Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
Max Dercum 1912
Inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame 1980
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Max was the only 5-year-old in his Cleveland neighborhood to prefer skiing to sledding. His skis went with him to college at Cornell, where he helped organize a racing team, and then to California for graduate study and a job with the Forest Service.
Max's ski-developer activities began when he took a position as forestry professor at Penn State and organized a ski club there. His coaching led to the building of facilities on nearby Bald Mountain, and also to his marriage to a prospective racer named Edna Strand.
Forestry eventually took him to Colorado, where the Dercum’s settled down on Ski Tip Ranch, just west of the divide, and proceeded to become involved in the construction of a ski area in a cirque above the place called Arapahoe Basin. Max's bulldozer cut the trails, he manned its first lifts, and he taught skiing there for 20 years. In this capacity, he helped organize the Professional Ski Instructors of America in 1961.
Meanwhile, he had been exploring the mountain behind his lodge, and the model he built of it became the design for Keystone ski area. After guiding its development, he served as director of its ski school during 1970-75.
Back to racing, then, on the senior circuit, which led to his becoming the first inductee in the NASTAR Hall of Fame and winning the world giant slalom championship for men over 60.