Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
James Lewis Dalpes 1904 - 19
Inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame 1979| Home | Back to Alphabetical List | Year of Induction List |
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The son of an Austrian immigrant named Paul Dalpez, Louis changed the spelling of his last name twice during his early years near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to eliminate confusion. His first skiing consisted of following his father around the ranch on barrel staves. He learned "ski-joring", (being towed on skis behind a horse) because he and his two brothers had only one horse for transportation to school, and only two could ride this horse.
His first "store bought" skis, at age 14, helped him win first place in a Class-C jumping event at Steamboat. Lessons from Carl Howelsen sharpened his enthusiasm and abilities, and two 1924 victories at age 19 over national champion Lars Haugen won him recognition as Colorado's finest ski jumper of the era.
The successive deaths of his father and mother required that he move to Denver to complete high school and find work to support both his education and competition. In spite of this, he jumped to 16 Class-A championships at sites ranging from St. Mary's Glacier to Genesee Mountain and Estes Park. In 1931 Louis was selected for the All American Ski Team, and in 1932 he gained permanent possession of the Stanley Cup by winning it for the third time. His last official competition was the inauguration of Winter Park's jumping hill in 1945.
Few Colorado natives have compiled such an impressive record as Louis, a record made more significant because it was built during a time when an athlete had little, if any financial support to cover travel, room and board, and spending money.