(1918 – 2010)
In the annals of Utah’s skiing history, Mel Fletcher merits his own chapter. Its pages would regale readers with tales of “a human ski lift,” a lift builder, trail-cutter, ski jumper, ski school director, ski patrol leader, ski club president and tireless servant in his hometown of Park City.
Always with upbeat demeanor, a young Fletcher pumped gas, mounted tire chains and drove skiers to the mountaintops, thus his self-proclaimed “human ski lift” title. He jumped, often on barrel staves, at Park City’s Creole Hill, a one-time mine dump as well as at jump meets throughout the region.
In 1946 he became Summit County’s first ski school director at Snow Park, also called Frog Valley and now Deer Valley Resort. In 1965, Mel became ski patrol director at Treasure Mountain Ski Area (now Park City Mountain). From 1979 to 1981 he was patrol director at Parleys Summit (Gorgoza).
The grandson of a town barber, Mel’s passion for Park City ran as deep as its silver mines. He was a volunteer for the fire department, the Park City School Board, the Park City Historical Society, and the American Legion, among others.
Living to age 92, Mel watched the 2002 Olympic Winter Games unfold at his doorstep, and marveled at how far his beloved ski sport had advanced. It was a pleasure well deserved.