Hall of Fame Class of 1985
Like his father, Paul Valar became a dairy farmer, ski instructor and certified mountain guide.
Paul Valar was born in Davos-Platz, Switzerland in 1920. He started his skiing career at the age of three when his father, Christian Valar fashioned a pair of wood skis for him. Himself a certified Swiss Mountain Guide and Ski Instructor since early 1900, his father recognized and supported his son’s obvious interest and talent in sports.
Receiving his basic training in the Mountain Artillery, Valar spent part of World War II in the Swiss Army.
As one of three representatives of the 1947 Swiss National Ski Team, touring the USA with Karl Molitor and Eddy Rominger, he felt deeply challenged. There were almost as many different types and styles of ski instruction offered as there were ski schools in this country.
In 1948, Paul was a member of the Swiss Olympic Ski Team in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was injured in training and could not compete.
Paul immigrated to the United States in 1949 and started the Franconia Ski School as well as the Mittersill Ski School. In 1950, Paula joined Paul and became director of the Mittersill operation and started the Mittersill Sport Shop. In 1954, Paul also became the director of the Sunapee Ski School. Paul and Paula operated the three ski schools until 1972 when Paul became the manager of the Mittersill Ski Area.
As a Mountain Manager at the Mittersill Alpine Resort for seven years, he became most familiar with what he named “snow farming” or the best methods to make the slopes and trails enjoyable for his customers. Paul took skiers with him to Europe for many years and was recognized for his loyalty to the sport of skiing by the Swiss Travel Office, the Davos Chamber, the USEASA’s branch of the PSIA and by the PSIA itself in 1963.
Valar, one of the incorporators of the Professional Ski Instructors of America, co-authored the manual The Official American Ski Technique in 1963. The book has been described by many European ski technicians as “well ahead of its time” and was recognized as the Bible of American Ski Instruction. Valar also represented the PSIA internationally on several occasions and was a PSIA examiner for many years.
When the New England Ski Museum on Cannon Mountain opened its doors in 1977, Valar served as its first president and stayed on for nearly six years. His untiring efforts on its behalf greatly aided in its success.
Paul’s timely articles on the sport of skiing and unexcelled elegance on the boards have made him a legend in the world of skiing.
Paul Valar was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1985.
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