Clif Taylor - Sport Builder - 1999


Hall
Born in Vermont, Clif Taylor began skiing at age 6. He learned to make his own skis by taking apart wooden barrels and shaping skis from the cross slats. He began a professional ski career in the early 1940’s and then joined the 10th Mountain Division from 1943 to 1946. After WWII, he attended Denver University and was a member of the ski team. Later he transferred to Western State where he was co-captain of the ski team. After college, he taught skiing at Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Mad River Glen, Loveland, and Winter Park.  In his 51 years as a certified professional instructor, Clif produced and skied in over 20 instructional films and also appeared on many TV talk shows for the sake of ski promotion.  During the 1960’s through 1980’s, he introduced the GLM (Graduated Length Method) program in traveling clinics to over 300 ski schools throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He also designed equipment, which enabled skiers to adapt to GLM. He called these new skis “Clif Taylor Shortees” and they ranged in length from 100 cm, 120 cm and 150 cm. In 1980, he co-designed the world's first 16-inch Boot Ski. In 1994, he designed a Snow Slipper, which snapped onto the soles of ski boots and was used for beginners to learn parallel turns, eliminating the snow plow technique.   In 1971, the Professional Ski Instructors of America chose Clif to coach the PSIA GLM demonstration team in Garmisch, Germany at the World Congress of Instructors. After the conference French, Swiss and Austrian ski schools adapted the GLM system into their teaching methods.  Over a span of fourteen years (1960’s to 1980’s), he traveled the pre-season ski show circuit promoting Colorado ski areas and demonstrating techniques on a revolving ski deck. During his long career, Clif was privileged to make the acquaintance of many celebrities and taught them to ski using GLM. A few of his most famous pupils were Gary Cooper, Lowell Thomas, Art Linkletter, Jack Paar, Lorne Greene, Tim Conway, Ann Miller, and Lawrence Rockefeller and family.  In 1979, Clif was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame. In 1980, the Ski Writers of America honored him with the Golden Quill Award for his books, “Instant Skiing” (1961), “Ski In A Day” (1964), “GLM The New Way To Ski” (1973), and many articles, which he wrote on the subject of ski instruction.  (Deceased)