Ski filmmaker Dick Barrymore and the late ski adventurer Ned Gillette,
both with longtime Sun Valley connections, are two of the six newest inductees into the
U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame at Ishpeming, Mich.
Barrymore and Gillette are joined by Olympic downhiller Bill Beck, ski
equipment innovator Bob Lange, cross-country skier Olav Pedersen and Killington (Vt.) ski
area founder Preston Leete Smith.
Richard Goetzman of Long Beach, Ca., president of the 44-year-old U.S.
National Ski Hall of Fame, announced the Class of 2000 selections on July 26.
The newest members will be formally inducted Sept. 30 at Ishpeming,
birthplace of organized skiing in the U.S. Details of the gala event are available by
Here are brief biographies of the six inductees, information that was
provided in a press release from the Hall of Fame and Express sources:
Dick Barrymore: Born in 1933 in California, Barrymore became one of
a small group of ski filmmakers who traversed the U.S. for many yearsshowing and
personally narrating their films with wit and humor at ski clubs, and in school
auditoriums and movie houses.
In 1960, he began his career as a ski filmmaker at the Winter Olympics in
Squaw Valley, Ca.
His longer movies included "Ski West Young Man," "Wild
Skis," and "The Last of the Ski Bums."
Among his star skiers have been locals like Jim Stelling, Charlie
McWilliams, Joey Cordeau, Matt Luhn, Dave Woodham, Alan Rickers Scott Curtis and his son,
Blake Barrymore. Barrymore also covered the growth of freestyle skiing.
In over 30 years of shooting ski film all over the world, Barrymore
delighted untold thousands of snow lovers. He and his former wife Betsy bought a house in
Sun Valley in 1969 and moved here permanently in 1972.
Along with U.S. Ski Hall of Fame members John Jay and Warren Miller,
Barrymore undoubtedly enticed horses of curious viewers to try the sport of skiing.
Ned Gillette: A Vermonter and graduate of Dartmouth College,
Gillette was the 1967 NCAA cross-country ski champion and captain of the Dartmouth ski
team. He was a member of the 1968 U.S. Olympic Nordic team.
Gillette headed the cross-country ski school at Stowes Trapp Family
Lodge, and also served as director of skiing at Yosemite Mountaineering School. He wrote a
book about the sport, Cross Country Skiing, which was published in 1979.
Finding new challenges turned out to be Gillettes main challenge
during his life, which ended prematurely.
In more than 20 expeditions starting in the late 1970s, Gillette pioneered
routes around Mt. Everest and Mt. McKinley. He upgraded the sponsorship of expeditions,
bringing a business-like approach to raising money.
He and three others navigated a 28-foot aluminum boat through the 600-mile
Drake Passage to Antarctica in 1988.
He took turns down the highest mountain ever skied from its
summitthe 24,757-foot Mustagh Ata in the Pamirs. Gillette also opened new frontiers
for skiing, by traversing Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic and cross-country skiing
in Chinas former Manchuria.
In 1993, Gillette and his wife Susie Patterson of Sun Valley rode camels
6,000 miles on the old Silk Road from China to the Mediterranean Sea. Patterson was a
two-time U.S. national alpine ski queen.
Gillette, 53, died Aug. 5, 1998 when he was brutally shot and murdered
while sleeping in his tent in Kashmir, the disputed northern region between India and
Pakistan. His wife was also shot in the incident, but she survived.
Bill Beck: One of this countrys outstanding ski racers of the
1950s, Beck was a member of the national "A Team" from 1951-57. Among his
teammates on the 1952 U.S. Olympic ski team were Jack Reddish, Brooks Dodge and Jimmy
In the 1952 Winter Games, Beck finished fifth in the mens
downhillat that time the best-ever downhill finish by an American male. That record
stood for 28 years, until Sun Valleys Pete Patterson tied it with a fifth-place
downhill in 1980.
Beck tied Chick Igaya for the gold medal in the U.S. national downhill on
Cannon Mountain in 1955. Beck was named to the world championship team in 1954, then
joined racers like Buddy Werner and Tom Corcoran on the 1956 Olympic ski team.
Bob Lange: In 1948, Lange used plastic in a ski boot for the first
time. He reinforced a pair of custom-made Peter Limmer boots, using some
fiberglass-reinforced polyester resin left over from a boat hull.
He started the Lange Corporation and manufactured products from
fiberglass. Beck decided to invent a plastic ski boot in the late 1950s.
Lange started with vacuum-molded ABS sheet and made 750 the first year.
Eventually, he switched to polyurethane and the successful Lange boot was born.
That black boot became the benchmark in ski historymarking the jump
from early soft leather to the modern boot that bonded ski and leg. Closures, stiffness
and height were constantly adjusted and enhanced.
The boot sold by the thousands.
Lange passed away this past June at the age of 74.
Preston Leete Smith: In 1955, at the age of 25, Smith searched New
England for a promising ski mountain. He settled on Killington and raised $85,000 in
The resort opened on a shoestring in Dec. 1958. By the 1980s, it had
become a major eastern ski operation with skier visits over one million.
One of Smiths greatest achievements was the expansion of
Killingtons snowmaking. It earned the ski area a wide reputation for dependable snow
conditions and lengthy seasons, which can run from October to June.
Killington was also the first in the nation to promote GLM, which boomed
ski school business.
Smiths countless hours of volunteer work in the interest of the
sport included being a former director of the National Ski Areas Association and long-time
chair of the Competition Committee.
Killington, under Smith, produced a fair share of U.S. Ski Team members
over the years, including Smiths daughter Leslie Leete Smith, who raced in the 1976
Winter Olympics, and gold medal-winning mogul specialist Donna Weinbrecht.
When Preston Leete Smith finally sold his publicly-listed company in 1996,
it owned and operated six ski resorts in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and California.
Olav Pedersen: Born Feb. 17, 1917, Pedersen won his first ski
jumping trophy at the age of 12 and spent his youth skiing and competing in his beloved
He served in the Norwegian Resistance during the German occupation of
World War II.
In 1963, Pedersen was invited to teach skiing at Breckenridge. Since, he
was taught alpine skiing and cross-country skiing at the Colorado resort. He also started
a skiing program for visually-impaired people. "Ski for Light" is now in its