Friday, December 29, 2006

History of Skiing on the Grand Mesa (part 1)

In case you haven't heard, this season is Powderhorn's 40th Anniversary! But we don't look a day over 30. With the Anniversary Celebration week fast approaching (January 8-14) I thought it would be a good idea to explore the history of skiing on the Grand Mesa. It has a great story which I'll break up into a few days' posts since it could get long. I know a lot of you read this blog at work, so I wouldn't want you to single handedly submarine the productivity rates on our account.

Skiing on the Grand Mesa has roots going back to the 1930s. In 1935 the first sport skiing began on Grand Mesa at a location near Land’s End Road. A club operation began skiing the mesa in 1938 just a couple hundred yards from Mesa Lakes Resort. A rope tow provided access to two runs. This tow was powered by an old truck which required a fresh battery every day. This battery was often lugged up the hill on skis first thing in the morning.

In the mid 1940s skiing was moved to the Mesa Creek area or what is now commonly referred to as “Old Powderhorn.” This location provided more variety of terrain for beginners and more advanced skiers. The road up the mesa was not paved at this time and cars parked wherever they could make space. There were two rope tows installed over the first two seasons. A Ford Model A motor ran the shorter tow and a Buick hearse motor ran the longer tow.

Next post: the developement of Mesa Creek Ski Area and the search for new terrain

No comments: