Thread drift, but I took my first trip to St Anton last year, and Der Weiss Rausch was playing in one of the bars at happy hour.
I had never heard of Hannes Schneider, but was immediately captivated. The movie was available on DVD at many of the gift shops, but I picked up a German Cuckoo for the wife instead.
Anyhoo, after I got home I ordered one of these posters, which is now framed and hanging in our living room:
The movie, made in 1931 I think, kind of blew my mind for the level of skiing, and cinematography given the ski and film equipment of the time. It was also very cool to see many familiar buildings that are still standing, and mostly in pristine condition. It saddened me to know that all the skiers in the film have passed from this world, but inspired me to know that their images still live on in film.
It was only after I returned home that I did some research into Schneider's colorful career, which just cemented my initial impression. This guy was a pioneer; from wikipedia:
He was born in the town of Stuben am Arlberg in Austria as a son of a cheese maker. In 1907 he became a ski guide at the Hotel Post in St. Anton, Austria where he began work on what became known as the Arlberg technique. After serving as a ski instructor for the Austrian army during the First World War, he returned to the Hotel Post. In 1921 a film came out based on the Arlberg technique; he formed a semi-independent ski school where by 1924 he had formalized his method of instruction.
In the inter war period he also appeared in several of Dr. Arnold Fanck's ski films. Der weiße Rausch, which helped make skiing popular, was filmed at the Arlberg in the winter of 1930/1931. He also co-published a book (with Fanck), named Die Wunder des Schneeschuhs which became translated to English as The Wonders of Skiing in 1931. Former students of Hannes Schneider include Otto Lang and Friedl Pfiefer.
In 1939 he moved his operations to Cranmore Mountain Ski Resort in North Conway, New Hampshire. He had run into trouble with Nazi policies and even spent time in jail after the Anschluss. During the Second World War he helped train the 10th Mountain Division of the U. S. Army in which his son Herbert served.
The New England Ski Museum hosts the Hannes Schneider Meister Skiing Cup in his memory every march at Cranmore Mountain resort. During 2005 the New England Ski Museum features an exhibit on the life of Hannes Schneider and his impact on the sport of skiing.
Before my trip to St Anton, my only real ski heroes were, in order of importance and influence; Wayne Wong, Glen Plake, and Mike Hattrup. Now Hannes Schneider has been added to that list.
Found Der Weisse Rauche on YouTube in multiple parts. Will try to imbed all. Enjoy!
And my own crappy little edit from St Anton:
Edited by MT Skull - 4/12/14 at 10:22pm