ed_lukesIn 1966 Ed Lukes was a part-time ski instructor at Arapahoe Basin. In a meeting with many other instructors the director informed the staff that the VA Hospital and the Children’s Hospital in Denver were planning to bring 12 children and a number of Vietnam veterans to A-Basin. They asked the instructors to volunteer to teach these individuals to ski. At the end of the meeting, no one had volunteered. Ed had already departed from the meeting to return back to Denver and remembered the request and realized that no one had volunteered. He returned to the ski area and announced to the director that he would be the volunteer to teach those individuals to ski.

Skiing for the disabled was just beginning and therefore very little adaptive equipment was available to help them access the slopes. Ed and his family were very instrumental in developing adaptive equipment to assist in winter recreation for people with disabilities. Ed, being a pharmacist, was offered a position in Aspen, Colorado.  While in Aspen, he continued to pursue teaching of peoples with disabilities to ski. He was a co-founder of B.O.L.D. (Blind Outdoor Leisure Development), which involved visually impaired individuals. This organization evolved into Aspen Handicapped Skiers Association and was later renamed Challenge Aspen.

In addition to Ed being a pioneer in adaptive skiing and adaptive equipment, in 1943-45 he was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He was also a PSIA Associate and full certified ski instructor. In 1976 Ed traveled with the U.S. Disabled Ski Team to the Winter Olympic Disabled Games in France and in 1980 he accompanied the U.S. Team to Norway as a member of the coaching staff.

In 1995, Ed retired from Challenge Aspen. He now resides with his family in Grand Junction, Colorado. and is still very active in skiing and numerous other outdoor adventures.