Pruden, longtime ski instructor, dies at 52

Allyn Harvey
Aspen Times Staff Writer

One of Aspen’s original Aussie ski pros, Eve Pruden, died Saturday from complications of acute respiratory distress syndrome. She was 52.

Eve was born on March 19, 1951, in Melbourne, Australia, where she grew up fencing and playing field hockey. After primary school she went to St. Leonard’s Presbyterian Girls College, where she was the valedictorian and school captain from 1965 to 1968.

After a year at Melbourne University, Eve moved to the mountains of Australia, where she started her career as a ski instructor at Falls Creek. Soon after, she moved to Austria to further her expertise as a ski instructor.

In 1971, Eve moved to the United States, joining the Aspen Highlands Ski School under Lefty Brinkman. She was soon certified in the graduated length method of instruction. Eve was the first woman to apply for a slot on the Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol and, after persevering through tryouts over several years, was finally offered a position.

But in December 1980, Eve left Aspen Highlands for Snowmass, where she spent the next 23 seasons teaching adult classes and private lessons.

“She loved the mountains and the freedom of living here,” said Sarah Bogan, a friend and former Highlands instructor who met Eve in the winter of 1971.

Eve, an avid tennis player and golfer, was known as always being up for a good time, especially if it meant she could be outside.

“If you called her and asked her to do something, she was always ready to go. She was always up for fun and adventure,” Bogan said.

The last time Bogan saw Eve was at Brinkman’s memorial in late June. At the time Eve wasn’t feeling well, and about a week later she checked in to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction.

Over the next six weeks Eve’s situation worsened, and she never returned to her home on Faraway Road in Snowmass Village.

Bogan said Eve’s doctors believed that her lung failure was the result of an infection or some other problem elsewhere in her body. According to the Web site maintained by the American Lung Association, acute respiratory distress syndrome is usually associated with the malfunction of organs elsewhere in the body. It has a fatality rate of 40 percent.

Eve is survived by her mother, Elaine Pruden, her brother Mark Pruden’s family, which includes sister-in-law Janet, nieces Claire and Georgina and nephew Jonathan.

A memorial service is planned for 4 p.m. Friday at the base of the Two Creeks chairlift. A reception will follow.

Donations in Eve’s memory can be made to the Anderson Ranch Art Center’s wood shop, where Eve worked and studied in the summers.

[Allyn Harvey’s e-mail address is]