Legends & Legacies: Spectacular Spring Shenanigans
“Toboggan race? Yes!” exclaimed The Aspen Times near the end of the ski season April 10, 1952. “Aspen’s going to make history again, this time with what is believed to be the first Ski Patrol Toboggan Race ever to be held in the world. This spectacular event — the first annual Bill Grove Toboggan Race — is scheduled for next Saturday at one o’clock, down Ajax Mountain from the Sun Deck to the end of Spar Gulch. Five two-man teams from the Aspen Ski Patrol will tackle the speedy run: Tom Weld and Earl Eaton, Bob Grasing and Al Lewis, Tom Carter and Lefty MacDonald, Jim Parry and Don Flynn, Dick McCrudden and Roy Parker. Their sponsors will be the Golden Horn, the Red Onion, Louie’s Liquors, Matthew Drug Co., and the Ski and Spur. Toboggans which hitherto have been used solely for bringing accident victims down the mountain will this day be seen in a new role. With one patrolman riding the rear without skis and the other skiing and steering, the long sleds will shoot down the hill, leaving the starting point at one-minute intervals.”
After this inaugural event in the spring (pictured), the race became part of the mid-season Winterskol festivities.
This photo and more can be found in the Aspen Historical Society archives at aspenhistory.org.