Photos provided by Lucy Garst.
We at TransWorld Snowboarding are saddened to report that Ike Garst died on Tuesday at age 66, losing a long sought-after battle against brain cancer.
During a time when snowboarders were viewed as misfits and punks, Ike took a step in the right direction as one of the first Colorado ski area operator to open a mountain up to snowboarders, according to the Denver Post. He was willing to sell a ticket to anyone, ultimately helping to dilute the image of snowboarding as an unaccepted subculture.
He purchased Berthoud Pass Ski Area at the ripe age of 26, and he and his wife, Lucy, ran operations for a decade. The years between 1977 and 1987 at his resort planted the seed for local snowboard kids to become legends, changing the trajectory of snowboarding as a whole by hosting some of the first contests and breeding instructors. People like Tom Sims and Jake Burton, names that created snowboardings foundation and are still heavily involved in the game, hung around Berthoud Pass often in the early years. Ike can be credited for creating a silent uprising of snowboard culture and drawing in generations of young rippers by breaking down barriers.
Snowboarding has always been accepting of and rewarded by those who do things their own way. Ike Garst was a man who simply had a love for the outdoors, and he wanted everyone else--skiers and snowboarders alike-- to have as much fun as conceivably possible. We are sorry for his loss and thankful for all that he has contributed to making snowboarding what it is.