How a skiing course at BYU released a famous ski instructor’s occupation

The gentleman who launched a million skiers is retiring.

And a million is just a rough, possibly lower, guess because the reality is, it is incalculable how lots of people owe their appreciate and enthusiasm, and abilities, for downhill snowboarding thanks to Jerry Warren, the longtime mountain manager and director of snowboarding at Sundance Vacation resort who has resolved at 75 this will be his final ski season working whole time.

The common arc of discovering to ski goes some thing like this: there is the man or woman seeking to learn how, there is the individual who teaches them how, and then there’s the person who teaches the teacher how.

That’s Jerry. He’s the instructor’s teacher. He virtually wrote the educating guide used by the Experienced Ski Instructors of The us. For just about 40 several years he served in 1 leadership potential or another with the ski instructors business, including terms as chairman of the national steering committee and vice president of education and learning. His “see it-come to feel it-understand it” tactic to snowboarding — what he calls the “Cycle of Learning” — is woven into the material of instruction at resorts throughout the width and breadth of The united states. If you’ve taken a lesson from a certified PSIA instructor, you’ve taken a lesson from Jerry Warren.

It all started some 56 several years ago when he dropped out of higher education

Jerry grew up in Springville and went future doorway to BYU just after large school. In the study course catalog, he observed that BYU presented a skiing class at what was then acknowledged as Timp Haven, the minor mother and pop ski space in the shadow of Mount Timpanogos halfway up Provo Canyon.

Given that he’d currently skied at Timp Haven a number of periods, he signed up for the course “because I considered I’d get a superior quality.”

Karl Tucker, the golfing coach at BYU, taught the course. About midway by the program, he turned to Jerry and reported, “You’re really good at this. Why never you help me educate?”

Not only did that cinch him an A in the course, it also led to a work supply from the Timp Haven ski faculty, which in change led to his decision to go away school in the rearview mirror “because I’d observed what I wished to do.”


Jerry Warren, Sundance’s director of skiing, poses for a portrait at Sundance Ski Vacation resort in Sundance on Thursday, March 30, 2023.

Two seasons later on, Robert Redford purchased Timp Haven, altered the identify to Sundance, following his the latest job in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Child,” upgraded the facilities, and despatched Jerry’s career on a trajectory that would get him around the globe but always bring him again to the spot in the shadow of Mount Timpanogos exactly where he commenced.

From the commencing, the young actor and the young ski instructor — Redford was 32 when he acquired the vacation resort, Jerry was 21 — strike it off.

“We just begun snowboarding alongside one another and became good friends,” states Jerry. “We rode the carry and started off speaking. He explained he was getting problems with this flip or that convert, so I started out coaching, and he loved it. He was really a single of the extra effective initial learners of the cycle of studying before I realized what the cycle of studying was.”

Following yet another two seasons, Jerry still left Sundance in 1971 when Junior Bounous, Sundance’s ski college director, approved an offer for a very similar situation at the new Snowbird Ski Vacation resort and requested Jerry to come with him as assistant director.

Bounous, en route to his have legendary profession, inspired Jerry to try out out for the PSIA national demonstration workforce, a pick team of elite skiers who vacation to destinations around the skiing environment instructing other instructors on the finer factors of American skiing method.

Jerry designed his initial of 4 national demonstration groups in 1974. Other four-12 months conditions followed in 1978, 1982 and 1988.

He wound up shelling out 17 many years at Snowbird, but periodically, Bob, his skiing buddy from Sundance, would fulfill him at Snowbird for a day of skiing — and test to talk him into coming back.

“It was usually welcoming, just a very little nudge,” is how Jerry frames it, “trying to established the hook.”


Jerry Warren, Sundance’s director of skiing poses for a portrait at Sundance Ski Vacation resort in Sundance on Thursday, March 30, 2023.

In 1988, Jerry took the lure when Redford sweetened the supply, inquiring him to not only run the Sundance ski faculty, but to also be the director of all mountain operations.

“We form of strike the identical conquer on a great deal of things,” Jerry suggests of his partnership with Redford, “and I’m not talking political, or something else. We share a really like of what God’s presented us in these mountains and the surroundings. We’re on the exact same web page in all those spots, and that’s why I arrived again.” 

A little bit older now, Bob and Jerry picked suitable up the place they still left off. “If he was in town for 5 times, we skied three of them,” claims Jerry.

Aside from a two-yr sabbatical in 1994-96, Jerry has been a Sundance fixture ever because, declining presents from greater-title resorts to stay shut to his roots and continue on to refine his Cycle of Studying and Homebase teaching philosophies that simplify mastering how to ski. In 2009 Skilled Ski Instructors of The usa honored him with its life time accomplishment award — an honor that has been provided to just 23 ski instructors — and in 2010 he was inducted into the group’s Intermountain Division Hall of Fame, becoming a member of legendary Utah-based ski instructors the likes of Alf Engen, Junior Bounous, Earl Miller, Phil Jones and Stein Eriksen.

Jerry claims he’ll keep on as a “consultant” at Sundance, this means two issues: he can make his own program, and, “I’m going to in all probability do far more skiing than I did prior to.”

He would make clear that the sale of Sundance two several years ago, when two serious estate financial commitment corporations bought the home from Redford, did not factor in his selection to retire. Fairly, his greatest enthusiasm for stepping down is so he and his wife, Connie, can devote much more time with their three children, eight grandchildren and just one great-grandchild. “The time just flies by as they mature up” he claims, “and I want to hook on to them flying by and cling on.”

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