Howelsen Hill’s 100th: A conversation with Crosby Perry-Smith |

Howelsen Hill’s 100th: A conversation with Crosby Perry-Smith

Crosby Perry-Smith as a young man, ski jumping in leather boots and on wooden skis. He was the manager and head ski coach of all disciplines at Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs in the mid 1950s.
Courtesy photo

As the Steamboat Pilot and Today and TV18 join the community of Steamboat Springs in celebrating the 100th anniversary of Howelsen Hill Ski Area in February 2015, the list of celebrated athletes and wise coaches we could talk to is long. However, we think Crosby Perry-Smith, 91, who saw combat with the famed 10th Mountain Division in World War II and survived to win skiing titles across the Rockies before being inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame, can tell stories about another era at Howelsen Hill like no one else we know.

Perry-Smith returned to his parents’ home in the ski jumping hot bed of Lake Placid, New York, after the war, but remained there for only one month before packing his duffel bag and hoisting a pair of ski jumping boards onto a train. Perry-Smith wanted to return to the Colorado Rockies where he had trained at Camp Hale with the Army. But this time, he was intent on training on the ski jumps at Howelsen Hill, which he had heard so much about.

Crosby Perry-Smith made a good impression in Steamboat Springs, quickly joined the Winter Sports Club and was recruited to re-shape the in-run and take-off of the ski jump. Soon after, he won the Rocky Mountain Championships.

Perry-Smith went on to become a founding member of the ski team at Western State College where he was one of the best four-way skiers in the region, was named to the 1952 Winter Olympic Team that competed in Oslo, Norway, coached the Winter Sports Club and managed Howelsen Hill for two years in the mid 1950s, and in 1992, was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame.

So it is with pleasure that we present this video interview with Crosby Perry-Smith and invite you to read more about Howelsen Hill’s role in ski history in the Feb. 15 Steamboat Pilot and Today.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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