Eric Edward Kinsman |

Eric Edward Kinsman

Eric Edward Kinsman, eek! to his friends, died of suspected heart failure while riding his motorcycle on Sunday, June 6, 2010 near Loa, Utah. He was riding after entertaining a group of close friends at his and his wife Penny’s bed and breakfast, the Muley Twist Inn, in Teasdale, Utah.

Eric got his first taste of Aspen powder skiing in the mid-sixties, deciding then that Aspen would someday become his home.

That someday came in 1969 when he and Penny moved to the area. Eric soon began his professional ski career with the Snowmass Ski School where he was mentored by the Italian skier Roberto Gasparel. Roberto and Eric shared skiing in its many forms – enjoying the up and the outback as well as the down. Eric moved to ski patrolling in the late seventies, transferring to Aspen Mountain in 1980. In 2004, he became the director of the Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol, an iconic position that Eric represented with respect – knowing what a special place in ski culture that he in his position occupied.

Eric loved his job and the crew that he worked with, finding the strengths of each person that worked for and with him. He took special joy in following the growth of his young patrol recruits. He took it upon himself to master all forms of sliding on snow, adding snowboard carving, telemark skiing and nordic skiing to his weekly ski fare. He especially enjoyed his “multiglisse” days where he could experience the thrill of all his ski passions in a single day.

There was much more to Eric than skiing, however. In his early summers in Colorado, Eric became an avid and accomplished cyclist – so much so that he ended up competing in the Red Zinger and Coors Classics. With his purchase of a new road bike last year, the first since his racing days, he rekindled that old passion. Eric was an expansive reader, oenophile and gourmand. His many insights and opinions on wine, food, current events and the sharp lessons of history made Eric an exciting and enlightening person to be around. He was the ultimate conversationalist. He had a special and learned love for the many forms and varieties of music, ranging from Black Eyed Peas to Shostakovich. He loved all manner of music, but could never get right with flute or country western.

Eric and Penny made many forays into the desert southwest over the years from their humble single-wide trailer home in Aspen Village. Hiking, running, and rafting in the Grand Canyon became one of their special treats in desert autumns before they both returned home to their ski patrolling jobs. Their desert travel eventually led them to the Grand Staircase and Capitol Reef area where the Muley Twist canyon, one of their beloved hikes, inspired the name of their bed and breakfast, which they started in 1997. It was here then, that Eric spent his last day – in the company of close friends sharing with them one of his most cherished places.

Eric was born on Feb. 27, 1944. A memorial service will be held at the Teasdale Cultural Hall in Teasdale, Utah on Saturday, June 26. A memorial service will be held in Aspen just prior to ski season. In lieu of flowers, please support the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance or your favorite local NPR station.

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