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Ski Utah's new Last Chair will take you inside Utah's resorts for the story behind the Greatest Snow on Earth®. In a weekly series of audio features, host Tom Kelly will bring you behind the scenes with resort leaders, athletes and fascinating figures who are the stories inside Utah skiing and snowboarding. Whether you're a passionate local snow rider, or a guest to the Utah mountain landscape, you'll learn about mountain life through the stories of the men and women who shape the Ski Utah e ...
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Olympians Devin Logan and Caroline Claire are kindred spirits, finishing each other’s sentences and sharing a common passion for hucking themselves off jumps and poofing through powder pillows in the Little Cottonwood backcountry. So how did the two Long Island girls, seven years apart in age, find each other and make their way to Utah? The duo are…
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The red tram pulled out of the station, heading up to Hidden Peak on its seven-minute run. Perched along the front left window was the legendary Junior Bounous, looking down and surveying the ski runs he plotted out 53 seasons ago. From his base at the Lodge at Snowbird, the 98-1/2-year-old Bounous still gets out to Snowbird and Alta two or three d…
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A big part of the history of skiing is the fellowship of ski clubs. And before you write it off as a thing of the past, meet the OurSundays Ski & Board Club. This started out to be a podcast on diversity, exploring OurSundays’ affiliation with the National Brotherhood of Snowsports. But it quickly became a celebration of why we all love to ski and …
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The spirit of the 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City still resonates across the state. This July, there will be more cause for excitement as it’s anticipated that the International Olympic Committee may name Salt Lake City-Utah as the 2034 host for the Winter Games. To learn more, Last Chair gathered in the Governor’s Mansio…
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The Christmas blizzard of 2003 still ranks as one of the biggest winter storms in Utah’s history – legendary enough to have its own Wikipedia page. It dumped four feet of snow in the valley and upwards of twice that in the mountains, closing resorts. But it also brought tragedy. On Dec. 26, 2003 an entire mountainside of snow broke off the flanks o…
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It’s early season at Alta. OpenSnow forecaster Evan Thayer has left his meteorological screens in the hotel and is bashing his way down some fresh powder under the Collins chair. Life is good. If there is anyone we tens of thousands of Utah skiers owe a ‘thank you’ to, it would be Thayer, a weather nerd who hadn’t really planned his career path thi…
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Head to any Woodward Mountain Center and you’ll immediately be drawn to the kids in the Jib Park and Peace Park pushing themselves to new heights. Since Woodward’s humble beginning over 50 years ago as a gymnastics camp in Pennsylvania, progression has been central to its mission. Today, Woodward centers span the globe including Utah’s Woodward Par…
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Thinking back on it today, X Games champion Alex Schlopy still shakes his head. A homegrown product of Park City, Utah, in a month-long span in 2011 he won an X Games title in Aspen, became a world champion on his home hill at Park City Mountain and soared to Dew Tour gold in Snowbasin. In a roller coaster decade that saw the highest of highs and l…
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It was a typical day at the USANA Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah as Olympic and Paralympic athletes were sweating it out on the training center floor, preparing for their winter competition seasons ahead. Sophie Goldschmidt, the president and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, talked to Last Chair from a meeting room looking out at some of the g…
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The 2022-23 ski season was the biggest on record in Utah! So, just how big was the snowfall? And what’s the science behind it all? Last Chair got together with Professor Powder himself, Jim Steenburgh, along with KUTV2 meteorologist Chase Thomason to review the records and share their own stories of skiing and riding Utah’s Greatest Snow on Earth.…
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Over the past few years you’ve probably noticed the brand Stio on the slopes. Born in the Mountain West, the company has become known for its extensive colors and a serious focus on technical materials that are sustainable. Last Chair did a visit with Stio Senior Materials Manager Sandy Flint to learn more about its products, which are both revolut…
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The Ski Utah Last Chair podcast takes a ride all the way up to Solitude and Brighton in Big Cottonwood Canyon with UDOT Cottonwood plow driver Shawn Wright. A veteran drive, Wright takes us up in a snowstorm riding shotgun in a 30-ton Mack plow truck as he talks about the life of a plow driver and how exhilarating it can be riding the canyons in th…
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Utah gets a lot of snow! And as skiers and riders, our objective is to get up to the resorts as quickly as possible. But who takes care of that 30 inches of snow that fell overnight? And who mitigates that cornice hanging a thousand of feet above the highway? Last Chair took a ride with the Utah Department of Transportation Cottonwoods plow team, t…
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As skiers and riders, we hate to think of melting snow. But to Dr. McKenzie Skiles, snow melt is the lifeblood of existence in the mountain west. Last Chair ventured up Little Cottonwood Canyon to join Dr. Skiles in a three-meter deep snow pit to talk about snow melt, the impact of desert dust and what the future holds in store. An Alaskan native w…
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Since the day he found an old pair of skis in his family’s hotel attic, Henri Rivers has found a special joy in skiing. It didn’t matter to him that he was the only black skier on his high school ski team. He just loved to ski. Today, as president of the National Brotherhood of Skiers (NBS), Rivers is making a difference helping the ski industry be…
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With each successive two-foot snowfall, skiers and riders at resorts rejoice. But in the Utah backcountry with no avalanche mitigation, that fresh snow often sits on a sugary, crusty weak layer and can be prone to sliding. Last Chair headed into the Utah backcountry with Utah Avalanche Center pro Drew Hardesty for a conversation in a snow pit, anal…
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In October it started snowing in Utah. And it really hasn’t stopped, with over 225 inches in Little Cottonwood Canyon by mid-December. So, what’s going on? Last Chair invited Open Snow forecaster Evan Thayer and atmospheric scientist Jim Steenburgh for a Special Snowfall Edition podcast to dive into the continuous powder forecast and share a few st…
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The new Salt Lake City International airport provides the closest gateway in the world to such a diversity of skiing and riding. Opened in September 2020, the new SLC is one of the world’s most innovative and eco-friendly airports, providing a welcome mat for upwards of 30,000 passengers a day. Last Chair sat down with Executive Director Bill Wyatt…
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When you fly into Salt Lake City from the north, you get a poignant view of the vanishing water in the Great Salt Lake. The problem is real. So what is Utah doing about it? Last Chair traveled to Antelope Island, in the heart of the lake, to speak with Utah state representative Tim Hawkes, a passionate advocate, on the very realistic steps the stat…
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With two world class resorts boasting nearly 10,000 lift-served skiable acres, all nestled around an historic old mining town, Utah’s ski town of Park City truly is unlike anything in North America. Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain will open this season with new captains at the helm. Deer Valley’s Todd Bennett and Park City’s Deirdra Walsh…
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As skiers, we love ski lifts. They get us quickly to the top of mountains so we can slide back down. But what would you think about visiting every single ski lift in America? 2,381 of them! Well, that has been the life of Peter Landsman, a lift supervisor and founder of liftblog, a popular website and network of social channels. Today Last Chair ch…
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Across an industry that is rapidly changing, Utah-based Snowsports Industries America is leading the way. Nick Sargent, a former ski racer, World Cup ski tuner and marketing chief for Burton, is pioneering efforts to change SIA from a trade show company to a global leader in data-based marketing, sustainability and diversity to grow the equipment i…
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It was an early autumn day in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the new futuristic Snowbird tram, we could see all the way down to the Salt Lake Valley. To the north was Mount Superior. In the distance, Jupiter Peak on the Park City ridgeline stood against the blue morning sky. After 50 years, the old red and blue ca…
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When Utah nurse Melody Forsyth learned her baby-to-be had Down syndrome, she and her family thought it would change their lives. And it did - for the better. Ruby, now six, has led the Forsyth family into a world of outdoor recreation, including skiing. Watching Ruby ride the Chickadee lift at Snowbird and ski down with her Wasatch Adaptive Sports …
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Visit any western resort town and you’ll find a robust LatinX community, sometimes making up 30% of the population. It’s a robust part of community culture. But oftentimes, it’s a segment that doesn’t ski. SOS Outreach, a nonprofit serving 15 resort and urban communities nationwide including Utah, is seeking to change that. Today, Last Chair will v…
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Visitors to Sundance Mountain Resort this winter have found a wonderful new experience at one of Utah’s great hidden gems. Working with the experienced Sundance team, legendary ski industry leader Bill Jensen has helped them transform the resort with new lifts, terrain, snowmaking and much more. Jensen, a longtime visionary who has led some of Nort…
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Utah’s 15 resorts paint a majestic portrait amidst the winter landscape. So what if someone painted them all, with watercolors based in snow melt from each resort. That’s what passionate Utah skier Lexi Dowdall has set out to do with her Paint by Powder Project! Dowdall is a snow-loving outdoor enthusiast who actively seeks out the Greatest Snow on…
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Cohen grew up in the east, hopping around small New York ski hills like Stony Point and Silver Mine. His father took him on trips to Vermont, skiing Stratton, Stowe, Killington, Mt. Snow and more. Mondays were a day off for his father, who owned a bakery, so it wasn’t unusual for young Lee to play hooky and head off to Hunter Mountain or other day …
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“I'm so thankful for the people in town who founded the Youth Sports Alliance after the 2002 games,” said Fisher. “It was a community effort to get all of the youth from Summit and Wasatch counties out using these amazing Olympic venues and getting as many kids out and active in our community playground. The legacy absolutely still lives on.” And i…
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The 2002 Olympics transformed Salt Lake City and its neighboring venue communities into a stage that welcomed the world. For 17 days, the Games captivated spectators and television viewers as athletes dazzled fans and shed tears of joy. The Games also brought a richness to Utah communities that is very much still alive today. When now Utah Senator …
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The legend of Alf Engen goes back to the 1920s when Alf brought his brothers to America from Norway. In the midwest and later out in the mountains, they found a home in America as skiers. Alf became a great ski jumping champion and world record holder at Ecker Hill, near Park City. He spent time at Sun Valley but ultimately settled in Utah. In the …
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What do ski lifts mean to skiers? Ask Doppelmayr USA President Katharina Schmitz and she’ll tell you ‘freedom.’ In this episode, Last Chair host Tom Kelly chats with the leader of Utah-based Doppelmayr USA to explore the evolution of ski lifts and future trends, not only at resorts but as a vital form of mountain and urban transportation. Doppelmay…
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A New Hampshire native, Ulmer discovered skiing as a young girl, skipping school to hit the slopes at lunch time. Friends told her about skiing in Utah. Her mom found a $40 one-way airline ticket. And she headed west, making Salt Lake City her home. She spent every waking moment skiing the bumps at Snowbird. Her breakthrough came after an all-day d…
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Cruising through knee deep powder in the peace and solitude of the Utah backcountry is pure joy. It’s alluring. It can also be dangerous if you are not well prepared. Journalist Tony Gill grew up skiing on 300-foot ski hills in the midwest. Today, you’ll find him on his telemark skis in the Utah backcountry. He’ll talk us through the joy of having …
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We’ve all fantasized about our trips to the mountain by poring over detailed trail maps, plotting out each run of our ski vacation. The man behind those maps, James Niehues, has become somewhat of a cult hero in the sport after three decades documenting hundreds of resorts worldwide, painting each and every tree and showcasing perspective to make m…
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From wild game chili to Stein Burgers and Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes, Chef Zane Holmquist has served it all. The Stein Eriksen Lodge VP of food and beverage, who grew up in Utah, oversees one of the most highly acclaimed dining rooms in skiing, but is just as much at home on his mountain bike, skis or in triathlons around the world.…
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Growing up on Cape Cod, it may seem unusual that young Jeremy Jones gravitated towards sliding on snow. But family ski outings led to his passion for snowboarding. Today, Jones is one of the world’s most well known names in big mountain snowboarding. But as he saw his season shortened and glaciers receding, he decided to fight back. He started Prot…
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Over the past two decades, Utah native Ted Ligety has hopscotched across five continents every year, collecting World Cup crystal globes and Olympic gold medals. This winter, he's back home in Utah! Last Chair kicks off season three with an in-depth interview with Utah's own Olympic champion. Check out these stats: 25 World Cup wins, five crystal g…
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As skiers, we all have a responsibility to be good stewards of the mountains we ride. Sustainability is vital for our future. David Perry, one the ski industry's most knowledgeable advocates for preservation of our mountain resources, sees a true sustainable future - if we can all work together! Ski Utah's Last Chair takes a look into our future an…
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A group of skiers sat at the bar in the Rooster's B Street Brewery and Taproom, exchanging war stories about their big pow day up at Powder Mountain. On the brightly colored chalk board were the beers of the day, most brewed up in the huge tanks behind the taproom. It was a boisterous atmosphere with a nice blend of skiers, snowboarders and just pl…
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A century and a half ago, Utah's mountains were the home of boomtowns as silver mining flourished across the Wasatch from Little Cottonwood to Big Cottonwood and over Guardsman Pass to Park City. Today, the same slopes that harbored valuable ore are the home of some of the worlds greatest ski resorts. In this episode of Last Chair, skier and mining…
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The outdoor adventure clothing brand Stio has been showing up more and more at Utah ski resorts. Founder Steve ‘Sulli' Sullivan grew up in neighboring Colorado but spent a lot of time in Utah's red rock desert and snow-covered mountains. Today, he puts his passion for the mountain west into the fast-rising Stio brand. He spoke to Last Chair about h…
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Growing up in the Salt Lake Valley in the '80s, Jeremy Jones developed a knack for searching out urban skate and snowboard venues to feed his passion. Today, the sport legend has found it all under one roof as snow manager at Woodward Park City. Founded as a gymnastics camp in the hills of Pennsylvania a half century ago, today the Woodward brand i…
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Chris McCandless grew up in Little Cottonwood Canyon, dropping powder lines as a kid and hiking Superior in the summertime. It's a place near and dear to his heart. Three or four days a week you might find him driving up the canyon where the decision of the morning is Alta, Snowbird or backcountry - all the way up just soaking in the scenery. Chris…
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Mountain manager Travis Seeholzer and I slid off the Harry's Dream Lift at Beaver Mountain, looking out on the vast expanse of state and national forest between Logan and Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau. It's a magical view, with hoar frost on the trees and three to four inches of fluffy powder blanketing the mountainside. You instantly kn…
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If you're a skier or snowboarder, there's a pretty good chance you've been in a brew pub be it for a draft beer, hamburger or a pizza. Today we take ski town brew pubs for granted. Where did it all begin? Well, right here in Utah! Craft brewery visionary Greg Schirf started it all in 1985 with Wasatch Brew Pub in Park City. In this episode of Last …
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Over the past year, our nation has been gripped in a discussion on racism. As skiers and snowboarders, how does that impact us in a sport that's not exactly known for its diversity? How inviting are we to minorities? How can we all help to change? What does it feel like as a Black skier or rider? And what contributions do Blacks make to the lifesty…
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Don't you just love it when you have to pick up your phone to call your boss back home. 'Hey, really sorry, but we just got snowed in with 60 inches of new snow. We can't get back to the airport. We're stuck up this mountain canyon.' Now that's a great ski trip! For over a half century, Utah has been known to skiers and riders as the home of the Gr…
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Have you been skiing or riding this year? If so, you've experienced a new sensation - standing atop a snow-covered ridgeline, soaking in the alpine peaks and feeling a freedom from the COVID-19 restrictions that have ruled your life for eight months. Utah's resorts have been busy since last March, innovating ways to get open, stay open and provide …
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