Kircher, Basch, Egan, Vournas and Hirschfeld honored with Hirsch Awards by NASJA

The North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA) honored five member journalists with Harold S. Hirsch Awards for Excellence in Snowsports Journalism. The awards were presented at Mammoth Mountain in Central California during NASJA's 50th anniversary annual meeting in April.

Created by the founder of White Stag clothing to promote professionalism in winter sports coverage, the Harold S. Hirsch Awards recognize creativity and excellence in editorial and artistic content in both traditional and web based journalism.

Open to NASJA press members only, Hirsch award categories include columns, feature writing, blogs, photography, video and every three years, books.

The winner of the hotly contested 2012 Harold Hirsch Award for Books is Washington State based writer Kim Kircher for her memoir, The Next 15 Minutes: Strength From the Top of the Mountain.

Kircher is a ski patroller, author and traveler.


Before working in the ski industry, Kircher received her BA and teaching certificate from the University of Washington, and taught high school English for five years. Maine based writer Dave Irons received an Honorable Mention for his book "Sunday River, Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future" and California based journalist Jules Older received an Honorable Mention for his ebook, "Skiing the Edge: Humor, Humiliation, Holiness, and Heart", a collection of ski tales by some of North America’s best ski and snowboard writers. Photo by Martin Griff Clockwise from bottom left: Cindy Hirschfeld, Dino Vournas, Marty Basch and Kim Kircher.

In the category of Columns, Marty Basch, a New Hampshire based syndicated outdoor adventure columnist won the Hirsch award. Basch won three previous Hirsch awards and was a winner of the Lowell Thomas gold award for travel writing from the Society of American Travel Writers.

The Honorable Mention for Columns went to Californian Bob Cox, a seven time Hirsch Award winner.

Basch also won the 2013 Hirsch Award for Feature Writing. Vermont based writer Karen Lorentz received an Honorable mention in that category.

In the Video Category New Hampshire resident Dan Egan was the winner. Egan is considered as one of the premier adventure skiers in the world. Warren Miller featured him in 12 of his films. Egan has become an award-winning producer in his own right, and has been nominated for three Emmy Awards.

Two time Hirsch Video award winner Gerald Pallor of New York State received an Honorable mention this year.

In the Photography category , California's Dino Vournas took home the Hirsch Award. The veteran journalist's résumé includes periods of time at the Oakland Tribune, Hayward Review, San Francisco Examiner and Associated Press. This is Vournas' third Hirsch award.

Idaho's Karl Weatherly received an Honorable Mention in Photography. Weatherly is a three time Hirsch winner.

Winner of the Harold Hirsch Award for Blogs is Colorado's Cindy Hirschfeld who has over 20 years of writing experience in national magazines, books, newspaper's and website publishing. This is Hirschfeld's third Hirsch Award.

Honorable Mention in the blog category went to Coloradan and Brave Ski Mom Kristen Lummis.

The 2013 Harold S. Hirsch Awards were sponsored by Sport Obermeyer and K2, which like NASJA is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

As part of its celebration, K2 has created limited edition Rolling Stones skis and snowboards in conjunction with the English bands 50th anniversary. Hirsch winners received a pair of these skis or a snowboard.

Sport Obermeyer has been a proud sponsor of the Harold S. Hirsch Awards since their inception in 1963. This year, Harold S. Hirsch Award Honorable Mentions received a Sport Obermeyer ski jacket or ski pants. Dan Egan

© NASJA 2013