As the 2010 Winter Olympic Games unfold in Vancouver this February, a worldwide television audience of millions will be introduced to the latest generation of alpine skiing stars. Though these daredevils will be accelerating faster and turning more sharply than any skiers before them, they owe a debt of gratitude to their 20th-century predecessors.
One such pioneer was Joseph Brooks “Brookie” Dodge.
The son of famed AMC huts manager Joe Dodge, Brookie grew up in Pinkham Notch, N.H., with Tuckerman Ravine in his backyard. By the age of 2, the young Dodge was already on skis. By 10 he was charging over Tuckerman’s headwall. Dodge would eventually pioneer a number of routes in the ravine. He also developed a new technique for navigating steep and narrow runs—the two-pole turn.
Dodge’s prowess on the slopes led to berths on the 1952 and 1956 U.S. Winter Olympic teams. Competing in three different events at the 1952 Oslo Games, Dodge finished as high as sixth in the giant slalom. He then placed fourth in the slalom at the 1956 Games in Cortina d’Ampezzo, the highest a U.S. male skier had ever finished in the Olympics.
Images seen here appear courtesy of the AMC Library and Archives. Duplicates can be ordered for a fee. Funds support efforts to preserve the club’s historical collections. Contact Library and Archives at 617-391-6629, visit the website, or send an e-mail for details.