Skiing with Ted Hall

January 27, 2022, would have been my father’s 87th birthday. Ted Hall, my Dad, taught me to ski, and sparked my lifelong fascination with Tuckerman Ravine and Mount Washington. Born in 1935, my father, Edward H. “Ted” Hall, Jr., graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in the Class of 1953.

Cranmore Mountain, February, 1946

Click image to open 30-page brochure in a new window

In February, 1946, over Washington’s Birthday, just a few months after the war, Ted’s father took him on the Boston & Maine Railroad’s Snow Train, via North Station in Boston, to Cranmore Mountain, in North Conway, home of the Hannes Schneider Ski School, and the infamous “Skimobile” lift. Ted (and Ed) wrote this postcard to his mother.

That February 1946 weekend, Ed Hall took this series of photographs of his eleven year old son, Ted, in the Hannes Schneider Ski School, and skiing on the slopes.

Ski Master, the famous Hannes Schneider, Mt Cranmore, Feb. 1946, former master at Arlberg Ski School, Arlberg, Austria, in the Austrian Alps
Hannes Schneider talking to the students before ski school, Mt Cranmore, Feb. 1946
Ski-Mobile, Mt Cranmore, Feb. 1946, South Slope at right
Ted in 1st car of Ski-Mobile going up Mt Cranmore, Feb. 1946
Ski school assembly, Ted with skis over shoulder, near center rear, Mt Cranmore, Feb. 1946
Ski school, Mt Cranmore, Feb. 1946, Ted in exact center
Hannes Schneider with ski school pupils, Mt Cranmore, Feb. 1946
Mt Cranmore, Feb. 1946, from part way up the North Slope
Mt Cranmore, Feb. 1946,Ted starting last big slide on North Slope, after his bad fall halfway up. He was going fast when snapped (250th of a second)
North Slope, Mt Cranmore, Feb. 1946, Ted fell at point halfway from top
Mt Cranmore, Feb. 1946, Ted coming down North Slope after his bad fall, going fast when snapped (250th of a second)

1949 Tuckerman Ravine

In 1949, Ted skied Tuckerman Ravine with his friend, Gerry Clapp, and Gerry’s father. Ted took this series of photographs, on that day in 1949, with his Kodak Brownie camera, annotated on the back, and saved in a photo album.

1949, Gerry Clapp, with Mr. Clapp, and Tuckerman Ravine behind them, at top of the John Sherburn Trail
Hillmans Highway
Mr. Clapp skiing in center, Gerry Clapp in foreground on right
1949. Looking down Tuckerman Ravine. The mountain in the center of the picture is Wildcat. The Wildcat Trail can be seen as it comes into view, in the center of the picture, (see the ink dot).

1953 Exeter Ski Team

Ted was very proud of his participation in Exeter’s Ski Team. Ted Hall is seated on the far right, in this team photograph. One of the faculty ski team coaches, flanking the back row of students, standing behind Ted, is Robert H. Bates. Bob Bates taught at Exeter for thirty years, and was a well-known, mid-20th century mountaineer in his own right, climbing in the Alps and K-2.

Exeter Ski Team 1953

Young Parents

After graduating from Exeter, along with forty-odd classmates, Ted went on to Harvard College, graduating in the Harvard Class of 1957. Ted often said that Exeter had prepared him so well for college, that he had a lot of fun during his Freshman year around Harvard Yard, and he didn’t need to study very hard for the first year. He said that reality hit him in the Fall of his Sophomore year at Harvard, and he had to work hard. I don’t think Ted went skiing very often during college. Ted’s Smith College girlfriend, Ann Progin, from Fitchburg, was herself a good skier, having grown up skiing the Burbank Hospital Hill rope tow, across Mechanic Street from the Progin’s home. Ted and Ann once went on an overnight ski trip to Hermit Lake Shelters, below Tuckerman Ravine. I treasure an undated photograph of Ted and Ann at HoJos, with Tuckerman Ravine in the background. Someday I’ll disassemble the frame, scan the photo, and post it here.

In the Winter of 1955-1956, when he was in his junior year at Harvard College, he received this Sig Buchmayer catalog.

Gelandesprung

In 1956, Ted’s father, E. H. Hall, Sr., wrote to the Hovde factory in Norway, and imported their prized jumping skis as a gift for his son. Hovde neglected to invoice for the skis, for which Ed Hall sent them $21.50 the following year. Ted spoke of jumping “small” thirty-meter jumps, while on Exeter’s ski team, but I don’t know how much ski jumping Ted did in 1956-1957, his senior year at Harvard.

September 1995 correspondence from Ted

After college, Dad would take me skiing on Saturday mornings, waking me up before dawn, driving to ski areas around central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, putting me in ski school while he free-skied for the morning, then eating lunch with me, and skiing together after Noon, before the journey home. Mount Wachusett had a thousand foot T-bar; Mount Watatic had a long T-bar to the top; Mount Snow had a chairlift or two; Crotched Mountain; Big Bear had a couple T-bars in Brookline, NH;

Ted Hall, with Ann, Sarah, Jon, and Jeff, on Mt Washington

Ted and Ann drove up the Mt Washington Auto Road, one summer day in the 1960s. Ted posed with Sarah, Jon, and Jeff, while Ann took a photo of us huddled next to the Tuckerman Ravine Trail sign, near the summit parking lot. Years later, I understood the importance of that moment to Dad.

0 comments on “Skiing with Ted HallAdd yours →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.