From the Vault: Winter Wonderland |

From the Vault: Winter Wonderland

One b/w photograph of Mill Street looking towards Aspen Mtn. with Roch Run visible between the Wheeler Opera House and the side of the image. The original boat tow lift can also be seen just right of the run. There is a car on the left. 1939

“Aspenites really enjoying winter sports season,” announced The Aspen Times on Dece. 18, 1938. “Aspen’s winter sports season is in full swing with hundreds of outdoor sports fans enjoying skiing, skating and sledding every evening. In fact there has never been such a display of snow sports enthusiasm as has swept this community this year. During the past week skiers have taken full advantage of the five powerful lights installed on the lower slopes of Roch Run by the Roaring Fork Water, Light and Power Co. and each evening finds as high as 50 long shoe artists displaying their skill under the gleaming lights. Ice skating is proving about as popular as skiing, and during the evening hours as many as 50 skaters may be seen skimming over the glistening surface of the big pond at the east end of Cooper Avenue. The skaters are keeping the ice in excellent condition by repeated floodings and take much care in removing snow after each storm. The pond is lighted thru the courtesy of William Martz. Each weekend finds throngs of out-of-town snow sportsmen enjoying the vigorous outdoor sports in Aspen. All are high in their praise of our facilities and many come just to ride the spectacular 1,400 foot ski tow on Aspen Mountain. This tow, which has a lift of about 700 feet, has been revamped and now two passenger skids are operated over the 12-foot runway. Before the end of the winter it may be lengthened considerably. Aspen’s snowfall this winter measures 46.5 inches. This is above average and assures snow sports fans fine sport until late next spring. The ski club is looking forward to the most active season on record, with possibly several inter-club meets during the coming months, as their famous Roch Run is a favorite with all top-flight skiers who have seen and skied on its steep, thrilling slope.” The image above shows Roch Run and the ski tow line (on the right), looking from Mill Street near the Wheeler Opera House in 1939.

This photo and more can be found in the Aspen Historical Society archives at

Aspen Times Weekly

This week in Aspen history

“Without any exception the worst snow storm known since the advent of the railroad west of Leadville has been raging over the crest of the continental divide since last Thursday,” asserted the Aspen Tribune on January 31, 1899.

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