Learning to Ski

My grandparents taught my father and his two sisters to ski at an early age. My father started at six or seven. My aunts each began at about age three.

Deb in front of Mount Arkansas, Climax, Colorado, aged 3

In the 1950s and 60s, families skied as a means of exercise and family fun. Families ran noted ski areas like Loveland and Berthoud. Day passes cost pennies by today’s standard. In 1961 Breckenridge charged $4.00 for a day pass, about $34.00 in today’s dollars. (In 2019, Breckenridge charges $132.00 for a day pass.)

The Allen family lucked out and skied for free at the Climax Ski Area. As the kids of two employees, they skied all day for nothing. They could also skate at a rink set up in the town of Climax. (The ski area was situation across Highway 91.)

Aspen also offered great day skiing for the family.

More than her sister or brother, Robin inherited father’s love of the outdoors, believing in the spiritual and therapeutic effects of vigorous activity out of doors.

Long after Deb and my father stopped, Robin continued skiing and skating.

She skied such lost ski areas as Berthoud Pass and Aspen and Loveland. It was at Loveland, working as a ski instructor, where she caught the tip of her ski in a piece of buried equipment, ripping her knee apart, effectively ending her skiing career.⠀⠀

“Skiing today is so expensive,” she told me. “Even if I did still ski, I wouldn’t do it very often. Can’t afford to.