Locals 2014: Don Gore
Don Gore is a motorhead, an aficionado at jumping rope and he runs, bikes, works out and eats well so he can enjoy his biggest passion: skiing.
At 83 years old, Gore just wrapped up his 25th season of instructing at Steamboat Ski Area, once again notching 100 days on the slopes.
“My goal is to be in my 90s and still teach, and I think I can make it,” says Gore, who was still skiing in May. “It’s kind of a source of pride that I can perform with the younger guys, and in some cases, outski them.”
When he can’t outski them, Gore says he can at least offer some tips on form and technique.
“Don is an inspiration to all of us,” says Steamboat Snowsports School Director Nelson Wingard. “Even at 83, he is fit and strong. Every day he’s out on the mountain training, working on improving his skills and teaching techniques and always looking for ways to grow. He wants to share his passion for skiing, and that is contagious to all ages.”
Before landing in Steamboat, Gore worked as a ski patroller for 25 years at Washington’s Crystal Mountain. He first learned to ski when he was 25 years old and on leave from the Navy. Gore jumped in by heading for Berthoud Pass with rented gear and socks for gloves.
“That day I fell 22 times, and I’ve never had more fun in my life,” he says.
His first ski area job was at White Pass in Washington as a lift operator. While there, he learned from twins Steve and Phil Mahre, who would become American skiing legends. “I learned a lot from those 9-year-old kids,” he says.
Gore got to ski race alongside some of the best, including Steamboat’s Buddy Werner. He remembers finishing one race in one minute and 15 seconds, 30 seconds slower than the local skiing icon.
When the resorts close for the season, he moves on to his other passion: restoring a 1974 Camaro. “It’s been a 10-year project,” Gore says, adding that the hot rodding helps him feel young again. “This year, if I can get it running, I’m going to drive down Lincoln Avenue just to look around and show it off. I feel like I’m 23.”
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Just inside the doors of Kevin Dietrich’s Natural Exposure Gallery in downtown Steamboat Springs, there are moose, bears and some of the town’s most scenic landscapes captured in perfect light.