Another Taos piece:
Ernie Blake, the founder was a war historian, who actually worked with the OSS (I believe that was the name)--the precursor of the CIA in WW2. He even debriefed many of the famous German generals.
So...there are three chutes in West Basin called Fabian, Oster, and Stauffenberg. They were named after the three generals who attempted to assassinate Hitler.
Moving up to Aspen, Ruthie's Run was named after Ruthie Brown, the wife of D. R. C. Brown, the Area Manager/CEO of the Aspen Ski Corporation. The story (told to me by Dick Durrance) is that Spar Gulch--the only way down off of Aspen Mountain was so gnarly (in those days) that Ruthie demanded that they find a better way off the mountain or they should get out of Aspen and go back to ranching in Carbondale. Hence Ruthie's Run...one of the first "clear cut" trail projects.
Speaking of Durrance, he also told me that in the old downhills, the control gates were very few, and there was a lot of line choice variety. He said he occasionally would find a special fast line through the woods. Before race day, he would sneak up and cut a little sapling and plant it in the snow blocking the view of the fast line. Then he would remove it just before the race and crush the competition.
And, I don't know if this is trivia or not, but I was given the secret of directing a ski school last fall. Stein Ericksen returned to Aspen to speak at the memorial for his dear friend, Yvan Tache. Since I had just gotten hired as the new SS Manager for the Highlands, I introduced myself to him, saying I was very proud to be managing a ski school that he had started. I asked him if he had any secrets to running it
He said, "Yes. There are only two things. Make sure the instructors are out of their uniforms by five o'clock, and make sure that the guys don't arrive in class with lipstick on their collars."
"That's it?," I asked, incredulously.
"Ya! That's all you need." he said with a big smile.
(That was some management training!)