Snowmass history: Ski schooled |

Snowmass history: Ski schooled

A group of skiers gather at the "ski school meeting place," near the Silver Tree Inn, in Snowmass circa 1968.
Aspen Historical Society |

A news release in 1967 leading up to the grand opening of Snowmass-at-Aspen Resort highlighted Stein Eriksen’s new ideas on teaching skiing.

“Ski champion Stein Eriksen has some new ideas on how to teach the sport of skiing. Appropriately enough, he’s going to put them into action at a ski resort where new ideas are part of the scenery. In December, the man described as the world’s most graceful skier, takes over as Director of the Ski School at Snowmass-at-Aspen. This massive new addition to Aspen skiing boasts accommodations where guests will ski to and from a chair lift, which runs the pedestrian village without a telephone pole or car in sight. There, right from the start, beginners and experts alike will be noticing things being done differently. Because Stein Eriksen feels that members of his staff must be psychologists as well as expert skiers, his instructors at the Snowmass-at-Aspen Ski School will be accessible to their students for after class conversation and socializing. A good part of their time will be spent in creating confidence as well as improvising physical skills. For those on skies for the first time, that includes a ski school “first” as well: classroom instruction before taking to the hills. After a decade of helping floundering first timers through the basics of the sport, Eriksen feels that half the battle is to prepare the students in advance for what waits ahead. As he puts it, ‘Many a fall has been a greater blow to the confidence, than to the body.’”

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