Montezuma Basin
Operation Dates: 1967 - 1977 (operated on and off)
Area Stats: 1 summer "snowfield"; 1 Stadeli tow
History: Montezuma Basin was located on the north side of Castle Peak
outside of Aspen.  The base elevation was at 13,000 feet with a vertical
drop of a couple hundred feet.  By July 1967, the tow, parking lot, and
jeep access road were ready for operation.  Max Marolt of Aspen and
Dick Milstein of Glenwood Springs were the driving forces behind the
area's construction.  The Forest Service granted the area an operating
permit for a cost of $25 per year.  In 1968, Hollingsworth was trying to
get permission to install a Doppelmayr double chairlift at the area.  Over
the next couple seasons the area was in financial distress and closed in
1970.

Richard Rosen from Taos, New Mexico, purchased the area in 1971.  He
was able to obtain an operating permit from the Forest Service, this time
for $48 per year.  Due to ownership conflicts with the area, it is not clear
if it ever operated again.  The Forest Service denied the area its permit for
the 1977 and 1978 seasons.  
Area Pictures: *
A lone skier on Montezuma Basin's
summer snowfield skiing.
The Stadeli tow.
Copyright © coloradoskihistory.com
All Rights Reserved.

*Pictures thanks to P. Hauk
# Carol S.

Sources:
The Colorado Ski Museum
P. Hauk
"In the '60s I lived and worked in Aspen as a graphic designer and
photographer. I designed graphics, brochures etc for Max Marolt to promote a Summer race camp at
Montezuma Basin. Some of the coaches were Andrl Molterer, Ernst Hinterseer and Max was the director.
We had great fun skiing there in the summer months."
-Unknown

"I have very fond memories of skiing Montezuma Basin as a teenager. In the summer of 1972 I attended
two back to back summer ski racing camps run by Rick Rosen. I skied a total of 40 days in a row! The
camp was attended by mostly teen racers from around the country, however Rick had invited VIP guests
visit to ski on the snowfield, the most famous of which was the Olympic Bronze Downhill Medalist, Billy
Kid, and the aspiring racer Andy Mill. We skied gates every day, mostly slalom, sometimes GS. The snow
conditions were fantastic throughout July. At
the top of Montezuma, one could climb and see Castle Lake, frozen even in July, and occupied by a lone
Beaver.

A typical day was a wake-up call at 5am, and then we would bundle up in the back of Rick's pick-up
truck, which was a converted open seating area, with built in benches on either side. We would brave the
sub freezing early morning air to climb to 13,000 ft. We would run slalom gates all morning. There was a
make shift primitive t-bar with big fly wheels and we would set courses all morning until the snow got too
soft. Often we would run down the mountain on the road or thru streams to build agility. Rick actually
joined us on one of the runs, and in dramatic fashion, he broke his leg on a big boulder. Days later, in a
cast, Rick skied down the slalom course, on a day where he was so upset with our racing technique, that
he showed us how to do it, with one foot in a boot, the other free in the wind! It was quite the site. I also
remember hiking up in the Basin near the old silver mine, where we would find Chinese shoes and old
perfectly built walled paths, that hugged the mountain side. Rick was a fantastic coach, and even today 30
plus years later, I remember a coaching session that still resonates for me today, "You conquer the
mountain, don't let it conquer you." It has been a guiding principle for any obstacle I've faced in life. So
these are just a few of my memories of skiing in Montezuma Basin as a 13 year old boy. What a joy to
recount some of these memories."
-Scott R.

"In summer of 1968 a group of VT Jr Ski racers including Carol Skinger (me) and Wendy Woodworth
and VT Sr  Ski Bill Farrell and others drove from VT to Aspen to train on summer snow. We rented the
Talbot A frame- think that is what it was called – on road up to Montezuma Basin . We brought our own
Mighty Might cable tow lift and a generator. We set it up on snow above the hut and skied gates in the
early part of the day.  Greg McLelland and Crandy Grant Rutland, VT were coaches.

About the  Montezuma Basin Race-1st Annual summer slalom:  The race and area in general was short
lived and I am not sure how many races they continued with.  I won the women’s race. I was listed in the
article as “Carol Skaeringer  Senior A”. In fact I was Carol Skinger  Jr B at the time.  Bernard Mayer won
men’s race, I think at one point I spoke to Dave Durrance, 7 or 8 years ago and he said he won the race
at one point possibly the following year.

Me and Bill Farrell were the only ones from our training camp interested in getting to the race and going in
it, possibly because it involved getting up when it was still dark, hiking with your skis to the area, then
climbing the course- no lift. None of us had 4 wheel drive so Bill and I decided to get up early and walk
the few more miles up to Montezuma Basin . We ended up getting a ride from someone in a jeep."
-Carol S.
Have you ever skied at Montezuma?  If
so,
contact us with your memories!

Memories:
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