Tribune Print Share Text

Skier still making his own tracks

Harold Horiuchi’s love affair with the slopes

Created date

January 26th, 2010

Harold Horiuchi found his passion in the most unlikely circumstances imaginable. During World War II, he ended up in Europe with the legendary Nisei regiment, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. [caption id="attachment_7534" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Skiing has been a lifelong passion for Harold Horiuchi, who was inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 1988. (Photo courtesy of Harold Horiuchi)"]Wind Crest, an Erickson-developed community in Highlands Ranch, since 2007. Every time you get out on the slopes, you re working to get a little bit better.

Not just a good skier

By 1951, he had reached such a level of skill that he joined the ski patrol at Winter Park Ski Resort in Winter Park. In most cases, my work with the ski patrol involved getting people off the hill, he says. We were in charge of taking care of accidents and transporting accident victims to the first aid station where we could tend to them medically. While Horiuchi continued his work with the ski patrol all the way up through the early 1990s, it was just one of many ways that he immersed himself in the sport over the years. He also held membership in the Tyrol Ski Club and the Ski Club Zipfelberger, served two terms as president of the Rocky Mountain Ski Association, worked as a certified official for ski racing, taught certification classes for ski racing referees, and served as an official timer at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley.

Opportunity knocks

In fact, Horiuchi decided in 1971 that it was time to get out of the jewelry business and into skiing full time when he stumbled upon the opportunity to work for a retail ski shop in Southeast Denver. I thought to myself, Here s something that I ll really enjoy doing because it ll allow me to combine vocation and avocation, he says. And since moving to Wind Crest, Horiuchi has showed no signs of slowing down. I go down to the fitness center here at Erickson every morning about five o clock and I work out on the crosstrainer, the stairstepper, and the weights, he says. After an hour of that, I hit the pool and do a bit of water walking and swim a few laps. Horiuchi insists on this regimen as a means of maintaining the physical condition that enables him to continue skiing at the age of 89, and he has no intentions of changing anything as the 90-year mark approaches. There s just something great about getting out in that powder and making your own tracks, he says, and I don t plan on giving that up.