Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
Barbara Kidder Lee
Colorado became the home of Barbara when she moved here at the age of seven in 1934. Born in Berkeley, California, she was a daughter of Art Kidder Sr., who was posthumously inducted to the Ski Hall of Fame in 1984.
By the time she was 11, she had climbed many of Colorado's 14,000 foot peaks. Her father encouraged her and her sister and two brothers to ski by building their skis and poles for them. Barbara did not take to the sport at first, but became a believer when she first schussed down Genesee Mountain. She progressed rapidly and entered her first race in 1940 at Berthoud Pass. At age 14, she qualified for the National Championships, held in Aspen in 1941. In 1942, she represented her adopted state in the Jeffers Cup Team Race in Sun Valley. She was also Southern Rocky Mountain Ski Association champion that year. She soon became the "darling of the Rockies" because of her attractiveness and her spunky attitude while competing.
From 1942 to 1945, she competed only in local races, due to World War II curtailment. In 1945, she started skiing for the University of Denver where she took a first place in the downhill and slalom at the Intercollegiate Ski Meet at Winter Park. Her next stop was Alta, where she won the Alta Cup over heavy Canadian competition. In 1946, she won the Snow Cup at Alta and the Intercollegiate Races there. Later that year, she competed at Lake Placid, New York, at the Kate Smith Trophy Race and took a second in combined. Later that month she won the Southern Rocky Mountain Ski Association Championships in Aspen, and in March, took second in the National Championships.
Also, in 1946, she won the first Andre Roch Trophy Race in Aspen, and in April, took a second in the Alta Cup in the combined. That was the year she was termed the outstanding woman skier in the United States. She was elected to the National Ski Hall of Fame in Ishpeming in the Spring of 1977.