Before there were any ski lifts in Aspen, a group of hearty, guided, hike-to-ski skiers at the Highlands Bavarian Lodge in 1936—located near the intersection of Castle Creek and Conundrum Road—pose for a group photo. Judging by the spring-like snow on their skis and the eastern-facing late-afternoon shadows, they likely just finished a ski run—quite possibly down Mt. Hayden, which was then being considered for development into a ski area, along with a European-style gondola. Three men in the front are wearing ties. Pictured in the top row are Andre Roch, Gretl Arnold Fuler, Steve Hart, Norman Barwise, and an unknown person. In the bottom row are William V. Hodges, Martha Wilcox, Joseph Hodges, Polly Grimes, and Frank Ashley.

Aspen’s skiing history: an evolving timeline

In February 1880, B. Clark Wheeler ‘skis’ into town from Leadville on Norwegian snowshoes to complete the first survey of Ute City. He renames the town Aspen.