Utah is known as being the home to some of the greatest snow on Earth. The powder, the weather, and the scenery combine to provide one of the world's best winter sports paradises.
Ogden native Dean Perkins knows all about how great skiing in Utah is.
The 85-year-old alternates between skiing and motorcycling, depending on the seasons, but only does either one when the sun is shining.
Perkins was recently inducted into the Jean and Will Picket Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame, and is excited to look back on a life well-lived.
"It's been a long time coming," said Perkins, who lives comfortably in a home overlooking the town of Eden. "The problem was I was skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho, and the Intermountain Ski Association is centered in Salt Lake City. They finally came around to figuring out, 'Hey, Perkins is really a Utah resident.' "
Perkins started skiing in his teens, beginning with the sport when Snowbasin was in its infancy. He attended Ogden High School, where he starred for the tennis team, and skied for then-Weber College and the University of Utah.
However, the slopes of Sun Valley continued to play a central role in Perkins' development as a skier.
"We said let's go over to Sun Valley, and see what the (expletive) is going on over there and go skiing," he said. "We ran over there, and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. They were gambling, they had ice sculptures ... We walk in and there's Clark Gable and Gary Cooper and all these movie stars."
From the slopes of Sun Valley, Perkins found his way into the national conversation, as after he was drafted in the military during the Korean War. Most of his premier competitive events came when he raced as a member of the U.S. Army in Europe.
In 1952, Perkins took first in the downhill and alpine combined in the U.S. Armed Forces European Ski Championships, and competed at famed resorts such as Innsbruck, Austria, and the Zermatt in Switzerland.
While Perkins was a star of the 1950s, an era when Utah was just discovering skiing, the legend maintains the culture around the sport has changed significantly.
"The sport itself hasn't changed very much -- it's just gotten bigger," said Perkins, who counts notable Utah residents like Spence Eccles as close personal friends. "If it was then like it is now, I would be like Bode Miller. They're superstars now."
After leaving the sport, competitively, in the mid-50s, Perkins opened up a successful ski equipment store in Ogden, and expanded his offerings to eventually include tennis and mountain climbing supplies.
Then, he sold his store and shifted to becoming a sales representative for ski apparel across the western United States, selling in places such as Texas and Oklahoma.
Along the way, Perkins had a couple kids and now has a handful of grandkids. But through it all, a few things haven't changed, and one is his love for Snowbasin.
"(Snowbasin) has meant a lot to the community," Perkins said. "It's a damn fine ski resort, I'll tell you. It's just like Sun Valley, and it's Ogden, Utah."
Perkins skis most winter mornings around 9 a.m. at Snowbasin, but said he is starting to have some vision problems and has trouble walking at times.
However, as he enters into yet another ski season with another honor, Perkins said he would change nothing in a life that has seen him ski the finest resorts in the world and become a successful businessman, all while maintaining ties to the state and region he loves.
"I have been one lucky son of a gun," Perkins said. "I just feel more fortunate than you'll ever know, and I can still ride a (motorcycle) and I can still ski. I have no complaints."