1930 - 1939
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  • On April 6, 1930 at Jim Creek Ridge, West Portal, the Arlberg Club sponsors the first
    downhill race in Colorado where individuals race separately against time. (Trail  &


  • The first downhill and slalom World Championships are held at Murren, Switzerland on
    19-22 of Feb. 1931.  (Guinness Book of Skiing, by Peter Lunn)  

  • On March 15, 1931 at Jim Creek Ridge (West Portal), the Arlberg Club sponsors the
    first slalom race in Colorado where racers run the course separately against time  (Trail &

  • Estes Park holds a summer ski jumping tournament on Old Man Mountain to raise money
    to send local skiers to the Olympics. 150 truckloads of snow are brought down from the
    Continental Divide and packed on the inrun and outrun. The summer jumping tournament
    becomes an annual event, the last one being held in 1952.  (“Winter Sports in the Estes
    Park Region” -George Peck  transcribed tape)


  • Grand Lake Winter Sports Club builds a new jumping hill on Shadow Mountain for a
    winter carnival.  The carnivals continue until the start of World War II. (Middle Park
    Times, Feb. 9 and 16.)

  • The first rope tow in North America is installed at Shawbridge, Canada. (ISHA.

  • Lake Placid New York hosts the 1932 Winter Olympics. **John Steele and  **Norton
    Billings are members of U.S. Olympic team. ** James Harsh is an alternate. (The
    Olympic Image, the First One Hundred Years, edited by Wei Yew, p.83)  


  • In March, Estes Park hosts the National Ski Championships. The second annual national
    downhill is run on a newly cut trail in Hidden Valley, Rocky Mountain National Park.
    Junior Duncan of Estes Park wins over such formidable skiers as the Dartmouth College
    team. Donald Munson wins the national cross-country on the Bear Lake course. Glen
    Armstrong of Estes Park wins the jumping event on Old Man Mountain. (Denver Post, 25
    and 26; Rocky Mountain News, 25 and 26.)

  • In Zurich Switzerland, Ernst Constam patents the T-bar tow in Dec. 1934.

  • Grand Lake holds its first elementary school ski tournament on the hill by the schoolhouse.
    Skiing becomes part of the physical education program.  A rope tow is installed in 1954
    and the tournaments continue until 1965. (Patience Cairns Kemp Interview.)

  • **Thor C. Groswold begins manufacturing skis in Denver. In 1939 he is licensed to
    manufacture Splitkein skis and becomes one of three manufacturers to supply skis to the
    10th Mountain Division  troops during World War II. (CSM Groswold Family Special

  • In Austria, Hannes Schneider makes high speed turning possible with the Arlberg method.
    One of his instructors is Friedl Pfeifer who will later fight with the U.S. 10th Mountain
    Division in W.W. II and return to Colorado after the war to develop Aspen Mountain.  
    (Ski 50 Years of Skiing in North America, by Richard Needham)

  • In Europe, Marius Eriksen, father of  **Stein Eriksen, along with Bjorn Ullevoldsaeter,
    develops the Eriksen ski with its wide forebody, soft tip and tail, and ridgetop that allows
    the ski to bend without breaking. Eriksen is also the inventor of the infamous "bear trap"
    toe irons that dominate bindings during the 1930s and 1940s.(Ski 50 Years in North
    America by Richard Needham)


  • Ted Ryan and William Fiske III of Aspen open the Highland Bavarian Lodge with bunk
    space for 16 and a sun deck. Arlberg club members are the first paying guests.   (Aspen
    Times, Nov. 19, 1936; Dec. 24,1936; Rocky Mountain News Dec. 26, 1936.)

  • Aspen's Tom Flynn, Ted Ryan, and Billy Fiske bring in Andre Roch of Switzerland to
    look over the Roaring Fork Valley for prime ski sites.  Roch lays out a difficult run on
    Aspen Mountain– Roch Run.  (Colorado Heritage, Issue 4, 1985; American Ski Annual,

  • Colorado’s first rope tow - is jerry-rigged by Pikes Peak Ski Club members at the Glen
    Cove area on Pikes Peak and runs off an old Whippet engine. It becomes operational in
    early December of 1936. (Gazette-Telegraph Dec. 4 and 5, 1936)

  • On Dec. 21, 1936, Sun Valley opens with the world's first chairlift--a single. (SunValley,
    A Biography.)

  • The 1936 Winter Olympics at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany  include alpine events
    and women's ski competition for the first time. **Dick Durrance is a stand-out with an
    11th in downhill and 8th in slalom. (The Man on the Medal, by Dick Durrance.)


  • Berthoud Pass in February of 1937 installs an 878 foot long rope tow.  (RMN 2/7-37
    and 2/8/)  

  • The Climax Molybdenum Company develops a ski area on Chalk Mountain on Fremont
    Pass. A rope tow is put in and floodlights line the 1500 foot slope for night skiing. The
    Climax Ski Area closes in 1960. (Summit County Journal, Jan 8th and **Jack Gorsuch

  • In Durango, a run is cleared on Calico Hill and a rope tow installed. The area is improved
    in the 1950s and the name changed to Chapman Hill. The facility is still operating when
    natural snow permits. (Interview Jackson Clark)


  • The newly cut Roch Run on Ajax Mountain in Aspen is completed in time for the the1938
    Rocky Mountain Ski Association Championships. The meet is the first ever run in the
    region in accordance with F.I.S. Rules and Computations. Jarvis Schauffler of Sun Valley
    comes in first; **Barney McLean wraps up the slalom. (The American Ski Annual, 1938-

  • **Minnie Dole founds the National Ski Patrol System at the request of the National Ski
    Association. (Ski 50Years in North America by Richard Needham) **Ed Taylor and
    **Art Kidder are both Section Chiefs who are instrumental in developing Colorado’s
    patrols. (Denver Post Empire section, Nov. 9, 1969.)

  • After being closed two years for improvements, the Loveland Pass Road opens and
    skiers find excellent open terrain on both sides of the pass. **Thor C. Groswold and J. C.
    Blickensderfer set up a portable tow on the east side of Loveland Pass.  Meanwhile, Allen
    Bennett starts Loveland Basin at the east foot of Loveland Pass where he installs one rope
    tow.  (The Blickenderfer papers and Rocky Mountain News Dec. 18, 1938.)

  • In the fall of 1938, the Forest Service and the CCC construct a shelter house for skiers on
    the summit of Wolf Creek Pass. The Jan. 31,1938 Alamosa Daily Courier reports that
    more than 50 automobiles are parked on top of the Pass.   Four times that many skiers
    are demonstrating the “Telemark, Christiania, backslide, and snows-dive.”  


  • The Gunnison Ski Club erects the first chairlift (a single) in Colorado at Cement Creek, 5
    miles south of Crested Butte. The area officially opens on December 3, 1939, but closes
    after the 1952 season after being condemned.  (Gunnison News-Champion Feb. 16; Oct
    12, 26; Nov. 2, 16, 21 and 23. "I Forgot My Parachute: A History of the Pioneer Ski
    Area" by Gary J. Sherman, term paper, 1977)

  • In Portland Oregon Hjalmer Hvam perfects his Saf-Ski  release binding after suffering two
    broken legs. (Nine Thousand Years of Skis)

  • The Salida Winter Sports Club applies to the Forest Service to build a shelter and ski tow
    on Monarch Pass. By the end of the year Gunbarrel Run had been cut, a rope tow
    installed, and the "Inn Ferno" day lodge constructed. Salida Daily Mail, Jan. 9, 1939 and
    50-year history paper – 1989.)

  • Hannes Schneider - father of the Arlberg method – is released from jail in Austria after the
    Nazi takeover, and immigrates to the United States. He not only advances ski technique
    for a generation of skiers, he reforms the sad state of American equipment. He describes
    "boots that I can almost fold up and put into my pocket, bindings that do not fit, skis of the
    most peculiar type and construction.  A lot of 'tin and cardboard' is what we would call it
    in Austria."  (Ski, Oct/85.)  

  ** Denotes Colorado Ski Hall of Fame member
(Compiled by Patricia Pfeiffer, Chair, Colorado Ski Museum History Committee)