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Farmer Dave farms some snow at Alta Ski Area

The Farmer

By Alta Ski Area 02-17-2021

Steeped In Tradition Episode 8 – The Farmer.

Meet The Farmer—Dave Van Dame. A staple of Alta for the past 48 years. His trademark look—a frozen ice beard and mustache—and his trademark style are hard to miss. If you've never met him in person, an encounter you soon won't forget, you've most likely seen his signature on the slopes of Alta.

"Farming is a term that's been used when people cultivate a resource in order to reach its full potential. I try to do the same thing with a field of snow. I can ski untracked powder all day long."

— Farmer Dave

Farmer Dave's artwork | Photo: Rocko Menzyk Farmer Dave tends to his crops | Photo: Rocko MenzykFarmer Dave doing his thing | Photo: Rocko Menzyk

Farmer Dave has perfected snow farming as a way to maximize his powder turns. To Dave, it's also a physical mediation and an artform.

Dave and his wife live near the bus line which allows Dave access to his favorite ski area while minimizing his impact on the environment and simplifying his life and routine. His entire life, Dave has tried to minimize the resources that he uses. living by an old motto "waste not, want not." Dave seems to have life figured out, trading in work time for playtime.

Some call him old-school, donning the same red jacket for the last few decades, but the most beautiful thing about Dave is that he is a true skier at heart, with an unabashed love for snow and the mountains. Dave has built a life that allows him to take in Alta's stormy days, bluebird powder days and every day in-between and is a refreshing reminder that we are all here to ski.

*Note, Dave is not wearing a mask in this footage as the majority of filming took place during the 2019-20 winter, well before the arrival of COVID-19.

View the Steeped In Tradition series >

Episode 7 - Environment

Episode 6 - Patrol

Episode 5 - Margie

Episode 4 - Lee

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