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.
Posted by Sarah McFadden on February 10, 2011
Thanks for making me smile every day. -Sarah Mc
Posted by patrick steele on February 10, 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
Posted by josh astuto on February 10, 2011
r.i.p. brother
Posted by christopher griffin on February 10, 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.
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Posted by Ian Borgeson on January 31, 2021
I miss you pops. I miss all the memories we could've had. Having a beer after a pow day, wrenching (just like you loved), seeing your sons and wife grow, grieving Toy, just relaxing after a hard day. Memories I will always miss. Hope you are ok wherever you are. I Love you.
Posted by Denise Schmidt on January 1, 2021
Hey Leif! You are 60 today. Woo hoo!!! I think of you each day. You are forever missed:)).
Posted by Ian Borgeson on January 1, 2021
Happy Birthday pops! Would've been 60 today. Can't believe it. Hope you're getting some turns wherever you are.
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Shared by Estrella Flores on December 18, 2012



Shared by Andi Bell on February 8, 2012


One year later and the Winter Song still tugs at me when I hear it.  I thought I'd honor your memory today with a run at Waterville on the skis you borrowed last time you were here with Ian.  The ride up seemed longer today, still listening to every sheave and looking at every merge for problems as we always did.  I thought I'd be by myself but as I headed down with the sun at my back, there you were over every rise, as always, in front, seeing if we couldn't get just a little more out of each turn!  It was good to "see" you old friend and know your memory will never fade.


Coffee too hot?

Shared by Mark Campion on January 1, 2012

I remember one cold and nasty day up there at the Snow Plume Refuge back in February during Leif's rookie year. I was dispatching because I had the brown bottle flu from the night before. Leif was with us the whole night, but was able to operate the following day without any trouble at all. The coffee machine we had at the time wouldn't have passed FDA inspection for many reasons, but mostly it was a fire hazard. It boiled the coffee, it didn't brew it at all. You would drink it regardless, as it was a long cold trip to the bottom for coffee. Well, Leif asked me how the coffee was this morning, and I said that it is way too hot to even think about drinking, and that I wish somebody would fix the machine. He told me he didn't know much about the machine, and that he will find a new one. As far as the coffee being too hot, he told me to quit the whining, then he stuck his frozen leather glove fingers into it.

"you should be ready to go now." he told me, then he went back out into the cold with his leather fingers in his mouth as he ski'd into the fog.

He is a classic. Always was, always will be.