Graeme McGowan - Sport Builder - 1979


Hall
A Denver native, raised in both Denver and Colorado Springs, Graeme McGowan developed a keen love for mountaineering during summers spent at Buffalo Creek, Colorado.  He added skiing to his mountaineering pursuits on a wintertime ascent of Pike's Peak in the company of a classmate from Cheyenne Mountain High School in 1921.  Although Graeme took lessons from Erling Strom and Count d'Albizzi, most of Graeme's technical development came through his own experiments on overnight trips to the snowfields of Pike's Peak. Upon completion of the Moffat Tunnel, he and his friends used to arrange with trainmen to be dropped off at the West Portal, where they made many ski ascents of James Peak, Parry's Peak, and Mary Jane.  As one of the founders of the famous Arlberg Club, Graeme planned and conducted its first organized downhill race during the winter of 1929 to 1930. His purchase and donation of land in the Mary Jane basin led to construction of the clubhouse on that site. He also served as chairman of the Skiing Committee for the Colorado Mountain Club and, in that capacity, did much to promote wintertime mountaineering and recreational skiing.  Prior to WWII, he was hired to do studies, which led to the development of skiing near Santa Fe, New Mexico. During the war, he served as a ski instructor with the Army Corps of Engineers, eventually retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel. His later years were spent in construction, which included the building of the ski lodge at Purgatory, Colorado, and a stint as vice-president of that area.   (Deceased)