Seibert touched us all
That’s quite a lot of people, ranging from presidents to seasonal lifties from Perth.
If you were to boil Vail to one person, it’s Seibert, who after a famous hike with Earl Eaton in 1957 laid the cornerstone for Vail, top ski resort in America and worked his tail off to make the vision reality.
Sheep range evolved to “world-class” resort and home 40 miles or more down Interstate 70 to over 40,000 people who know they’ve found paradise, or as close as they could be to it.
Seibert turns up in all the Top 25 this and Top 10 that lists of the people who had the most to do with American skiing today.
In short, he’s a legendary figure, and now bigger than life as the community he built gets ready to celebrate 40 years of existence.
These are the accolades, the public reach of a man who touched each of us, whether we knew him personally or not.
First, though, he was a man dear to his family, including his grandchildren, who couldn’t care any less about his mark on the world at large. They grieve for their loved one who has passed on, felled by disease Monday at the age of 77. Too soon.
It’s natural that an outpouring of community feeling for Seibert would be both gratifying and difficult to deal with at such a time. But he meant too much to too many for the community not to share at least some of the anguish of his passing and appreciation for his contributions in life.
Seibert lived fully, as few truly dare. Coming back from severe World War II battle injuries as a sergeant in the famous 10th Mountain Division to become a ski racer after doctors insisted he’d be lucky to walk again is just one early testament to his remarkable resolve and will. He demonstrated the same mettle beating the odds and getting a fledgling ski resort – Vail – ensconced among the world’s jewels.
He also had a pure love for skiing, which began at age 7 in Massachusetts, where he grew up. In this way, too, he connected with so many of us, sharing a joy for the slopes that still binds our community at a deeper level than our at-times fractious debates might indicate.
Community founder, model for living life fully, fellow skier. Here’s a person who will be greatly missed, and very much appreciated.
As his friend and partner Eaton put it: “He did a good job.” Amen.