in memoriam: Theo Meiners

By Jim Stanford on September 21, 2012

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Theo Meiners, center, with the late Doug Coombs and Chris Leveroni.

Jackson Hole skiers are mourning the loss of longtime instructor and guide Theo Meiners, who died in a fall from an escalator balcony last night while attending a snow science conference in Alaska. He was 59 years old.

Meiners had taught skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and owned Alaska Rendezvous Heli-Guides. He worked in the ski industry for more than 30 years and was regarded as an expert on avalanche safety.

On the slopes at Jackson Hole, Meiners was revered as a guru who used to wax philosophical about skiing and snow. He enjoyed the winter of a lifetime this year in Alaska, with massive snowfall, and he regularly shared his joy and insights with friends on Facebook. This post from July 15 accompanied a photo of an Alaskan mountain called Happiness, with a 5,200-vertical-foot north face:

Pursuit of Happiness and the wish that Happiness should not be a quick moment, like a big laugh after a joke or a smile at a compliment ,it is a state of being, and we all have the right to this pursuit! Work where you want and do what you love friends and find happiness

There’s no doubt Meiners found it.

He leaves behind a son, Aidan, and daughter, Ali.


Posted under Deaths, Ski Resorts, Sports

7 Comments so far

  1. Jim Stanford September 21, 2012 2:24 pm

    Jerry Blann, JHMR president, issued the following statement:
    “We are saddened to learn of the loss of longtime ski instructor and alpine guide Theo Meiners. Theo was a key contributor to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s Mountain Sports School, beginning his career with the school in the winter of 1978-1979 and working each winter since. He brought skill and experience when both teaching and guiding, and just as important, he brought enthusiasm and passion to everything that involved his true loves, the mountains and skiing. He will be missed.”

    Resort spokeswoman Anna Cole added, “The Jackson Hole and Alaska ski communities are mourning the loss of a pioneer and mentor. Theo was an inspiration for young skiers, and will be remembered for his dedication and passion for the sport. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends, especially his children Alexandra and Aidan.”

  2. Ian Campbell September 22, 2012 1:45 am

    Theo always said that you should bring your sunglasses out at night, because you don’t know where you’ll wake up the next day. I hope he had his Vuarnet’s with him today.

  3. cody mcinnes September 22, 2012 8:19 am

    Theo you were teacher and a friend, the most enthusiastic skier that I ever have known. I miss you already! Thanks Teddy for the best runs of my life! You will not be forgotten! I will always have a Newcastle cold for you at the VC on Sunday and Monday nights! Thanks for the inspiration and LOVE! Cheers My friend! Tip of the sword Point of the spear!!! Happiness!

  4. slaagmaster September 22, 2012 9:58 am

    blessings of love and peace for the tribe!

  5. Mikey September 22, 2012 10:47 am

    Theo was more than a teacher to myself, Robert Garret, Julie Zell, Mot, BIlly Bacon and so many more. He (and DC) were the iconic figures and mentors of an early snowboard generation. They NEVER looked down at our feet. They only looked into our eyes to see our passion. It didn’t matter that we were riders (a term Theo passionately used to represent us all). We felt the same about what we were doing in the mountains and thats all that mattered to him. I owe a great deal of my career in snowboard teaching and guiding to his leadership, vision and insanity. I can only hope to insipre teachers, guides and RIDERS the way he did.

  6. Jim Stanford October 18, 2012 10:38 am

    There will be a memorial service for Theo at 3 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Teton Village commons, followed by a celebration at the Mangy Moose. Both events are open to all family and friends of Theo.

    From JHMR:

    In lieu of gifts or flowers the family has set up the Theodore Meiners Memorial Fund, a fund that will be designated to a non-profit avalanche awareness cause. The Wells Fargo account is set up to accept donations through any Wells Fargo branch or by mail. Checks should be made out to Theodore Meiners Memorial and write on the back of the check “for deposit only.” Wells Fargo Bank, Attn: Jaclyn Hendren/Lorene Carter, PO Box 1788, Jackson, WY 83001-1788.

  7. Gibson Anderson January 23, 2013 6:59 pm

    I just(1/23/2013)learned of Theo’s death. I am saddened and shocked and angry and surprised but, at some level, not surprised. Theo was nothing if not a standout guy. My first memory of Theo was as he attempted to beat Pepi from top to bottom before Pepi turned 40! He said it wouldn’t mean as much after that. I was a long time client who took years to figure out that I was paying and didn’t HAVE to follow him down every double diamond run on the mountain! I asked him again and again to stay safe so he could take me around the mountain when I reached my goals of skiing at 80 and having 10 million vertical feet at Jackson. I am fine with having to quit at age 68 with only 8 million vertical feet. I am deeply saddened by Theo’s passing. He will always be one of the heroes in my life.

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