Born in 1940 to Alf and Evelyn Engen. Alan started skiing at age two and learned ski jumping first by practicing on a small take-off at the bottom of the Rudd Mountain Ski Jumping facility at Sun Valley Idaho. When he and his mother and father moved to Salt Lake City in 1948, he began a lifetime of participation in Alta’s winter paradise. He won his first competition in ski jumping on Alta’s Landes Hill in 1950. He then went on to represent Alta in both Nordic and Alpine ski competition at the local, state, and national level through the 1950s.
Alan has been involved in sports activities for well over six decades. As a skier, he competed in the mid 1960s at the highest levels of national and international competition as a member of the United States Alpine CISM Ski Team in world class events held throughout Europe. Alan was co-captain of the University of Utah Ski Team in the late 50s/early 60s and was selected for All-American honors while competing for the University of Utah. Locally, a few of his former titles included Intermountain Senior Downhill Champion, Intermountain Senior Downhill and Slalom Combined Champion, and Intermountain Senior Ski Jumping Champion. He also won the first Alta gelande tournament in 1963.
In more recent years, he won the United States Ski Association-Intermountain Masters series title six different years; won the Founders of American Skiing legends competition in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1994; and was named one of the “Ski Legends of Utah” in 1989.
He started his professional ski teaching at Alta in the mid 1950s by teaching in the Deseret News Ski School. He was certified in 1959 and has maintained full certification status for over 40 years. While still in college, Alan was commissioned by then Alta Ski Lift manager, Chic Morton, to do the first illustration of the Alta Ski Area. A copy of the illustration was subsequently highlighted on Alta’s 25th Anniversary brochures. He directed the ski school at Alta from 1992 to 1998 and then took over responsibilities as Director of Skiing, a position which he still retains at Alta.
Alan is a recognized ski historian in the Intermountain region and is the author of the award winning book, For the Love of Skiing – A Visual History and co-author of First Tracks – A Century of Skiing in Utah. He was also the prime mover behind his vision of creating a “world class” ski museum…currently in operation at Utah Olympic Park.
A few of his awards include induction to the Utah Sports Hall of Fame in 1991. In 1999, Alan was presented the “Outstanding Contribution Award” by the Intermountain Ski Areas Association for “outstanding effort to further the sport of skiing.”
In 2004, Alan was inducted into the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame; the University of Utah Athletes Crimson Club Hall of Fame in 2006, and in 2007, he was selected “Best of State” as a professional athlete in Sports and Recreation.
Alan and his wife, Barbara, live in Salt Lake City. They have two sons and four grand-daughters. In addition to his duties as Alta’s Director of Skiing, he currently serves in the capacity of Chairman of the Alta Historical Society; Chairman Emeritus of the Alf Engen Ski Museum Foundation; and as a board member of the United States National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum.