SKIING IN THE MOUNTAIN PARKS
--from Municipal Facts, Vol. 3, No. 2-3, March 1920
While skiing in the Mountain Parks has been indulged in to some extent for
several years past, the first attempt to place it upon a firm foundation was
taken this winter by the formation of the Rocky Mountain Ski Club, which
conducted with great success three distinct ski meets. One of these was at
Inspiration Point, just outside the city limits of Denver, photographs of which
were published in the last issue of Municipal Facts.
On February 22nd and March 8th tournaments were held on the new course on East
Genessee Mountain, twenty-two miles from Denver by auto. The greatest performers
on the Norwegian shoe that have appeared in this country participated, coming
directly from the meet at Chippewa Falls. Among the unique events was a race
between an aeroplane and a noted ski performer, the aeroplane winning handily. A
reproduction of a photograph of this event, taken by K. P. Howe, official staff
photographer, for Municipal Facts, appears on the cover of this issue.
An intense interest was taken in the events by the people of Denver. During the
February event the photographs show the wonderful winter climate of Denver, for
there was little snow on the ground and the performers were much pleased with
the mild weather, which permitted them to leave off heavy wraps. Since the
course was new no records were broken, the national champion, Anders Haugen,
carrying off the honors. Some of the remarkable junior ski performers of
Steamboat Springs also appeared.
That Denver has taken a firm place in the ski centers of the country, is
indicated by the fact that the national ski convention and meet of the United
States is to be held on Genessee Mountain next winter, the convention at
Chippewa Falls having made the selection at the meet there.
The Genessee course is to be graded, a clubhouse erected at the summit, greater
height given the take-off, and the start to be made from a take-off starting
upon the roof of the club house. A road also is to be constructed
from the main mountain park highway to the foot of the hill opposite the ski
course, so that cars may drive in and park in the natural amphitheatre at the
foot of the course.
The national organization is composed of local clubs throughout the United
States, the usual practice being for each club to select two riders chosen as
the result of a local contest and to send these with one delegate to the
national convention. While Colorado has only three ski clubs, states like
Minnesota and Wisconsin have local organizations in all the cities of any
considerable size. The local organizations, however, may send as many
contestants professional or amateur, as they desire. The national contest,
therefore, is an event of considerable importance, and brings a national
attendance wherever held, because of the picturesque character of the sport.
Adjoining the course of the Rocky Mountain Ski Club on Genessee Mountain is the
private course of a number of prominent Denver citizens. This course was
constructed and a club house erected at the summit of the hill three years ago
and has been in use since then. Members of the Colorado Mountain Club have also
followed the pastime in the Denver Mountain Parks to some extent, although the
regular winter course of this organization is located in the Rocky Mountain
National Park. Informal ski parties, however, have been held by members of the
club at Evergreenln Bear Creek Canon and on Lookout Mountain.
No systematic effort to popularize skiing in Denver was made, however, until the
present year, when the Rocky Mountain Ski Club, assisted by the local Community
Service, staged the contest to which reference has been made.
Note: Although this article refers to the Mountain Parks, the historic ski area it describes was actually outside of Genesee Park on private property.