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Description

Fine early Hal Shelton Poster, promoting Vail, Colorado.

Iconic promotional poster of Vail, published shortly after its opening in 1962.

The top image is a large traditional trail map, identifying ski lifts, trails, bowls, etc. with the village of Vail at the base. A second smaller image is centered on High Noon ridge and a single lift servicing a number of open bowls.  Each of the views were painted by pioneering American ski artist Hal Shelton:

The first notable ski map artist in North America was a California native named Hal Shelton, born in 1916. During his early career Shelton worked as a cartographer for the U.S. Geological Survey, and is known for his innovative ideas regarding natural color maps and contour shading (Patterson & Kelso 2004). By the early 1960s Shelton was an established cartographer living in Colorado at the epicenter of the ski resort construction frenzy. Shelton’s professional training in cartography, user-friendly mapping techniques, and ideal location in Colorado provided him with the perfect credentials to create impressive maps for the new resorts…. Shelton hand-painted panoramas for several world-class resorts including Bear Valley, Alta, and Mammoth…. His paintings are characterized by a realistic color palette, thick brushstrokes for background features, and individually painted trees in the foreground…. Shelton’s work was well-received, and he dominated the ski mapping industry in the western United States for much of the 1960s and 70s.” (Lippus, pp. 50-51)

This poster was issued as part of Vail's membership in Colorado Ski Country USA, a non-profit promotional cohort formed in in 1965.