Leon “Slim” Weston, the iconic cowboy lifty who greeted skiers at Grand Targhee for 45 winters, died last night after a battle with cancer. He was 72 years old.
Weston’s smile, cowboy hat and long, lean frame were a fixture at Targhee since the resort’s inception in 1969. He appeared in Warren Miller films and a host of ski magazines, gaining as much of a reputation as the resort’s fresh powder. A snowboarder, he was known to give out hugs and back rubs in the lift lines.
“He is the spirit of Grand Targhee and is greatly missed,” resort spokesman Ken Rider said. “A bunch of heavy hearts over here today.”
Weston was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2011 and had been fighting an ongoing battle. Still, he worked three days at the resort last week.
“Whatever he wanted to work, we’d let him work,” Rider said.
Weston was a farmer and rancher who lived outside Driggs. He got his nickname after riding up on his horse at the beginning of a Miller ski movie, and the filmmaker called him “Ol’ Slim.”
Rider said the resort is deferring to Weston’s family on plans for a memorial service. More information will be posted as soon as it is available.