Snowbird Names Run for Navy SEAL - Ski Mag

Snowbird Names Run for Navy SEAL

Glen Doherty, killed last September in Benghazi, Libya, loved skiing the 'Bird.
Author:
Publish date:
Dedication ceremony atop Hidden Peak. Photo by Matt Crawley.

On Friday morning, February 22, as friends and family stood by, Snowbird Resort formally dedicated a previously unnamed run to Glen Doherty, a former Navy SEAL who died in a terror attack in Benghazi, Libya. The run, now called Glen’s, is located just off the Cirque Traverse right before P-Tex Point.

Two early (pre-public) trams carried roughly 125 people to the dedication ceremony. It was snowing, windy, and seven degrees on 10,992-foot Hidden Peak, where the run dedication took place.

One of Snowbird’s chefs, Chad Zurinskas, was a close friend of Doherty’s, and he made the request that this specific run be named in Doherty’s honor. Zurinskas and Doherty met in 1990. They had both recently moved to Utah and were neighbors in the Candlestick apartment complex. They worked together in a Snowbird restaurant and enjoyed skiing together.

Doherty would get his friends to do this particular run all the time, explains Zurinskas. The powder was good there, often even on days when the rest of the mountain was skied out. And so they started calling Doherty’s favorite run Glen’s Shot. “It’s been like that for us for 20 years,” Zurinskas says of their name for the spot. But that spot wasn’t designated on Snowbird’s trail map until now.

On Feb. 17, Zurinskas and two Snowbird ski patrollers, Patrick Krause and Seth Roller, installed the black trail sign on Glen’s run. Krause was also a friend of Doherty’s.

It’s not Snowbird’s policy to name runs in this fashion, but in this instance, the ski resort made an exception. The initial approval came from Snowbird’s owner, Dick Bass, a Navy veteran. Snowbird’s president Bob Bonar and ski patrol were on board with the decision as well. Doherty lived here for about five years and maintained many friendships. He often returned to Utah for vacations and downtime.

At the dedication ceremony on Hidden Peak, Snowbird ski-patrol director Peter Schory, a Vietnam veteran, presented an identical trail sign to Doherty’s brother, Greg. After some private remembrances, those who could ski or ride moved to the top of Glen’s run and Sean Lake led the group down. Lake moved to Utah with Doherty and was his best friend in the state.

Snowbird is the third and last location in what some who were close to Doherty call the Memorial Triple Crown. The first memorial was heldoff the coast of Encinitas, California, where Doherty’s home was. The second was a fly-over of the Navy SEAL base on Coronado Island.

Related

Women's Big Mountain

Snowbird

Tucked in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon on the road to Alta, Snowbird is known for hanging bowls, 50-foot cliffs, and over-the-head powder.

Snowbird Will be Open Until July 4th

Inside Line: Snowbird, UT

Tucked in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon on the road to Alta, Snowbird is known for hanging bowls, 50-foot cliffs, and over-the-head powder. Pros like Jenn Berg, Jeremy Nobis, and Sage Cattabriga-Alosa schralp the high-alpine cirques along with equally talented nobodies—humble locals on K2 Pontoons. With more than 3,200 vertical feet of steeps, tree-lined chutes, and roughly 500 inches of snow a year, this isn’t a place you want to drive by.

Zone 5 Snowbird Anatomy

Anatomy: Snowbird Zone Five

When the good people at Snowbird make a “resort improvement,” they don’t just glade an intermediate run or groom a black-diamond pitch. They open 500-acre Mineral Basin. They blast a ski tunnel through 600 feet of rock. And now they’ve opened up Zone 5, a new hairball section of 40-degree terrain off Mount Baldy.

skg1208punk_at.jpg

Punked: Alta vs. Snowbird

The pranks have involved explosives, goats, mannequins, doughnuts, and nudity. Each year on April Fools' Day, the Snowbird and Alta patrollers punk each other, sometimes spawning real panic and organized rescue. Is this the year they get busted?

Historically, Snowbird has Utah's longest ski season, and this year's projected closing date is Memorial Day. For skiers looking for late-season powder and spring corn, the resort offers a $299 Spring Pass good through closing day. Current ski-and-stay lodging packages are $99 per person (double occupancy). Book at www.snowbird.com.

April Storms Bury Snowbird

Snowbird Resort has reported four and a half feet of powder within the last week and says 30-40 more are predicted to fall in the next few days. Ski-and-stay deals start at $99. What are you waiting for?

Best Powder: Alta/Snowbird

Best Powder 2009: Alta/Snowbird

Alta and Snowbird usually receive between 400 and 500 inches of snow, depending on the season and where it’s measured. In 2008, Alta got 702 inches. That's nuts.