Published: Dec. 1, 2014

Skiers at Chautauqua Mesa Ski Area

For a short time, still within memory for some Baby Boomers, Boulder had its own ski run: Chautauqua Mesa Ski Area operated from 1949-52 and in 1962.

It had a tow rope powered by the engine of a World War II Dodge army truck, three ski jumps, night lights — and cross-country skiers who said they could beat the tow to the top. But vandalism, unreliable snow conditions and competition from other ski areas doomed the little slope, according to author Silvia Pettem (Psych’69), who has researched Chautauqua Mesa’s history. Today, Nederland’s Eldora Mountain Resort, which opened for skiing in 1962, is the closest run to campus.

The 2014-2015 North American ski season began Oct. 17 in Summit County, when Arapahoe Basin became the first resort to open its lifts.

Photo courtesy Carnegie Branch Library for Local History Boulder Historical Society Collection