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And the West is History: Boys Club Backpacking Trip led by Dolph Kuss – ca. 1957

The accolades given Dolph Kuss throughout his life have been varied and numerous. As an Olympic-level ski competitor, Fort Lewis College and U.S. Ski Team coach, as well as a developer of the Chapman Hill and Purgatory ski areas, he’s been called the “Patriarch of skiing in Durango.” His influence in helping the people of La Plata County enjoy recreation in all forms may be his greatest contribution. As the city-county recreation director starting in 1955, he introduced many activities and pursuits not previously offered in the area. County youths were taught swimming, archery, marbles, gymnastics and of course skiing: both Alpine and Nordic. Each summer, he led Boys Club members into the surrounding mountains on backpacking trips. Here, Kuss (front row center, red shirt) poses with a group near Windom Peak in the Needles Range. The Animas Museum has filmed an interview with Dolph Kuss sharing his recollections and stories with local historian Robert McDaniel. “Making a Difference: The Dolph Kuss Story” may be viewed at animasmuseum.org by clicking on the “events” tab, then to “past events.” – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 22.30 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)