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For the week of April 4 through April 10, 2001

Skiing historians hold 10th annual gathering

Express Staff Writer

The International Skiing History Association (ISHA) arrived in Sun Valley on Sunday to begin what it calls a "gathering," not a convention.

This is the associationís 10th annual gathering, and the second one it has held in Sun Valley.

ISHAís event coordinator, Jane Chisholm, said members are particularly happy to be in Sun Valley because it is so rich in ski history.

"As the nationís first destination ski resort," a press release stated, "Sun Valley is ground zero for the sport in this nation.

"Baldy is and has been the home mountain for legends, starting with Gretchen Fraser to all five Idaho Olympians who competed in Nagano."

And thatís what ISHA is all aboutóskiing history.

The group was founded in 1991 as a non-profit organization chartered to celebrate, disseminate and preserve skiing history, and, as members like to say, "have fun doing it."

A local member of ISHA and a ski luminary in her own right, Luanne Pfeifer passionately supports the associationís work in collecting the oral histories of the pioneers of American skiing.

"So much ski history has been lost," she said. "It is time we preserve that early skiing history of America. We need to collect the true stories these people have to tell."

Pfeifer herself is well-known for her work in ski journalism. For 17 years she was a West Coast correspondent for Ski Magazine. In 1968 she won the prestigious national Harold Hirsch United States award for "excellence in ski journalism."

Pfeifer wrote a biography on Fraser in 1996, Gretchenís Gold, for which ISHA awarded her its highest book award, the Ullr, in 1997.

At each gathering, ISHA awards Lifetime Achievement Awards to recognize "extraordinary career accomplishments and excellence in skiing historical writing, journalism, illustration, publishing, fine art, fiction and poetry."

In addition to its Lifetime Achievement Award, ISHA also recognizes contributions to skiing history writing with its Ullr Award. For regional skiing histories, it awards the Skade Award.

All of those will be presented at the ISHA Awards Banquet on Saturday night.

Ullr is the Norse god of skiers, and Skade is his wife. According to mythology, Skade was a mortal granted the right to marry a god, and being partial to the mountains, she chose Ullr.

This yearís Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism will be presented to Ketchumís Dick Dorworth.

ISHA will confer three Ullr Awards this year. Peter Seibert will be awarded for his book, Vail, Triumph of a Dream, and Dick Hauserman will be awarded for his book, The Inventors of Vail.

The third Ullr will go to Dan Wendin and Ellie Huggins for their work in ski history book publishing. Huggins started Coldstream Press in 1992, and Wendin joined her in 1997.

Bill Wilson, a working newspaperman, will be presented with the Skade Award for his book, Challenging the Mountain, the Life and Times of Wendell Robie.

The public is invited to join ISHA members in the Columbine Room of the Sun Valley Inn at 8:30 p.m. tonight for a history presentation.



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