Sverre Engen

Sverre Engen was born in Mjondallen, Norway in 1911 and immigrated to the U.S. in 1929, closely following his older brother, Alf. Sverre is perhaps remembered as one of the most colorful of the early Utah ski pioneers. During his illustrious eight-decade career, he was among the finest professional ski jumpers in America; a well-known ski instructor and ski school director at Alta; an author of two books and many articles on skiing; an accomplished musician and actor; owner of a ski area in California; and manager of several ski lodges (including Alta’s Rustler Lodge which he help build in the late 1940s). In addition, Sverre was named America’s first “Snow Ranger,” a position he held at Alta for several years in the mid 1940s.

In the early 1950s, Sverre began a career in ski movie film making and made many films. Most of the film footage he took was taken at Alta, highlighting the majestic towering mountain peaks and powder snow conditions. He then traveled throughout the country with his films introducing countless adults and children to the beauty of Utah skiing.

During World War II, Sverre served with the Tenth Mountain Division. In 1945, Sverre was awarded the Silver Merit Star by the National Ski Patrol System for his part in saving a young man’s life following an avalanche accident at Alta. He also won the open senior class of the National Ski Jumping Championship held on Ecker Hill in 1949 and was inducted into the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1971. Sverre passed away in April 2001 at the age of 90.