Author Archives: nordic

Skiers Guiney, Lindgren, Reed nominated for NENSA Elite & Development Team

University of New Hampshire Nordic skiers Liz Guiney (Park City, Utah), Erik Lindgren (Pitea, Sweden) and Sam Reed (Keene, N.H.) have each been nominated to the New England Nordic Ski Association Elite and Development Team.
Guiney, who was crowned UNH’s women’s Nordic team MVP, qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second straight season after recording top-10 finishes in 10 of the 11 races on the EISA circuit. The junior co-captain earned the region’s No. 10 ranking and secured a berth on the EISA All-East Second Team for the second consecutive year. Guiney claimed membership on the National Ski Coaches Association All-Academic Team for the third year in a row, and she is a nominee for the Capital One Academic All-District Women’s At-Large Team, an honor bestowed upon her during the 2010-11 campaign. The Park City, Utah, native was also inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society earlier this month.

Lindgren, the men’s Nordic team MVP, was the only male Wildcat Nordic competitor to qualify for the NCAAs. The co-captain, who was ranked 16th in the region, tallied a season-high, sixth-place finish in the 20K classic at Dartmouth, notched 10th place in the 10K classic at Vermont and placed 12th in the 20K free at UNH. The junior was named to the NSCA All-Academic Team for the third straight year and is a nominee for the 2011-12 Capital One Academic All-District Men’s At-Large Team. In 2012, he was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society, Sigma Pi Sigma Honors Society and Pi Mu Epsilon Honors Society
Reed, a freshman, capped a successful initial collegiate campaign by competing at the USSA Cross Country Junior Ski Championships in March. The Keene, N.H., native was tabbed to the NSCA All-Academic Team and earned top ‘Cat honors with an 18th-place finish in the 10K classic at the Williams Carnival.
The NENSA Elite and Development team nominee list represents athletes who have had success on a regional, national and international level this past winter. The NENSA teams exist as a program to aid in the appropriate development of top athletes toward the goal of international excellence. To find out more about the teams, visit

Guiney tabbed to Capital One Academic All-District Women’s At-Large Team


For the second consecutive year, University of New Hampshire women’s Nordic skier Liz Guiney (Park City, Utah) has been recognized as one of the nation’s top student-athletes through her inclusion on the Capital One Academic All-District ® Women’s At-Large Team. The Academic All-District teams were revealed Friday by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Guiney, the Wildcats’ Nordic team MVP, boasts a cumulative 3.98 grade point average as a genetics major. The junior co-captain has accumulated four semesters with a perfect 4.0 GPA, has garnered Dean’s List recognition during each of her first five semesters as a UNH student-athlete and three times has been tabbed a National Ski Coaches Association Academic All-Team representative.

In 2012, Guiney qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second straight season after recording top-10 finishes in 10 of the 11 EISA races for the East’s No. 10 ranking and a second consecutive berth on the EISA All-East Second Team. Earlier this month, the Park City, Utah, native was nominated to the New England Nordic Ski Association Elite and Development Team and inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society.

“Liz is an exemplary student-athlete who continually demonstrates excellence in the classroom and in competition,” UNH ski coordinator and Nordic head coach Cory Schwartz said. “We congratulate her on once again winning this well-deserved honor and look forward to her setting a great example for her teammates next season.”

As a member of the All-District First Team, Guiney advances to the Capital One Academic All-America ® Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected later this month.

For more information on the UNH ski team, visit


Ski Team Announces 2011-12 Alpine & Nordic Captains

DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire ski program announced its captains for the 2011-12 season Wednesday. Paul Atkinson (Toronto, Ontario) and Marie-Elaine Lepine (Mont-Tremblant, Quebec) will captain the alpine team, while Tom Reagan (Freeport, Maine), Erik Lindgren (Pitea, Sweden), Danielle Baron (Gilford, N.H.) and Liz Guiney (Park City, Utah) will serve as co-captains for the Nordic team.

“Both our alpine and Nordic teams are stocked with experienced skiers who lead by example athletically and academically,” 27th-year UNH Ski Coordinator and 30th-year Nordic head coach Cory Schwartz said. “We are primed for an exciting season and look forward to our captains paving the way for success in 2012.”

Atkinson, who is the co-president of the UNH Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, was named the alpine men’s team MVP last season. The senior is a three-time NCAA Championship participant who placed 17th in the giant slalom during last winter’s NCAAs at Vermont. The 2011 EISA All-East First Team skier was named to the USCSCA All-Academic Team and was a 2010-11 Men’s At-Large Academic All-America ® District 1 nominee. Lepine, a junior, claimed alpine women’s team MVP honors last season after qualifying for the NCAA Championships for the second straight year. She finished 21st in GS at the NCAAs on the heels of an eighth-place run in GS at the EISA Championships at Bates.

On the Nordic side, Reagan will serve as a men’s co-captain during his senior campaign. The Freeport, Maine, resident and Exeter, N.H., native competed in two carnivals last season. Lindgren, a junior, takes on a Nordic co-captain role after tallying a season-high eighth-place finish in the 20K classic at UVM last year and claiming a spot on the USCSCA All-Academic Team.

Baron, a senior who posted a season-high 10th-place finish in the 10K classic 3×5 relay at Colby in 2011, is the lone female New Hampshire native to serve as Nordic co-captain this season. She is joined by Guiney, a junior, who was named to the 2011 EISA All-East Second Team, the USCSCA All-Academic Team and the 2010-11 Capital One Academic All-District ® Women’s Team a season ago.

The 2012 EISA season gets underway Jan. 20-21 at the Bates Winter Carnival, with alpine racing scheduled for Sunday River and Nordic racing slated for Black Mountain. For more information on the UNH ski program, visit or

Phil Gravink inducted into U.S. Ski Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Phil and Tyler. Phil daughters, Brenda and Jill were on the UNH Ski Team and Phil also was instrumental in developing the Friends of UNH Skiing which now supports the team. Tyler daughter Taryn was also a member of the UNH Ski Team. Congrats to them both!

ISHPEMING, Mich. — Phil Gravink and Tyler Palmer joined some select company this month.

Gravink, former Attitash general manager and president, and a resident of Jackson, and Palmer, a former Olympian, World Cup racer and past Men’s Pro Tour racer, of Kearsarge, are among this year’s inductees into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, both men learned earlier this month.

“I am honored, and, of course, humbled,” said Gravink to a reporter, just before speaking at the annual BEWI Awards luncheon at the Boston Globe/BEWI Snowsports Expo in Boston Nov. 11.

Palmer was equally modest.

“[Former U.S. Ski Team coach] Bob Beattie once told me not to worry about money or winning and losing, that if you had your friends and family, that’s what counted; that you were all set and everything would work out. So, for me to get this honor, which I never would have dreamed of, I thank all my friends, because they are getting this with me — I would never have made it without their friendship and support over the years,” said Palmer in a telephone interview from his Kearsarge home upon receiving the news.

He had just bagged a five-point buck, taken within the same hour that son-in-law Tim Roden and friend Jackie Butler had also gotten their deer. Earlier in the fall, Palmer — an avid sportsman — had gotten a doe during archery season.

“So, yeah, getting my deer, and those guys getting theirs, all in the same week of my getting into the Hall of Fame is quite a week,” laughed Palmer, who, despite battling both Type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes and more recently being diagnosed with Addison’s disease, was energetic and in his usual good humor.


Palmer was a dominant racer on the newly formed World Cup tour in the 1970s. In 1971, he was the first American male to crack the top three in overall points in the slalom.

He won the Junior Nationals in 1969 and with his brother Terry and fellow Mount Washington Valley resident David Currier of Madison was on the Olympic Team at Sapporo in 1972, where he finished ninth in slalom.

During his career he won two World Cup races, reached the podium four times and had nine top 10 World Cup results. Later he raced on Bob Beattie’s World Professional Ski Tour where he won five races. A National Masters Champion several times, Palmer was a coach for junior racers at Sun Valley until his retirement in 2010.

He won Men’s Pro Ski Racing’s Spider Sabich Trophy in 1978, and upon his retirement from the pro tour in 1980 won the Mountain Ear’ “Ear of the Year” award.

He has been a mentor to current Mount Washington Valley Olympian Leanne Smith.

“I never had any inkling throughout my career, ski racing or coaching, or growing up, that I would get anything in this direction. For me, this means a lot,” said Palmer, 61. “Again, I thank my friends — because friends and family are really what is so important in life. I have lived off that mother’s milk for 61 years.”

In interviews with Ann Bennett, Karen Cummings and other reporters over the years, he has always been passionate about what skiing did for him.

The 1972 Olympics were the culmination of Tyler’s amateur racing career
that began when he was 5 years old.

“We skied at Cranmore, and in those days, there were a lot of European instructors, although when it came to racing, my brother and I were our own best teachers,” he related.

He said he, brother Terry and fellow ’72 Olympic teammate David Currier of Madison were always in friendly competition.

“We never let it rest,” Tyler told Cummings.

Known as the original New Hampshire “Bad Boy” on the American team, long before Bode Miller came around, Tyler’s reputation preceded him when he went to Japan.

“Staying out to 4 a.m. his first night at the Olympic site,” Cummings wrote, “did not please the team coaches. Tyler was put on curfew and confined to the Olympic Village for his entire stay.”

“I was required to train hard every single day for 28 days,” he said, as opposed to his own training regimen.

All work and no play wasn’t Tyler’s style.

“In Sapporo,” he told Cummings, “I was totally concerned with skiing and didn’t get to savor the Olympics, but I guess I felt a little stale by the time I raced.”

Other events also may have played a factor. The day before his Olympic slalom run, Tyler’s competition skis were stolen, forcing him to race on his practice skis. In addition, while riding an empty lift servicing the practice hill, he and Terry had jumped off to ski a closed ski trail — causing the chair to bang into the tower, shearing the gears.

“We were told we had to to pay $10,000 to fix it,” Tyler told Cummings. “I reminded them that I once went to Europe with only $20 in my pocket.”

To avoid prosecution, Tyler continued to keep a low profile throughout the Games, even leaving Japan “with the New Zealand team, wearing one of their team jackets,” wrote Cummings.

Interviewed this week, Palmer said he was not a “bad boy.” Like Miller, he was a New Hampshire skier with a strong will.

“They all know now that this is the New Hampshire way, whether with me or Bode. We do it our way, and we try to do it with some fun, too,” said Palmer. “It wasn’t that I didn’t like the coaching — I was just running in different miles than what they were doing and they didn’t understand it.”


Gravink was a key player for 35 years at the national level in ski area management.
After graduating from college he started out helping run his family’s farm in New York State before founding an area known as Peek N Peak.

Such was his success that the state appointed him as general manager of Gore Mountain and later he held the same post at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire from 1977 to 1991 where, under his leadership, he developed Loon into a leading modern resort.

He was also a key player in influencing the policies of the U.S. Forest Service. He was director of skiing for the state-owned Cannon Mountain and Sunapee in 1991-92, and became president and general manager of Attitash Mountain Resort in 1992.

At Attitash, he worked for a board of directors that included the late Bob Morrell, Sandy McCulloch and Thad Thorne. After Sunday River’s Les Otten purchased the area, he oversaw the layout of Bear Peak in 1994-1995. He retired in 1999.

“Even though all of my ski career stops were enjoyable,” said Gravink this week, “because of the great board and staff I worked with I would consider the most rewarding my time at Attitash. The Nancy Clarks, Tom Chasses and John Urdis — it doesn’t get any better than that.”

He said he is proud to have overseen the layout of Bear Peak, which has wide meandering western-styled resort trails, contrasted with Attitash’s classic New England narrow trails that were laid out by Thad Thorne in 1965.

“I loved to build ski areas — I added it up not too long ago, and as CEO I oversaw the building of six base lodges, 26 lifts of various shapes and sizes and three hotels, including the Grand Summit at Attitash. All the monument I would want is the Bear Peak trail system and the North Peak trail system at Loon,” said Gravink.

He learned from many mentors, including the late Otto Schniebs, former Dartmouth ski coach, who stayed with the Gravinks when he was well into his 80s, helping to lay out the design for Peek N Peak.

“I had the fun of going into the woods before they were built on snowshoes and ribbons to set the first parameters,” he said.

Gravink was on several key committees of the National Ski Areas Association, serving as a director for 18 years and then as its chairman in 1979-1980.

In 1993, the NSAA presented him with its Sherman Adams Award for his contributions. Other honors have included the NSAA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and the BEWI Award in 2006. He contributed significantly to several skiing safety innovations.

For many years he was a senior associate with Sno-Engineering and continues to this day as a ski area consultant.

Then U.S. Sen. Bob Smith, R-N.H., had this to say about Gravink in 1999, read into the Congressional Record:

“Phil Gravink is one of the industry’s most respected and experienced leaders. Phil is a resident of Jackson, and has devoted 36 years to operating ski resorts, 22 of which have been in New Hampshire. Phil Gravink has had a truly successful and distinguished career. Phil Gravink has been an integral part of New Hampshire’s ski industry. I commend Phil for his critical role and unwavering dedication to the success and progression of the New Hampshire ski industry.”

After his retirement from Attitash, he and wife Shirley embarked on a world cycling trip to raise funds for the New England Ski Museum and Northeast Passage, a disabled sports program that his daughter Jill has worked to develop. The Northeast Passage began as a way for post-trauma patients to become re-involved in skiing and has since expanded to involve other sports.

He served as interim director of the Mount Washington Observatory, and remains active with the New England Ski Museum, the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council and several other organizations.

2011 CLASS OF 8

Gravink and Palmer are among the Class of 2011. All eight are to be formally inducted in April 2012 in Seattle, Wash., with an enshrinement ceremony at the Hall of Fame in Ishpeming later in the year.

Others to be inducted are: late Park City and Alpine Meadows ski business executive Nick Badami; late businessman and ski history enthusiast Mason Beekley, founder in 1991 of the International Skiing History Association; former ski racer, world speed record holder, coach, ski school director and journalist Dick Dorworth (a coach of Palmer’s on the USST during the 1970-71 season); Harry Leonard, skiing’s impresario, visionary and cheerleader during the 1960s and ’70s; freestyle Olympic silver medalist Joe Pack, one of the stars of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics; and former World Cup racer and two-time Olympian Eva Twardokens, who in 1996 won the World Championship for technical skiing, a judged event.

The selection of the Class of 2011 was conducted by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame’s National Selection Committee followed by a vote of over 100 skiing experts and enthusiasts who make up its national voting panel.

According to the website,, the members of the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame “represent the highest level of national achievement in America, featuring prominent athletes and snow sport builders whose accomplishments showcase American skiing and snowboarding.”


Gravink and Palmer join a distinguished list of fellow inductees who have had connections to Mount Washington Valley.

Other inductees from the valley include:

* Late 1939 American Inferno winner Toni Matt (1920-1989).

* Late ski school and ski shop founder Carroll P. Reed (1905-1995).

* Late first Eastern Slope Ski School director Benno Rybizka (1904-1992) of Austria.

* Late Austrian skimeister Hannes Schneider (1890-1955), founder of the Arlberg technique, ahis son, Herbert Schneider, 91, of Cranmore Mountain Resort.

For more information, visit

New Tradition-New Memories

In 1979 the UNH Ski Team started using the HOCH as its base for training camp.  In the beginning the alpine team stayed there alone. Then the nordic team joined so for about 11 years both squads were together.  The alpine team moved down near Attitash where they now stay (the house is called the BEAST).  The nordic team continued the tradition of the HOCH.

This winter the time we needed the HOCH did not fit into their calender so we found a new place. We will start (hopefully) a new tradition by staying at the ISAAC MERRILL HOUSE in North Conway. Check it out!

The Hoch has served us well but it is time to create new memories and stories.  I know some traditions will move come with us such as skits.  In the end new stories and memories will be created by the 2011-12 Nordic Team.

Many alumni have spent time at the Hoch.  A rough count includes

  • 225 alumni have experienced that Hoch
  • 1440 pounds of pasta was made
  • 720 gallons of milk
  • 1080 quarts of orange juice
  • one year of Cory’s life

If you want to share some of your memories please reply!