History: Hall of Famer | AspenTimes.com

History: Hall of Famer

Curt Chase was regarded as an innovator in ski instruction. He was the ski school director at Aspen Mountain and later Snowmass from 1963 to 1983.
Aspen Historical Society, Aspen Skiing Co. Collection |

Curt Chase, called “an innovator and motivating force in the field of ski instruction for over 40 years” by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, started his lifelong interest in skiing at the age of 10 when he fell in love with the sport through Dick Durrance in the 1930s.

Chase continued in the sport as a member of the University of New Hampshire ski team, but as World War II broke out, he became a survival training instructor for the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division ski troops, according to the Hall of Fame’s website. After the war, he made his home in Aspen organizing, training and directing the Aspen Ski Patrol.

Chase rejoined the Armed Forces in 1951, but after the Korean War, he returned to Aspen and became a full-time ski instructor. In the early 1960s, he became the director of the Aspen Ski School, a post he held for 17 years before heading up the Snowmass Ski School for five years.

One of eight founding directors of the Professional Ski Instructors of America, Chase was instrumental in developing the teaching standards used in the U.S. today. His most significant impact might have been the development of the “basic turn” approach to ski instruction, now known as the American Ski Technique.

Curt Chase passed away earlier this year, although not before finding out he was going to be inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.