david scheefer gunnison

Ep. 35 David Scheefer | Skiing Pioneer

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David Scheefer grew up in the shadows of the Olympic venues of Lake Placid, New York. Not surprisingly, that meant that he participated in all types of winter sports, including nordic skiing, alpine skiing, skating, bobsled, and if you were a kid in Lake Placed and had the guts, you could even do the Nordic ski jump.

David attended Western State College (as it was then known) in Gunnison, and never left.  He spent much of his time living in the Quartz creek town of Ohio City, which had a famous high-end restaurant at one time where David worked.  (Quartz creek is located Northeast of Gunnison and also includes the town of Pitkin). He built his own cabin there, which led to a career as a craftsman.  One of his projects was building several buildings at the beautiful Castleton Ranch in Ohio Creek, North of Gunnison.

He was also one of the early pioneers of backcountry skiing in the area.  At the time, the gear consisted of leather boots and skinny skis, though he wasn't introduced to the telemark turn until later in his ski career. Speaking of telemark skiing, he won the Al Johnson telemark race, and also started the costume craze by wearing a mailman outfit one year (Al Johnson was a postal carrier in the mining days). Many of the local peaks were first descended by David- possibly including the iconic East face of Gothic Mountain, which is visible from Crested Butte Mountain Resort and the Gold Link and Prospect neighborhoods.

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