Dr. Arnold honored as ‘Pioneer of the Year’ | SkyHiNews.com

Dr. Arnold honored as ‘Pioneer of the Year’

Landis Arnold
Special to the Sky-Hi News
Dr. Andy Arnold addresses the crowd at the Winter Park-Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce annual banquet Nov. 11 after he was named the Chamber's 2011 Pioneer of the Year. Drew Munro / Sky-Hi News

Dr. Andy Arnold was honored on Nov. 11 as the Winter Park-Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce’s “2011 Pioneer of the Year.” Below are excerpts from a biography assembled by his son Landis Arnold, called “Points in Time: Recollections from his son Landis,”

· Born in 1937 in Albuquerque NM, to Landis and Helen Arnold.

Landis “Pink” was a career Forester whose job responsibilities brought the family to Washington D.C. and Missoula, Mont., before their retirement to Greeley, Colo., as Andy was starting high school.

Not loving Greeley, Andy spent the summers working on ranches and forest and trail crews in Montana where he was able to meet many his father’s co-workers such as Bob Marshall.

In the winters, Andy also started skiing with his good friend Jim Marr. It was in this time that Andy had his first forays to Winter Park, and we often would hear about his stays in this bunk house. We have seen pictures of their skiing down from Berthoud on the Divide past Twin Cones, Lunch Rock and the old cattle and sheep trail that was Mary Jane.

· 1955 – Andy graduated from Greeley High School

· 1955-1956 – Colorado State University

After high school, Andy spent a year at Colorado State University. During that time, he came up with the judgment that the line between the West and the Midwest is somewhere between Fort Collins and Greeley. Still, he was not, at heart, an Aggie.

· 1956 to 1958 – Military Service: Mountain and Cold Weather Training Command, Camp Hale, Colo., and Fort Greeley, Alaska.

The offer that he could join up with the Mountain and Cold Weather Training Command (sic) at Camp Hale brought Andy into the military in 1956. His timing, in retrospect, could not have been better. This was after the Korean War and before the escalation in Vietnam.

At Camp Hale, Andy found friendship in his unit with many future skiing legends, and they had a great time climbing and skiing along the way. Andy remains friends with many of the men with whom he served in the Command. (Unfortunately his expertise and fun with rifles and ammunition left a mark on his hearing for which we all have come to love him.)

The shut-down of Camp Hale brought Andy a set of orders to make haste to Honolulu for the Guided Missile Command, which he was having nothing of. By hook or by crook he was reassigned to Fort Greeley, Alaska, near Fairbanks and got to spend another year on skis and hunting grouse out on their frequent patrols awaiting the Soviets.

Duties over, Andy returned to Colorado. I know that he started working for George Engle in the ski school, along with his future sister-in-law and her beau Noel, and Bill Wilson. It has been reported to me that George had the honor of “firing” Andy one day when he called in, unable to get to Winter Park because of the blizzard conditions. Andy let George know that he was calling from the top of Ajax in Aspen, and there was 20 inches of fresh powder.

· 1958 to 1962 – University of Colorado, Boulder

In 1958, Andy returned to college, this time in Boulder, majoring in one of his lifetime interests, Botany. Andy can tell you any kind of tree, bush, flower or grass that grows from about 7,500 feet and up, and he likes to do it in such a way that you understand how important each of them are and where they fit into their habitat.

In 1958, Andy met sophomore Becky Roe, who had spent the summer working at Devils Thumb Ranch, and who, if not a lifetime skier yet, one with great promise and the sister of Noel. In the midst of this timeline, somehow, Andy made his way to New York City, got a job building sky scrapers and took it upon himself to introduce himself to Becky’s parents, Eloise and Ed, possibly telling them that he was going to marry their daughter. There was, of course, much more and he did seem to have enjoyed his time in New York… but it was back to Colorado.

By Christmas of 1959, Becky and Andy were married at a small family ceremony in Greeley. School continued but was mixed with a marked series of different jobs including, again, teaching skiing at Winter Park for George Engle.

When first son Landis came along, home was at the university’s Arctic and Alpine Institute Science Lodge near Nederland. Part of Andy’s work was checking a series of weather stations on Niwot Ridge (which ends at the divide just a few miles north and east of here). Conditions were often extreme on the ridge. Andy had a custom down parka made by Alice Holubar with extra long arms that would allow him to hold a pencil in hand inside the sleeve and pull out to quickly record the wind and temperature readings at the stations

The fall of 1961, son Thor came along. School continued.

· 1962 – Graduation from University of Colorado, Boulder

· 1962-1963 – Employment with Outward Bound, Lake Eldora and Vail

Following graduation, Andy was hired by Tap Tapley as the first hired instructor for Outward Bound at their new base camp in Marble, Colo.

The family lived in canvas tents with plywood floors in a spectacular grove of aspen trees. We spent two summers (1962 and 1963) in Marble. We had to back our old VW bus up a mile-long steep rough road to get to the camp.

In the fall of 1962, Andy worked for a short time cutting trails at the soon-to-be Lake Eldora Ski Area. One day on the mountainside driving an Army 6×6 Truck, the brakes went out and Dad’s solution to the gravity of the situation was, rather than plummeting with the truck into the lowlands, he simply aimed for the Forest and found a natural braking system in a stand of timber.

After Eldora, we moved to Vail for the winter of 1962 and 1963. Andy worked for Morey Shepard on Vail Ski School and then on the Ski Patrol. Becky was working for Bob Parker. The young family lived in Minturn. This was the first year Vail was open.

· 1963 – Return to University of Colorado, Boulder

It was during the time at Vail that Andy started thinking of what he wanted to do for “the rest of his career.” Deciding on a career in medicine, he went and picked up some missing pre-med classes in Boulder. Becky finished up with a degree in Political Science and also got her teaching certificate.

· 1965 to 1969 – University of Colorado Medical School, Denver

The family, moved to Denver in 1965-66. Andy started at CU Medical School, Landis started kindergarten, Thor started a last year of pre-school. Becky began her teaching career with a class of 30 students at Hallet Elementary. She taught in the Denver Public Schools until 1980.

Family life was one of studying, backpacking trips, skiing at Winter Park and Geneva Basin, movies at Med School (walking and biking distance). A few years into this and the Winter Park Jump School became the focus for Landis and Thor. Andy skied whenever he could, and one of the standing family memories were dark evenings awaiting Andy’s return from the Outhouse trees, ski tours from Eldora to Winter Park, more Outhouse trees. He was never one for groomers, despite the Winter Park art and the Bradley Packers he used to drive in his early Winter Park Ski Patrol working hours.

Andy loved mountain climbing and completed major ascents of Shiprock in New Mexico, Flat Top and Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. He also had a fun interlude acquiring first a 350 then a 450 Ducati Enduro, which he would commute with and also have a good time riding, here and there on urban adventures, like the river bed of Cherry Creek in those years before it was turned into a park.

As kayaking entered the scene for Andy and Becky, I recall Andy mentioning this turn when he realized how many of his friends had died in climbing accidents. Always an enthusiastic paddler, Andy and Becky’s participation on rivers was mostly always about touring and trips, although he did consent to accompanying son Landis through Gore Canyon below Kremmling in the late 1980s.

· 1969 -1970 – Training at St. Joseph’s Hospital

· 1970-1971 – Physician for Children and Youth Project, Trinidad, Colorado

· 1971-1979 – Physician for Denver Health and Hospitals, Neighborhood Health Program

In Denver, working with Denver Health and Hospitals, he worked in neighborhood health clinics, mostly in North Denver. He was proficient in and did much of his work speaking Spanish.

Andy worked on weekends through this time with the Winter Park Volunteer Ski Patrol. He loved to ski and had us out of town as often as was possible. His work in Denver did give us weekends to travel as a family.

1979, a year after Landis graduated from East High School, my younger brother, Thor, graduated early, Andy saw the opportunity to start working more in Winter Park. Some of this was driven by a Grand Canyon trip he had been invited on. His boss in Denver didn’t have much understanding for this. Taking the decision to go on the trip meant, ultimately, that he needed to have a plan in place on the back side of that trip and Winter Park was it. He was encouraged in this move by many in Winter Park including Thor and Jerry Groswold.

· 1979 to 1989 -7 Mile Medical Clinic, Kings Crossing, Winter Park

7 Mile Trail was always one of Dad’s favorite ski runs. We often heard his mother Helen tell us of driving over Berthoud Pass, back when 7 mile was a wagon and early automobile road. 7 Mile was what he named his clinic. He and Becky bet everything they had and many times more financing the clinic. (You may recall interest rates on SBA loans were as high as 20%). Their wonderful landlords were George and Joyce Engle. 7 Mile Medical Clinic was in the basement of the Winter Park Sports Shop. Though dark, it was accessible to the community (if not so easy for Wheel Chairs).

· 1989 to 2003 – 7 Mile Medical Clinic at the Winter Park Ski Area (WPRA)

When the opportunity came to move the clinic to the ski area, Andy applied for the contract and a new clinic was built, where it presently exists. He tried for a few years to keep both clinics open but, with regrets, eventually had to close the clinic at Kings Crossing. Andy was board certified in family practice, and 7 Mile was a combination of family practice and a level 2 emergency room. It was a good and functional mix.

·2003 – 7 Mile Medical Clinic was sold to St Anthony’s

Its success over the years was due to a wonderful staff of physicians, nurses, X-ray techs and office staff. He is forever grateful to his staff, many of whom are still working at the new clinic owned by Denver Health, as well as other health facilities in the county. In addition, there were so many wonderful people to thank at WPRA, from administrators to ski patrol, coaches, ski school, food service, and many many more.

· 2003 to present – Retirement at home in Tabernash

Andy loved his work and misses his patients (many of whom had to be patient).

In retirement, Andy could still be found in the Outhouse trees, oh how he loved to ski! He made numerous trips to Canada with friends and family to ski the deep powder.

He visited Guatamala and traveled by horse to visit interesting archeological sites and was visited by a horde of lice.

Andy has always loved his dogs. When he got Greta, a wirehaired pointing griffon, he was sure he had a good hunting companion. When she turned out to be afraid of the gun, he loved her anyway.

He has taken many wonderful trail rides in New Mexico, Utah, Colorado with his beloved horses: Moonshine, Katie, Thumper, and Becky’s horse Catalina Bay.

Thor, an architect, deconstructed an old timber frame Tarbell family barn in Chenango County, N.Y. It was shipped to Tabernash, redesigned by Thor and reconstructed by Neversummer Construction. It is the Arnold’s wonderful home enjoyed by all.

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