Nobody likes being known for their age, but when you turn 100 years old, as Klaus Obermeyer will Dec. 2, attention must be paid. The centurion is most well-known for his eponymous ski apparel company (which opened its first factory warehouse in Aspen in 1961) and for his ingenious quilted down ski jacket. The hall-of-famer also pioneered high-altitude suntan lotion (with Friedl Pfeiffer), mirrored sunglasses, the nylon wind shirt, dual-layer ski boots and, my personal favorite, the elastic-neck turtleneck.
The German skier emigrated to the U.S. in 1947 and came to Aspen shortly thereafter, where he became a ski instructor for the newly created Aspen Skiing Corp. It was thanks to his clients that he developed many of the ideas for his innovations—all designed to keep skiers warm and comfortable for longer days on the slopes.
Today, Obermeyer lives on his ranch nearby, and after checking in at Sport Obermeyer HQ in the Aspen Airport Business Center, he likes to go skiing, and has been quoted saying, “The days you don’t ski you don’t get back! You may as well live them and experience them fully.”
On Dec. 2, at a birthday party at the Hotel Jerome, Mayor Torre will announce the renaming of a street and ski run after the legend, and declare Dec. 2 National Obermeyer Day. A very happy birthday, indeed.
Photography by: Photo courtesy of Aspen Historical Society, Knowlton Collection