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Media Reviews: Lindsey Vonn's Memoir, ISHA Award Winners



Editor Seth Masia
Managing Editor Greg Ditrinco
Consulting Editor Cindy Hirschfeld
Art Director Edna Baker

Editorial Board
Seth Masia, Chairman
John Allen, Andy Bigford, John Caldwell, Jeremy Davis, Kirby Gilbert, Paul Hooge, Jeff Leich, Bob Soden, Ingrid Wicken

Founding Editors 
Morten Lund, Glenn Parkinson

To preserve skiing history and to increase awareness of the sport’s heritage

ISHA Founder 
Mason Beekley, 1927–2001

ISHA Board of Directors

Rick Moulton, Chairman
Seth Masia, President
Wini Jones, Vice President
Jeff Blumenfeld, Vice President
John McMurtry, Vice President
Bob Soden (Canada), Treasurer
Einar Sunde, Secretary

Richard Allen, Skip Beitzel, Michael Calderone, Dick Cutler, Ken Hugessen (Canada), David Ingemie, Joe Jay Jalbert, Henri Rivers, Charles Sanders, Christof Thöny (Austria), Ivan Wagner (Switzerland)

Presidential Circle
Christin Cooper, Billy Kidd, Jean-Claude Killy, Bode Miller, Doug Pfeiffer, Penny Pitou, Nancy Greene Raine

Executive Director
Janet White

Membership Services 
Laurie Glover
(802) 375-1105

Corporate Sponsorships 
Peter Kirkpatrick
(541) 944-3095


Bimonthly journal and official publication of the International Skiing History Association (ISHA)

Partners: U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame | Canadian Ski Museum and Hall of Fame

Alf Engen Ski Museum | North American Snowsports Journalists Association | Swiss Academic Ski Club


Skiing History (USPS No. 16-201, ISSN: 23293659) is published bimonthly by the International Skiing History Association, P.O. Box 1064, Manchester Center, VT 05255.
Periodicals postage paid at Manchester Center, VT and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to ISHA, P.O. Box 1064, Manchester Center, VT 05255

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Written permission from the editor is required to reproduce, in any manner, the contents of Skiing History, either in full or in part.

Media Reviews: Lindsey Vonn's Memoir, ISHA Award Winners

The Education of Lindsey Vonn

“What were you thinking in the starting gate?” If you’re annoyed every time you hear a reporter ask this of a skiing champion, read Lindsey Vonn’s memoir, Rise. It answers the question definitively.

The title has a double meaning. More confessional than autobiography, Rise recounts not only Vonn’s ascent to the top of the ski-racing food chain, but her career-long challenge to surmount depression, social anxiety and six or eight potentially career-ending surgeries. It records her psychological growth from a stubbornly determined nine-year-old to a sobered, self-aware 36-year-old.

Vonn has always been a mystery to her admirers. She appears to possess an obsessive-compulsive work ethic along with incredible physical courage. Rise reveals that the source of the work ethic is an overwhelming impulse to honor the sacrifices her family had made on behalf of her career—and a generalized compulsion to please people. On top of that, she lacks the instinct for self-preservation—a psychological quirk that led to skiing on the edge of the possible, especially when hurt. Time and again Vonn defied injuries to knees and self-esteem, and set a new standard of competition. She often had the support of people who loved her but just as often fell victim to the isolation of clinical depression—an imbalance of brain chemistry that seems to be her only physical flaw.

Rise doesn’t pretend to be a record of 434 starts, 148 podiums and 85 wins in World Cup, World Championship and Olympic events. Vonn recounts only the races she regards as turning points. There’s some nut-and-bolts stuff, too: her choice of men’s skis, finding speed in the fall line and the processes of rehab. Perhaps there’s another book to be written, with gate-by-gate accounts of her greatest races. But this one is a doozy. —Seth Masia

Rise, by Lindsey Vonn. Dey Street Books (2022), hardcover, 336 pages, $28.99 (Kindle edition $14.99)

Skade Award: New England’s Backcountry Trails

In The Best Backcountry Skiing in the Northeast: 50 Classic Ski and Snowboard Tours in New England and New York, David Goodman has created a comprehensive and timely guidebook for the renaissance of backcountry skiing. The book covers the premier ski tours in New Hampshire (detailing 21 of them), Maine (5), Vermont (18), New York (5) and Massachusetts (1). What impressed ISHA—and is key for the preservation of skiing’s roots—is Goodman’s inclusion of each locality’s skiing history.

Each of the 50 numbered tours begins with an overview, followed by trail statistics (elevations, distances, difficulty and how-to-get-there hints). An Appalachian Mountain Club topographical map for each region is included that’s overlaid with the color-coded ski trails, followed by the skiing history of that region. The tours are described in elegant and informative detail, most often accompanied by a beautiful color photograph of a skier or snowboarder enjoying a key feature of the route.

The layout and writing are engaging, and the author’s love for his sport is evident on every page: from the technicalities of Tuckerman’s Ravine to the beauty of Acadia National Park to the preservation challenges and deep powder on Big Jay. Even backcountry skiers who are not from the East will want to ski some of these tours after reading the book, and those who have let their backcountry involvement lapse will likely be enticed back. Backcountry skiing still represents the elemental roots of our sport, with its telemark turns, skins and untracked snow.

Goodman thought his first book, published in 1988, would sell 100 copies (95 of them to his friends). Four iterations later, and as Covid drives skiers away from crowds and into the backcountry, this edition seems to be the right book, at the right time. Goodman knows what he’s doing and he knows how to do it well. —Bob Soden

The Best Backcountry Skiing in the Northeast: 50 Classic Ski and Snowboard Tours in New England and New York, by David Goodman. From the Appalachian Mountain Club publishers (2020), softcover, 312 pages, $21.95

Ullr Award: 36 Artists

Skiing In the Eye of the Artist, the latest book from E. John B. Allen, the author of Skiing History’s Ski Art column (see page 9), is a gem. In a pocket-sized format, it gathers 43 paintings, posters and drawings from 36 19th- and 20th-century artists (plus a bonus cover). The selected images are charming, ranging from nationalistic to satirical, promotional to contemplative. Landscapes, magazine illustrations, cartoons and fine art are represented, from Scandinavia, the Alps, the Balkans and North America. The lively artist biographies facing each color plate constitute a short course in the history of ski art.

Allen is a retired professor of history and a member of the Skiing History editorial board. He has written for this magazine since time immemorial, and this book is his fourth to win an ISHA award. In addition, in 2009 Allen received ISHA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

I received Eye of the Artist as a Christmas gift and gobbled it right up. It would fit in a stocking. —Seth Masia

Skiing in the Eye of the Artist by E. John B. Allen. Egoth Verlag, hardbound, 86 pages, 8 x 5 inches, $18.41

Skade Award: Harris Hill Jump

Harris Hill Ski Jump: The First 100 Years provides a faithful and detailed account of the origins and history of this iconic ski jump in Brattleboro, Vermont. A storied venue, now an Olympic sized, 90-meter ski jump—and the only one in New England—Harris Hill has hosted 18 U.S. national and regional championships since its inauguration.

The book is the product of a nonprofit group effort, the 100th Anniversary Committee: Mel Martin (creative director), Kevin O’Connor (writer), Dana Sprague (historian), Lynn Barrett, Pat Howell, Sally Seymour, Heidi Humphrey (designer) and Kelly Fletcher (photo editor).

Fred Harris, founder of the Dartmouth Outing Club in 1910, launched the Brattleboro Outing Club in 1922 and immediately led a fund-raising drive to build the jump. With $2,200 and a few helpers, Harris built the initial structure. He also designed the first Winged Ski Trophy, crafted by Cartier. The hill was officially named after its creator in 1951.

Though the jump was upgraded and extended continuously over the years, in 2005 the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association decreed the antiquated wooden tower unsafe for competitions. A new community funding effort was launched to raise the estimated $1 million required to restore it. By 2007 the town had raised only $250,000; then the Morton Foundation of New York sailed in to the rescue with a check for $130,000 and assurances that more would be available when required. The re-engineered jump opened on Valentine’s Day in 2009, at a final cost of $600,000.

Many ski jumping luminaries have taken flight in Brattleboro over the years, including Birger Ruud, Torger and Art Tokle, Art Devlin and Hugh Barber. Harris Hill has been open to women jumpers since 1948; the Olympics would not follow suit until 2014.

This book is lavishly illustrated with archival images and documents (thanks in part to the collaboration of Jeff Leich at the New England Ski Museum) and more current color photographs. It also catalogues the winners over the jump’s 100-year run, the names of those who retired six of the winged trophies and a detailed timeline. —Bob Soden   

Harris Hill Ski Jump: The First 100 Years by the 100th Anniversary Committee. Harris Hill Ski Jump, Inc. (2021), softcover, 120 pages, $28.95

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