Lackey is part of a long line of skiers who came to The Bird as younger men and women, and actually did the thing that you and your crew talk about doing. We’re talking about the early 1980s, with long-ass skis, “what the f#ck is a Chinese Downhill?” day-glow Bogner onesies, Duran Duran on the radio and Ronald Reagan in the White House. Lackey was working at restaurants in Detroit and he’d save up every second of vacation to spend it all on trips to Little Cottonwood Canyon.
“I’d be reading ski mags back then, and just dreaming about The Bird,” he says. “I’d come out and stay up here and loved that feeling of being so removed from the hectic city life. I still love that feeling of being away, the elevation, the cold, the steepness and open terrain and un-groomed runs.”
He finally pulled the cord in 1985 and bummed around, picking up restaurant gigs and living lean for Utah’s fat winters. Gradually, he worked his way onto the Snowbird crew in the late ’90s, met his wife, had kids—the whole bit. He has worked in every kitchen at the massive resort, bringing his hard-headed, Midwestern work ethic to match his massive stoke.
And now, after 17 ass-busting seasons, his office, unlike your cubicle in the corner, is on top of Snowbird. The Snowbird. The one and only. Steep, deep and blessed with 500-plus inches of snow every season. And he’s got nearly two decades of arcane knowledge about how and where to ski here. That means, while you‘re scratching your head in front of the trail map wondering where to start, he’s zeroed in on the perfect run—every time.