Alf Engen

Induction Year: 
Competitive Skier
Ski Pioneer
Ski Sport Innovator
Inspirational Skier

Alf Engen (1909 - 1997)

Oslo, Norway native Alf Engen served as Ski School Director at Alta Ski Area for 40 years, starting in 1949. During his tenure, he taught thousands the enjoyment of skiing. Because of his skiing prowess in Utah's acclaimed powder snow, he became known as "The Father of the Powder Skiing Technique." Another of his major teaching contributions was serving as director of the popular Deseret News Ski School, which was founded by the newspaper in 1948 and has introduced thousands to the sport. 

When the first Intermountain Ski Instructors certification examination was given in 1949, Alf was one of the administrators. Alf's skiing exploits reached well beyond ski instruction:

  • U.S. National Ski Jumping Champion 16 times
  • The only person to win the National 4-Way Skiing Championship (downhill, slalom, jumping and cross-country competition in 1940)
  • National Professional ski jumping champion from 1931-1935
  • Canadian and North American ski jumping champion in 1937
  • U.S. Open Slalom and Downhill champion in 1942
  • Member of the U.S. Olympic Ski Team in 1940
  • Coach of the U.S. Olympic Ski Team in 1948.
  • Alf was employed by the U.S. Forest Service as a technical advisor in the 1930s. In that capacity he assisted in the development of recreation areas in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming, such as Alta and Snowbasin, Utah, and Snow King Mountain in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

He was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 1959 and was named "Utah's Athlete of the 20th Century" by The Salt Lake Tribune in 2000.