Peak Performers nominee: Edna & Max Dercum, Alpine skiing |

Peak Performers nominee: Edna & Max Dercum, Alpine skiing

The Dercum family — Rolf, from left, Max, Edna and Judy — celebrate first place finishes at the 1970 National Vet’s Race at Vail. The Dercums founded Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and helped to found Keystone Resort.
Courtesy Edna Strand Dercum, Summit Historical Society

Editor’s note: Readers nominated their all-time favorite Summit County athletes for Peak Performers: The Mount Rushmore of Summit County athletes. Voting begins Feb. 23 at

Nominee: Edna & Max Dercum
Sport: Alpine skiing

Nominated together, Edna and Max Dercum were not only two of the most trailblazing figures in Summit County sports history but also accomplished competition skiers.

The Dercums co-founded Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and were the driving force behind the founding of Keystone Resort in the early 1970s. Bill Bergman, co-founder of Keystone with the Dercums, has said “nobody had a greater love of skiing than Max Dercum.”

The Dercums moved to Colorado’s High Country from Pennsylvania after Max was one of the founding members of the ski team at Cornell University. It was at Penn State University where Max and Edna met via Max’ ski club, where he organized the first Penn State ski championship in 1940 and took the state downhill and slalom titles in 1941.

Dreaming big of a ski mountain out west, the Dercums made their way over Loveland Pass and laid the foundation for what A-Basin has become. As they grew older, the Dercums continued to ski race. Edna, at age 65, was the oldest woman competitor in the world and perennial National Seniors giant-slalom champion.

Edna, who worked as a ski instructor for years, would ski well into her 80s. After decades working most every ski area gig — including lift operator, ski instructor and patroller — Max also skied well into his 80s.

The Dercums were inducted into the Colorado and national ski halls of fame. In 2003, Keystone Mountain was named Dercum Mountain in their honor.

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