A-Basin started in 1946 with just a tow rope. But, by the 1947-48 season, two single-chair ski lifts were installed. The first lift carried guests from the base area to mid-mountain (similar to today's Black Mountain Express). The second lift ran a similar line to today's Norway lift, from mid-mountain to the summit. #ABasin70
Willy Schaeffler was Arapahoe Basin's first Ski School Director. He was hired by Larry Jump back in 1947. Schaeffler even has a run named after him: the famed Willy's Wide, one of the hike-to lines on the East Wall. #ABasin70
Max and Edna Dercum were true pioneers of the Colorado ski industry. Max got his first pair of skis in 1918, before there was any real ski instruction in the U.S. Max came out to Colorado in 1941, worked with the U.S. Forest Service, and he and Edna purchased the Ski Tip Ranch lodge in Keystone the same year. The Dercums owned several of the mining claims within what is now Arapahoe Basin, and became founding members in 1946. #ABasin70
Larry and Marnie Jump were instrumental in the founding of Arapahoe Basin. Larry was a veteran of the 10th Mountain Division, and served overseas in France and Italy. He was also one of the U.S.'s first certified ski instructors. Together, the Jumps founded the nation's first amputee skiing program, and were recognized by the Department of Defense for their service to veterans returning from WWII. #ABasin70
Have you ever skied any lines off what we call "Founder's Ridge"? It's the collection of runs on the west side of Montezuma Bowl: Max, Groswold, Durrance, Schauffler, and Jump. Those runs are named for the founders of Arapahoe Basin.
In late 1945, the city of Denver sent Larry Jump and Sandy Schauffler to the high country to scout potential ski areas. Here they met Max Dercum, who has purchased property near and owned mining claims within what is now A-Basin. Next, Dick Durrance and Denver ski maker Thor Groswold joined the group, and the five men formed Arapahoe Basin, Inc. in May 1946. #ABasin70