Dean Roberts

Ski Sport Innovator

Dean Roberts began skiing at the age of four at Lead Draw, Idaho near Pocatello, where a rope tow led to a 40-meter ski jump. While in grade school, he and his pals took their skis to school so they could "fly" off the 12 to 15 ski jumps they would build between their homes and school.

In 1944, as an eighth grader, his family moved to Ogden and he headed for Snowbasin. He quickly learned the art of alpine skiing and his talents skyrocketed. He was a competitive ski jumper at age 17 and was a member of both the Weber State and University of Utah Alpine Ski Teams.

His ski teaching began in 1957 for Corey Engen at Snowbasin. After three years there, he moved to Brighton where he taught for J. "K" Smith Jr. from 1960 to 1963. When the newly established resort of Solitude opened in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Dean joined the ski school there and taught for the Greater Salt Lake Ski School under Bill Lash from 1964 to 1969. He became Co-Director of the Mt. Empire Ski School at Solitude in 1969, then in 1970, he became Director of Solitude Ski School. Dean and his wife, Kay, oversaw Solitude's operations for 25 years until 1994, when he became Solitude's Director of Skiing.

Dean was certified with the Intermountain Ski Instructors Association (now PSIA-I) in 1959.  He is a National Lifetime Member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America-Intermountain Division (PSIA-I) and in 2003 he received the History Maker award from the J. Willard Marriott Library's Utah Ski Archives of the University of Utah.  Roberts was also featured in the The Salt Lake Tribune as Solitude's Senior Ambassador in 2005.