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Legends of The Legend: Marnie Jump


Our People

For Women’s History Month, we’d like to introduce you to one of the most important women in A-Basin’s history: Marnie Jump. Without her, there would likely be no A-Basin.

Marnie Jump A Pittsburgh native and U.S. Navy lieutenant during WWII, Marjorie "Marnie" Brown headed for A-Basin in 1947 specifically to be a ski bum and to find work. When she arrived, A-Basin was $45,000 in debt following its first season of operation, and Marnie literally helped save the fledgling ski area by purchasing stock and persuading friends and family to invest (at $1 per share).

In 1948, Marnie married A-Basin founder Larry Jump and soon after became vice president of the ski area, serving in a leadership role until the Jumps sold A-Basin in 1972. 

Marnie once described A-Basin’s early years this way:

“We all did everything in those days: parked cars, sold tickets, cleaned the johns, tramped the runs. We’d spend Saturday night up at Midway with the ski patrol and play hearts all night. The losers had to get the fire going and make coffee, and then we’d all tramp down the runs to pack the snow.”

Marnie’s impact on A-Basin was legendary. While the ski area merely survived in the 40s, it began to flourish in the 50s. By the 1960s, and under Marnie and Larry's leadership, A-Basin was solidifying the reputation it maintains today -- as a challenging, fun-loving, and unfussy ski area.  

Prior to the '48-'49 season, Marnie helped bring famed European ski instructor Willy Schaeffler to Colorado to run A-Basin's ski school. He made $1 an hour that first season but set a standard of excellence that drew positive attention to A-Basin for 25 years. 

In 1953, Marnie organized the first Veterans Race sanctioned by the U.S. Ski Association, which took place on the Pali (of course). The program evolved into the Masters Racing Series, which she participated in until her late 70s.

In 1967, Marnie started the Amputee Skiing Program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense—a first of its kind in Colorado. A-Basin offered free lessons to Vietnam Veterans recovering at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital and, in 1970, expanded the program to serve patients from Children’s Hospital in Denver. (The program has since moved to Winter Park and is part of the National Sports Center for the Disabled.)

Marnie skied well into her 80s, was inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2000, and passed in 2011. We owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude for the leadership and spirit she bestowed upon A-Basin. We would not be who we are today without her. 

A-Basin History

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