Jan Gulliksen - Instructor, Industry Rep

Passing Date

Jan Erling Gulliksen, a 60-year veteran of the U.S. ski industry, died  March 21, 2022, in Montrose, Colorado. He was 87 years old.

Gulliksen grew up in Norway and was six years old when the German army invaded his country.

In 1949, at age 15, he went to sea, first on a whaling ship bound for Antarctica, then on freighters that took him around Africa and to Cuba and the southeastern ports of the United States. In 1951, at age 17, he jumped ship in New York and hitchhiked to Colorado. In Boulder, Gulliksen held a series of odd jobs, then joined the U.S. Air Force as a way to earn citizenship. The story is told in the 2009 books A Boy from Nøtterøy and At the Helm: The Adventures of a Young Merchant Marine.

The Air Force sent Gulliksen to Norway. Later, a retiring general had him transferred to Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where his duties included teaching VIPs to ski at Sandia Peak. After a four-year hitch, he stayed in New Mexico, eventually teaching at Taos for Ernie Blake.

When Vail opened in 1962, Gulliksen was on hand, teaching for Roger Staub’s ski school. He became the Rocky Mountain regional sales rep for Beconta, selling Nordica, Look, Völkl and Beconta’s skiwear lines. He repped Hart skis in the 1980s, Kastle skis in the 1990s, and finished his career at Thorlo socks.