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2007 Vermont Ski Museum Hall of Fame Induction

Bunny Bertram (1908-1981)

Bunny BertramResponsible for the first continuously operating tow in the US (1934) founder of Bunny's Ski Tows 1935, owned and operated Suicide Six 1936-1961.

Those who skied at Suicide Six remember the man as much as the mountain .

Born in 1908 to a veterinarian in Newport Rhode Island.

Bunny graduated from Dartmouth in 1931, a zoology major with a passion for winter sports. He had led the Dartmouth winter sports which at that time consisted mostly of snowshoe racing with skiing as an afterthought. By 1936, Dartmouth would populate the Olympic ski team, and would remain a force in competitive skiing.

Bunny did not stray far from the granite hills of new Hampshire. He had spent summers chauffeuring for Mrs. Fiske in Woodstock. At this time, Woodstock attracted wealthy adventure seekers and outdoor lovers from Boston and New York, and some of these men challenged the Royces at the White Cupboard Inn to improve skiing by building a rope tow. Bunny spent the first winter that the famed Gilbert's Hill tow operated teaching skiing for the Royces. In the 1934-35 season, he helped them rerig the rope tow for greater efficiency. For the winter of 1935-36, he and Mrs. Fiske opened the Gully ski tows with bunny running the show.

Ever interested in offering more, Bunny arranged for the purchase of the other side of the Gully. He purchased Perry's pasture in 1937, sold the timber to make back some of his money, reinvested that in another rope tow, and Suicide Six opened in 1937. Suicide Six initially was a one man show - Bunny did it all. He was lift operator, maintenance man, rope splicer, lift operator, ticket taker, and master planner.

Bunny strived to keep Suicide Six up to date and busy. In the 1930s Bunny worked with the other ski areas in the Upper Valley to market the area in urban areas. He installed the first poma lift in North America in 1954. He borrowed grooming equipment from larger ski areas, driving it to and from Suicide Six in the middle of the night. He offered a first class ski experience.

One of his lasting legacies is in supporting youth racing. He brought over the Dartmouth ski team to train, pioneered the first NASTAR style race down the Face of Six, he and his wife Betty helped to found the Mid Vermont ski council for young racers in 1956, and he continued his devotion to supporting the community kids through the Woodstock Ski Runners program.

Click here to hear Butch Sutherland recall Betram's role in developing youth skiing.

Albert F. Sise (1907-1991)

Albert Sise"The Father of Masters Ski Racing" , Longest ski racing career on record (1928-1990), promoter of lifelong involvement with nature, weather and sports

"Always assume that the next ridge has the best view ever and the next run will be the best ever."

Al participated in the first non-collegiate downhill race in America in 1927 on the Mt. Moosilauke carriage road. It kindled a lift long passion for the sport.

Al grew up in Medford MA near Boston, a dairy farm town in the early 1900s. He and his brother Hub got started skiing on a hill behind their house on home made skis. Together they experimented with their technique. Both Harvard men, they helped to found the Schussverien ski club, arguably the second oldest ski club in the United States.

After Harvard and to become a professor at MIT working on radar. But these ties to the city did not stop Al from pursuing his interest in skiing and also in being outdoors. Every weekend he would bundle his wife Suzi and their three girls into the car for the drive to their home in Norwich Vermont. The family skied in the winter and hiked, played tennis and sailed in the summer.

As a professor, Al had a keen interest in understanding how things worked. This personality trait carried through all he did. From 1937-1941, he lived on the summit of Mt. Washington to as chief engineer of the Yankee Network and installed the second FM station in the country. He skied in and out from Jackson NH through Pinkham Notch.

It is not surprising that he became intrigued with ski racing. He and his racing friends would spend hours trying to explain and master the perfect slalom turn, the right angle of the hips and knees, and with the rapidly evolving equipment and increasing age, this process was never ending.

Al had the longest ski racing history on record, beginning with that first race in 1927 and ending with the National Championships at Sugarloaf in 1990 where Al raced slalom and downhill after recovering from a long, weakening illness.

Al began racing in the veterans class in 1955 and made every effort to compete in the annual national ski championships In 1971, he and some pals started the Sise Cup, an annual race series for Masters racers now run by New England Masters Ski Racing. Skiers aged 25 and up compete in 7 different age categories. Al called by the United States Ski Association as the father of masters racing would undoubtedly enjoy the camaraderie and competitive spirit still apart at masters races.

Click here to hear Bob Halcombe discuss Al Sise.

Mike Gallagher (1941-2013)

Mike GallagherCross country Olympian (1964, 1968, 1972), US Cross Country Ski Team Head Coach 1980-86) and Olympic Coach (1980, 1984, 1992)

"My strength came from the Green Mountains. My life thrives living in the Green Mountains."

Mike was born in Yonkers, New York, to a veteran of the 10 th mountain division. Donald Gallagher trained in Colorado, and after the war was offered a position with the Aspen Skiing Company. Half way to Aspen, the Gallaghers changed their minds and headed back to Middlebury Vermont. In 1947, Mike was living in Rutland and skiing at Pico.

At the time of Mike's alpine career, the sport of skiing was growing by leaps and bounds, and he was competing against some of the best racers produced in the US. He lost one race to Billy Kidd. But as fate would have it, Mike discovered cross country skiing and combined his talent on skis with his natural penchant for running.

Mike's first cross country skis were 10 th mountain surplus skis cut down with boots screwed to them at the toe. After winning the 1959 Junior National title, Mike had a choice of schools and found himself in Colorado studying and training at the University of Colorado. He made the 1962 Olympic training squad and competed in his first Olympics in 1964. Mike knew the Americans were missing some component of training, and arranged in 1964 to live and train with the Norwegian team. He and his teammates continued to improve - they adopted more cross country ski specific training. Despite good fitness - the team set a record for running the long trail in 9 days in 1967 - the team lacked summer training until mike discovered roller skiing and brought it to the US. He competed in the 1968 and 1972 Olympics and became Head US Cross Country Ski Coach from 1980-86 and Olympic coach for 1980, 84, and 1992. Mike's willingness to experiment with new ideas carried through his racing career and into his coaching career.

He became head cross country ski coach at that time that the next wave of influential skiers entered the arena, posed to win. Not one to shy from controversy, he took on international racing again by supporting new ski technology and technique. He worked with Splitkein, Hexell, Edysbyn and Elan trying to perfect the fiberglass ski. He supported Bill Koch and the skating technique, a divisive change to the staid cross country ski world.

Mike helped American skiers bring their mental game to the level of their physical game. He taught the same lessons to those he coached after he left the US Ski team. He coached high school cross country skiing for 17 years and worked for Mountain Top Inn and Mountain Meadows teaching skiing. He kept his competitive edge by bicycle racing; he never lost a time trial race in New England. Click here to read Mike's obituary.

Click here to hear Mike Gallagher.

Donna Weinbrecht

Donna WeinbrechtFirst woman to win Olympic gold in freestyle (1992), 5 Overall World Cup titles, 46 World Cup Victories, 7 time National Champion.

"I believe in the power of letting go."

Growing up in New Jersey, her whole family was introduced to skiing by a neighbor. Her parents and her two siblings each adapted to the sport differently. They all enjoyed the freedom and ambience of the small area, Hidden Valley. Donna tried racing and when they brought in a ballet skier to teach the kids tricks, she was right there learning helicopters. She traveled with her family and her neighbors on ski trips around New England and the family eventually settled on a second home in Killington. Here Donna was exposed to mogul skiing on Outer Limits. She had found a trail to tame and a group of people who shared her interest in the rhythms of freestyle skiing.

After high school, Donna enrolled in the Ridgewood School of Art and Design. She returned for the second semester only to find that the school had closed. Donna turned around and headed back to Killington where she spent her time training herself to be a better mogul skier.

And she did it, without a coach, without specialized camps, and without a team. In her rookie year on the US Ski Team in 1988-89, she became poised to lead the US Freestyle Team to gold in 1992.

In her rookie year, freestyle skiing had demonstrated at the 1988 Calgary Games and mogul skiing had been approved for official competition in 1992. competing in the first Olympics with freestyle skiing and winning the first gold medal allowed Donna to honor the founders of her sport and her team that had supported her growth as an athlete.

Donna was unprepared for the media frenzy that followed her win. The demands on her time for public appearances overwhelmed the still competing athlete. In 1993, she suffered a potentially career ending knee injury. She admits that part of her injury was mental.

True to he nature, she fought to come back and to compete in the 1994 Olympics. She finished 7th . She tried out for the 1998 team and finished 4 th . She ended her career as the most decorated mogul skier in history winning 5 world cup mogul titles, 46 world cup victories, 7 us national titles, 1 world championship gold and 2 world championship silvers. Now she is an advocate for the sport and still carries with her the love of the sport and the outdoors born on the slopes of New Jersey and Vermont.

Click here to hear Donna Weinbrecht and Paul Robbins.

Phillip Cabot Camp, Sr.

Phillip Cabot CampFirst ski area marketing professional in the industry starting at Killington (1959-1968), founder and Executive Director of New England Ski Areas Council (1969-1997).

"Creative marketing attracts all ages to the mountains for happy, healthy experiences, then motivates them to return soon and often."

Phil, born and raised in Woodstock Vermont, studied marketing and communications at Boston University. As most soon to be college grads, his career options were varied and numerous, so he returned home to figure it out. He went to see his past employer Bunny Bertram at Suicide Six, who sent him down the road to Killington. It was 1959 and Killington Basin as it was known then was just getting started.

Phil took the creative freedom and ran with it. He instituted many of the programs that are ubiquitous at ski areas today. He was the first to spy on other areas by studying the license plates in the parking lot. He started the first ambassadors program, putting loyal Killington skiers to work in their home towns raising awareness and breeding more Killington skiers. He introduced the slogan great things are happening and supported it with free lift rides for hunters, pond skimming, and other crazy pranks. He helped Killington to become the largest ski area in new England to bring the budget from $100,000 to over 2,5 million.

He left Killington in 1967 and went to Sugarbush. His memorable marketing campaign at Sugarbush was the paint a gondola contest. The contest was 4 to 1 over expectations. . He left Sugarbush, after doubling their revenues, in to return to Woodstock where he founded his own marketing consulting business.

Market research was a big interest of Phil's, and he again found a niche when some new England ski area operators approached him to help them figure out their relationship with skiers. Phil produced a telling report and suggested the New England ski areas council. Phil ran NESAC until 1997. By then it had developed into a high tech information delivery system providing information on us skiing internationally.

This might seem like plenty to keep one man busy but not Phil. Phil served on the Vermont Development Commission under Governor Phillip Hoff, on the Vermont committee for the Montreal Expo in 1967, as Executive Director of the Eastern Ski Areas Association in 1980, and as chief press secretary for alpine events at the 1980 Olympics - a highlight there being that he been assigned the Us versus Russia hockey game. While running NESAC he continued to work as a marketing consultant and produced newsletters and other publications such as ski area news service, travel information center, northeast wire service, Killington ski scene, pr newswire, Mediabank. He also purchased the Vermont Standard in 1982 and still runs it today.

Click here to hear Phil Camp reflect on his career.