In our last chapter, the death of Dole’s friend Frank Edison inspires Dole to study ski safety.
Mount Mansfield in Stowe, Vermont was selected as the venue for the 1938 National Downhill and Slalom Races. More accurately called an international ski race, racers would come from the United States, Germany, Austria, and France. Frank Griffin, the President of the Mount Mansfield Ski Club, asked Charles Minot “Minnie” Dole if he would form and lead a special ski patrol to serve as the safety and rescue team for the races…
<<< In our last chapter, Minnie Dole was injured in a ski accident so severely that they thought he might never walk again, let alone ski.
While still on crutches and convalescing from his broken leg earned on the Toll Road in Stowe in 1936, Minnie Dole’s good friend and ski companion, Franklin Edson III, came to visit. Frank informed Minnie that The ASCNY had asked him to round out a race team to compete at an interclub meet that was to be held in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Races at this time were truly “downhill” races, with no speed control sections or gates…
<<< In our last chapter, alpine skiing gains a toe-hold in North America and the Amateur ski club of New York is formed.
While sidelined from skiing due to an injury in 1931, Roland Palmedo, president of the Amateur Ski Club of New York, wrote a letter to the Postmaster in Stowe, Vermont. He had been to Stowe in the summer and knew that Mount Mansfield was a significant landmark, but was there life in Stowe in the winter? Did the town have the facilities to host the ASCNY if they arrived in the winter to ski? The reply came not from the Postmaster but from the Secretary of the Stowe Civic Club, and the response was very positive. Stowe and Mount Mansfield became regular destinations for the club. The response from the town would also eventually lead to the biplane flight in 1939. Our story, the story of the creation of the National Ski Patrol, falls in the intervening years between those two events.
Stephanie Cox was hired as the Executive Director of the NSP just over a year ago, in October 2022. She is the third Executive Director of the NSP in the last few years. Trail Sweep asked Stephanie if she would agree to be interviewed to discuss the challenges of the job and her plans for the future. We asked her about what skills she brought to the job, how she felt about the turnover of her predecessors, her plans for the growth of sponsorships and fundraising, and her plans to help resolve issues with the NSP website.
What experiences and skills do you bring to the NSP as Executive Director?
My prior leadership roles, where I had to manage large, diverse teams, make critical decisions, and motivate others – especially in difficult, changing, and complex environments…
The sound of the biplane echoed off the valley walls as the powerful seven-cylinder radial engine drove the propeller through the air currents coming off the mountain. Those on the ground paid little attention. They had seen this biplane before. If they had looked up, they would have noticed that the second seat, which was usually empty, was occupied today, and the skis that were usually tied to the struts were missing. It was 1939, and things at the head of the west branch of the Little River near Stowe, Vermont, were about to change, and those changes would shape the course of NSP history.
For the very few paying attention, the change could have been predicted.