1946: Construction of Chair Tow on Aspen Mt.
In celebrating the 125th anniversary of The Aspen Times, we are printing a story or two from each year the newspaper has existed 125 historical selections in 125 days. This series is in conjunction with the Aspen Historical Society.Construction of Chair Tow on Aspen Mt. Starts this SpringNegotiations were completed and a lease signed last Thursday, December 27, for the last of the leases necessary for the installation of a modern type chair lift from near the Aspen City limits to the top of Aspen Mountain.Mr. Friedl Pfeifer signed and secured the last lease with Herron Brothers who are operating the property of the Smuggler-Durant Mining Corporation. Negotiations have been under way for several weeks and the lease signed was highly satisfactory to all concerned.The tow will roughly parallel Roch Run and will start immediately south of the old city jail building and the Hoaglund upper pasture. The upper end of the first section will terminate near the top of the corkscrew. From there the summit will be reached by two more sections.Present plans call for the completion of two of the three sections by next winter. Work will be started in the spring just as soon as material can be trucked to the various sites on the mountain.The tow will carry skiers up the mountain approximately 3,600 vertical feet and the average length of the proposed runs or trails will be 2.8 miles.Roch Run, which was named after the noted Swiss skiing authority, Andre Roch, who laid out and proposed the run bearing his name, will be greatly widened and improved so that the average and even below average skier can safely descend. The newest trail, The Silver Queen will be extended to the top and also widened. Other runs will be laid out and improved during the summer months.Contrary to the popular belief that skiing on Aspen Mountain will be only for the above average, there will be many places on the upper slopes of Aspen Mountain that will satisfy and delight every class of ability.Every run will be so constructed that turn-ins may be made to the lower terminal of each section. This will permit skiers to use the full length of the run that best pleases him on that part of the run best suited to his or her ability. All installations will be placed with the convenience of the skier as primary consideration.The fact that a turn-in from the run may be made to any section will increase the capacity of the tow several times.The upper slopes of Aspen Mountain contain many open parks and meadows. A vast amount of such open territory will permit many ski enthusiasts to make trips off the beaten path.Mr. Pfeifer first became acquainted with aspen while he was stationed in the 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale. He made many weekend trips to Aspen and the possibilities of establishing his own school, and a modern chair lift was born at the same time. After many months of service in Northern Italy and several months in various hospitals because of battle wounds, he was discharged last September. Immediately he began working on the proposed plans.Mr. Pfeifer has already established the Friedl Pfeifer Ski School and his associates in this venture are two former fellow instructors at the Sun Valley Ski School: Mr. John Litchfield and Mr. Percy Rideout. When the proposed tow is completed, Aspen will boast of a most efficient Ski School and skiing terrain what cannot be excelled in this country. Certainly no other ski center can boast of runs and tow terminating within a city that will furnish accommodations that are sure to be built in Aspen.
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A group of relay participants will walk from downtown Aspen to Buttermilk Ski Area on Tuesday evening to complete one leg of a month-long, 3,900-mile journey across nearly 10 states for a “Carry the Load” event honoring fallen military personnel and first responders.