Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
Frank James Willoughby 1910-1975
Inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame 1994
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Frank arrived in Aspen in 1922. He graduated from the Colorado School of Mines and later managed the Midnight Mine in Aspen.
In 1936, with the help of Tom Flynn, Ted Ryan, Billy Fisk and Frank Ashley, he formed the Highland Bavarian Corporation to develop a ski resort in the Aspen area. They enlisted the assistance of Dr. Gunther Langes, a mountaineer from Vienna, and Andre Roch, a skiing expert from Switzerland.
Andre Roch introduced new skiing techniques, and he and Frank recruited volunteers to cut trails by hand, creating among other runs, the famous Roch run, on which many national and international races are run today. He formed and was the first President of the Aspen Ski Club in 1937 (originally named the Roaring Fork Winter Sports Club), and the members were among the chief volunteers in blazing trails on Aspen Mountain. They also designed a jump, warming huts, and installed a boat tow to haul skiers uphill.
The club hosted many races through the Southern Rocky Mountain Ski Association, getting many ski clubs involved, and putting up competitors in their own homes. The stages the regional championships in 1938 and 1940, the National Alpine Championship in 1941, which put Aspen on the map. Because of the 1941 races, many members of the Tenth Mountain Division stationed at Camp Hale participated, such as John Litchfield, Percy Rideout and Friedl Pfeiffer. The enthusiasm and development of those that Frank recruited convinced Walter Paepcke to provide the financial backing to launch the Aspen Skiing Corporation.