Jerry Warren navigating the ski slopes at Sundance Resort.

Celebrating a Sundance Hero

Jerry Warren Retires From Sundance After His 50+ Year Career in the Ski Industry

Jerry showed up to his first day at Sundance (Timp Haven at the time) in 1968 wearing skis that were too long and boots that were too small. Nothing could stop him from navigating (and eventually mastering) the slopes though. Once he got the hang of things (and the right size of boots and skis), he went on to become a professional ski instructor. Throughout his 50+ year career, Jerry served in several other capacities including Sundance’s Director of Mountain Operations, and was the first Assistant Director of Snowbird’s ski school when the resort opened in 1971.

Today we honor the decades of impact he made not just on the Sundance community, but on the ski industry as a whole, as we wish him a happy (and very well earned) retirement.

Imparting a Passion for the Sport

Although Jerry is recognized as one of the finest technical skiers in the world, he has always challenged the way skiing should be taught. Jerry’s core value and the ethos of his teaching style was that the sport must be taught in a way that is “fun” and “athlete-centered” as opposed to making it overly complicated, confusing and too technique-driven.

“Using the creativity that Sundance Resort stimulates, I have honed my love for people, place and learning by developing the “Home Base” Skiing Model,” explains Warren. “I developed this curriculum to simplify the sport and instill in athletes a cycle of learning: to ‘see it, feel it, and understand it.’ These principles teach athletes to first observe the best practices of the sport, then feel the exhilarating sensations of skiing correctly, and finally to develop a sound understanding of why best practices are best practices.”

The teaching principles and curriculum he first developed at Sundance are responsible for teaching millions of skiers and hundreds of coaches the finer points of the sport. In 1974, while continuing his duties at Sundance, Jerry began traveling the world to teach and present to coaches the “American” style of skiing on behalf of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) National Team.

Jerry is widely known for never missing an opportunity to thoughtfully acknowledge an individual’s strengths, and offer advice when possible to ultimately inspire improvement.

More than Just a Ski Instructor

While we’ve had the distinct and privileged honor of calling him one of our own since the very beginning at Sundance, Jerry also served alongside Junior Bounous as assistant director of Snowbird’s snowsport school for 17 years. He also served in a similar role at Oregon’s Mt. Bachelor for a few years. 

In 2009, the PSIA presented him with its highest possible honor, the “National Lifetime Achievement Award.” Out of the thousands of instructors who have participated in PSIA over its 60+ year history, Jerry was the 10th-ever recipient of this award, and was inducted into their Ski Hall of Fame the following season.

Jerry’s impact and legacy within the PSIA doesn’t end there, however. He co-authored the organization’s two teaching manuals, and is the primary author of PSIA’s alpine ski manuals which are still prominently used today. Jerry has also written for many leading ski publications including SKI, Snow Country, Powder magazine and has been featured in many skiing films, including Warren Miller’s “The Color of Skiing.”

To say we’re proud to call Jerry a Sundance legend would be a vast understatement.

“Jerry’s contributions to this resort and the sport of skiing are legendary,” says Sundance’s president Chad Linebaugh. “We are very fortunate that Jerry chose to make us the home base of his teaching legacy. The positive impact he has made on Sundance and ski schools across the country have benefited multiple generations and will stretch decades beyond his retirement.”

Jerry, you’ll be a part of the Sundance story forever. We wish you well in your retirement!