This year's "Spirit of Skiing Award" goes to the SE Group, created as SnoEngineering by New Hampshire's Sel Hannah in 1958. Since then, the firm and its talent have been responsible for building, redesigning, and managing ski areas around the world.

SnoEngineering became SE Group in May 2000. The firm has offices in Burlington, Vt., Frisco, Colo., Park City, Utah, and Bellevue, Wash.

Jeff Leich, executive director of the New England Ski Museum, said SE Group will be the third recipient of the "Spirit of Skiing Award." First was Tom Corcoran, U.S. Ski Team racer and Olympian, and founder of Waterville Valley. Second was Stein Eriksen, ski racing legend.

"Our internal discussion was, 'Where the heck do you go after Stein?' Well, SE Group has its fingerprints now on every ski area in the world, as a consulting organization. From Sel Hannah and Joe Cushing on down, there are so many important industry figures associated with SnoEngineering/SE Group," Leich said.

"Where they're not as well-known as Stein, they've had at least as far-reaching influence on skiing," he said.

The "Spirit of Skiing Award" was created by the Ski Museum to honor an individual or group who embodied the words of German immigrant Otto Schniebs that "skiing is not just a sport, it is a way of life." Schniebs came to America in 1927 and taught skiing to Dartmouth Outing Club members, the AMC, the Lake Placid Club, and elsewhere.

"SE Group is an appropriate recipient of this year's award," Leich said.

The award will be presented at the museum's 31st annual meeting, to be held Oct. 25 in the Ballroom of the Mount Washington Resort. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $75.  Call the museum at 1-800-639-4181 for reservations.

Jeremy Davis, author of "Lost Ski Areas of the White Mountains," John Christie, author of "The Story of Sugarloaf," and Robin Morning, author of "Tracks of Passion," a history of Mammoth Mountain, will be on hand to sign copies of their books.

The museum is located in Franconia Notch, N.H., next to the Cannon Mountain Tramway. It is a nonprofit, member-supported organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting aspects of ski history. More information on joining can be found on the New England Ski Museum's membership page. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week from Memorial Day through the end of March. Admission is free.