Alf Engen

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Alf Engen
Alf Marinius Engen

(1909-05-15)May 15, 1909
Mjøndalen, Nedre Eiker,
Buskerud county, Norway
DiedJuly 20, 1997(1997-07-20) (aged 88)
Resting placeCenterville City Cemetery, Centerville, Utah
MonumentsAlf Engen Ski Museum
NationalityNorwegian, American
OccupationSkier and ski school teacher/owner
Known forskiing pioneer in U.S.
Spouse(s)Evelyn Pack Engen
(m. 1937–1997, his death)[1]

Alf Marinius Engen (May 15, 1909–July 20, 1997) was a Norwegian-American skier. He set several ski jumping world records during the 1930s and helped establish numerous ski areas in the Western United States. Engen is best known for his ski school at Alta in Utah and as the pioneer of powder skiing.[3][4]


Born in Norway in the town of Mjøndalen, in Nedre Eiker municipality in Buskerud county, Engen was the first son of Trond and Martha Oen Engen. His two younger brothers, Sverre (1911–2001) and Corey (1916–2006), were also accomplished skiers. As the first-born son of a famous skiing father, Engen was naturally reared to ski. After his father died of the Spanish flu in 1918 when he was 9, Engen's mother moved the family the short distance to the small town of Steinberg. In 1929 at age 20, Alf and his brother Sverre (age 18) emigrated to the United States, first settling in Chicago, then relocating to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1931. Their widowed mother Martha and younger brother Corey (age 17) joined them in 1933.[5]


Engen quickly gained a reputation for his world class skiing skills. Although primarily a ski jumper when he arrived in the U.S., he quickly mastered alpine skiing and is credited for developing the technique of powder skiing, honed at the Alta Ski Area. The following years he won numerous American and international titles. In 1940, Engen finished first in the National Four-way in Seattle, Washington. Engen was also the recipient of numerous awards including the All-American Ski Trophy, 1937, Americanism Award in 1940, Helm's Hall of Fame Award in 1954; and Skier's Hall of Fame Award in 1956.[6]

He helped establish the ski school at Alta, and assisted in the creation of thirty other ski resorts in the western United States. The three Engen brothers helped to popularize skiing in the West, primarily in Utah and Idaho. Alf's son Alan carries on the family tradition at Alta. Alf Engen died in Salt Lake City in 1997, at the age of 88. His two younger brothers both lived to the age of 90.[3][7]

Alf Engen Ski Museum[edit]

The Alf Engen Ski Museum is located in the Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center at Utah Olympic Park, four miles north of Park City, Utah. It contains more than 300 trophies, medals, uniforms, scrapbooks, skis, boots, photos, films and other collectables that span some 70 years in the career of the Engen family. The museum's educational component gives school children a skiing-based foundation to study subjects such as the water cycle, physics and Utah's colorful history.

The Museum recently added a fully functional virtual ski experience designed and built by Utah-based company Unrivaled. The ride takes you through an amazing downhill ski experience and even gives the authentic feeling of skiing by adding wind and even snow to the overall downhill experience. [8]


  • – Alf Engen - The Old Man Of The Mountain - Powder segment


  1. ^ Gorrell, Mike (March 2, 2010). "'The 'grande Dame' of modern Utah skiing dies". (Salt Lake Tribune). Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  2. ^ "Jon S. Engen - obituary". Deseret News. October 31, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Litsky, Frank (July 22, 1997). "Obituaries: Alf Engen, 88, skiing champion and designer of ski resorts". New York Times. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  4. ^ Grass, Ray (July 21, 1997). "Skiing legend Alf Engen dies at 88". Deseret News. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  5. ^ "Alf Engen: Utah's Athlete of the Century". KUED public television. (The University of Utah). 2002. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  6. ^ Alf Engen Ski Museum Foundation (J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah)
  7. ^ Alf Engen (Utah Encyclopedia)
  8. ^ About the Alf Engen Ski Museum (Alf Engen Ski Museum) Archived 2010-12-22 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]