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Fred Iselin

Fred Iselin

Fred was born in Glarus, Switzerland and became known for his skiing abilities before he appeared on the American scene in 1940.

Fred was exposed to skiing from the time he was born. His father, Christof, was an officer in the Swiss Army with foresight and realized the value of skis for mountain transportation. Fred virtually grew up on skis. While in his teens, Fred taught skiing in Switzerland and later in Austria. During the late thirties, some of Fred's impressive victories were the Grand Prix de Chamonix at Glaciers, the Brevant-Chamonix, and the Lognon Downhill. His most impressive win was the all-time record at the Grand Prix de Aiguille du Midi—this race was discontinued because it was too dangerous.

In 1939, Fred emigrated to the United States and became a ski instructor at America's premiere ski resort—Sun Valley, Idaho, in 1940. In 1947, Fred moved to Aspen to become Colorado's notable ski instructor and pioneer of innovations of skiing.

An instructor "par excellence" for over 40 years, his achievements include ski school director for Aspen and Aspen Highlands and author of a best selling book on ski techniques—Invitation to Skiing. The book was twice revised under the titles, The New Invitation to Skiing and Invitation to Modern Skiing. These books express the personality of Fred perfectly. The text is witty; they are fun to read and fun to use—as if Fred is teaching in person.

Colorado Ski Hall of Fame, Photo: Aspen Historical Society