Leif Eric Borgeson
  • 50 years old
  • Date of birth: Jan 1, 1961
  • Date of passing: Feb 8, 2011
  • Place of passing:
    Aspen, Colorado, United States
9/16/2010 - A-Basin Refresher "Shimmering Sha," "Bumpboard Brock," "Caffeinated Leif" "You can't call yourself Caffeinated Leif" "Why? I am Caffeinated Leif"
Arapahoe Basin Snow Safety Director, Leif Borgeson passed away on Tuesday, February 8, 2011 while hiking the ridge at the Aspen Highlands Bowl. Leif collapsed after the hike and was immediately attended to by Aspen Highlands patrol, but was unable to be resuscitated.  Leif worked at Arapahoe Basin starting in 1990 joining the ski patrol after patrolling at Keystone for several years. He worked in various capacities including Medical Coordinator, Paramedic, Snow Safety Supervisor and most recently as Snow Safety Director. He has been instrumental in creating Arapahoe Basin’s Avalanche Procedures and Protocols and recognized nationally for his work on the study of avalanches in particular wet slab avalanches. Between 2001-2004, Leif worked for the National Ski Patrol as their Training Director. Before joining Keystone in the 1980s, Leif worked as a patroller in Arizona Snow Bowl and as a Hot Shot Forest Fire Fighter in Flagstaff, Arizona. In addition, Leif served as a Paramedic for Summit County Ambulance Service in the early 1990s. Leif is survived by his wife Denise Schmidt-Borgeson, his two sons Ian and Aidan Borgeson, his parents and his brother. There is no doubt that Leif will be missed by the entire Arapahoe Basin team. Plans for memorial services will be announced at a later date. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Borgeson family. Arapahoe Basin, CO – February 11, 2011 – Memorial Service announced for Leif Eric Borgeson, Thursday, February 17, 2011 A Celebration of Life will be held in memory of Arapahoe Basin Snow Safety Director, Leif Borgeson, on Thursday, February 17, 2011 at the Keystone Conference Center.  The doors will open at 4:30pm for friends to gather and the service will begin promptly at 5:30 pm.  Immediately following the service, there will be a reception for all at the Arapahoe Basin A-frame including refreshments and a time to meet Leif’s family.  At the A-Basin reception there will be an opportunity for friends to be video-taped and share a favorite Leif Borgeson story.   In lieu of flowers, donations for the Leif Borgeson Memorial Fund are being accepted at any Wells Fargo Bank branch.
Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Lars Borgeson on 3rd January 2018

"Miss you, Leif. Hope you enjoyed the beer with us up in the mountains on your birthday."

This tribute was added by Florence Borgeson on 2nd January 2018

"Happy Birthday Leif! Love and miss you!

Love Mom and Dado"

This tribute was added by Denise Schmidt on 2nd January 2018

"Bet you enjoyed your 57th birthday!  Pretty cool you had a full moon...and your bro gets one on his birthday too!
We are working on what you wanted for Christmas:  World Peace!!"

This tribute was added by soda pop on 2nd January 2018

"Happy birthday old friend!  Your boys are becoming strong young adults like yourself, you would be proud.  By the way I just had my first baby girl in October, hope I can be a great father like you!  Miss you!!!"

This tribute was added by Ian Borgeson on 2nd January 2018

"Happy Birthday pops! We miss you, hope you're having a good time wherever you are. Ski in peace!"

This tribute was added by norm brown on 17th April 2017

"Hiked up an inviting chute at A-Basin last week and happened on his memorial bolted to the rock. Looks like he was good people."

This tribute was added by Ian Borgeson on 8th February 2017

"9" in the past 24hrs at the Basin today.  Reminiscing on days long gone when I saw you at work; your beard always looked like an icicle.  Ski in peace dad! I did today."

This tribute was added by Gina Giovanni on 2nd January 2017

"I've been skiing your lines on the north side, Leif. Thanks for showing me the way! Your presences is dearly missed my old friend.

All the love to your family as I can only imagine. xo"

This tribute was added by Dan Gengler on 2nd January 2017

"Happy birthday Leif.  Look forward to laughing with you again some day."

This tribute was added by Florence Borgeson on 2nd January 2017

We miss you!
Mom and Dado"

This tribute was added by Ian Borgeson on 1st January 2017

"Happy 56th pops!! I love you so much. Aidan is turning into a man; I wish you could see. I know you're proud."

This tribute was added by Ian Borgeson on 26th March 2016

"I miss you dad."

This tribute was added by Denise Schmidt on 14th February 2016

"Happy Valentines's Day Leif!  The boys and I will be eating chocolate in your honor, mine with nuts:).

Denise, Ian and Aidan XXXOOO"

This tribute was added by QX Bobo Persons on 9th February 2016

"Interesting that this came up right now... 2 days ago I finally broke out and skied my "new" Borgy tribute skis that have been in barn for years, waiting for good snow.  
I think of you often.  Being here in Flag, I bump in to folks that know you and your family, often.

This tribute was added by Rebecca Hodgetts on 5th February 2016

"Dealing with some booger-eaters today boss - and thought of you. Cracked a smile..."

This tribute was added by Dan Gengler on 10th December 2015

"Don't know why I was thinking of Leif today...but there it is.  I visited this site nearly five years ago when I read the news of his passing in the O'Gorman HS alumni newsletter.  Leif and I were debate partners and good friends.  I have fond memories of tooling around in his VW bug, backpacking trips, and laughing together until our sides hurt.  I hadn't seen Leif since high school but I am so grateful to have seen on this site what a full and beautiful life he had.  He was one of those rare souls you are most fortunate to have known.  I still think of Leif which I can only hope is of some comfort to those who loved him."

This tribute was added by Ian Borgeson on 21st June 2015

"Thinking about you a whole lot lately. Especially today pops. Shred in Peace!
Much Love!

This tribute was added by Cindy Boyer on 9th February 2015

"I'm very sorry for your loss, and I want to express my deepest sympathy to you. Very recently, in Sept, my very precious and beloved Mom died, and I find comfort in the Bible's hope for the resurrection, to see loved ones again, and hold them close! No more sickness, or pain, or unexpected loss'. May you find comfort in these loving and truthful promises found in God's Word, the Bible. (Acts 24:15; Eccl. 9:11b; James 1:13; Isa. 33:24; Rev. 21:4, 5; Psalm 37:10, 11, 29) Take care, Sincerely, Cindy Boyer"

This tribute was added by Mark Michaels on 9th February 2015

"I will never forget Leif."

This tribute was added by Florence Borgeson on 8th February 2015

"Miss you! You are loved! Thank you for our 2 amazing grandsons, Aidan and Ian!! Thank you for the memories that have sustained us the pass years!
Dad and Mom"

This tribute was added by Larry Grossman on 8th February 2015

"Miss you Leif....really miss your attitude and smile whenever I am skiing at Arapahoe Basin. The rest of the crew there carries on your amazing legacy and work ethic. Such a great man."

This tribute was added by REx Lint on 8th February 2015

"Incase you missed the tribute video

Miss you my man.

This tribute was added by Tim Green on 8th February 2015

"I did not know Leif but he sounds like a man I would have loved to been around and get to be his friend. My Mom died on Feb 2 and my Brother birthday is Feb 3 but Passed away March 15,2013.   I will keep Leif's memory alive but telling people about him and his work.  God bless all his loved one."

This tribute was added by Flo Borgeson on 1st January 2015


"Your memory is a keepsake from which we never part. We have you in our hearts always"

Dad and Mom"

This tribute was added by Future Shock on 27th March 2014

"I came across this site while doing some online research. I never knew Leif but was touched by this wonderful tribute to the man and his life. The pictures say it all, he looks like a man who enjoyed his life and relationships with friends and family. I feel I would like to have known him in life."

This tribute was added by allie barnes on 21st March 2014

"rest in pece"

This tribute was added by Florence Borgeson on 8th February 2014

"You are missed!!
Mom & Dad"

This tribute was added by Denise Schmidt on 8th February 2014

Have been thinking of you!  Ian is skiing in France and Aidan has been wearing a Hawaiian shirt to school:)
We love you always!"

This tribute was added by paul rondeau on 8th February 2014

"You are alive and strong in my thoughts. You will live as long as I live love ya man!!!"

This tribute was added by colleen Ihnken on 2nd January 2014

"So much irony, COINCIDENCE in this world...souls with energy that we carry with us...Leif was remembered this new year's eve at Chuck's Cabin...skiing his skis..."

This tribute was added by nitika jain on 30th April 2013

"Missed Forever"

This tribute was added by kristy Kelton-Gruber on 8th February 2013

"Kaileen always wanted to see you at the Basin.. It is part of what kept us going those first few years...after...anyway.. We miss you at the Patrol Office.. Love to Denise and Boys   Kristy."

This tribute was added by Larry Beverly on 8th February 2013

"You are always with us in spirit......Loved and Missed by all......Rest Easy!"

This tribute was added by Denise Schmidt on 6th January 2013

"Dad, Leif!
We all love and miss you!

Aidan, Ian, Toy, Stella and Denise

This tribute was added by Marian Kritzler on 4th January 2013

"You are still missed.  You must be so proud of Ian."

This tribute was added by Debbie Ware on 1st January 2013

"We always think of Leif on January 1st, Rob and he always shared something special on this day.
XO The Wares"

This tribute was added by Estrella Flores on 18th December 2012

"Gracias por dar todo de ti"

This tribute was added by Matt Mosher on 11th October 2012

"I never met Leif and I probably never would, I am from Canada and an in University. However, I am doing a project on online memorials and I chose this one randomly. After looking at what people said about him and looked at his pictures, I can see he was an amazing guy and a good friend and looked like and awesome dude. R.I.P man,
From a Canadian Snowboarder."

This tribute was added by Liz Sampey on 8th February 2012

"one year later- thinking of you Leif, hope you're getting many fluffy turns in the sky. :)"

This tribute was added by paul rondeau on 7th January 2012

"You the man.....I will ski with you again. Give your self over to gravity.PEACE..."

This tribute was added by Mark Michaels on 3rd January 2012

"Happy Birthday Leif !"

This tribute was added by Judd Santry on 3rd April 2011

"Leif was our superhero.  He was larger than life.  It is difficult to look around A-Basin these days and not see the enormous impact he had on every inch of that mountain.  He will be sorely missed..."

This tribute was added by scott s on 12th March 2011

"I worked with Leif at the National Ski Patrol.  I missed him when he left, and was sad to read about his death.  My thoughts are with the family."

This tribute was added by Jim Hobson on 6th March 2011

"I haven't talked to Lief since we were in college together in the early 1980's in Minneapolis. I'll always be grateful to him for helping make my first big nature adventures happen. Looks like he never stopped getting as much adventure out of life as he could. Thanks for helping me to push myself, Lief."

This tribute was added by Shaka Martin on 5th March 2011

"Thanx for the coffee, and the inspiration Leif!
I'll always remember your coffee talks, your 5th cup during my first o the day at 7am. Much love!!"

This tribute was added by Jim Stegmaier on 2nd March 2011

"I remember those early days at the Snowbowl with JD, Sean & Jacquie.  We were all so young then.  We moved on to bigger & better.  You got to be the best in what you did.  Happy forever skiing Leif.
Jim & Jacquie Stegmaier"

This tribute was added by Vanessa Woodford on 28th February 2011

"Dear Denise, Ian and Aiden,
Very shocked to learn of Leif's passing.  Thinking
of you and your family. May he be floating on powder
right now!"

This tribute was added by Flo Rutherford on 27th February 2011

"I had the pleasure of working with Leif during the editing and CD production for the NSP Instructor Developement program. He was always positive, upbeat and energized. Someone never to be forgotten."

This tribute was added by Matt Speier on 27th February 2011

"I never met Leif and never knew the man but as a fellow ski patroller my heart felt condolences go out to his family."

This tribute was added by Daniel Rogers on 22nd February 2011

"Leifer- I'll never forget your infectious smile, beard encased in ice on those early mornings, nor will I ever cease to be amazed by your herculean strength hiking up the East Wall with a pack full of crackers. We are all blessed to have had you as a friend- we're all better for the time together- and we'll live the rest of our lives inspired by and thankful for the memories.Thanks bud!"

This tribute was added by jim repsher on 18th February 2011

"I met Leif through Mel Stewart in 1990 when I was trying to get permission to patrol on tele gear at Copper. His enthusiasm was infectious. As the years went by and ambulance, patrol and other jobs fluxed and families were created, Leif was always a source of inspiration. (and reminder of what a "real man" was) I last saw him at RM 224 in the Grand Canyon 8/10. I'll remember the smile forever!"

This tribute was added by Darcy Hanley on 18th February 2011

"Leif, thank you for your amazing contribution to those who have lived, skied and played in Summit county.  The national office of the National Ski Patrol is indebted to your level of committment your showed to our NSP members. Missed 4 ever!"

This tribute was added by Scott Powers on 18th February 2011

"You will be forever missed Leif. A true Legend, a Super Hero for sure!!  Your spirit and soul will live on!!  When I look high on the divide, I see you you cutting endless lines of powder.  I feel so honored to have known you!! Your sons will fill your boots and become the next super heros that they allready are!!  My hat comes off to you Leif.  Wish all family and friends strength."

This tribute was added by Elizabeth Hanning on 18th February 2011

"I didn't have the honor of meeting Leif personally, but he was angel to our family.  He rescued a loved one after a very serious chair-lift accident at A-Basin 18 years ago.  We will be eternally grateful.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends."

This tribute was added by ski patol on 17th February 2011

"Thank you Leif for all the hard work. You were always there to take care of us when we needed help. You were one great skier and a great man. Legendary in your physical strength. Save some snow up there in skier's heaven and say hi to all of our other friends that have passed on. Tele George& your friends from the Mad River Glen Ski Patrol."

This tribute was added by paul rondeau on 17th February 2011

"Jamie,Danielle,Zach & my self will miss you much. I always loved to Rassell you! I never saw you waist a minute of life. We are better people to have known you & your family. The mountains will seem smaller with out you......Live each day as if it were a good day to die.....You will always be my brother, be at peace....."

This tribute was added by Larry Beverly on 17th February 2011

"Larry and Carol Beverly will always remember what a fine man Leif was and will always be. Gone from the present, but always with us in spirit. Leif just opened another door and has achieved a higher calling. The good and the brave don't rest they just kick it up a notch. Keep climbing Leif.....the sky is not the limit for men like you!"

This tribute was added by Marco Grob on 17th February 2011

"My heart goes out to Leif's family, friends and colleagues. The county will not be the same without him."

This tribute was added by Kurt Hammann on 17th February 2011

"PASSIONATE about life! That is what you taught me. I will never forget."

This tribute was added by Dale Atkins on 17th February 2011

"From bikes to mtns to snow & avalanches to rescue we talked, occasionally we even skied a run or two. Our conversations usually started with work stuff, but we always talked about our families, too. Leif taught and shared not only knowledge but wisdom, which was always accompanied by a twinkle in his eyes and an infectious smile, which got brighter and bigger when he talked about his family. RIP"

This tribute was added by Phyllis Bradford on 17th February 2011

"I worked with Leif in the ER one winter.  During a wild and crazy shift one night, he broke out into the theme song for Sponge Bob SquarePants to me.  I laughed like a lunatic, made my night!  Leif leaves a legacy of two wonderful sons, and a very special person by the name of Denise.  She saw a shooting star the other night and believes it was Leif telling her he was ok.  I believe as well."

This tribute was added by Annette Williams on 17th February 2011

I never met you or your husband, Leif, but I lost my love on January 15th, 2011, in a similar way.  My heart goes out to you and your sons.  My only words of comfort are your love left this life like mine did, doing what they love.  I am not the kind of person that will give your platitudes.  But, take comfort in th fact that he passed from this life in a place that he loved.


This tribute was added by Gene Bowers on 16th February 2011

"I was catering an event at the Basin and the door opened and there was Leif. He asked if I needed anything or any help. Usually when someone asks this it is out of courtesy and I'll say no thanks but thank you. With Leif, I could tell from the look he gave and the way he said it, he sincerely meant it. And what a help he was! I will never forget it. God bless you Leif."

This tribute was added by Gwen O'Roark on 16th February 2011

"A great man through and through...you'll be missed...loved running into him at our annual Gruberfest trip...so proud of his sons;showed us the pix on his desktop early in the morning, even though it was a busy morning...god bless...You'll be remembered forever :~)
Brook, Gwen and Allison O'Roark"

This tribute was added by John Tufano on 16th February 2011

"Leif - Unfortunately I did not get to know you as well as others at the Basin may have know you, but I knew you well enough to recognize that your untimely passing will forever leave a hole in the fabric creating the magic and atmosphere that is A-Basin.  My thoughts and prayers go out to your family and friends."

This tribute was added by Tim Green on 16th February 2011

"I never knew Leif but my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. The next time Im' at A Basin I will say a prayer at the top of the mountain for him. Rest in piece."

This tribute was added by Tom Brennom on 16th February 2011

"Although I only met Leif a few times, he obviously impacted many people in his short life. As he is looking down on us, may he have comfort in the lives he has touched."

This tribute was added by Mark Campion on 15th February 2011

"You are always going to be in my memory. I remember the day we went to work together way back when. We risked our lives and learned about one another through our passion to be out in the snowy folds. I was fortunate enough to watch you excel in your craft, as well as grow proud as a father husband and friend of many. The thing about you is that you left an impression on many. Tears flow. Luv Campo"

This tribute was added by Greg Steffensen on 15th February 2011

"Leif was a real gem.  One time we went to see The English Beat.  The concert was gettin' rowdy, the moshin' was heatin' up, then I couldn't find him.  A few minutes later there he was on stage, without his spectacles, and he promptly stage dove into the crowd! A hearty laugh was had by all. Love to Denise and family, Lars and parents. Mountain Del Boys forever! Peace and Love, Stef"

This tribute was added by Bill Hahn on 15th February 2011

"RIP for Leif means “Ripping In Powder” (I can't picture him resting!). Somewhere he’s trying to characterize stuff that has 0% water content and is infinitely deep.  Thanks, Leif, for breaking so many trails, and establishing new staircases to excellence in all aspects of patrolling.  Afterlife, beware this legend...fire in the hole!"

This tribute was added by Mark Michaels on 15th February 2011

"Leif was the type of patroller and person I aspired to be when I lived in Summit County.  He was so A-Basin: hard as a rock, funky, happy, real Colorado.  Hugs to everyone at A-Basin and Keystone."

This tribute was added by kristy Kelton-Gruber on 14th February 2011

"Mom, Leif is a Really great guy  I am sorry I do not get to see him again.. (Kaileen Gruber) 5yrs old"

This tribute was added by QX Bobo Persons on 14th February 2011

"A patrol brother here in Flag said "He was in pretty good shape, wasn't he?"
I answered "He was made of steel.  He was a (expletive deleted) superhero."  

In body and mind Leif was a hero.  Unstoppable optimism, dedication and the endurance to see anything through.

My daughters reminded me again today that I'll see him again.  Requiescat in pace.

This tribute was added by jenn mcconnell on 13th February 2011

"Thank you for all the fun times at Keystone and at Copper.  It was a lucky day for me when you taught me how to run a rig on teles!!!   You are a super star and will be so missed!"

This tribute was added by John Bolotin on 13th February 2011

"We shared some great times and a heck of alot of laughs together while on Keystone Patrol. You will be missed"

This tribute was added by Dave Fernandez on 13th February 2011

""The Snowman" may be gone, but not forgotten! Farewell My Friend - Farewell"

This tribute was added by john dowling on 13th February 2011

"I remember how psyched Leif was to ski 3 inches of snow encrusted in an inch of ice when we went back East. He was a real mountain goat and always in his element.  We'll miss him!"

This tribute was added by Brian Biebl on 13th February 2011

"I had the pleasure of working with Leif at Keystone Ski Patrol in the late 80s.  We spent a lot of time together keeping the snowmobiles running and helping to keep the mountain safe.  Leif was a special person with more than most's share of personality and one tough guy! Hard to keep up with that one!!  He will be sadly missed!- Brian Biebl"

This tribute was added by Dan Moroz on 13th February 2011

"Leif, it was an honor and a pleasure to have known and worked with you. Altho your tenure at Copper was short I appreciated your professionalism and dedication to the world of ski patroling, snow safety, along with your friendship. Rest in peace my friend."

This tribute was added by Ray Sword on 12th February 2011

"Leif ... I will never forget you! You were always an inspiration to me. You will be greatly missed by many. Thanks for turning me on to Oakly prescription glasses. I will wear them every day in your honor!

R.I.P. Bro!"

This tribute was added by Larry Grossman on 11th February 2011

"I can't even think of a bad memory if I try and this is your legacy Leif. Your friends, family and Legend teammates will carry that with them forever...damn, you were a good one. Thank you for everything."

This tribute was added by Kelli Deeter on 11th February 2011

"Leif taught me everything I need to know to keep my VW bus running.  He gave me encouragement and inspiration to work in France.  Thanks for the laughs and your endless strength."

This tribute was added by Emily Woessner on 11th February 2011

"Leif was an amazing family friend, a second dad, an awesome skier and overall bad ass. he always knew how to put a smile on my face and every time i would bump into him he would give me a hug. nothing will replace Lief, but the memories will always stay in my heart. thanks for being there for me, not only as a co-worker from years past but as a second dad when i needed advice. god gave you wings."

This tribute was added by nathan post on 11th February 2011

"I'll never forget riding the east wall with Leif before it opened, he made me carry up a bunch of bamboo poles but it was worth every turn. We had a good time that day."

This tribute was added by Scott Astaldi on 11th February 2011

"Leif was always the most psyched and the most motivated for any project or adventure, thanks for the motivation and good times. Scott and Jen"

This tribute was added by John Bottomley on 11th February 2011

"I was hanging out with Leif in his office one day last year and he's getting ready to head out...  I say to him "be good".  He turns to me and says "Be obsiquious, purple, and clairvoyant".  

I'm gonna miss that guy."

This tribute was added by christopher griffin on 10th February 2011

"Thanks 4 makin my life in summit so real. Thank you 4 the memories. You have made your mark in this world u will not b forgotten."

This tribute was added by josh astuto on 10th February 2011

"r.i.p. brother"

This tribute was added by patrick steele on 10th February 2011

"I remember working with him in the summer of Montezuma Bowl , We were at the summit and he gave me one box , he had two, i had a 50 yard head start to the bunker, he passed me like i had never even gotten started and was waiting on me with a smile, Man that guy was tough! Glad I was Able to work with such and awesome dude! Lost but never will be forgotten.

Patrick Steele"

This tribute was added by Sarah McFadden on 10th February 2011

"Thanks for making me smile every day. -Sarah Mc"

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