Here’s A Classic-Looking Skier In A Classic Pose.

Looks like an instructor demonstrating to a kids’ class. Check the straps around his boots, and you will get a hint about the era depicted here. Don’t you love that turtleneck? No, parka, hmmm. Looks a little like California-stylin’.  That’s enough of a hint for this one. Who is he, where did he hang out, and what’s his claim to fame?

Thanks to the Museum Of Sierra Ski History and 1960 Winter Olympics for contributing this.

Last Week

Mystery Glimpse has stumped the collective hive mind for the first time.  No, not Stein Eriksen’s older brother, but good guess.

The handsome, young skier is Dick Buek, an extreme skier before there was extreme skiing.  Here’s John Jerome, the noted ski writer, talking about Dick back in the January, 1970 issue of SKIING magazine.

“To Dick Buek, the human body was a device with a certain potential, and the only sensible course for the intelligence which guided that body was to find out what that potential was….Collecting Dick Buek stories is an exercise in the suppression of disbelief.  Shussing Exhibition the first time he saw it. Winning a ski jump the first time—maybe the only time—he ever went down an in-run. Sky-diving with a parachute he found in a scrap heap. Diving off cliffs in Acapulco to win a bet for gas money. Piloting a light plane over a slalom course around lift towers at Squaw Valley, beneath  the cables. And so on. The stories are legend.”

He won the 1952 National Downhill Championship. Then, severe injuries from a near fatal motorcycle accident left him in really tough shape. Despite his knee and shoulder being held together by pins and plates, his leg only able to extend to 60 degrees, he entered and managed to win the Downhill at the 1954 Nationals at Aspen. He was passed over for the 1954 FIS World Championships because he was “a basket case.”

Dick Buek, 1929-1957

There are other stories, like watching Stein Eriksen do his famous flip at Sun Valley and immediately trying it himself, crashing spectacularly, catching a ski in the face, getting up, skiing down the rest of the run on one ski, handing the broken one to Ed Scott (Scott Poles) and telling him to fix it. Reports were he was trying a double flip.

Dick was a daredevil stunt pilot and managed to crash twice into Lake Tahoe, the first time when he was towing water skiers. In the second crash, he was actually giving a flying lesson to a friend, the wings froze up, and the plane went straight down.  He was just short of his 28th birthday.

He was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 1974.

You can read more about Dick Buek here.

 

 

 

 

7 Comments

  1. Avatar Phil Kerridge says:

    Nic Fiore at Badger Pass, my buddy for a long time. Nic was director of the ski school for a very long time, while I was director at China Peak- next resort South. We worked together in the Instructors Association, along with Nic’s wife, Midge.

  2. Avatar Wayne Ferguson says:

    Émile Allais technique innovator. Invented (?) the rouade and the Allais tuck – or whatever it was called, lower upper body with hands behind the back

  3. Avatar Wes Schimmelpfennig says:

    Emile Allais, First ski school director at Squaw Valley

  4. Avatar John Murphy says:

    The straps are ” long thongs “. That’s it.

  5. Dave McCoy founder of Mammoth Mt. at Mammoth late 50s early 60s.

  6. Avatar John Emery says:

    Long Thongs added to the mess that happened when your bindings released hopefully before a bone snapped. If memory serves, mine were several feet in length and went around my leather boots several times. Then came Lange and yes they were stiff. No foam liner – just foot crushing plastic.

  7. Avatar sam goetz says:

    Yikes. I must be getting old to remember my thongs and leather boots. Carried a skate key to keep the laces tight.

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