Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
W. EDWARD SHARP, 1911 - 1996
Inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame 1996
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Ed, a civic leader from Monte Vista, had a vision which he turned into Wolf Creek Ski Area, dedicating his earlier years to the development of a small family ski area in Southwestern Colorado.
After skiing around the area for fifteen years, he and some friends got the initial idea for expanding the ski area on Wolf Creek Pass, which at that time, had a rope tow 150 yards long. With his engineering background, friends, family members and the local ski club with lots of muscle, borrowed trucks, snow cats, tractors and determination, they launched a bond drive to raise the necessary funds. He held public meetings throughout the area and approached the Valley chambers of Commerce for monetary assistance. Bonds were sold for $25 each. They even sold a block of shares, $500 worth, to Adolph Coors.
Ed stated in a board of directors report, "We spent very little money...freight from New York, materials for the tower foundations, and a gasoline motor. Volunteers surveyed, picked up the tow in Walsenburg, and the motor from Denver. We cleaned up the debris, dug the foundations for the towers, hauled cement to the tower spots, assembled and erected the tow, and finished the logging for the tow site, because the original lumbermen quit the job before it was finished. We borrowed seven to ten caterpillar tractors from farmers to move towers. The instructions were partly in French, so we had to do our own figuring on the tower construction."
In early December that year, they reached a turning point, only to be "snowed out", acquiescing to using the rope tow one more year. Ed learned new skills such as operating a jack hammer and being a ski area manager. The area initially operated only on weekends, charging members $1.75 for adults, $1 for children and for non-members, $2.25 and $1.50.
Wolf Creek still has the bragging rights to the highest snowfall in the state, as one record breaking week they had 120 inches of new snow. It's powder hound paradise.