Hint: 1950

Can you spot who this is dashing through the poles? Might be easy. But where and what event and what’s the significance? That’s the challenge. Note your replies in Comments, just scroll down.

Thanks to the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum for contributing this photo.

Who, where, 1950. Credit: Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum

Last Week

Credit: John Emery

Yes, a rope tow gripper. We’ve never used one, we just grabbed the twirling rope. But, many readers certainly have. It is significant that memories of using this device—from the 60s!—are so clear to our respondents.  John Emery, a reader who submitted this picture, says, “There used to be a heavy belt which the clamp was attached to via the short rope. It had a pouch that the clamp fit into when not in use. You would grab the tow rope with one hand and close the two halves of the clamp over the tow rope. The clamp was attached to the belt, and you would just lean back and enjoy the ride—one-handed even.”

Using this device took a bit of concentration.  From what we’ve read in the Comments section, it was getting it off at the top that was tricky.  It is a long way from a rope tow gripper to quadruple, high-speed chairs, and an impressive number of our readers have seen the transition from one to the other.




  1. Dave Nicholson says:

    stein, but where???

  2. art roerink says:

    stein erickson in the giant slalom?

  3. Patricia Gottshalk says:

    Is this the first world championship hosted in the US at Aspen? Dick Durrance built Aspen” Ruthie’s Run for the race.
    For the record, I have never driven past a ski museum.

  4. Wes Schimmelpfennig says:

    Stein Erikson don’t know the event, but he was ski school director at Heavenly Valley in the early 50’s and ended up at Deer Valley

  5. John Emery says:

    Unmistakably Stein – not sure where though. I shadowed him discreetly one day at Sun Valley in the early 80’s. He was not a young man then and I was but I nearly killed myself trying to keep up. It was said he could hear a camera click and be in front of it with his hair combed before the shutter fully closed.

  6. Karen Gee says:

    Stein Eriksen, 1950 World Ski Championship in Aspen. Silver medal, slalom. First world championship held outside Europe.

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