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Attended Dartmouth College in the 1930s and won the U.S. collegiate championship all four years in both Alpine and Nordic skiing, becoming America's first collegiate four-event champion. During active competition, he retired the prestigious Harriman Cup at Sun Valley, winning it three times; was the national Alpine slalom champion (1935); national downhill champion (1937, 1940); and the national Alpine combined champion (1937, 1939, 1940).

Dick was not only an outstanding skier but also excelled in photography and movie making. His credits number more than 40 films. For his work, he was honored by election to the International Ski Film Hall of Fame in 1984.

In Utah, he became Alta's third ski school director, following Karl Fahrner (1938-39) and Bert Jensen (1939-40). While directing Alta's ski school (1940-42), he headed the instructors cadre that taught 150 paratroopers of the 503rd Parachute Battalion to ski when they arrived at Alta for training in early 1942. He also played a part in the construction and managing of the Alta Lodge in the early 1940s. It should be especially highlighted that the main photo on the poster features Durrance making a turn in Shuss Gulley at Alta in 1941. The photo was taken by his wife, Miggs.

Durrance was a member of the 1936 U.S. Olympic Alpine Ski Team at Garmisch, Germany and also made the 1940 U.S. Olympic Ski Team, but never competed because of the start of WW II. He was inducted into the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1958; the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 1982; the International Ski Hall of Fame in 1986; and was honored as one of the "Founders of Skiing/USA" in 1994.

Dick passed away on June 13, 2004, at the age of 89.