The naming of Ruthie’s |

The naming of Ruthie’s

Darcy and Ruth Brown take a moment to pose for a picture at their home in Aspen. Aspen Times photo/Devon Meyers.

While D.R.C. Brown left his mark on the Aspen ski industry in numerous subtle ways, his wife Ruth made her mark in a very visible way with a swish of her pen.Ruthie’s Run on Aspen Mountain is named after her. The clearing of the trail came as a sort of quid pro quo for a $5,000 investment she made in the late 1940s in the fledgling Aspen Skiing Corp.

Technically, D.R.C. explained, Ruth acquired stock in the corporation for her $5,000 investment. But practically speaking, Ruth added, all she wanted was an easier way down the mountain.”To be perfectly frank, I was never a great, fabulous skier,” said Ruth. “All I did was just go down and have fun. I wanted to get down the mountain.”

The only route down was Roch Run in the first years of the ski area, along with what she described as a sideslip on one side of Spar Gulch. She talked to several people affiliated with the corporation about donating funds so a new, easier trail could be cut.The timing proved fortuitous for Aspen. The trail was used for the FIS World Championship ski races.

Ruth recalled leading a group of skiers down Ruthie’s Run when it first opened. A camera crew was in town to shoot footage for a movie-house newsreel. There was 3 feet of fresh powder on the trail and Ruth struggled to get down, with Fred Iselin needling her all the way, she said. She led the procession in a snowplow.Ruth, now 83, skied until the late 1990s. D.R.C. corralled as many of their five kids and numerous grandkids as he could for his final ski day on Dec. 20, 2002, his 90th birthday.

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