Featured Member: Nick Paumgarten Sr

Nick Paumgarten Sr on race course

A Family Matter

Nick Paumgarten, whose father and uncle skied in the Winter Olympics, has been a passionate ISHA supporter since 2004.

Nick Paumgarten Sr. joined ISHA in 2004 and has been a passionate supporter ever since. His commitment to the tradition of skiing is a family matter. His uncle, Fridtjof Paumgarten, skied in the first Winter Olympics, at Chamonix in 1924. His father, Harald Paumgarten, skied in the second Winter Olympics, in St. Moritz in 1928.

Born in Graz, Fridtjof and Harald competed in cross country and jumping for the Austrian team. As an alpine skier, Harald won the Canadian national slalom championship in 1929, and finished third in the “long” downhill at the first Alpine World Championships at Mürren in 1931. After competing in the Lake Placid Games in 1932, he raced on the bronze-medal 4x10 relay team at the 1933 Nordic World Championships in Innsbruck.

Harald then found a banking job in New York. It was not for him and he joined the first American alpine ski school, teaching with Sig Buchmayr at Peckett’s-on-Sugar Hill, New Hampshire. Back home in Austria, his younger sister Gerda won four Alpine World Championship medals, including gold in slalom at Innsbruck in 1936, and the Arlberg Kandahar trophy.

Harald married Elise Robinson, a Philadelphia socialite, and sired five young skiers. He died in an avalanche in 1952; twenty years later his daughter, Meta, died while skiing out of bounds in Aspen.

Mick Sr. was the youngest of Harald’s kids. He earned his BA at the University of Pennsylvania, where he captained the heavy eight crew, and his MBA at Columbia. Then he rose through the ranks at First Boston (now Credit Suisse) and JP Morgan. At Morgan, he spun off Corsair Capital, a fund that invests in financial companies. He’s still involved with that firm—what he calls his desk job—but takes frequent ski trips. He’s had his own close calls, surviving an avalanche in Verbier in 1984 and a tree collision in the British Columbia backcountry in 2006.

“All of us who love skiing should know their predecessors—who was great, who created the resorts, backed the sport, fought for it,” says Paumgarten. “I read a lot of magazines, but I especially love Skiing History. It’s a big part of my enjoyment of the sport.”

Want to read more? You’ve got options!

1. 1. TRY A 1-YR INTRODUCTORY MEMBERSHIP IN ISHA! For ONLY $12 you’ll receive six issues of Skiing History, starting with the current issue. Click below to get started!

2. A Special Introductory OFFER: Sign up for our FREE 6-month digital membership.  You can explore current and past issues of Skiing History magazine FREE for 6 months! CHECK IT OUT!   

3. Or request a free print copy of the magazine mailed to your home. Sign up for your one-time free trial issue of Skiing History here:

(Due to the high cost of postage, this offer is limited to North American residents only.)