An important pioneer and ski figure was born 111 years ago on this day in the Austrian Alps. Johann “Hannes” Schneider was born June 24, 1890 in Stuben am Arlberg. This son of a cheese maker would grow up to revolutionized skiing and the way it would be thought. In 1907 at the age of 17, he would work as ski instructor for the Post Hotel in St. Anton. That where we would start developing a teaching system which would become known as the Arlberg Method which would become internationally famous.
He instructed the Austrian Mountain troops to ski during the First World War. His method would grow in popularity after the war and his disciples would spread the Method across the World and North America. In 1928 with Arnold Lunn organized the first Arlberg-Kandahar race. He would published books and make movies with Arnold Fanck. He was jailed by the German after the Anschluss in 1939 (Austrian annexation). The owner of Cranmore Mountain, Harvey Dow Gibson, arranged for his release and immigration to the United Stated where he would become ski school director at Cranmore. He helped trained the US Mountain Troops in which his son Herbert served. Schneider died in North Conway on April 26, 1955. He was inducted into the U.S. Hall of Fame in 1958.
This week’s feature is one of the rare clip of Hannes Schneider currently on the internet. This video is part of Der Weisse Rausch which was featured was already presented on Friday Night Video back in January.
More on Hannes Schneider:
There is an very detailed documentary on Hannes Schneider and his disciples called Legacy: Austria’s Influence on American Skiing. (see Movies seciion for reference)
The Father of Modern Skiing- Hannes Schneider by Laurie J. Puliafico