German Skiing Pioneer Klaus Obermeyer Celebrates His 100th Year of Skiing

Matt Scribner | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Klaus
The longevity of Klaus Obermeyer’s illustrious career is truly amazing (Image: 5280 Magazine)

German skiing pioneer Klaus Obermeyer will be celebrating his 100th year of skiing for the 2022-23 season. The prominent Aspen resident is set to lace up his boots and hit the slopes just several weeks after his 103rd birthday on December 2nd, a truly astonishing feat to accomplish!

Klaus first experienced skiing in 1922 as a youth in the German village of Oberstaufen. His first pair of skis were constructed from chestnut wood planks taken from a crate his father used to buy oranges in nearby Italy, which he then bent and tied to his knees with strings to create tips and nailed his buckle house shoes to. As a youth, he fondly remembers skiing directly onto the hill behind his house from his kitchen door, which developed a passion that carried him to winning the four-way championships (slalom, downhill, cross-country and jumping) in the 1930s. Klaus grew up skinning up the mountain to get his turns, as chairlifts were nowhere to be found in his village, which has been dubbed the “snow hole of the Alps” due to the massive amount of snowfall it receives.

Ski instruction
Klaus Obermeyer instructing a group of students in the 1950s (Image: Aspen Times)

Upon moving to Aspen in 1947, Obermeyer became an important member of the community and has remained one ever since. He spent many years as a ski instructor for Aspen Skiing Company and then went on to found Sport Obermeyer. The equipment company would go on to become an innovative force in the ski community, pioneering weather-resistant parkas, two-pronged ski brakes, high alpine sunscreen, and nylon windshirts among many other products. He continues to work numerous days per week at the Sport Obermeyer main offices, which are still in operation in the Roaring Fork Valley to this day. Klaus has received many prestigious rewards and nominations for his contributions to the skiing community, including being inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame, the Aspen Ski Hall of Fame, and the 1997 National Ski Hall of Fame Medal of Honor.

It’s safe to say this living legend is showing no signs of slowing down heading into his 100th year of skiing. He plans to get his first turns of the season at Buttermilk, which plans to open for the season on December 17th. This achievement serves as another notch in the belt of the German-born Aspen skier and truly deserves recognition across the ski community. Congratulations to you, Mr. Obermeyer!


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