Aspen History: Tobogganing down Ajax |

Aspen History: Tobogganing down Ajax

One mounted b/w photo of a Ski Patrol Toboggan race on Aspen Mountain, part of Winterskol activities in the 1950s. One man is pulling the toboggan on skis, while a second man is riding on the very back. Both are wearing numbered bibs. The first race was held in April of 1952; starting the next year, the date was changed to coincide with Winterskol.

“Toboggan race was thrill-packed event,” announced The Aspen Times on April 17, 1952. “While scores of tense watchers stood by cheering, five toboggans (manned by two-man teams from the Ski Patrol) plummeted down Ajax Mountain Saturday afternoon in the first annual Bill Grove Toboggan Race. Earl Eaton and Tom Weld — on a toboggan they named Bird Dog — led the pack with the time 4:01 minutes from the Sun Deck to the foot of Spar Gulch. Close on their heels was Flying Coffin, the toboggan of Dick McCrudden and Roy Parker, whose time was 4:04, and Widow-maker No. Two (with Jim Parry and Don Flynn) who made the run in 4:08 minutes. Tagging behind were Ajax Killer (with Lefty McDonald and Tom Carter) and Scaresme (with Bob Grasing and Al Lewis) whose times were, respectively, 4:18 and 4:28. The race turned out to be so exciting, both for spectators and participants, that it was agreed to invite teams from all over the country to enter the second annual event next year. This classic will be held during Winterskol to provide another interesting race for that week. Louie’s Liquors, sponsor of the winning team, presented the two patrolmen with silver trophies.” This image shows two men participating on the race in 1952.

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