Sit down to talk ski history with Klaus Obermeyer and you will hear Klaus rattle off iconic names of people who played indelible roles in building the ski industry and culture in the US. These people were his friends, and they cobbled together ski resorts, ski schools, and communities through vision, talent, and sheer work ethic.

Some came from Austria to the United States after the war, bringing their affinity for skiing nurtured in the Tirol. Others were star ski racers in Europe who parlayed podiums for opportunities at budding ski resorts. Veterans from the 10th Mountain Division came home after making a major impact on winning the war to play an integral role in building Colorado’s ski industry to resemble what they saw firsthand in Europe. The ski industry would have never taken off after World War II if it was not for the 10th Mountain veterans.

After 100 years skiing, Klaus has come across an encyclopedia of skiers and his first-person from the mountains is a unique and singular perspective. So, who are a few Klaus’s favorite skiers?

“There are many ways that work for skiing,” says Klaus. “I have always enjoyed watching skiers who bring joy to the mountain.”

“One of the great skiers of all time was Fred Iselin,” says Klaus.

“Stein Ericksen was—of course—a great skier,” says Klaus.

Klaus Obermeyer and Stein Erikson

“Naturally Friedl Pfiefer was great. He had his own way skiing,” says Klaus.

“It’s amazing how different skiing has evolved over the decades as equipment has gotten better and changed,” says Klaus. “Everybody has their own way of feeling good about a turn, and it’s been that way since the beginning.”

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