Sun Valley in the ’70s

Sun Valley, ID, the first destination ski resort in the United States, is famous for its long, ungroomed back bowls and a legacy of skiing greats like Stein Eriksen, Christian Pravda and Spider Sabich. Bobbie Burns, a.k.a. the “Snow Goose,” was the world’s first hot-dog skier, an unorthodox master of the bumps. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Burns and Sun Valley would collide to start a revolution that would change the face of skiing forever.

Sun Valley, ID was the first destination ski resort in the US and home to the world’s first chairlift. Bobbie Burns, a.k.a. the Snow Goose, was the world’s first hot dog skier and creator of a skiing movement that would become the World Cup and Olympic freestyle skiing of today. So it’s no surprise—or coincidence—that their collision in the late 1960s and early ‘70s would challenge both what was possible on skis and how much fun you could have while doing it.

Burns was a near-Sun Valley native, born and raised on a farm outside of nearby Burley, ID. He wasn’t a skier, at first spending his youth as a champion springboard and platform diver, a ballet and tap dancer, and, in sixth grade, a national marbles champion. His diving career ended in high school with a broken back, but while at Utah’s Weber State University studying chemical engineering he picked up skiing. A few years later, he was headed to Sun Valley, at the advice (and dishwashing job offer) of an old ski patroller… Subscribe to start your collection of The Ski Journal.


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