Ski tow inventor to join Vail’s Colorado Ski Hall of Fame
Editor’s note: This is the third part of a six-part series about this year’s inductees to the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame.VAIL, Colorado – The Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame is inducting six new members in November – Horst Abraham, Jake Burton Carpenter, Ernst Constam, Harry Frampton, Trygve Myhren and Sandy Treat.The new inductees will join a group of Hall of Fame snowsports visionaries who have made significant contributions to snow sports in Colorado. They will be honored during the 34th annual Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame Induction Gala on Nov. 6 at the Westin Westminster in Westminster. Ernst Constam (1888-1965) is credited as the inventor of the overhead cable ski tow, beginning with his J-bar installed in Davos, Switzerland in about 1933. The development of ski tows and lifts had a huge impact on the future course of skiing. Ski tows based on Constam’s design, without observing his patents, were installed in many budding resorts.When the 10th Mountain Division needed training to become skiers, the U.S. Army contacted Constam and he installed a T-bar on Cooper Hill, near Leadville. Through the 1960s, American skiing launched its early boom and during this time there were more than 80 Constam designs installed at resorts across the country. As a resident of Denver from the 1940s onward, Constam continued his lift manufacturing business until his death in 1965.When the sport of skiing was developing worldwide in the 1950s and 1960s, Constam and his T-bar helped promote the success of the sport in Colorado, helping to make the state the skiing capital of North America.