Copper Mountain opened November 2nd to celebrate its 40th season to local Frank Walter’s 90th birthday. Many people know Frank as the gentlemen in the yellow jacket who’s skied Copper since season one, retiring there in 1987. He’s averaged over 100 days a year in retirement, reaching 161 of 164 open days in 2004, and a record 7.2 million vertical feet skied one season. In 2010 Copper named a run after Frank, “Frank’s Fav” and he had a movie roll as “Father Time” when Warren Miller shot a film there.
Frank took the first chair, coincidently chair 90, to open Copper’s 40th with President Gary Rodgers, son Larry Walter, and eldest grandson Jake Bright. Later Larry threw a surprise birthday party for Frank at JJ’s, hosted with grandson Bright and long time family friend, America’s Cup sailing bowman Brad Webb. Frank welcomed his alpine family, a festive section of the Copper community, while reminiscing over fantastic years of skiing and many experiences of his life. This includes Frank’s past as a former assistant ski coach in Michigan, MIT Sloan Fellow, WWII Marine Corps fighter pilot, and career as an engineer and auto executive, where he designed many of Chrysler’s most collectible cars of the muscle car era.
As one of Copper’s most recognized ambassadors of family and friends coming together through alpine sport Frank’s first day on the mountain and after party served his legacy well. Outdoor videographer and Boulder, CO resident Halley O’Brien boarded with him during the day while Copper staff and friends donned yellow scarves and hats embroidered with “Team Frank ’90,’” a nod to Frank’s signature yellow jacket. Later at the party he was welcomed by Copper President Gary Rodgers, Copper office staff, lift operators, ski instructors, ski patrol, and members of Copper Mountain’s Community Church, to which Frank has been dedicated for years. We’ll look forward to Frank inspiring skiers and boarders toward more vertical feet season after season.
Halley O’Brien was Frank’s personal paparazzi for the day in order to bring you in on the party. Happy birthday Frank and congrats on a super fun Opening Day, Copper Mountain!
Halley O’Brien is a videographer, on-camera personality and storyteller based in Boulder, Colorado. Get to know Halley at…