Snowmass history: Getting to know the early players of Snowmass ski area |

Snowmass history: Getting to know the early players of Snowmass ski area

Snowmass ski patroller Hal Hartman skiing in Hanging Valley as part of a team that tried to open the area for skiing in March of 1976.
Courtesy photo |

During an interview with Jim Snobble, he mentioned working closely with Hal Hartman: “There were places we wanted to set aside for skiing easements and one of the things that would happen — Hal Hartman and I worked together a lot — he was a ski patrol director at Aspen Mountain for years, fortunately he was sent out to work with us by Darcy (Brown) due to a union problem. He was sort of banished out there, but it was the greatest thing that happened to us because he was very knowledgeable — he and I would stake things out during the week, easements that we felt we needed for skiing easements and so forth, and Bill Janss would get hold of Darcy on a weekend. Bill would take Darcy out and say well now look we need more of this, we need this, that and everything — they’d change all the staking and everything and it would just screw things up terribly.” Snobble and Hartman would find themselves in battles with one side trying to maximize their land and lot sales, and effects from the radiant heat and snow melt from the buildings encroaching on what was set aside for ski runs and access. “They wanted us to have a 200-foot ski trail coming down that would come over into a 25-foot ski bridge and we said that’s just impossible ‘you’re going to have a Venturi effect, blowing skiers out the other end — it would just be ridiculous!’” and they argued over that for a long time — finally getting them to agree to a 100-foot-wide bridge. Hal Hartman stayed on helping work on studies and planning the Snowmass ski area as well as working as a Snowmass ski patroller into the 1970s.

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