Saturday, September 26, 2015

Congratulations to Dave Hanscom

Long-time friend to the nordic and backcountry skiing communities of Utah, Dave Hanscom, was inducted into the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame on Thursday.  It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Along with Alexis Kelner, Dave is the co-author of Wasatch Tours, Volumes 1, 2, and 3, the first definitive guides to backcountry skiing in the Wasatch Range.  Volume 2, covering the northern Wasatch, including the tri-canyons, contains wonderful prose.  One of my favorites is the description for the approach to Thomas Fork.

"No ski area developers have cleared the willows and oak, so considerable ingenuity and determination are required to get through the brush.  True cross country touring is, after all, a character developing and strengthening form of recreation." 

I don't know if Dave or Alexis wrote that section, but the entire book series is filled with great commentary of this type. 

Dave has also contributed greatly to the nordic community of Utah through The Utah Nordic Alliance (TUNA) and his efforts for the Wasatch Citizens Series.  A more complete summary of his skiing contributions is available in this recent article in the Park Record.

I first met Dave in the Hakuba Valley of Japan where we were sent to learn as much as we could about the logistics of putting on the 1998 Nagano Olympics.  His area was cross-country skiing, mine was weather, and I was fortunate to learn a good deal from him about the impacts of weather on cross country racing.  Watching the mens 4x10 km relay, the so-called Super Bowl of nordic skiing, with Dave was one of the highlights of my "Olympic" career.  

Dave Hanscom and I at the Snow Harp cross-country skiing venue, Hakuba Valley, Japan
Dave also played a vital role in my book Secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth.  I had hoped to start the book with a history of the phrase Greatest Snow on Earth, and assumed that someone would have hunted this down as part of the trademark infringement suit brought forth by the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus.  Nope.  So one day I called Dave and he suggested that a guy named Mike Korologos might know the story.  I eventually crossed paths with Mike and he sure did know the story.  His brother Tom came up with the phrase in 1960 and I was able to eventually find the original article that appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune that coined the phrase.  

Finally, I must mention Dave's 20+ year service to the University of Utah computer science and engineering program.  Go Utes!

Congrats to Dave on this well deserved recognition of his many contributions to Utah skiing.  

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, And he still is great on the skinny skis.