Red Lodge legend Pepi Gramshammer passes away

By: 
Alastair Baker
News Editor
Thursday, August 22, 2019
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Photo courtesy of Vail.gov
Sheika and Pepi Gramshammer in Vail.

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Photos courtesy of Colorado Snowsports Museum

Sheika and Pepi Gramshammer circa the 1960s.

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Pepi Gramshammer during one of his races, circa the 1950s.

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CCN Library
(Left) May 5, 1966 publication of The Carbon County News announces the arrival of Pepi Gramshammer’s Summer Ski Camp and how it is already oversubscribed.

Pepi Gramshammer, the Austrian skier and owner of Rock Creek Resort, died Aug. 17, at Vail Valley Hospital, Colorado, after succumbing to a series of strokes.  He was 87 years old.

Sheika, his wife, and two daughters, Kira and Sheika, were with him. Gramshammer’s finals words to them were, “I love you.”

Gramshammer and Sheika first came to Red Lodge in 1960s and instantly fell in love with the area.  In 1966 he helped develop, along with other skiers Andreas ‘Andrel’ Molterer, and Eric Sailer, the Red Lodge Summer Ski Camp at the Gardiner Headwall in the Beartooth Mountains. The camp became famous throughout the US and abroad with literally, thousands upon thousands of young skiers going through the training program. 

By this point, Gramshammer had purchased Old Piney Dell Restaurant & Bar, 6 miles south of Red Lodge, and by the early 1970s he began renovating the property into the resort it is today with additional condos, townhomes, as well as numerous amenities.  

Gramshammer’s skiing career took off when he joined the Austrian National team in 1955. By 1960 he had won 11 major races and was lined up to join the 1960 Olympic squad but missed out after only getting one win in the 1959 season. 

He found himself going to Sun Valley that winter where he taught at the Sigi Engl’s ski school. The success of his work here led to him becoming a spokesman for an up and coming ski resort call Vail due to open in April 1962.  

Within 6 months Gramshammer had married Sheika Moser and they moved to Vail to set up a ski school.

The couple bought some land in Vail with a view to building and running a ski shop. This instead turned out to become an Austrian-style hotel called the Gasthof Gramshammer that opened in December 1964 and through its inception resulted in a life long friendship with one of its guests, President Gerald Ford. 

 

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The Carbon County News

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