This award-winning film, a story told in two parts (two DVDs) - 1890-1940 & 1940- , that together are close to two hours, is about how Hannes Schneider became known as the “Father of Modern Alpine Skiing” by starting his famous ski school and ski shop in St. Anton, Austria in the early 1900s and then spreading awareness of alpine skiing throughout the world by starring in ski movies and developing his famous Arlberg technique. With the Nazi takeover of their beloved Austria, Hannes and many of his disciples fled to the Americas. Once in the Americas they taught thousands of people how to ski, and developed, managed, and improved many of America’s premiere ski resorts.
Although their numbers have dwindled, their legacy lives on, as evidenced by the Austrian chalet architecture at many an American ski resort, and the success of so many American ski racers trained by Austrians. This legacy serves as a testament to the tenacity, determination, entrepreneurial spirit and success of these Austrians, and above all an attitude that all things are possible, best exemplified by the grandfather and leader of all these pioneers – Hannes Schneider.
Hannes proved that all that was to be the ski industry was possible. He started his own successful ski school and ski shop in St. Anton, made ski movies and defined the Arlberg technique and spread awareness of both throughout the worldwide via his ski school and travel. And once in the United States he managed and improved a ski area - Mt. Cranmore in the Mount Washington Valley of New Hempishire. With Hannes’ example other Austro-American ski pioneers knew all was possible, and so they made it happen. Hence, Hannes’ and his successors’ accomplishments are what this story is about.