Top 5 Snowbird 50th Anniversary Stories

Image: Skier jumping into the Cirque - 1980's

Author: Mason Hainey

Published Date: 05/20/2022

Read Time: 4 Minutes

With Snowbird's 50th winter season just wrapping up, we first want to thank our guests for an amazing season and thank everyone who submitted their favorite Snowbird memories. There were numerous accounts of people saying "I do", tales of legendary Tram laps and stories filled with passion & love for the Bird. We ended up with over 100 different submissions from people all over the world. We were so moved that we wanted to highlight some of our favorite stories submitted through the season, in no particular order. Thank you again for a great 50th anniversary. We hope your season was filled with sunny days and deep snow and we hope to see you on the mountain next year!

Kristi C.

"Mom and Dad have worked up at Snowbird for 45+ years. Jerry and Nancy T. My Momma has worked there since it opened. My Father would come out every season with the Minnesota boys and ski. One season he had one look at my Mom when she was a Snowbird Ski Guide back in the day. He never left Utah. Here is a pic of them as ski instructors in the early '70s. Lol. The funny thing is I married the son of the Ski Coach, Kevin C., who has worked at Snowbird just as long. Love is in the air or powder at The Bird."

A couple standing together with Snowbird gear

Elizabeth J. 

"In their 1974 Astro van named The Beast, my mom's family made multiple cross-country trips from Chicago to Snowbird. Seven avid skiers that ranged in age from 3 to 73 piled in The Beast with their skis pointed toward powder and steeps each season. Having fallen in love with Snowbird at a young age independently of each other - my mom on these trips and my dad on a high school trip - they decided that spending four years together at the University of Utah was a no-brainer. Despite returning to raise us six kids on the icy slopes of Wilmot in Wisconsin, my siblings and I have made Salt Lake and Snowbird our permanent home. I have been an employee at Snowbird for over nine years and I am grateful for the Little Cottonwood traditions that brought us here."

Two women standing with a drink

Jim B.

"Imagine the setting-- Spring Break 1977 with 110 9th thru 12th graders with only two chaperones loaded on a plane from Texas headed down for a week of spring skiing and frolicking at Snowbird. Noticing a shortage of chaperones equipped to "spread the word about the Bird," Dick Bass decides to be the Pied Piper for the entire group during the week... which means total mayhem and turmoil in the lodges behind his back when he is not otherwise regaling all at the top of Hidden Peak, encouraging the celebration of Nature's beauty and Coming of Age in the mountains!"

Two men standing next to eachother

Patti K.

"My family visited Snowbird in 1971 and immediately fell in love with this beautiful mountain. My parents, Alice and Jerry Kalal bought a condo at Turramurra Lodge (now The Inn) in 1972 and Snowbird quickly became our vacation getaway spot. My dad became an instructor with the Snowbird Children's program in the late 1980s and was fondly called Grandpa Jerry by his students and fellow instructors. My daughter learned to ski from some of his former co-workers, including Nancy Thorsen, who shared some Grandpa Jerry stories with her. The photo was taken on Chips Run in the early 1980s at what we called Sun Spot #1. My mom would catch some rays on the side of the mountain, while my dad and I took a couple more runs. We just spent my daughters' college spring break at Snowbird with my 88-year-old mother Alice, who no longer skis but loves to come back to Snowbird every year to look at that majestic view and have lunch and enjoy the sunshine on the Plaza."

A lady in a bathing suite and a man in a tank top on the mountain

Alex O.

"I'm a 19-year-old tele skier who's been skiing at The Bird my whole life. I grew up skiing Park City and always making the trips to The Bird to get the goods whenever possible, but now I live in Salt Lake and ski Alta-Bird every day, although we all know the Snowbird has Alta beat. Nothing beats skiing at Snowbird, it has better terrain than anywhere else in Utah, more snow, and more vert, what’s there not to love. The best ski days of my life have been at The Bird and I always love ending the day with a Chip's wrap from the deli. Happy 50th to the best ski area out there. The image is of me getting some sick face shots at Shot 8 January 30th, 2021."

Alex in powder

Snowbird's 50th season was a memorable one to say the least. Starting with early season deep days in December, spring-like sunshine in January and February, to surprise powder days and live music on the Plaza Deck for March and April, there was so much to celebrate (not to mention the announcement of the new Trams).

Thank you for sharing some of your favorite tales of the Bird. Snowbird is all about making memories and these stories captured that motto perfectly. If you haven't shared your favorite 50th anniversary story yet there's still time to do so, or if you'd like to read through more amazing stories, head over to our 50th anniversary page.


About Author:

Mason Hainey was born and raised in Elkhart, Indiana and is a fresh transplant to Salt Lake City following his passion for skiing. You may recognize Mason on a powder day from his daily morning mountain report as Snowbird's Snow Reporter or as a Marketing Assistant in the summer. He loves to spend his time outdoors with his wife Alina and dog Sage.


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