What makes Snowbasin so special, besides the great terrain, abundant snow, world class amenities, and great service? Of course, it’s the people. It’s those faces underneath the helmets and behind the big shiny goggles. Without those smiling faces there would be no Snowbasin. Who are these faces? Where do they come from? What brings them to this mountain resort? Those are the questions that will be answered in this season’s blog. I would love to hear from you, send me your story about how you discovered the best skiing on earth.
Hello, my name is Kyle Ross; you may know me from Instagram as Skiing is Life in 801. Before I get started with the “Faces of Snowbasin” blog series I thought you should hear my story. It goes something like this: I'm addicted to all things skiing (and on occasion snowboarding). It all started in the winter of 1977. My oldest brother, Dan, suggested that I try skiing with him.
My first day on skis was a challenge for me and my brother. Dan did a pretty good job teaching me considering I was his first student. Like any student on their first day I had my share of crossed tips and face plants. Then there was the moment when it finally clicked and I made my first successful turn and then came the ability to make a complete stop and I was ADDICTED!
Left: 1970's Snowbasin t-shirt. Middle: Me at 10 years old. Right: Littlecat Double Chair lift in the late 1970's.
From that moment on all I wanted to do was ski-- The next thing you know my parents purchased a used pair of Atomic skis with Su-matic bindings, Caber boots and a pair of generic ski poles. I skied with my brother and his friends for the next two seasons. Dan and his buddies would head up and ski the more challenging runs while I would tour around the cat trails of Becker and Wildcat. We would all meet up for lunch at the old Snowbasin Lodge, hit the second half of the day and then take the ski bus home.
Left: OHS Ski Guild Photo in 1985. Top: OHS Yearbook quote. Middle: Ski Instructor Day in the early 1990's. Right: 2015-16 Season at Snowbasin.
In 7th grade Wood Shop class I met my life long ski buddy, Mike Noah. Our first ski day together was one to remember. Mike had several punches left in his Becker-Littlecat pass and he talked me into purchasing one for myself. We ended up using all of our punches in about two hours with the rest of the day to go since we had to wait for the ski bus. At that time, Snowbasin started a shuttle from the lower parking lot to the lodge, so Mike and I rode the shuttle for the rest of the day and skied down Littlecat. We made the best of it and had a good story to tell for many years to come. From that day on Mike is not only my ski buddy, he is my life long friend.
Left: Kyle Ross skiing it 1980's style. Right: Early 1980's Trail Map.
The next chapter: In 1989 I read an ad in the local newspaper “Ski Instructors Wanted” and I was curious. I talked Mike into trying out and we ended up becoming ski instructors during the 1990's. The first thing I learned when trying out was that I wasn't nearly as good of a skier as I thought I was. They pretty much taught me how to ski the “correct way” or PSIA way. Becoming an instructor was one of the best decisions of my life not only for my personal skiing but for all of the life long friends I made and the great times we had together on the mountain.
Left: Ryan & Kyle Ross, 2012. Middle: Ryan & Landon Ross, 2012. Right: Ryan Ross 2016.
Fast forward to the early 2000’s when, Landon, my first son, started skiing. Then came Ryan in the mid 2000’s. I taught them everything I know…..almost. You can find us most weekends at Snowbasin with BIG smiles on our faces as we feed our addiction on Utah's best slopes.