Ski Mug History Contest — We Have a Winner

Post by blogger | September 12, 2008      

Congratulations Andrew Solod on correctly identifying the photo as Otto Schniebs (I still don’t know how you guys do this so fast).

A disciple of ski maestro Hannes Schneider, Schniebs came to the United States from Germany in 1928, with an eye on opportunities in ski instruction and coaching. A tireless promoter, he founded his own system of ski instruction with his “American Ski School,” published an excellent how-to and travelogue book “American Skiing,” and also promoted what he thought were the best places to ski tour in the country, including in 1939 a ground breaking exploration in the Elk Mountains between Aspen and Crested Butte. It was here where Schniebs and other skiers such as famed racer Dick Durrance skied high on Star Peak and Castle Peak (the latter one of Colorado’s fourteeners).

Perhaps most importantly to us ski culture boys and girls, it’s pretty much agreed that Schniebs coined the phrase “Skiing is Life.”

The contest photo is from the Schniebs book.

*****************original contest post below

Going deep today. I love this old photo, with the pipe smoking rake looking on as the ski guru expounds on waxing. Back in the days of wooden planks, wax was huge — if you didn’t have the right “dope” you’d stick to the hill like industrial grade Velcro. For a free pack from Backcountry Access, ID the guy giving the waxing lesson.

Skiing history contest.

This is the last of our six “Win a Pack” contests. Previous contests:

Aug 8 Contest, Terry Skjersaa, near the summit of Mt Bachelor.

Aug 15 Contest, Bill Briggs in Canada

Aug 22 Contest, Scott Schmidt in Outside Magazine

Aug 29 Contest, Dick Barrymore with proto helmet cam.

Sept 5 Contest, Bela Vadasz at Ellery Lake, California Sierra, on Chuteout

Fine Print:
If you win, I’ll leave a public comment identifying your comment as the winner, and I’ll contact you in private via the private email you leave on your blog comment. If we have no winner by 9:00 MST the Monday after I post the photo, there will be no winner and the prize will wrap to the next Friday. For extra karma, if you know the answer, please comment with some story as well.


19 Responses to “Ski Mug History Contest — We Have a Winner”

  1. Randonnee September 12th, 2008 10:41 am

    Very nice look and features on Wildsnow ith the current redesign. Great.

    Is that a photo of the 2008 Telemark Ski Development Group? Those bindings look like some variation of the NTN? : )} ; )} : )} Just kidding.

  2. carl September 12th, 2008 10:45 am


    Great picture today and cool new page format. It looks very clean and professional. You got a nice shout out in this month’s Backcountry magazine in Biff’s final thought (he had some negative (and funny)) words for adventure bloggers, but gave you some kudos.

    The photo you posted today was timely, as I was just speaking with a friend last night over dinner who moved to Jackson in the late ’70s. He was talking about the pioneering days of backcountry skiing in the area and the fluidity of the equipment….waxing, kicking and gliding in the rolling hills of powder. Granted the equipment of today can get us on some pretty great terrain with ease and confidence, but the way he was waxing nostalgic about the leather boots, homemade tele bindings and roaming the uncrowded backcountry made me want to run out and try and get my hands on some non-modern gear. Then I started thinking that memories can turn rosier after the years go by….I’m sure that there were many days of frustration in the old equipment. What are your memories of some of those early equipment days?

  3. Charlie September 12th, 2008 10:51 am

    A not quite blind stab: Hannes Schneider .

  4. Adam Shilman September 12th, 2008 11:06 am

    I’m gonna say ski instructor Otto Lang….

  5. Lou September 12th, 2008 11:07 am

    Perhaps it’s the Telemark Tips annual gathering .

    Charlie, nope.

    I’ll leave some hints soon.

    We’re still working on this design and features, but the structure will remain. Probably a nicer top banner, more dropdowns, stuff like that.

  6. Green September 12th, 2008 11:08 am

    Is it Toni Matt????

  7. Andrew Solod September 12th, 2008 11:16 am


    I think it is Otto Schniebs

  8. Rick Arneson September 12th, 2008 11:16 am

    My guese by the IDA scribed on the fireplace rock behind him is William Brown from Cascade Idaho, 10th Mountain Division vet, intercollegiate ski champ in four events and Vail Mountain boss in the 60’s and 70’s. Is that Dick Durrance in the center forground holding the skis?

  9. Lou September 12th, 2008 11:24 am

    Andrew’s got it!

    I’ll file some details now about old Otto.

  10. Adam Shilman September 12th, 2008 11:25 am

    Maybe Alf Engen?

  11. Halsted September 12th, 2008 11:29 am

    Fred Iselin, sometime in the late 40’s or early 50’s.

  12. Lou September 12th, 2008 11:52 am

    Skiing is Life!

  13. Perry September 12th, 2008 1:21 pm

    Andrew is one lucky SOB. Oh, and by the way, he definitely does not need a new pack.

  14. Lou September 12th, 2008 1:39 pm

    Andrew, should I send the pack to Perry?

  15. Lou September 12th, 2008 1:49 pm

    BTW, that guy in the foreground looking down might very well be Dick Durrance.

  16. Simon September 13th, 2008 11:58 am

    “I still don’t know how you guys do this so fast”

    You’ll have to start using pictures taken during blizzards and heavy fog… see if anyone can identify the blurry outline of various skiing legends.

    Love the new format.

  17. Art September 14th, 2008 12:38 am

    Hey Lou,

    I love the new design. The menus at the top make it easier to find some things. Thanks again for the outstanding resource!

  18. Lou September 14th, 2008 6:03 pm

    Thanks Art, it’s an evolving project but we need a template that would work with a blog software upgrade, so we whipped this one together.

    Been wanting to do the dropdown menus for a long time. They’re really easy to change, so they can evolve with the site.

    BTW, the dropdowns don’t work in Internet Exploder 6, but you just click on the main menu item and it takes you to a sitemap with the same options. I might fix that, but then, with IE 8 coming out I’m probably not obligated to have everything working perfectly three versions back… or perhaps Bill Gates will check in and make it right?

  19. jackjack October 20th, 2008 11:36 pm

    Hi i am new comer to this blog……
    I am very happy to join this blog……..
    I gathered lot of information from this blog…..
    I enjoyed when i read those posts in this blog…..
    The way of presentation is really too good…….
    The article is interesting and the information is really useful for me…..
    So I decided to spam you.

    jack (edited by WildSnow)

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  Your Comments

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use. ...

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