The Heli-Ski Blog

The Hans Gmoser Film Preservation Project

Posted by Jane Carswell on Aug 8, 2013 7:10:00 AM

This is a guest post by Chic Scott.

Hans Gmoser Film Preservation ProjectBetween 1957 and 1968 Hans Gmoser, founder of Canadian Mountain Holidays produced 10 films of mountain adventure which he then toured across North America. Many of us have wonderful memories of those presentations: Hans at the microphone dressed in his Austrian sweater, glorious ski and climbing images on the screen and beautiful classical music in the air. For many of us those evenings were the beginning of our long love affairs with the mountains.

Soon it will be possible to relive those magic experiences. Chic Scott and Marg Saul, in partnerships with the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, and with the assistance of professional film-maker Will Schmidt, are digitizing and reassembling these films, just as they were 50 years ago.

Hans Gmoser presented his films each year at more than 50 different venues all across North America. While the film rolled on the screen and a soundtrack of classical music played independently, Hans would personally narrate the story. All three elements came together in a remarkably seamless and beautiful production. In his films Hans took us ski touring at Rogers Pass and the Little Yoho Valley. Together we explored the icefields along the Continental Divide and climbed the East Ridge of Mount Logan in the Yukon and Mount McKinley in Alaska. We rock climbed high on Yamnuska, Mount Louis and Castle Mountain. And of course we were there in the Bugaboos in 1965 and 66 for the first years of Heli-Skiing.

Hans Gmoser with CameraAll ten films are now safely stored in the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, as are 7 of the original scripts. The films must first be transferred to a high definition digital format, a major expense in itself. Since Hans is no longer with us to narrate the script, we have come up with a novel solution: Michael Hintringer, Hans’ nephew, who lives here in Canada and was born and raised in the same Austrian town that Hans Gmoser grew up in, and who has an almost identical accent as his uncle, has volunteered to narrate the scripts for us. For the films to which an original script does not exist we are writing a commentary explaining the action which will be narrated by Chic Scott. All of this requires many hours in a sound recording studio. Finally, music must be integrated into the show. Since much of the music that Hans used in his presentations is under copyright and the original performers are difficult to identify, it will be necessary to purchase the rights to suitable music.

In addition, it is our goal to interview 13 individuals who appeared in these films then to create additional ‘chapters’ using these interviews, archival photos and narration to explain the story behind each film.

It is all a very big job and Will Schmidt, with 35 years experience producing and directing films, has been engaged to guide us through this complex process.

Our budget is $109,000.00. To date we have raised over $95,000 and feel confident that we can raise the remainder. We have already set to work and have transferred the films to HD, recorded the narration to the 10 films and recorded the 13 interviews.

For $500.00 you too can support this project and help make Hans’ remarkable films available for viewing. For five years these films will be for home personal viewing and will not be commercially available. For this donation you will receive a 10 DVD Collectors Edition Set PLUS a $400.00 income tax receipt from the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.

To learn more about this project and to view a short clip of highlights from Hans’ films please go to .

If you would like to know more about this project please contact Chic Scott at

If you would like to make a donation and receive a set of DVDs please send a cheque for $500.00 payable to the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, 111 Bear Street, Box 160, Banff, AB, Canada, T1L 1A3. Please mark on your cheque that it is for the Hans Gmoser Film Preservation Project and send the letter to the attention of Brett Oland, Executive Director.

Topics: Hans Gmoser, CMH Heli-Skiing, Guest Post