Albert F. “Sunny” Korfanta personifies a ski-area pioneer. His foresight, hands-on hard work, tenacity, and gentle, unselfish manner are the building blocks of White Pine Ski Area near Pinedale, Wyoming. Those attributes were paramount in June, 1930, when the U.S. Forest Service partnered with the Pinedale Commercial Club to start planning Surveyor Park Ski Area.
On January 5, 1940, the ski area opened for weekend skiing, offering a cable tow 200 meters long and capable of pulling three skiers at a time. Korfanta, a Pinedale pharmacist, and his wife Fanny were asked to serve as area managers, volunteer posts they held for decades. Serving skiers from numerous near-by towns, Surveyor Park sold a day pass for $1 and kids skied free. World War II activities forced the closure of the site from 1943 until 1946.
Subsequent years saw numerous enhancements to the enclave with Korfanta at the helm. All the while, he continued to encourage, coach and drive young skiers to competitions in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and the Junior Nationals and serve as an officer of the Intermountain Division of the U.S. Ski Association. Although a local winter sports company assumed management of the area in the late 1990s and renamed it White Pine Ski Area, “Sunny” Korfanta’s contributions and pioneering spirit continue to be recognized as the driving force behind the area’s early development.