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Alta Blog

A Gunsight Engagement

A Gunsight Engagement

| March 19th, 2015 | By Joe Johnson


This whole story was discovered on Twitter. Seriously, it was. But once I saw this tweet pop up in our feed I knew there had to be a classic #AltaArchive story behind it.

I dropped Maureen Mayer a direct message asking her if she’d be interested in filling me in on her story. Her response - “Yes, that would be great!“

skier couple posing in front of snow covered mountain

Pulled from Maureen’s first e-mail to me, the words below are her and her husband Thom’s story:

Thom and I met at University of Utah Medical Center in 1977 when I was a neonatal ICU nurse and he was doing his medical internship and residency.

A group of us loved skiing and especially loved skiing at Alta. If we were working the evening shift at the hospital we would often ski a morning half day before coming to work.

We had season passes which were through the lottery at that time. The good ol’ days of live music and beer kegs at the old Watson Shelter.

On Feb 7, 1979, Thom and I headed up for an afternoon of skiing at Alta. We got a late start and I was actually kind of tired and cranky but Thom just kept smiling.

He talked me into going up to Gunsight (a first for me) and it was tough. But when we reached the top he proposed and I was over the moon! There was no ring at the time but I did not care about that. We sorted that out later thanks to Bill Bennion!

I sometimes joke with friends that I had to say yes as I had no idea how to get down! But that’s not entirely true - We were crazy in love and still are.

We reluctantly left Utah as Thom had medical school loans to pay off. But every year we would return to ski. We started by staying at the Peruvian and then moved to the Rustler Lodge which is now our favorite.

We’ve since had three sons and each of them learned to ski at Alta. And of course they all out ski us now!

We have great memories from the many years at Alta including Dobber of Peak Photo working at the Rustler, the little downstairs bar and Cecret the golden retriever.

This year we wanted to go up to Gunsight with Dobber to reenact the proposal but the conditions were not ideal for me. I sustained a back injury this winter and need to be a bit more cautious than usual on skis.

This year our son Kevin joined us along with seven of his friends!

Alta and the Rustler Lodge are a beloved family tradition that we hope will continue to be passed on.

skier couple posing in front of snow covered mountain


Posted in: #AltaArchives


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