Former Shawnee GM Ed Rock to be inducted into Ski Hall of Fame

Ed Rock

Ed Rock of Bridgton is one of eight Maine skiers to be inducted into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017.

The new members will be inducted at the 15th annual Maine Ski Hall of Fame banquet at the Grand Summit Hotel at Sunday River on Saturday, Oct. 28.

This year’s class includes a U.S. Olympic Nordic Team captain, All-American Nordic skier, Aroostook County Nordic enthusiast, alpine ski coach and official, high school coach, World Cup freestyle champion, World Cup downhill specialist, and ski area general manager.

Ed Rock came to Maine in 1983 to take over as General Manager at Shawnee Park and inherited a multitude of problems. The first was a hastily installed snowmaking system that had to be almost totally rebuilt — a feat he achieved during one the rainiest summers in memory.

In 34 years on the job, Rock has overseen adding and replacing lifts, building trails, boosting snowmaking and most of all recovery from a devastating ice storm. His success reflects how he built a dedicated staff willing to get to the mountain after the ice storm when many had no power at home.

Rock joins recent inductees and fellow Bridgton residents, Bruce Chalmers, who was named to the Hall of Fame Class of 2015, Tom Gyger, who was selected in 2014, and Bruce Cole in 2013.

Chalmers got involved in skiing in two ways. In the family insurance business he worked with ski areas to develop ski safety programs and at Pleasant Mountain his focus was on getting school students into the sport. His two-pronged approach called for recruiting a team of instructors and convincing local school officials to let the kids out early to attend learning sessions at the mountain. The program grew to 400 student skiers and played a key role in creating skiers. The program continues today with 250-400 kids on hand every Monday afternoon at Shawnee Peak.

Gyger is one of those ski patrolmen who has done a lot more than just show up and patrol weekends. Rather than settle for simply meeting the standards of a Senior Patroller, Tom got involved as a first aid instructor and served on the first aid staff of the Eastern Division’s junior Seminar and went on to serve on the National Junior Seminar’s Medical Staff. When NSP transitioned from Red Cross First Aid to its own Winter Emergency Care program, Tom was in the middle of the work to make sure everything went smoothly. For his work and devotion he was awarded the NSP Gold Merit Star.

Cole: Through the 70s, Pleasant Mountain (Now Shawnee Peak) was a hotbed of the new discipline (if the word can be applied to freestyle) of freestyle skiing. It started with final forms and progressed into ballet, moguls and aerials. That program that produced Greg Stump and five other national champions was coached by Bruce Cole, a skilled freestyler in his own right, who competed on the early professional circuit when not coaching his charges at Pleasant Mountain.

Other area residents named to the Hall of Fame included:

2012: Frank Howell

2010: Kirsten Clark (Olympian and silver medalist at World Championships), Marcus Nash (two-time cross-country Olympian and nine-time U.S. champion), John Atwood (founded Fryeburg Junior Ski Program)

2009: Tom Bennett (founder of Downeast Ski Club)

2008: Hans Jenni (one of the first European ski instructors in Maine)

2006: Ray Broomhall

2005: Franklin Emery

2004: Greg Stump

2003: Wes Marco, Russ Haggett (founder of Pleasant Mountain ski resort, who operated the facility for 39 years)

With the induction of this class, the number of skiers recognized by the Hall of Fame since its first induction banquet in 2003 will reach 129.

The Maine Ski Hall of Fame was formed to recognize those Maine skiers that have brought distinction to Maine skiing or made significant contributions to the sport. They may include competitors, coaches, instructors, ski patrollers, ski area builders, managers and volunteers. As a division of the Ski Museum of Maine, the Maine Ski Hall of Fame records the history of Maine skiing through the biographies produced for each class. Inductee biographies written in the annual program are archived at the museum and on the website, www.skimuseumofmaine.org.

The Ski Museum of Maine is a 501(c)3 charitable organization established in 1995 to celebrate and preserve Maine’s ski history and heritage. The Ski Museum exhibits artifacts, photographs, artworks and documents at its location in Kingfield, conducts educational programs to ski clubs, schools, libraries, historical and civic organizations and hosts social events and activities throughout the year. Information on the Ski Museum of Maine and tickets to the Hall of Fame banquet are available on line at www.skimuseumofmaine.org

Please follow and like us: