Obituary: Dieter Bibbig
April 6, 1932 – May 10, 2021
Aspen has lost part of it’s History. Dieter Bibbig passed while on vacation in Hawaii. He had a slip and fall and did not recover.
Dieter was born in Kassel, Germany. A friend who emigrated to the US secured for Dieter a job at VW in Washington DC. Dieter decided to take a trip to the west coast driving to see the country en route.
He never got past Aspen. He loved skiing. He had found his home forever. Dieter got a job as a waiter at the Hotel Jerome. He wore many hats there as night auditor and he blew the siren and shined a light on Aspen Mtn to alert the firefighters in the days before easy communication.
His sister Inge followed and worked at The Jerome in accounting.
Gertrude, their mother, joined them. Walter Paepcke heard that the mother of two Aspen Company employees was coming to Aspen, and asked Gertrude to live and work at the Paepcke Hallam Lake House. Dieter was her helper.
Dieter’s family moved a house from the Sardy property on Main Street to Park Avenue and that was the family home.
Dieter worked as a Ski Instructor until almost in his 80s. He took part in the testing of Snowmass as a ski area. He was in a Warren Miller movie shot in Aspen/Snowmass.
He took a ride in a small plane and found another calling. He became a commercial pilot in power and sailplanes and started a flying business giving lessons and sightseeing rides in sailplanes which continued for fiftysome years.
Dieter was giving sailplane rides at the airport in 1968 when two brothers flew in. Tom and Hap Pool. Tom joined Dieter to build up the business known as Gliders of Aspen. The business took thousands of customers for rides soaring over Aspen. Dieter trained many to be sailplane pilots.
Aspen grew and the Aspen Airport became very busy. Dieter bought a high performance motor glider that could launch itself without the need of a tow plane. He continued to give rides in the motor glider taking off with engine power and then turning the engine off to soar.
What a rich Aspen history he lived. Dieter is survived by his family in England, sister Inge Drew, her children, nephews Robert and Alexander and niece Jackie, their spouses and children. He is survived by his many friends in Aspen and the world over, his fellow ski instructors, fellow pilots and hundreds of students who he taught to ski and fly. And, of course, he will be sorely missed by many gorgeous ladies.
His handle was SoarSki.
RIP Dieter, you will always
Take Our Breath Away.