Ski Patrol Legend, Curt Chase, Dies at 91

Longtime Aspen resident, Ski Patrol pioneer, 10th Mountain Division member and skiing instruction legend, Curt Chase, died in early June at 91 at his Colorado home. Chase, born on 3 October 1922 in Manchester, NH, lived and worked in Aspen for more than 40 years.

Curt Chase

Chase was a member of the University of New Hampshire ski team in the 1930s. He was also recruited by the National Ski Patrol in its early years to join the 10th Mountain Division and became a survival training instructor for the US Army in 1943. He later organized, trained and directed the Aspen Ski Patrol in 1946.

Chase later became a ski instructor and instruction innovator, and is credited with the creation of the American Ski Technique. He served as director of the Aspen ski school for 17 years and for the Snowmass ski school for 5 years. He was a colleague of Dick Durance and was a skilled course designer, setting many Aspen downhill courses that included World Cup and Roch Cup races.

A true pioneer, he was one of the eight founding members of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and authored the first Aspen Ski Instructors Manual. Chase was the first ski instructor inducted into to the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 1989.

Curt Chase is survived by his brother Dave Chase and sister Carol Chase Fellows; wife Betsy and children Sally Dunleavy, Heidi Chase Mines and Jimmy Chase; grandchildren Ryan Smith, Chip Dunleavy, Tommy Mines, Laker Mines and Tiffany Livingston; and great-grandchildren Adger Smith, Ella Livingston and Ava Livingston.

There will be no memorial service, but the Chase family will host a celebration at the end of the summer.

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