27th at the Grand Reopening of the Museum, which is being renovated with a new long-term snowboarding exhibit and a special year-long exhibit from the Burton Archives called One Track Mind. Following the induction ceremony, the newly renovated museum will open to the public at 7:30 for a first look at the new exhibits and showing of Burton’s latest snowboarding film, ’13’. Tickets to the NSP’s 75th anniversary celebration on 20 October 2012 at Stowe’s Rusty Nail can be purchased here.

Biographies of the other 2012 Museum Inductees

Jake Burton Carpenter has dedicated over 35 years of his life to snowboarding. He founded Burton in 1977 and has played a vital role in transitioning snowboarding from a backyard hobby to a world-class sport. In the early years, Burton Snowboards was based in Jake’s Vermont barn and he delivered boards out of his station wagon. Today, Jake still leads the day-to-day workings of the world’s most successful snowboard company, testing nearly every product Burton makes and taking rider feedback to heart. He still can be found at Stowe almost every day it’s open (and plenty of days it’s not) hiking for early and late season turns. And he still makes many of the company’s biggest decisions from a chairlift, not a desk.

Donna Gaston Carpenter met Jake in 1982 and they were married a year later. She has been an integral part of the company ever since, leading the expansion to Europe, developing women’s product and marketing initiatives and creating internal programs to recruit and promote women. She currently holds the position of President, leading international business and global human resources. She also heads up the non-profit Chill Foundation, which she and Jake founded in 1995 to provide life-changing experiences through snowboarding for urban youth.

D. Trowbridge “Trow” Elliman founded the Vermont Alpine Racing Association (VARA) “to keep ski racing first in Vermont and Vermont ski racers first in the world.” Elliman was publisher of the Stowe Reporter from 1960-1998, and the paper chronicled and promoted skiing and ski racing, covering all levels of racing . . . from after school programs to international competitions. He helped administer the Mount Mansfield Ski Club’s Junior and Hopefuls racing programs. Elliman also served as a director of the Eastern Ski Association and Eastern Ski Writers Association and as an instructor with the Sepp Ruschp Ski School.

Leslie Thompson Hall competed internationally from 1988-1995, including the 1988, 1992 and 1994 Olympics. She was a three-time All American standout at Dartmouth and participated in FIS World Ski Championships in 1993 and 1995. She is a recipient of the Finlandia Award for outstanding cross country skier, the Erik Judeen Award for the highest scoring woman in the US Cross Country Championships and the Martha Rockwell Award for the fastest woman in 5km at the US Cross Country Championships in 1988 and 1995. In 1988 she received the Buddy Werner Award, given to a United States competitor who demonstrated leadership and good sportsmanship in national or international competition. Today, she coaches cross country skiing in Washington State.

Gale H. “Tiger” Shaw is a two-time Olympian who also earned eight top ten finishes in World Cup competition during his international career. In 1983, he beat both Steve and Phil Mahyre in the GS. Prior to hitting the World Cup circuit, Shaw had skied for the Mount Mansfield Ski Club, Stratton Mountain School and Dartmouth. He was the Buddy Werner Award winner in both 1986 and 1991. He continues his participation in skiing as a USSA board member, a coach in the Ford sayre program and current employer Global Rescue.

The Paul Robbins Ski Journalism Award will be presented to Sporty Bell and posthumously to Linda Adams, Associate Ski Editors at the Stowe Reporter.