2010 Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame Announced


A pioneering ski area founder, a promoter of world record-setting ski jumping tournaments, a former U.S. Ski Team member and Olympic competitor, and an archivist whose efforts are preserving the rich history of skiing in the Intermountain Region comprise the class of 2010 for the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame here on Thursday, September 23 at 6pm.

The 2010 inductees are:

Peter S. Ecker – (1989-1967): A native of Oslo, Norway, Peter migrated to Salt Lake City in 1917 and used his ski jumping knowledge to promote world-class ski jumping tournaments that attracted several thousand spectators in the1930s and 1940s at a site near the summit of Parleys Canyon that became known as Ecker Hill.

Claude F. Jones – (1905-1981): A one-time Western Union telegraphs delivery boy, he founded Magic Mountain Ski Area near Twin Falls, ID in 1939 and operated it for the next 33 years. He also was a driving force during the developmental years of the Professional Ski Instructors of America, Intermountain Ski Areas Association and the National Forest Recreation Association.

Karen Korfanta – A native of Pinedale, WY, she was a dominant skier in the Intermountain Region and junior national champion in the 1960s and became a celebrated competitor for the University of Utah, the U.S. Ski Team and for 1968 U.S. Olympic Team. She has served her sport locally and globally as racing coordinator, technical delegate, influential official and as an inspiration to aspiring athletes. Currently she is race department manager for Park City Mountain Resort, a position she has held for 21 seasons.

Gregory C. Thompson – In 1989 he was co-founder of the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library Ski Archives, which has become one of the largest and highly regarded collections of ski history in the United States. An historian, archivist, researcher and educator, Dr. Thompson is a native of Durango, CO. He serves as associate director of the Marriott Library for Special Collections and is a respected educator, author and lecturer on the history of skiing and on the West.

They will be inducted into the shrine at the Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center/Alf Engen Ski Museum here on September 23rd. Activities will begin with a 6:00 p.m. reception, followed by a 7:30 p.m. dinner and 8:00 p.m. presentations.

The Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame was established in 2002 and this foursome will bring the number of inductees to 46.

Each honoree (or a family member) will receive a glass plaque bearing their likeness and a biographical overview of their accomplishments and achievements that merit Hall of Fame status. A duplicate plaque will be enshrined in the Will and Jean Pickett Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame, located in the main foyer of the Alf Engen Ski Museum. The hall is named in recognition of the late ski enthusiasts who lived in Salt Lake City.

According to David L. Vandehei, president of the non-profit Alf Engen Ski Museum Foundation that oversees the Hall of Fame, some 160 (due to seating limitations) are expected to attend the 2010 ceremonies.

Vandehei informs that the Hall of Fame selections are made annually by knowledgeable winter sports historians from Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. Selection is based on outstanding achievements in the areas of skiing competition, skiing innovations, ski sport development and significant contributions to the overall promotion of winter sports the Intermountain West.

Nominees for the honor originate with the public and with volunteer members of the Utah Ski Archives Advisory Board.

Inductees to the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame to date are:

· 2002: Junior Bounous, Zane A. Doyle, Alf M. Engen, Sverre Engen, Karre “Corey” Engen, Gretchen K. Fraser, W. Averell Harriman and S. Joseph “Joe” Quinney.

· 2003: Stein Eriksen, Bill Briggs and Axel Andreason

· 2004: Pepi Steigler, “Mayor” George Watson, Suzy Harris Rytting, Bill Lash, Bill Spencer and Edward L. Scott

· 2005: Edgar B. Stern, Jr., Neil Rafferty, M. Earl Miller, Lou Lorenz, Keith Lange and James R. Gaddis.

· 2006: Marv Melville, Cal McPhie, Dick Movitz, Dev Jennings, Jack Reddish and Marthenius (Mark, M.A.) Strand.

· 2007: Ted Johnson, Paul McCollister, Woody Anderson, K Smith, Pete Karns and Margo Walters-McDonald.

· 2008: Alvin F. Cobabe, Albert “Sunny” Korfanta and Pat Miller.

· 2009: Richard D. (Dick) Bass, Siegfried (Sigi) Engl, Alan K. Engen and Mike C. Korologos.

The Hall of Fame plaque for each of the 2010 inductees reads as follows:

Peter S. Ecker

(1898 – 1967)

Peter S. Ecker helped propel Utah’s winter sports image to world-class status, quite literally, by leaps and bounds. Soon after migrating from his native Oslo, Norway, in 1917, he combined his inherent skiing prowess with his keen business acumen to promote ski jumping tournaments at a diving, tree-line chute east of Parleys Summit near Park City, Utah. During the 1930s, his uncanny and enthusiastic efforts would attract thousands of spectators to the hill where they marveled at the exploits of daring ski jumpers from numerous countries as they perennially established national and world ski jumping records.

In 1933, those winter spectacles inspired Utah Gov. George H. Dern to name the jump site Ecker Hill. The founder and owner of a popular Salt Lake City photo emporium called Ecker Studios, Ecker also kept skiing at the forefront of the news by promoting the sport from his status as president of the Utah Ski Club, a position he held for 10 years in the 1930s and 1940s. His early-day contributions set a solid foundation for the success skiing enjoys today.

Claude F. Jones

(1905 – 1981)

Using a pioneering spirit steeped in grit and gumption, one-time auto mechanic Claude Jones established southern Idaho’s Magic Mountain Ski Area in 1940. For the next 33 years, he nurtured the neighborly ski area near Twin Falls, ID by building its tows, plowing its roads, serving its hamburgers and supervising its ski patrol and ski instruction. A native of Turley, MO, he worked with the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) and the U.S. Forest Service in drafting and implementing the area’s master plan, including erecting its first jig-back sled lift. His “iron hand” work ethic and love of skiing inspired close associates to pursue successful careers in the industry.

Claude Jones was an early supporter of the Intermountain Ski Instructors Association, the Northern Intermountain Ski Instructors Association, the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA), the National Forest Recreation Association and the Intermountain Ski Areas Operators Association. Magic Mountain Ski Area serves as a lasting tribute to Claude Jones’ pioneering spirit.

Karen Korfanta (1945 - )

Karen Korfanta’s impressive exploits span the ski racing spectrum as few others. They range from learning to ski at a small ski area founded by her father and mother near her hometown of Pinedale, WY, to the global stage. She dominated the region’s junior racing circuit, winning the U.S. Junior Nationals Slalom Championship in 1963 and the senior title the following year. She was a stalwart for the University of Utah, competing at the World University Games in Italy and Finland; was a member of the U.S. National Alpine Team in 1967-70; the U.S. Olympic Team in 1968 and the U.S. FIS Universiade teams in 1966 and 1970.

In her post-racing days Karen became an untiring benefactor of skiing. Her triumphs include being coordinator for the Men’s and Women’s U.S. Alpine Ski Program, Assistant Alpine Director of the U.S. Ski Team, Assistant Director of the National Training Center at Park City; and an FIS Technical Delegate. As the race department manager of Park City Mountain Resort, she successfully orchestrated America’s Opening World Cups and 2002 Olympic Winter Games competitions at the Park City venue.

In a notable tribute to the respect she commands on the international skiing scene, Karen was named chairwoman of the FIS Ladies Alpine Skiing Committee in 2008. That same year she received the prestigious S.J. Quinney Award for her contributions to skiing from the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library’s Ski Archives, the Intermountain Region’s foremost authority on skiing history.

Gregory (Greg) C. Thompson

(1943 - )

The evolution of skiing in the Intermountain West is rich with enterprise and inspiration, rife with innovators and Olympians. At the helm of the preservation of that priceless record is respected historian, educator and administrator Dr. Gregory C. Thompson. In 1989 Greg and Sue Raemer were the co-founders of the Ski Archives housed at the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library. Dedicated to his art of preserving treasured research materials, Greg provided untiring expertise and guidance as the Ski Archives amassed its prized collections, scrapbooks, photographs and film and became one of America’s foremost repositories of ski history.

Greg is a native of Durango, CO and received his MA and doctorate degrees from the University of Utah where he serves as Assistant Director of its Marriott Library for Special Collections and is an adjunct assistant professor of history. He is a noted lecturer, editor, writer and author on several historical fronts, especially the American West. His contribution to perpetuating the history of skiing is of epic proportions.